Archive of ‘Inspiration Socials’ category

Work+Fun = A Good Life

I’ve always been a believer in enjoying work because it’s where we spend most of our time. This week was no different. We had the pleasure of hosting all of our Designs in Machine Embroidery/Inspirations educational consultants for two intense days of training. Our educators are a passionate, talented group and we covered lots of material like new software features and innovative embroidery techniques. Best of all, we brainstormed on how to share them in the classroom. It’s so inspiring to be surrounded by creative people for two amazing days. At the end, we captured a few highlighted moments to share with you.

Once everyone left, I couldn’t wait to get back in my sewing room – all that creative chat had me jazzed! But that had to be put on hold because the moving trucks were practically idling in the parking lot waiting to load.

You see, we moved offices right after training and are now settled (well, almost!) into our new digs. Like many changes in life, the move was bittersweet. We have fond memories of growing Designs in Machine Embroidery in our former location. Lots of creativity came to life in that building. Just like a home, our workplace saw growth, loss, good times and bad.

Our new space is more suited to our current needs and we look forward to a bright future in our new location. Next week, I’ll get back to a regular Software Saturday post. Look for some photos of our new space on Facebook and Instagram this week. But’s here a sneak peek at my office.

Your Opinion Matters

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of teaching at Wisconsin Quilt Expo. My topic was Turn Your Embroidery Machine into a Longarm.  The one-hour lecture covered everything from selecting designs to placement of designs to handling the bulk/weight of the quilt.  I had a blast! I love that topic and my students were really interested in mastering the technique. I shared everything I know about the topic that I could fit into 55 minutes. You know, I’m originally from New Jersey so I can talk really fast! 

That experience made me wonder what you look for when you want to learn new embroidery techniques.  What motivates you to attend a teaching event? What’s your preferred learning environment: at your local dealer in small groups, large group, hands-on, short lectures, online, TV or in print?  If you prefer a mix of environments, I’d love to hear our thoughts. Would you take a moment to share your thoughts on classes/events?

Tropical Stitching

It’s always been a dream of mine to have an ocean view out my studio window. 

Since I live in Texas, this is definitely not what I see out my window and it’s not likely to change any time soon. What would be the next best thing?  How about an embroidery class in a store that’s just steps from the Pacific Ocean?  Wouldn’t that be lovely?  Oh I how wish I was teaching (or taking) one!  But since I’m not available in July for Discount Fabrics Warehouse multi-island event, I’m sending Ashley Jones, one of our embroidery specialists to teach embroidery techniques.  Ashley has received over 300 hours of DIME training so she’s a whiz at our placement, hooping and stabilizing methods.  And she has a solution for almost every problem an embroiderer will encounter.

She’ll be showing Hawaiian embroiderers how to stitch a hat on a home machine plus she’ll share her secrets for flawless continuous embroidery. 

She’ll even insert a little zen into the activities with exploring color therapy designs.  Best of all, she’s bringing all of DIME’s tools for everyone to play with during class. So if you’re in Hawaii and have never seen or used DIME’s magnetic hoops, aligning lasers and rulers, then you’re in for a treat.  Not only will you learn everything Ashley has to offer but you’ll enjoy a “try before you buy experience.”

If you like to decorate tote bags, pillows or quilt blocks, Ashley’s secrets to speedy stitching with professional results will wow you.  

Want to expand your stash of embroidery designs? She’ll show you how. 

Think embroidery is too ‘dense or stiff for t-shirts? Think again. You’ll see fabric-friendly designs that are extremely comfortable to wear.

Plan on spending an afternoon with Ashley so that you can bring your embroidery skills up to a professional level. The Vintage Chic event will help you get the most of your machine. And isn’t that what we all want to do? Use our machine for all their worth and stop struggling with hooping, placement and stabilizing.  Click here to see what island event fits into your schedule! https://www.inspiredbydime.com/inspiration-socials/

This week’s winner is JUDY GRACZYK!  Her comment: Oh, yes, misspelling, upside down, you name it. My stitch ripper and erasers are my friends! was selected to win a copy of Hoop It Up, the Stitching Sisters’ Guide to Hooping. Enjoy Judy!

Vintage, Old School, Retro – Get the Look!

Last week, Sew Much More, Austin, TX, hosted the first Vintage Chic event and wow- it was a hit!  Attendees were fascinated with the look of this trendy embroidery.  Inspirations Education Consultant Ashley Jones repeatedly heard, “Did you embroider your shirt?  Can I do that too?”

