Archive of ‘Guest Blog’ category

Software Saturday: Forget your troubles with the help of embroidery software!

I looked at the time and braced myself as if an earthquake was about to happen.  It didn’t.  But my mind was miles away.  A week ago on Friday evening we had to put the family dog down.   She was 15 years old and she was falling apart.  As I stared at my computer monitor, trying to figure out what to do next—remembering exactly where I was a week ago at this time, I decided I had to occupy myself.

I opened Perfect Embroidery Pro software without a clear plan and with some reluctance.  There wasn’t any inspiration floating around in my head.  None.

I played with features and dabbled with different design layouts.  During this process, I realized there are some very fun designs in the software….

Did you know there are so many dog related designs built in to the software?

Kibbles would definitely approve.  I was able to make a paw print frame using the Symbols feature.

Select the paw print symbol and click Ok.

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Drag and drop the paw design.  You can make it large or small depending on how far you drag the mouse button across the screen.

I went crazy copying and pasting.

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To see how the design would stitch out I went to View, Slow Redraw.

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That’s when it became clear it was as if Kibbles ran around on the screen.  The paw prints were definitely not in a good stitching order.

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To make the paw prints stitch efficiently, click on Edit.  Optimize Sequence.  That’s much better!

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Since I was enjoying myself and forgetting  my sadness, I decided to try another layout.


Click on the Text tool.  Select Baushaus.  This font seemed to fit Kibbles’ personality.

I typed the name, Kibbles and clicked Apply.

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Click the Text Designs Icon.

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I got very distracted with all the designs!  I chose the Bone design and clicked Ok.

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Click on the Text Designs Icon again.

Select the Crown Design and click ok.

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I rearranged the Crown design so it was positioned on top of the Dog Bone design.

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The bone needed something more.  I added the year, 2015.

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My creative juices continued to flow and I lost track of the time.  The design isn’t quite right.  I experimented again…

I decided I needed to enlarge the name Kibbles.  Perfect Embroidery Pro has a handy cheat sheet.  If you hover over the font, it will display recommended sizes for a particular font style.  Good information to know before I enlarge the name.

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I changed the height to 1 inch.

I copied the name Kibbles.

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I selected the first Kibbles design.  Then I deleted the letters, “les”.

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Next I selected the second Kibbles design.  I deleted the letters “Kibb”.
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I repositioned the “Kibb” above the crown.  Then I rotated the “les” 270 degrees.

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I rearranged name until I had a pleasing layout.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I clicked on the 3D View.  Now it is a design fit for a princess, named Kibbles!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

An hour of playing with embroidery software kept my mind occupied while creating something special to honor my four-legged friend.  Machine embroidery is such a wonderful creative outlet.  Use it as often as you can!

Multi-Needle Monday: Embroidering Appliqué Patterns

Combine traditional appliqué with embroidery to create unique designs. This technique is ideal for creating appliqués and applying them to fabrics that cannot be embroidered on easily.  You can create design badges or your own unique appliqués. This method of applying an appliqué design creates fewer stitches on the shirt which means less puckering after you have washed the shirt many times.

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

At the Embroidery Machine:

  1. Select an embroidery pattern. Note: some patterns cannot be used and a message will appear on the screen. If the pattern is reduced in size it may work. In this sample, the design was not resized. The design that is used is design number 14, found under the Exclusive Novelty category.dkron1bledit
  1. Re-assign colors if desired using the Change Thread Color Key. In the sample, the first color was changed to light pink. Touch Edit End.
  2. On page 2 of the Machine Settings screen, adjust the distance from the design to the appliqué outline. The default setting is 3mm. Press close.dkron2bledit
  1. In the Embroidery Settings screen touch the Appliqué key. An outline stitch will appear around the design. Three additional steps have been added to the sewing order:
    1. Sewing a cutting line.
    2. Sewing a positioning line on the background fabric.
    3. Satin stitch.dkron3bledit

 

