Archive of ‘Embroidery Tips’ category

Top Five Applique Techniques for Plush Fabrics

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Most embroiderers love appliqué designs. Appliqué can be used when a large embroidery design is needed but using a high stitch count design is not feasible. Appliqué can also be used to tame thick plush fabrics; such as terry cloth, fake fur and plush velour. In my embroidery business I add appliqué frames in combination with beautiful monograms to lounge chair towels, blankets and baby items. Here are some helpful techniques for creating professional looking appliqué when stitching on plush fabrics.

  1. Pre-wash all appliqué fabric before embroidering.
  2. Use a fusible light weight interfacing to the wrong side of appliqué fabric.
  3. Match the satin stitch thread to your background fabric.
  4. Test the appliqué design on similar fabric before stitching to check the density and quality of design. Adjust design in software if necessary.
  5. Place the embroidery hoop on a clean flat surface when trimming the excess fabric.

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Learn more in my Craftsy class; How to Start a Home Embroidery Business with Marie Zinno.

Click here for a $10 coupon.

Embroidering for Small and Plus Size Figures

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

In my first attempts at embroidering a blank garment for a small child, I must admit I struggled. I often made the design too large for the small figure and it always landed in the wrong place. Oh, it looked great when the garment was flat but when worn, it was an entirely different story. The design usually hit closer to the belly button than up near the neckline. And a good portion of a left chest embroidery pretty much always wound up in the armpit.  Once the Children’s Perfect Placement Kit was available, I was saved. I just rely on that handy tool to get the embroidery in the right scale and location for young ones.

At the other end of the scale, embroidering for plus size figures gave me the same trouble.  So what’s my problem? Familiarity. I know what works on a garment that fits a person about my size, give or take a few sizes up or down the scale. But adding a left chest logo to say a man’s XXXL shirt, is not something I do every day.  So finding the right location is difficult. I was relieved when the Embroiderer’s Big Helper was released.  Everyone deserves to look their best when wearing embroidered garments and it’s up to embroiderers to make sure they do. After all, it’s the stitchers who set the look. The common man (those poor souls who don’t stitch) don’t know any better. They need to be led, steered in the right direction when it comes to embroidered garb. After all, they are a walking advertisement for your skills. So help them look their best – use the Embroiderer’s Big Helper when stitching on plus size shirts.

Let me show you how easy it to use.

Fuse Sulky’s Soft N Sheer Plus to the wrong side of the design area. Use enough to fill the hoop – you can trim the excess after stitching.

Place the shirt on a flat work surface. Align the Helper’s straight edge with the center of the placket and position the curved cutout at the neckline.  Align a target sticker to the corresponding size notch.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Remove the Helper and stitch the design.

Remove the shirt from the hoop. Turn the garment inside out and place it on a terrycloth towel on a pressing surface.  Press the stabilizer. Once it’s heated, gently lift it away from the shirt and trim away the excess leaving about ½” stabilizer around the design.  Press again to fuse it back to the garment.

Present the shirt to the lucky recipient!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

 

Here’s your assignment this week:

Every sewing studio runs more smoothly with embroidery essentials. For today’s blog, Eileen reached for Sulky’s Soft N Sheer Plus to complete the garment. What’s your favorite go-to Sulky product?

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Post a comment and one very lucky winner is going to score BIG courtesy of our friends at Sulky! Prize includes:

  • 8” roll of Tear Easy
  • 8” roll of Solvy
  • 8” roll of Soft ‘n Sheer
  • 1 can of KK 2000
  • A set of 12 Rayon Threads

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The retail value is approximately: $105

 

The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question:

Which approach do you most identify with? Are you the experienced machine embroider that begins a new quilt like Eileen or a more novice embroider like Denise who used the quilt designs to finish existing projects? Post your comments and one random winner will be selected to win Windmill Garden Quilts designs. And the winner is:  Beth R. – “I am more of a novice type – plus I have plenty of existing projects to finish!”

Multi-Needle Embroidery: Using Designs with 10+ Colors

Multi Needle Monday - Diane Kron

The Baby Lock Enterprise multi-needle machine has 10 needles.  Many embroidery designs have more than 10 color changes. To utilize these designs on this machine it will require just a few additional steps.