Ashley Jones, Inspirations Education Consultant

They were captivated with the new techniques Ashley shared.  The four-hour class went by in a flash.  Ashley freely shared her samples and knowledge so that attendees could go home immediately and have success. She even shared how she used the threads on her serger.

Dime’s Rope 15 wt. polyester thread stitched on a serger!

And how to mix these chunky stitches with prints – like a powerful black and white stripe!

It even pops on prints!

There were so many happy faces in the crowd.

Who said embroidery is a solitary sport?

They couldn’t wait to get started on their own vintage creations.  Attendees exclaimed, “Finally!  I can duplicate this look on my home embroidery machine.”

Ready to get started!

Not only will they have immediate success with these techniques but you’ll two very informative videos on the Inspired by dime YouTube channelOur stitching wizard, Katherine Artines, posted these Vintage introductory videos on Friday.  If you’d like to learn more about the software, click here to watch Katherine’s videos.  While you’re there, subscribe to our YouTube channel so that you get all of the latest information on the Inspirations software line.

Dealers across the country are hosting Vintage Chic events.  Click here to find an event near you!  Join in on the fun because the embroidery rules have been rewritten!

 

The Embroidery Rules Have Been Rewritten

For years, I’ve been making embroidered gifts for two special men in my life. I don’t want to ‘throw anyone under the bus’ so let’s just call them – the boys. The boys are always grateful and charming when accepting these items from the work of my hands.  It’s a lovely moment. I’m touched by their gratitude and they’re touched by my thoughtfulness.  And then….I never see the items again.  I mean, NEVER.  But that’s changed because now I’m using Inspirations newest software – Vintage Embroidery Software – and the boys love the results!  One jacket I created for one of the boys has become a wardrobe staple. I’ve seen him wear it at least once a week. Wow! I’m so impressed with the possibilities this software offers, it’s a real game-changer.

So what’s so different about it?  Well, it’s not traditional embroidery – the rules have been re-written to give the look of yesterday’s hand stitches coupled with today’s digital products and high performance threads.

This software was inspired by what you see in retail stores: big, bold stitches in matte threads on knits, denims, cotton and linen.  The long stitch length and thick threads result in low-stitch count designs making garments so comfortable.  There’s no need for heavy cut-away or fusible stabilizers; just lightweight water solubles or tear-away wash-aways give all the support that’s needed.  Vintage embroidery is fabric-friendly and embroiderer-friendly!  The designs are low stitch count (because the stitches are big and the polyester thread is chunky). And the boys love to wear it because it’s comfortable and mimics what their friends are paying big bucks for.

This t-shirt and hat combo stitched in under 20 minutes – including hooping!  Love that!This backpack stitched in under 8 minutes.  Vintage Embroidery Software takes gift-making to a whole new level.Up until, a home embroiderer couldn’t get this look on an embroidery machine without some serious digitizing skills.

The best part of Vintage Embroidery software is you don’t need digitizing skills. You get to select from over 1500 built-in designs and 18 fonts.  It’s so user-friendly, it even tells you what thread weight to use for each color so you can duplicate the look.   The software gives you tons of editing and conversion tools, it’s quite robust without being overwhelming.

Next week, I’ll show you more and share a link to Katherine Artines how-to video on YouTube.  For now, you can ask your location Inspirations dealer for more information. They received their shipment of the software last week!  And you can attend a Vintage Chic event to learn more about it from one of Inspirations expert embroidery educators.

Click here to find a dealer and here to find an event near you.  In the meantime, take a look at what the software can do to a tired, denim jacket.

 

If You’re Serious about Machine Embroidery…

If you’re serious about your machine embroidery hobby, it’s time for you to elevate your skills by using embroidery software and upgrading your embroidery tools. A good place to learn about both is in an Inspirations’ Everything from A to Z event. What’s A to Z? Embroidery techniques from Applique to Zippers. You’ll learn the keys to making beautiful machine embroidery applique – inside and out – from basic satin edge to trendy motifs on flat to furry fabrics and everything in between.  2016-05-07_13-13-40

You’ll want to include lettering in all your machine embroidery projects after you see Inspirations’ smorgasbord of lettering techniques: monogramming, miniature, bubble, puffy and calligraphy. 2016-05-07_13-12-08

Want to stitch a hat on a single needle? Yes you can! Learn how to mark, stabilize and hoop a hat in no time.  Plus you’ll discover how easy it is to transform one dimensional embroidery into oh-so-cute and useful 3D projects.

