Archive of ‘Inspiration Software’ category

Water Soluble Stabilizer Substitute

Colleen Bell’s gorgeous quilt in the most recent of Designs in Machine Embroidery (Vol. 110, May/June 2018) was made with Shannon Fabrics’ Cuddle.  Wrapping yourself in a Cuddle quilt is like submersing yourself in a teddy bear hug.  Its fibers are luxurious and irresistible to the touch. 

Those luscious fibers can make embroidering on it a challenge. The fibers want to work their way through the embroidery stitches leaving your embroidery looking lackluster. Colleen’s traditional method of taming the fibers was to add a layer of water soluble stabilizer on top of the Cuddle before adding the embroidery.  Colleen is an embroidery whiz – she knows what stabilizer to use when and what hoop is best for the job as seen in this photo. 

Her water soluble stabilizer covers the whole design area and is easily removed by just tearing it away after the embroidery is applied.  Her Snap Hoop Monster won’t leave any hoop burn on the tender Cuddle fabric.  This approach is tried and true but what if you don’t have a supply of water soluble stabilizer on hand?

Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro has the solution with one of its most popular features – Nap Blocker.  In just a few clicks you can add a light density fill BEHIND the design that will permanently hold down the fibers. Here’s how you do it.

Open your embroidery design in Perfect Embroidery Pro.  Colleen used Urban Threads UT17449, Floral Arrow. 

Select the design, right click, select Utility, Create Nap Blocker.

The Nap Blocker, a light density complex fill, is now listed as the first element of color 1. 

Select the complex fill and change its color to match the color of the fabric.  This is crucial as you want the complex fill to disappear behind the embroidery.  

Just hoop your fabric, stitch the first color in thread that matches the fabric and complete the design.  No need to tear or wash away a topper!  Love that feature!

What’s your favorite feature in PEP?

My Block Piecer Block of the Month: Block 6 Diamond Delight Sewing Instructions

My Block Piecer
Block of the Month: Block 6 Diamond Delight
Sewing Instructions

Block 6, Diamond Delight, is a two-unit block in the My Block Piecer Sampler Block of the Month. As you know, My Block Piecer splits some blocks into smaller units when a patch shares seam allowances with more than one patch. We’ll piece both units in one hoop. Then the units will be removed from the hoop and sewn together on the sewing machine with ¼” seam allowance. In the software instructions for Block 6, we merged the two separate units into one embroidery design and combined the placement guides into the first color of the merged design.

Hoop tear-away stabilizer in a large hoop. Retrieve the merged Diamond design on the machine. Stitch color 1, the placement guides for both units.

Place patch 1 fabric, right side up, over patch 1.Stitch color 2, the tackdown.

Place patch 2 fabric, right side down, over patch 1, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 3, the seam of patch 1 and 2.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 4, the tackdown.

Place patch 3 fabric, right side down, over patch 2, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 5, the seam of patches 2 and 3.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 6, the tackdown.

Place patch 4, right side down over patch 3, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 7, the seam of patches 3 and 4.

Flip the patch open and stitch color 8, the tackdown.

Place patch 5, right side down over patch 4, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 9, the seam of patches 4 and 5.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 10, the tackdown.

Place patch 6, right side down over patch 5, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color11, the seam of patches 5 and 6.

Flip the patch open and stitch color 12, the tackdown.

Place patch 7, right side down over patch 6, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 13, the seam of patches 6 and 7.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 14, the tackdown.

Place patch 8, right side down over patch 7, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color15, the seam of patches 7 and 8.

Flip the patch open and stitch color 16, the tackdown.

Place patch 9, right side down over patch 8, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 17, the seam of patches 8 and 9.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 18, the tackdown.

Place patch 10, right side down over patch 9, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color19, the seam of patches 9 and 10.

Flip the patch open and stitch color 20, the tackdown.

Place patch 11, right side down over patch 10, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 21, the seam of patches 10 and 11.

Flip the patch open and stitch color 22, the tackdown.

Follow the same steps for the second unit.

Remove the block from the hoop. Cut the units on the outer stitch lines and piece the units together on the sewing machine.

Created by Nancy Stansbury

My Block Piecer Block of the Month: Block 6 Diamond Delight Software Instructions

My Block Piecer
Block of the Month: Block 6 Diamond Delight
Software Instructions
By Nancy Stansbury

This ongoing Block of the Month series was designed to inspire you to learn new techniques using My Block Piecer.  As a reminder, the first Saturday of every month will feature the software lesson using My Block Piecer.  The following Wednesday will feature the sewing lesson.