Created by: Diane Kron, Software and Embroidery Projects Manager for Designer’s Gallery

Supplies:
Enterprise Multi-Needle Embroidery Machines by Baby Lock®
Built- in design

At the Embroidery Machine:

  1. In the Properties field of the machine, set the Manual Color Sequence to Off. This will be on  page 5 of the Properties.blog1bl
  1. Select the 12th design listed under Exclusive Home Décor.
  2. On the embroidery screen, each of the 10 needle bars is assigned a color based on the colors in the design. There are 13 colors in this design.blog2bl

 

  1. The screen also tells you how much time before the machine will stop and a spool color change is needed. The time indicator will turn red as the last color is being sewn before it stops.blog3bl

 

  1. To see where a spool change is necessary, touch the Forward/Backward key on the screen. A new screen appears.blog4bl

Notice the red line and its placement. At this point, the machine will stop and allow you to change thread colors for the remaining color stops in the design.  You will see a message at the bottom of the screen (Change Threads and click start button).blog5bl

  1. The LED spool stand indicator will light up in white and then flash with the new color as shown in the following illustration. If black is the next color, the light will turn off. Touch Close to remove the message.
  2. Re-thread the machine on spools 1 and 2 as indicated above in the illustration or any other remaining spool that is flashing. When the machine stops and indicates a spool change, the thread information for the spool to be changed is outlined with a red outline.blog6bl

If some of the colors needed are already being used in another part of the design, the machine will make the adjustments recognizing the previously used needle bars and thread colors so no spool changes may be necessary even though the screen may indicate more than 10 thread colors in the design. The following image shows the finished design.blog7bl

Multi-Needle Monday: Text Tools at Your Fingertips

 

One of my favorite features about my multi-needle machine (Enterprise or Entrepreneur) is the touch screen text tools. As an embroidery business owner I wear a lot of hats; marketing, finance, designer, and operator so if I can save a little time to stitch a name on a hat back or the sleeve of a coaches shirt I am elated. Using the programmed fonts and editing tools to accomplish this task makes professional looking lettering at your fingertips.

Convert horizontal text into vertical text.

There are a handful of occasions when a vertical name is needed such as: bat bags, locker bags and a length of a sleeve. This is how I create the vertical text on my 10 needle embroidery machine.

 

Step1. Select the lettering icon on the main screen and type in the word “Coach”. Generally the vertical name or word would be all caps.

Select the Array icon and diagonal choice.

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Step2.Select and hold the lower bottom bold diagonal line. The letters will move from a diagonal into a perfect vertical line. Touch close and embroider the text. Size and spacing can still be adjusted as needed.

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Array Text

Select the horizontal line icon and the arch icon. There are many different ways to position the text with the array keys. The arch feature is the perfect tool to use if you add a name to the back of a baseball hat. You can easily squeeze the letters to fit around the opening.

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Slice Tool

This feature separates each letter in a line of text.

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Type in the name or text needed and select “Spacing” icon. Touch the picture of a knife and you will notice the knife moving between each letter in the word.

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Use the “select” key to highlight a letter to be re-sized or moved if needed. Touch edit end and embroider the text.

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Learn more helpful machine embroidery business information by taking my Craftsy class : How to Start an Embroidery Business by Marie Zinno.

Click the link to save $10 on this class.

https://www.craftsy.com/ext/MarieZinno_4963_D

Software Saturday – My Quilt Embellisher Labels


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When you stumble across a family heirloom, don’t you find yourself yearning for some background behind the object?  Don’t you wish you knew the date it was created and by whom? And where?  I sure do.  So I think we should take that into consideration when we make quilts and include a label.

Of course, labels are as individual as signatures but here are my self-inflicted rules for quilt labels – with the emphasis on self-inflicted!  I think it’s important to document the title of the quilt, the recipient (if there is one), the quilt maker’s name and hometown, the date of completion and…how to care for the quilt.

Two more rules that I have are to make the label visually appealing and add it to the quilt before the quilting is complete. I’ll explain how I add it to the quilt in a future post but for now, I’ll concentrate on digitizng.

My Quilt Embellisher has 99 different labels to get you started.  Open a new file in My Quilt Embellisher, click on the Border icon and select a favorite – I like Border 74. label1

It has adornments at the top and bottom; an inner bean stitch outline and an outer satin stich outline.  Select the design, right mouse click and Ungroup. Now, delete adornments and the satin stitch outline. label3

Select the Text icon and click inside the frame.  Move the cursor to the Properties box and type the title of the quilt. Select a font from the drop down menu, I’ve selected Bauhas.  Click Apply. label4

Select the Text icon again and click inside the frame.  Move the cursor to the Properties box and type your name, click on Enter and then type your hometown on the second line. Click a different font from the drop down menu – Cursive in this sample. In the Line Spacing box, enter -5. Click Apply. The negative number automatically pulls the letters close together mimicking handwriting. label5

Just a little more information and we’ll be done. Select the text icon again, click inside the frame and move the cursor to the Properties box.  Type the date on the first line and the care instructions on the second line.  In the font drop down menu, select Arial 4mm.  Click Apply. label7

Select all of the elements, right mouse click and select Align, Horizontal Center. label8

Once you’re satisfied with the layout, reorder the color sequence. In the Sequence window, select the first color, the frame. label9

Move it to the last position. The label is ready to be stitched! label10

On Wednesday, I’ll share the next steps – applying to the quilt.