  1. Touch the Edit key again (as shown above in the illustration) and return to the Pattern Editing Screen. Touch the Change Thread Color key. Using the Minus Thread spool move backward through the colors sequence to the three appliqué color stops. Move to the next stop to sew a position line on the background fabric. Press Close and engage the Pause key to add a machine stop just before the second to last color stop. It is recommended that the thread used for the “sewing a cutting line”, should match the color of the base fabric. It is also recommend that you use stabilized felt or denim for the appliquéd piece.dkron4bledit

 

  1. Hoop the stabilizer and place a piece of felt that will fit in the hoop. If the felt section is too small to hoop, hoop the stabilizer and spray with the temporary spray adhesive and place the felt section over the top of the hoop while finger pressing  to hold in place.
  2. Sew out the first four color stops on the design. When the machine stops after the fourth color, remove the hoop from the frame and carefully trim around the design on the cutting outline stitch with a sharp pair of scissors.dkron5bldkron6bl
  1. Hoop the Mesh Cut-Away stabilizer and spray with the temporary spray adhesive.
  2. Place a Positioning Sticker on the shirt front or on the desired section of the shirt.dkron7bl
  3. Place the shirt over the stabilized hoop and finger press in place.
  4. Place the hoop on the hoop bracket.
  5. To reposition the design for perfect placement, take the design back to the first color stop on the design by clicking on the “0” key as shown below and Close.dkron8bledit
  1. Click on the Return key, and when the message “OK to cancel embroidery” appears, select OK. This will take you to the screen that is shown below.dkron9bledit
  1. Select the Positioning icon as shown above. The machine will scan the hoop area looking for the positioning sticker. Once it finds the sticker it will position the design in the correct position for embroidery. It will ask you to “Remove the embroidery positioning mark”. Remove the sticker.
  2. Advance to the second to last color stop. Stitch this thread color.
  3. Position the stitched design over the stitched outline. I like to fuse a fusible appliqué stabilizer to the back side of the design.  This helps hold the design in place during embroidery.
  4. To finish embroidery proceed to the last color to stitch the satin stitch.shirt

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

Behind the Scenes: Volume 92 May/June 2015

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Our team of writers submitted beautiful, creative and unique projects—it definitely makes us excited to present them to you!

So grab a cup of tea, sit back and enjoy today’s Behind the Scenes at a Photo Shoot feature!

Katherine Artines, wowed us with her quilted tote that features channel quilting with fabric confetti sprinkled in for added color and whimsy.

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Sometimes a breeze is needed to gently tousle the model’s hair.  That’s when a fan comes in handy.  The model is wearing Nancy Zieman’s “Quilting for Texture” project.  The garment features flawless allover embroidery.  Be sure to check it out in the current issue.

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Creative Director, Sam Solomon, stays focused to make sure we have the right shot for the magazine.

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Stylist, Andrea Huffman prepares the cheese and fruit platter for the next shot….the Oui, Oui! Quilt by Diane Kron.  We are all anxious to snack on these goodies after the shoot!

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Oops!  We caught Eileen playing around!

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Managing Editor, Denise Holguin, looks like a tourist in Paris.  Oui, oui!

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Hmmm… one of these things does not belong…  I can also assure you the cheese and grapes disappeared fast!

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We love how the embroidery designs coordinate so well in Joanne Banko’s, “Color Play Pillow Set.”  Read her article to learn her tips.

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Although we are hundreds of miles away from a beach, the photography studio is able to bring the beach to us!

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Andrea prepares the scene.

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Denise managed to incorporate a miniature campsite.

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Andrea found the perfect backdrop for the Pocket Journals from Stitch Soup.

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The Pocket Journals are enchanting.  Denise made it her goal to show you every possible angle so you can fully appreciate the craftsmanship and creativity… and the “oh my gosh, how cool!” factor.

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A close-up look at the spines of these embroidered books.
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Denise enlisted the help of her tiny crew to showcase the details on these beautiful journals.

Looks like George found the key to the journal!

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Mildred prepares for a trip abroad.  She will be able to document her travels quite easily.