  • You are free to adapt the block to a size of your preference.
  • A free trial of My Block Piecer is available if you’d like to try it before you buy it.  Note the “Save” feature is deactivated until the software is purchased.
  • Interested in learning more about My Block Piecer and other Inspirations Software?  Join us at an Inspirations Event.  Click the Events link for events near you.
  • If you’re late to the Block of the Month “party” have no fear!  Start with Block 6 or spend a little time catching up.

Let’s continue the journey of learning and creativity!

Before we get started, save the image below to your hard drive. Save it as Diamond_Delight.png


  1. Open MBP.
  2. Click on Create a New Design.
  3. If the units for the ruler on the design page show mm, Right Click on either one of the rulers on the Design Page, and Click on Inches.
  4. Right Click on either ruler again and click on Grid Settings.
    1. Check marks by:
      1. Maintain aspect ratio
      2. Snap to grid.
    2. Set Horizontal spacing to 0.25.
    3. Click OK.
  5. Click on the Background Tool.
    1. Locate the image Diamond_Delight.png
    2. Click on the image.
    3. Click on the Open button.
  6. On the Properties Window on the right side of the screen click on the Transform icon.
    1. Have Maintain aspect ratio checked.
    2. Change the Width to 6.
    3. Click Apply.
  7. Since the block is symmetrical from left to right, we will build only the left side of the block. After the design is completed, we will copy, paste and mirror image it to stitch the complete block. Click on the down arrow by the Artwork Icon and select the Pen tool.

    1. On the Properties Window, Check the Fill Box and Click Apply.
    2. Left Click on Color 1 at the bottom and change it to a beige.
    3. Click OK.
    4. Right Click on Color 1 to make it the color to use.
    5. Using the cross hair, Left Click on each of the 3 corners of the upper left triangle.
    6. Left Click on the first corner again.
    7. Right Click to create the patch.
    8. Repeat for each of the other three corners.

      Note: If at some point the cross hair for the pen tool disappears, just click on the Artwork icon.
    9. Left Click on Color 2 at the bottom and change it to a dark pink.
    10. Click OK
    11. Right Click on Color 2 to make it the color to use.
    12. Repeat 7e through 7h for each of the segments shown below.
    13. Continue changing colors and create the artwork for each of the other pieces of the block.
  8. Click on the Reorder icon.
    1. Look at the diagram below for the numbering sequence.
    2. Click on each patch on the left side of the block, numbering from top to bottom.

      NOTE: The reason for doing this is that the two halves are identical shapes, but with different colors. By numbering it in this way, when the two halves are sewn together, the seams will nest.
    3. Right Click to end the numbering. The numbers will disappear but the numbering is still there.
  9. Click on the Select icon and draw a box around the left half of the block.
  10. Click on the Workflow icon.

    1. Select a 200mm x 200 mm hoop or similar for your machine.
    2. Click the Auto Build button.
    3. If you DO NOT receive this message go to Step 11.
    4. Right Click in the window on the right side (with the numbers) and Click Reset.
    5. Holding down the CTRL Key, Click on the 1 and 2.

      1. Right Click and Group.
      2. Holding down the CTRL Key, Click on unit and 3.
      3. Right click and group.
      4. Repeat ii and iii for patches 4 through 10.
      5. DO NOT CLICK AND GROUP THE LAST NUMBER.
  11. Click Autobuild.
  12. Click Save.
    1. Click on Create a New Folder icon and name it Block 6.
    2. Double Click on the folder to open it.
    3. In the File name box enter Diamond_Delight.
    4. Save as type select Inspiration Series (C2S).
    5. Click Save.
      1. A window will open showing you the files that have been created.
        1. Diamond_Delight_001.c2s.
        2. Diamond_Delight _artwork.c2s.
        3. Diamond_Delight _preview.pdf.
    6. Close the file window.
    7. Close the Save window.
  13. Click the Select icon and draw a box around the entire block, OR Enter CTRL-A to select all of the block.
  14. Click the Cutter icon.