I love how easy it is to customize a label in My Quilt Embellisher.

Glitter Princess!

Glitter Princess!

You’re never too old or too young to celebrate a special birthday!  Recently, Stephanie Sanders, my loyal employee of 14 years, approached me with a request to stitch a shirt for her daughter’s upcoming 2nd birthday.

We discussed options and thought it would be fun to stitch an applique crown and a number 2.  Since little girls love sparkles we knew the applique fabric would have to be something glittery and fun.

This was the perfect opportunity to use Glitter Sheets from BFC-Stash.  The sheets are available as sets and individual sheets in countless colors.  Instructions are included with the Embroidery Glitter for steps on how to use and care for the product.  

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I used embroidery software to create the embroidery design.  If you missed the Software Saturday lesson on the blog click here.

I could have placed an entire square of the Glitter Sheet on the applique then trimmed it away once the tack down stitch was complete.  But this was a great opportunity to use the Brother™ ScanNCut to create pre-cut applique shapes.  So I sent the applique artwork files from Perfect Embroidery Pro to my Brother Scan N Cut.  I loaded a gold glitter sheet, pressed the button and Voila! A gold crown, perfectly cut!  IMG_0655

I was so excited I quickly picked up a pink glitter sheet and repeated the steps for the digit.  Gee, that stuff is addictive! IMG_0659

Once the design was created I fused Sulky Soft ‘n Sheer™ Extra cut-away stabilizer to the wrong side of the t-shirt. Then I hooped the t-shirt in Snap Hoop Monster.

When it was time to stitch the design I placed the pre-cut Glitter sheets on the placement stitching.  The sheets were tacked down then finished with the satin stitching.  The final step is to use a Teflon pressing cloth to iron the embroidery using the linen heat setting.  (330-365 degrees).  Complete care instructions are included with the Glitter Sheets.

The Glitter Sheets are light-weight and move with the garment.  Perfect for a little one that is always on the move!

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The final step was to finish the back of the garment with Sulky Tender™ Touch.  This added step makes the shirt more comfortable for little ones to wear by covering the bobbin stitches.

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Now the little princess is ready for her party!

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If you’ve missed out on this month’s Designs Plus Newsletter, be sure to stop by for a visit.  Sulky is offering 3 free embroidery designs and a limited time special offer on their products.

 

Here’s your assignment this week:

I had so much fun working with the Glitter Sheets from BFC- Stash on this project. The wide range of sheet color choices is my favorite aspect of the product. What is your favorite color Glitter Sheet to use? Post your comments and one random winner will be selected to win a $25 gift certificate to the Designs in Machine Embroidery website.

Multi-Needle Monday: Automatic Appliqué on the Brother Entrepreneur and Baby Lock Enterprise

As owners of the Baby Lock Enterprise and Brother Entrepreneur, we are so fortunate to have the latest and greatest technology at their finger tips. We have the scanner and live camera along with automatic basting file (shown in an earlier blog for embroidering t-shirts) and another helpful, quick technique the automatic appliqué feature. The automatic appliqué can create any shape, text or embroidery design into an appliqué without using embroidery software. There is an icon on the screen to convert each design into an appliqué.

I created a simple three-letter monogram inside a diamond shape design right at the embroidery screen; no embroidery software needed. The steps below will guide you how to create your own appliqué once a design, text or shape is shown on the screen.

Step 1. Select the shapes icon under Exclusives and choose the diamond shape.

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Resize the diamond shape to approximately 4″ wide or the size you wish to embroider and select Edit End. diamond mono3

Step 2. Click the blue shield icon; this will add the automatic appliqué around the diamond shape.

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Step 3.Use the select key and highlight the black diamond shape as shown in photo (the original shape) and delete it.

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Go to “Add”. Choose the monogram icon.

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Step 4. Select the letters for the monogram; left, middle and right letters to fit properly inside the shape.

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Resize the letters to fit inside the satin stitches.