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Hans and Charles are busy closing the books for the day.
Eileen's Machine Embroidery BlogDietrich makes an important announcement he wants all to hear:

“Ladies and gentlemen, when you make your own version of the Pocket Journals, please post them to our Facebook page.  We can’t wait to see your approach!”

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

 

All this and more can be discovered in the latest issue of Designs in Machine Embroidery! Pick up the Volume 92 May/June 2015 issue from your favorite local retailer or order online!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog


Here’s your assignment this week:

Fun trivia!  The May/June issue is the first time we’ve featured a cover of the magazine on the cover!  Identify which Volume of Designs in Machine Embroidery is tucked away in Marie’s beach tote featured on the cover.  Post your answer in the comments section and one lucky person will win a Stipple Sea Life collection.

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

Inspiration can be found everywhere and in everything. For today’s blog, Denise’s inspiration came from a restaurant’s graffiti wall. What has been your most peculiar source for embroidery inspiration?Post a comment below and one very lucky winner is going to score BIG by winning a one-year subscription to Design in Machine Embroidery magazine!

And the winner is: Cathy K. – “My most peculiar design is my husband’s airplane! I am going to make it into an embroidery design and put it in on his shirt as a surprise. I am a real newbie, so I hope I can do it!”

 

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.

coach1_bl

coach2_bl

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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

You are invited to go crazy quilting!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Sam Solomon, our Creative Director at Designs in Machine Embroidery has been telling me to experiment with crazy quilting.  I’ve admired Eileen’s projects in her book, Today’s Crazy Quilting with Your Embroidery Machine but I didn’t think I had the skill level to understand what fabric to fold, where and when.  I remember taking a test in the 6th grade on spatial skills and paper folding and I struggled.  So clearly, crazy quilting isn’t for me.  But Sam assured me I could do it.  I intended to prove him wrong.
I decided to experiment with the 5 inch version of Quilt Block 1 from Today’s Crazy Quilting with Your Embroidery Machine.  I kept it simple by creating an unadorned quilt block using the embroidery techniques highlighted in the book.  I was shocked by how easy it was to do the flip and stitch method described in the book.
Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

About the block:
Since the block was plain (and boring) I decided it was the ideal canvas for ribbons and other embellishments.  I never thought I’d get to use the spades and clubs embellishments on a project.  Victory!

 

Next I made the same block but added embroidery designs from the book.  Blissful success!

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About the block:
It was important to me I set some rules during this entire crazy quilt block making process.  I only wanted to use 3 thread colors.  I embraced the concept of white and pink birds and am quite pleased with the results.  I added a decorative zig-zag stitch to attach the gray ribbon.

 

Two successes in one afternoon proved a confidence builder. Why stop now?  I decided to incorporate embroidery designs from Perfect Embroidery Pro. I used the mini fonts and the circle path for text. More success!

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About the block:
The bicycle is a built-in design in Perfect Embroidery Pro.  I arched the word “Create” around the wheel.  What a simple, yet fun way to display text!

The hot air balloon is also a built-in design in Perfect Embroidery Pro.  I arched the text, “up, up and away we go!”  It wasn’t until the machine started stitching did I realize I had trapped myself.  What color do I stitch the word “go”?  I had to get creative on the fly—so I stopped the machine and stitched the “o” in white.  Not ideal but it’s a crazy quilt!

The footprints are also a built-in design in Perfect Embroidery Pro.  You can add as few or as many footprints as you want.  Just remember to mirror image them!

 

Next I used the bee, flower border and hearts from Today’s Crazy Quilting with Your Embroidery Machine.  I like crazy quilting as a style because it’s like doodling on a textbook book cover or an acceptable way to add graffiti. It seemed fitting to add text, “Denise was here!”

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About the block:
I used Perfect Embroidery Pro to add “Bee-utiful” and arched it around the bee.