Learn how to leave tricky zipper insertion and flawless buttonholes to your embroidery machine. Our Inspiration education consultants will lead you through the tips and tricks for successful embroidery plus you get to play with magnetic hoops, laser and placement tools. It’s a fun, relaxed class that will inspire you to go home and get stitching!  Treat yourself to a Mother’s Day present and sign up for a class today. There are almost 200 events scheduled across the country in the next months and more added every week. Click here http://www.inspiredbydime.com/inspiration-socials/ to find an event near you.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Looking for Inspiration?

Every embroiderer has the best intentions. We all want to create something beautiful to enjoy or to share with someone else. Maybe we want to make a gift to pass on to a loved one to remember us by. Whatever the end goal, there is a fair amount of planning involved and sometimes that can take the fun out! But, you don’t have to worry about that anymore!

How would you like to have access to tools that take the guesswork out of placement? Would you be interested in learning how to create perfect lettering and stunning applique with just a few simple clicks? Are you ready to learn expert tips on hooping, placement, quilting, stitching and more while enjoying the company of your embroidery friends? You can have all of this and much more at an Inspiration Social – just like this group did with Scott Goodman and educator Ashley Jones at Sewing Machine Warehouse.

Scott Goodman & Ashley Jones

Scott Goodman & Ashley Jones

Just look at what some attendees from this DiME Inspiration Social event had to say.

“A great 4 hours of learning – 5 stars”

“I enjoyed this DIME conference and it was well worth the money. There was a lot of great information given. The information on hooping will make my embroidery much easier in the future.”  – Elanie

DIME Social – 5 stars”

“Excellent information about the products available. Good explanations about how to use them. Because it was so good, I did purchase a number of items.”  – Susan P.

I really enjoyed yesterday’s event. Ashley is a hoot and I got very excited about the software. Cheers”  – Bloom

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Let us inspire you to create embroidery like you never thought possible at an Inspiration Social! To find an Inspiration Social near you contact your local Inspiration dealer or visit the Inspired by DIME website to locate a dealer near you. http://inspiredbydime.com/inspirationsocial/

BE INSPIRED!

The Case for Applique: Open and Closed

By Tamara Evans

This week’s blog explores two different, but simple, methods of creating applique designs. We have received many requests for instructions to create the necktie applique on the onesie shown at our Inspiration Socials. Here are some very simple instructions using My Quilt Embellisher software. (The same steps may also be used with Perfect Embroidery Pro software.)

Find, or draw, an image of a necktie and save it to your computer. Load the image as a backdrop in the software. Resize if desired. This one 5″ long.

The applique is created in two sections so that the fabric on the top of the tie could be placed in a different direction than the tail of the tie; just like a real tie. The knot of the tie is a “closed” applique, and the tail is an “open” at the top.

Select the artwork option. Click Fill in the Properties – Artwork box, then click apply. Select the magic wand icon.

 

Closed Applique – The Knot

Click in the yellow knot area at the top of the tie to create an artwork image.

Zoom in to the view the new artwork. Select the Shape tool, then click on the artwork to display all of the nodes.

Since this design is quite pixelated, it needs to be cleaned up. Select and delete nodes to smooth out the shape. Reposition the remaining nodes until the shape is acceptable.

Select the artwork with the Select tool, then click the Applique tool to convert it to applique. The knot of the tie is now complete.

 

Open Applique – The Tail

Select the Artwork tool. Click the down arrow next to the tool to select the Pen option. Using the backdrop as a guide, click in positions 1-5 (shown below), then right click to finish the input.

With the newly created artwork selected, click the Shape tool to display all the nodes of the tie tail artwork. Select the node at the point of the tie, and then right click to display the options dialog box, as shown. Select the Smooth option for the selected node.

Adjust the “antennae” on either side of the node to soften, or smooth, the point. Pulling them further out will adjust the curve of the point.

Once the artwork has been satisfactorily adjusted, click the Select tool. Then, select the Applique tool to convert the artwork to applique, as shown.

 

Finishing

With the tail of the tie still selected, click the Send to Back icon. Now the tail will stitch first, leaving a raw edge of fabric at the top under the knot. The knot will cover the raw edge at the top of the tail.

Save the design in the C2S format. Use this format to resize, adjust the applique stitches, etc. When ready to stitch, save the design in the proper stitch format for the embroidery machine.

Have fun with the sizing and fabric options for the necktie applique!

To locate a DIME Inspiration Social near you, click DIME Inspiration Socials