Step 5. Hoop the fabric and stitch the placement color (1st color). Add the fabric on top of placement color. diamond mono13diamond mono14diamond mono15 Remove hoop from machine and trim excess fabric from around diamond shape.

Step 6. Replace the hoop on the machine and stitch the satin stitch and monogram. diamond mono16

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Instant applique! Right at your fingertips!

 

Learn more helpful machine embroidery business information by taking my Craftsy class : How to Start an Embroidery Business by Marie Zinno.

Click the link to save $10 on this class.

https://www.craftsy.com/ext/MarieZinno_4963_D

Multi-Needle Monday – Tackling Hard to Hoop Items

My favorite solution for hard-to-hoop items is Quick Snap Frames. There are many uses for the Quick Snap Hooping System such as stitching backpacks and small cosmetic cases. The Quick Snap System comes with a variety of metal base frames that are inserted into a bracket attached in the center back of the embroidery machine.

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The top clear frames are held in place with super strong magnets that slide into the grooves. Seven metal frames and 15 coordinating top frames are included with Quick Snap.

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Sometimes a particular accessory has many obstacles such as zippers, rivets, tiny inside pockets of bags and thick bulky seams. If the clear top acrylic frames do not lay properly or easily because of bulky seams, my solution is to use only the magnets.

Here’s how I use them. Measure the design, measure the opening of the accessory and select the correct size Quick Snap metal base frame. Attach the metal base frame to the machine and use the trace feature to make sure the design is centered and fits in the selected frame.

Mark your item to be embroidered with a target sticker and place a piece of stabilizer on top of the metal frame. Slide the item onto the frame, centering the target sticker under the needle. Add the magnets.

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The magnets will hold the item on the metal frame during the stitching process. This technique made easy work of monogramming nine cosmetic cases for wedding attendant gifts.

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Follow the same instructions for embroidery a larger item such as a backpack. The monogram for the backpack measures 5” tall and the zipper area was a bit restrictive for the top clear frame. So I measured and centered the design before the pocket of the backpack was inserted on the frame.

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The magnets easily held the bulky (and expensive) backpack on the hoop. Of course this was for my 17 year old daughter and she wanted metallic thread! It turned out great, just as she envisioned.

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Converting Designs in Perfect Embroidery Pro

Inspiration’s Perfect Embroidery Pro has a unique feature – batch conversion. This handy feature quickly converts one, two, several or dozens of machine embroidery designs from one embroidery format to another. It all happens in the blink of eye – which lets you get to the fun part of embroidery – the actual stitching!

View this quick video to see how easy it is.

Converting Designs In PEP

To watch on YouTube, click here.

No more, Save AS, Save As, Save As over and over again!

Software Saturday – The Backdrop Tool in My Quilt Embellisher

One of the helpful features of Inspiration’s My Quilt Embellisher is the backdrop tool. The backdrop tool allows you to bring an image on to the screen and audition embroidery in actual time. It’s a surefire way to design beautiful blocks.
First, take a photograph or scan an image of your quilt into your computer. Take note of where you stored the photo on your hard drive.
Open a new file in My Quilt Embellisher. Go to File, Load Backdrop. Locate the image of your quilt block and click OK. MQE_b1
The image appears behind the grid on your screen. Chances are the image is not perfectly square on the screen. That’s ok; it’s an easy fix in My Quilt Embellisher. Hover the cursor over the backdrop tool on the left toolbar. MQE_b2
Click on the small arrow under the icon to access the Backdrop tools. Select Define horizon. MQE_b3
Place the cursor on one corner of the block and with the left mouse button depressed, drag the cursor across the block to the opposite corner. Release the mouse. The image will straighten on the screen. MQE_b4
In the properties box, notice the size of the image – it’s quite large. MQE_b5
That measurement is the size of the image, not the block. So let’s tell the software exactly what size our block should be.
Select Define Scale from the Backdrop tool menu. MQE_b6
Place the cursor on one corner of the block and with the left mouse button depressed, drag the cursor across the block to the opposite corner. Release the mouse. A window appears. Type in the correct measurement. My actual block measures 7” so I type in 7”. MQE_b9
The image shrinks and in the properties box, the size of the image changes too. MQE_b10
The properties box measurement is larger than 7” because it’s illustrating the size of the image – all the white/gray space that’s actually part of the image.
Now that you are viewing the block in actual size, it’s time to audition embroidery designs in the patches. This block was created for a sweet couple, Liz and Mike Tucker. The monogram font is August, the heart is Block Frill Heart (found in Embellishments) and the bird is #57488 in My Quilt Embellisher Free Designs.MQE_b12

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