 

Start thinking of favorite phrases, important dates like birthdays or anniversaries— and add them to your crazy quilt blocks.  Since I was stitching these blocks in March, I figured why not add the date.  It’s a momentous month, the month I tried my hand at crazy quilting with an embroidery machine.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

About the block:
The eye is a built-in design from Perfect Embroidery Pro.  It was quirky and fun—the ideal addition to my crazy quilt blocks.  The large flower button covers a mistake.  No one but me… and you know!  That’s the joy of crazy quilting.  You can easily cover up mistakes.  Tiny baby buttons adorn the polka dot pink fabric.

 

Next, I did a Google search on crazy quilting and noticed a recurring theme:  spiders and spider webs.  It turns out they are considered a sign of good luck.  I don’t believe in luck but I do like spiders and spider webs.  Finally, I get to incorporate a creepy crawly spider into my embroidery!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

About the block:
I used Perfect Embroidery Pro to draw one strand of the spider web, then I copied, pasted and enlarged the strand as the arch got wider and wider.  Next I converted the artwork to a running stitch with a 2.5 mm stitch length.  I hand stitched my Halloween spider.  (I tried my faithful hot glue gun, but the rubber spider wouldn’t stay.)  I think this block makes a statement!

The other embroidery designs on this block are free design downloads courtesy of our friends from Embroidery Online.  You can find these designs (and more!) by visiting the Designs Plus Newsletter. All embroidery designs are archived for your convenience and creative whim!

My lessons to you:

  1. If you want to improve your embroidery skills you need to practice. A great way to practice is by stitching a crazy quilt block!  Look at each block as a canvas to decorate.  Use it as your own small and manageable art piece.  Once you experience success, who knows how many blocks you might stitch!
  2. I only used Block 1 to keep my variation to a minimum—but imagine the possibilities! They are endless.  Use the embroidery designs included in the book to embellish the blocks.  But don’t stop there.  Get creative and resourceful.  Use your embroidery software.  Use the free embroidery designs we offer on our website.  Use built-in embroidery designs on your machine.  Get scrappy.  Get creative.  Go crazy!

Now’s a great time to purchase Today’s Crazy Quilting with Your Embroidery Machine.  Not just because it’s wildly fun and a great skill-building experience – it’s on special!  For a limited time, enjoy free shipping on U.S. orders.  Plus, Eileen will autograph the book, which is always such a nice personal touch.  Visit the Designs in Machine Embroidery website to redeem the offer.

 

Here’s your assignment this week:

I’m fortunate to have friends and coworkers that challenge me to try new things – like crazy quilting.  Who in your life pushes you to be your best and try new things?  What activities have they encouraged you to try that you discovered you loved?  Post your comments and one random winner will be selected to win a $25 gift certificate to the Designs in Machine Embroidery website.
The winners of last week’s assignment answered the following question:When you get a new embroidery design how do you test it? Change Fabrics? Change Threads? Or both? 4 random names will be drawn and will each receive a $25 gift certificate to BFC Creations! The winners are: Kim – “Test it on the same fabric if possible.”, Carol M. – ” To test designs I use felt, scrap denim or scraps of solid fabric I keep beside my embroidery machine. Most of the time I just say a prayer and do the design on my project. I do test thread colors with my software before I do the design to see which color I like best.”, Belinda G – “I rarely test a design, I haven’t had a problem yet! Just lucky, I guess! but I usually choose other colors than what is in the design.”, and Barbara M. – “I do most of my color testing in my software. Then I can fine-tune it on a stitch-out. Sometimes I just trust the software…”BFC Creations

 

Multi-Needle Monday! Roulette Table Cover!

If you are using your multi-needle embroidery machine for a hobby or as a business, I’m sure you have some interesting and unique requests. Through my ten years as a commercial embroidery business owner I have had my share—believe me!

Recently one of the interior decorators that I embroider for asked me to meet their client who had remodeled his living room into a small casino room. The man was widowed and decided to change his formal living room (which he never sat in during his 25 years in the home) into a real casino room; complete with a regulation size roulette table!

The roulette table has an unusual shape and the table cover was customized to fit in one direction. One end of the table is narrower than the opposite end; therefore after playing and replacing the table cover (which is 15 feet long) it was difficult to know which end would fit properly. The client suggested I embroider a monogram on the one end of the cover and then he could easily tell how to replace it on the table.  Easy enough!