    1. Seam allowance default is .25”. Normally I change this to 0.4” or 0.5”, to make it easier to place the fabric pieces no matter which output format I choose.
    2. How you are going create the fabric pieces for the block, will determine which file format (hoop) to choose for the templates.
      1. If going to print the templates, and use them to manually cut the fabric pieces, select the Paper Letter 210×279.
      2. If using the Scan and Cut, select Brother SCN 12x12”.
      3. If using the Silhouette, select Silhouette 12x12”. When using digital cutters, add a 2 in the repeat box if making one block and 8 if making four blocks.
    3. Can Unclick Optimize Orientation if using a directional fabric (This will optimize how the pieces file on the paper.
    4. Click Apply.
    5. Click Save. Select the appropriate format for your cutting method.

      1. In File name enter Diamond_Delight Templates.
      2. Click Save.
      3. The Following Files have been created.
        1. Diamond_Delight templates.
        2. Diamond_Delight templates_preview.pdf.
      4. Close the files window.
      5. Close the Cutter window.
  15. Click on Create a New Design.
  16. Click on the Hoop icon and select a 200mmx200mm hoop or similar for your machine.

    Note: When using the Merge to open a file, SAVE is actually a SAVE AS and the original file is not overwritten.

  17. Click File, Merge.
    1. Locate the file Diamond_Delight_001.c2s.
    2. Double click on the file to open OR Click on the file name and Click Open.
    3. Move to the left side of the hoop.
    4. Copy, Paste.
    5. In the Properties window Click on the Transform Tab.
      1. Rotate 180.
      2. Click Apply
    6. Move to the right side of the hoop.
    7. Click Save.
    8. In the name field enter Diamond_Delight.
    9. In the Save as type select the format for your machine.
    10. Click Save.
  18. Print the templates, or prepare your fabric and send the templates to your cutter.
  19. Load the design in your machine and have fun making this block.
  20. Manually sew the two halves together.

 

 

Stitched Snapshots Plus – Part 3

Converting Sketches to Stitches
By Denise Holguin

Having multiple roles at dime, I have a unique opportunity to play with all our new embroidery software.  I had been playing with Stitched Snapshots Plus Software by converting my favorite vacation and adventure photos in to stitches.  Then I pushed myself even more by converting clip-art in to stitches.  If you’ve been following along in this 3-part Software Saturday series, you saw examples of photos and clip art being converted by Dalene McDonald and Lisa Knight. 

After experimenting with photos and clip-art my mind wandered to other options.  I grabbed a black sharpie and paper.  I wrote the word “Love”.  Using my cell phone, I snapped a photo and emailed the image to myself.  I imported the image in to Stitched Snapshots Plus… and behold… my handwritten word was converted to stitches.  And the crowd goes wild with endless oohs and aahs!

Isn’t that a fun technique?

Here are the step-by-steps:

Click on the Stitched Snapshots Plus icon in the top left corner.

A new window will appear.  Click on Browse to locate the image you want to import.

Once you’ve selected the image, it will display on the right side of the window.  Options abound on the left side of the window.  I left the size untouched.  For this example, I chose the Mono for the Color Mode.  You’ll notice the background turns to a crisp white.  The white “background” disappears – it won’t end up being part of the embroidery design.

I chose the Stippling style of stitches.

Click on the Show / hide preview button to view the effect of your choices.

Click on the Show / hide preview button again.  Select the Hatching style of stitches.  Click on the Show / hide preview button again.

I stitched both examples using my Baby Lock Spirit.

Stippling Example

Hatching Example

But I didn’t stop there.  I wanted to see the effects of Medley Variegated Poly by Exquisite. Take a look:

Stippling Example using Denim Blues Variegated Poly

Hatched Example using Carnival Variegated Poly

 

Here is a fun example of unleashing creativity to see what happens.  My coworker, Sam Solomon, designed and hand colored the sheet that you see.  I conveniently “borrowed” it for my experiments.  I photographed it, cropped it and changed the colors.  How delightfully fun!

I like the free-spirited nature of the design.  It’s not the expected or traditional.  It’s a more artistic approach to machine embroidery that I hope you too will embrace and experiment with on your next project.

Note that if you own additional Inspirations Software, like Perfect Embroidery Pro, you can manipulate the design further.  But as a standalone software, it has plenty of tools for you to create and have fun – without breaking the bank.  From photos, to clip-art to your hand written words or sketches, you can create one of a kind embroidery designs.

For more information on Stitched Snapshots Plus, visit the Inspired by DIME website.

Using Stitched Snapshots Plus: Part 2

This is the second in a series of three Software Saturdays that will highlight the features of Stitched Snapshots Plus.  If you missed Part 1, click here to read Dalene McDonald’s post on converting photos to stitches.