Yikes….the table cost thousands of dollars and the custom cover was hundreds as well. The fabric was a medium weight vinyl and he wanted a six inch tall monogram in gold metallic thread. We decided on the font (Old English) and placement which I carefully marked with masking tape while still on the roulette table. I also took photographs with my phone so I could easily envision the layout when I returned to my workroom.

Steps to success:

  1. I used PAL2 to precisely plan the embroidery layout. In my workroom, I placed the cover on the floor and attached the PAL2 to a small table at one end. I used masking tape (not painters tape because it would not stick to the vinyl) I did not want to use pins or chalk. I measured the distance from the edge seam; which we decided while on location and checked for accuracy.
    Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog
  2. The best hoop for this heavy fabric was the 8”x 8” Snap Hoop Monster. I was concerned about marks from the frame so I placed foam wrap on the bottom of the frame on top of the magnets.Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog Eileen's Machine Embroidery BlogI used medium weight cut away stabilizer.   I attached the hoop to the machine and placed the bulk of the table cover on a chair to ease the movement of the hoop.
    Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog
  1. The metallic thread was placed on my counter, not on the spool rack, in a small mesh container I use for other notions. I have read many different tricks to working with metallic thread but this trick works for me 99% of the time. (Wish I had those odds when playing on a roulette table!)Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog
  2. I slowed the speed of the embroidery machine down to 700rpm and embroidered the monogram without a hitch!Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

As a business owner, it is not wise to play “embroidery roulette” on such custom items because of the risks involved.  This is no time to “learn” or “experiment” on the job – the costs are very high.  I try to steer clear of embroidering on items that I do not supply but I was confident that I had the most amazing tools, embroidery technology and experience.  When you’re in a similar situation consider your experience and the risks involved.

My client was thrilled when we placed the cover on the table and he now enjoys taking the cover off and replacing.

 

What I learned from a box of gourmet chocolates

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

We receive these gourmet chocolates every year from our good friend, Katherine Artines.  It arrives in a specially wrapped box – Eileen and I open the box together.  I usually take photos of the process.  We are, after all, unwrapping art!

We usually gasp in delight as we look at the delicacies—decorated with stripes, speckles and glazes beyond comprehension.

Eileen:  “Can I eat one yet?”

Denise:  “No.  Not yet.  Let me take a couple more photos!”

After I snap a half dozen photos, we agree it’s time to eat.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

But first we examine the chocolate manual.  Not that we could choose the wrong chocolate—but it’s fun to read the descriptions for each chocolate.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

We each enjoy a chocolate and agree to exercise self-control.  After all, it’s the Christmas season and we must spread the calories over time!  I hid the box on my desk under a pile of papers.  I went for lesser grade chocolates to satisfy my need—and opted to save the gourmets for those special moments when I felt I had really ‘earned’ a chocolate.

Well, needless to say, I just couldn’t eat the chocolates.  They were too pretty.  Too delectable.  Too delightful for a mere Denise to enjoy casually on a Tuesday afternoon at work.  A Wednesday is too ordinary.  Fridays are festive but can I really justify a chocolate?   Even Eileen was doing a great job of exercising self-control.  I did share a chocolate with my coworker Sam, but not before taking a photo, of course.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Time passed and I was quite pleased with my ability to ration the treasured chocolates.  But one day I decided I had earned a chocolate for all my self-control.  That’s when I made an important, but sad discovery….

One chocolate was showing signs of loneliness.  It had a small crack.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

“Our chocolates!”, I gasped.

I examined the others.  I reached for a chocolate and saw it was a little delicate to the touch—especially with my office being kept so warm for the winter.

I realized an important lesson that plagues me and might also plague you:

Gifts are meant to be enjoyed!  Don’t put them on a shelf to admire them – use them!

Material Objects
This can be directed toward embroidery machines, embroidery designs, fabric and other supplies.  All these things should be used and enjoyed.  Use that special fabric you purchased.  Use those beautiful embroidery designs.  Otherwise, you miss an opportunity to find happiness and fulfillment by creating something one-of-a-kind, new and beautiful.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Skills & Talents
And of course, this can be expanded to more than material things.  Consider your own talents and skills—these are gifts! Put them to use for the benefit of others as well as yourself!  You’ll find that you’ll be happier when you are productively using your talents.

Practice!
Plus, by taking the approach of using your talents regularly, you are practicing your skills—which over time, will improve!  I think you’ll agree— that’s better than hiding your talents and not developing them!

No Regrets!
By the end of the year you’ll look back with pride at how well you used your time and gifts.

January is behind us and often by this time, our good intentions of self-improvement for the New Year have gone by the wayside. But don’t lose heart. Try again and keep trying.  Start stitching with your embroidery machine.  Pick up a new skill by reading Designs in Machine Embroidery, Eileen’s Machine Embroidery Blog or the Designs Plus Newsletter.  Gather your inspiration, some determination and begin!  (And enjoy some chocolate!)

 

Here’s your assignment this week:
Tell us how long you can hold on to a box of chocolates.  One random comment will be chosen to win… a box of chocolates!  Mmmm!  Yummy!
The winner of last week’s assignment:
Tell us your favorite feature of the new Dream Machine! One random comment will be chosen to receive a $25 gift certificate to the DIME website. Good luck!And the winner is:  Judi C!
“Oh my O my I sew want this dream machine! No doubt the best feature is the scan & convert with no software or computer needed :o)  ”
Congratulations, Judi!  Thank you for commenting!

 

 

A visit with THE Dream Machine

I was telling my friend about my work day. “I watched online videos of THE Dream Machine Innov-is XV8500D from Brother. My conclusion: The machine is a dream!”

We both agreed it would be a good idea to see THE Dream Machine in person. I made an appointment to visit our friends, Carla Plant and Shannon Atmore from Arlington Sewing Machines, for a hands-on demo.

I only planned on staying for an hour but the machine was so much fun I just about closed the store!

Here are some of my favorite highlights from THE Dream Machine.

    1. Massive screen!   I read about the 10.1” LCD screen and also saw videos but until you’ve sat down in front of the machine you can’t fully appreciate it. It’s huge!

 

    1. Crisp & Clear!   I didn’t expect to notice or appreciate any changes when viewing the LCD screen. My eyes aren’t that sophisticated. But that was absolutely the first thing that caught my attention. The colors and images are incredibly crisp and clear. When you view the built-in embroidery designs you can see them clearly on the large LCD screen. Or if you’re like me and load 5 similar versions of the same design and wonder which one is the right one—now there’s no doubt.We have certainly come a long way since the days of small monochrome LCD screens!

 

    1. Live view!   THE Dream Machine features the InnovEye® 2 Technology. This means you can see a live view of the needle area on your screen. What does this mean? Imagine scanning your hooped garment then viewing the actual garment on screen. Then select and position embroidery designs on the garment. Now the project you envision is easier to create!

 

  1. Scan!   Scan a drawing on the scanning frame and turn it into embroidery! Or load clip art from a USB stick and convert it to stitches! All of this can be done at the embroidery machine. It’s no longer a clunky process of sitting at your desktop computer with a scanner, then loading the image into embroidery software to convert the image to a design and then walking over to your embroidery machine to load the design. Whew! I’m tired just thinking and writing a run-on sentence about it!  Now the process is streamlined – it’s all done at your embroidery machine!

     

  2. Massive Hoop!   The maximum embroidery area is 9.5” x 14”. Imagine all the time and grief you can save by not having to rehoop.

  3. Disney!   Whether you’re stitching for a kid or a kid at heart—the library of Disney designs is very extensive.

    I was also impressed with the size of the designs.

    Check out this princess design!

    Carla and Shannon loaded the Minnie Mouse design.

    The design is 12.63” tall. That’s one big mouse!

  4. I’ve seen the light!   Oftentimes I lower the needle to double check the alignment of my design before I take the first stitch. But now I can use the Droplight™ LED Embroidery Positioning Marker to check alignment on THE Dream Machine.

  5. Never get confused about thread colors again!   Sure, there’s a numbered thread color sequence we can all follow but more often than not, I still manage to get confused on which thread to load next. THE Dream Machine has the INNOVACHROME™ LED Thread Color and Monitoring System. It indicates the thread color I need to install next.The flower image on screen indicates it’s time to stitch the pink portion of the flower.

    The light on the machine shows the same pink color! Wow!

  6. Details, details! Engineers noticed the details!   It’s easy to love all the obvious technological advances in THE Dream Machine. But I also appreciate and enjoy discovering where improvements have been made. Sure they may be subtle but they mean a lot!
    • Skid proof foot pedal.   I’ve heard some people remove their shoes because their foot slips off the pedal. THE Dream Machine has a very comfy, skid proof foot pedal!

    • New Stability Plus™ Frame.   The 9 ½” x 14” frame has aluminum, rubber and ribbed corners. Here’s a close-up view of the rubber on the side of the hoop. The addition of the rubber secures the fabric and helps prevent slippage.

    • Improved Storage for Feet!   I had to do a double take when Carla held the foot storage container upside down. The feet don’t fall out!

    • Keep track of the day and time!   For those of us who get so engrossed in our sewing and embroidery projects, this feature is handy! Now we won’t forget to stop and eat or visit the husband and children! There is a handy display of the day and time on the machine.

These were just a few of my favorite features! I encourage you to stop by your local Brother dealer for a test drive. Even if you don’t think you’re in the market for a machine it’s still good to see the available features. This way when you are ready you will be better able to make an informed decision.  If you want to learn more about the machine, visit the Designs Plus Newsletter for February!  There’s also a special coupon for ibroidery.com.

Special thank you to Carla Plant and Shannon Atmore at Arlington Sewing Machine for giving me a tour of the machine!

 

Here’s your assignment this week:
Tell us your favorite feature of the new Dream Machine! One random comment will be chosen to receive a $25 gift certificate to the DIME website. Good luck!
The winner of last week’s assignment:
If you’re a current Tonight Show fan (think Jimmy Fallon), then you probably know a little about his infamous lip sinc battles. Lip Sinc Battle? Hmm. Do you think those mystery guests would be game? Tell me your favorite Tonight Show host, Carson, Leno or Fallon. A random comment will be selected to win an autographed PAL!And the winner is Wanda! –  “Thought no one could top Johnny Carson, but Jimmy Fallon is closing in…”

 

Webinars – Watch Anytime, Anywhere and Learn

Did you watch Tuesday’s webinar with our new presenter, Katherine Artines? If you did, I’ll bet you learned a few tricks to make your embroidery stitch flawlessly.

Katherine has been writing for Designs for several years and is the author of Posh Pincushions – a reader favorite. She brings creativity to the technical side of embroidery and I guarantee you’ll be inspired by watching her webinars. Her timing is spot on as this month’s webinar features hearts – just in time for Valentine’s Day. If you missed it, you can still watch it here. ArtinesDebut

You’ll learn how Click2Stitch makes you look like a digitizing rock star and you’ll hear her terrific nuggets of information like inserting exaggerated measurements into a setting to see what effect the new setting has on the design.2015-01-23_17-48-45

Borrow her handy rule of thumb for guesstimating the time it will take to stitch out a design. Genius! And she ends with a quick tutorial on an adorable felt tray – so easy to make in the hoop with Perfect Embroidery Pro. Watch the tutorial and digitize and stitch yours today!2015-01-23_17-54-28

You can view all of our past webinars – you can always find them on the Inspired by Dime website. Just scroll down to the bottom of the page to access past webinars.

Look for Tamara Evan’s webinars on Perfect Embroidery Pro, My Quilt Embellisher and My Block Piecer. Upcoming webinars are listed in chronological order at the top of the page. Just click to register and you’ll receive an email reminder. Then log on and learn!

 

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