  • You can follow along by downloading a fully functioning version of the software (with the exception that you cannot save).  Click here to download the software.
  • Ready to purchase?  Visit an Inspirations Dealer to purchase Stitched Snapshots Plus.
  • Learn more about the Stitched Snapshots Plus features by clicking here.

Some readers have been wondering about the differences between Stitched Snapshots and Stitched Snapshots Plus.  The Plus version includes 35+ built-in frames to enhance your creations.

For this week’s software lesson, we’ve asked Inspiration’s Education Consultant Lisa Knight to share her tips for converting clip art to stitches.


Clip Art to Stitches
By Lisa Knight

It’s a snap to create photos into stitches with the new and improved “Stitched Snapshots Plus” by dime.  This fun and innovative program transforms photos into beautiful stitches. You can convert everything from a portrait of a family member, a beautiful sunset, a favorite car or wildlife. The better the contrast, the better the outcome.  I have had a lot of fun playing and experimenting with this program.

I discovered Stitched Snapshots Plus is not just for photos.  You can take clip art images and convert them into stitches, with some really interesting results.  There are many different options that you can use when playing with this technique.

When you open the program, the My Inspiration Today screen appears. Left click on “Create a New Design.”

You can find clip art online by searching for copyright-free clip art.  You’ll be amazed at how many resources you will find.  You may also have an extensive library of images in your own stash.

As with embroidery designs, I find it’s helpful to create a folder for my clip art.  I save all my clip art together in that folder.

Left click on the backdrop icon located on the left toolbar.  Locate the folder where your clip art is stored, and select the clip art you want to use and click on Open.

The clip art will appear on your design page.

Now is the appropriate time to size the image to accommodate your embroidery project and your embroidery machine’s capabilities.  Note the Properties box on the right side of the workspace.    Adjust the size by entering new dimensions.

Next, convert the clip art to stitches.  Click on the Stitched Snapshots icon in the top toolbar as shown in the image below.

A new window appears with multiple options. The example we are using has two colors– make the adjustment in the Max colors field. You can also raise and lower the brightness and contrast levels. Decide whether you would like the overall design in the stippling or hatching effect.

To preview the effects of your choices, click on “show/hide preview”.

This example is with the Stippling selected.

This example is with the Hatching selected.

For this example, I have chosen Stippling, I have selected the realistic view located on the left hand tool bar to preview the design in stitches.

Now it’s time to play!  Go into your thread library located at the bottom of your design page.   When you left click on any one of these tiles you will open up the library.  Choose different colors to get a feel for the different ways this design could appear.

Highlight the tile that you want to change then select the new color.  Click Ok.   The tile will change to the new color you chose.  Repeat the process as needed.  Note, the changes you make will also change the design.

There are tons of different thread libraries to choose from all you need to do is left click on the drop down menu to find and choose the brand you are looking for.

For my examples I chose Ballet Pink for the main area of the bow and Pink Sorbet for the outline and accents.

Now we can play a little further by ungrouping.  Click on the Ungroup icon on the top toolbar.

Once the design is ungrouped you can isolate parts of the design by working in the Sequence window on the right side of the workspace.

Close the eye by clicking on it to temporarily hide that section. This will let you see what the design looks like without that element in it.  To permanently remove, you must delete that part of the design before saving to stitch.

The first example has the first thread color, Ballet Pink, “hidden”.  To hide the color, click on the eye. 

The result is a fun little bow outline.

The second example has the second color, Pink Sorbet, “hidden”.  To hide the color, click on the eye. 

The result is just a view of the solid fill area of the bow.

These are just a few examples of ways you can play with Clipart and Stitched Snapshots Plus.  I know that you will think of many creative applications!

 

My Block Piecer Block of the Month: Block 5 Friendship Chain Sewing Instructions

My Block Piecer
Block of the Month: Block 5 Friendship Chain
Sewing Instructions

Block 5 is our first three-unit block in the My Block Piecer Sampler Block of the Month. My Block Piecer splits some blocks into smaller units when a patch shares seam allowances with more than one patch. We’ll piece each of the three units in the hoop. Then the units will be removed from the hoop and sewn together on the sewing machine with ¼” seam allowance.

Hoop tear-away stabilizer in a large hoop. Load the first unit, Friendship Chain A into the hoop and move it the lower left corner. Stitch color 1, the placement guide.

Place patch 1 fabric, right side up, in patch 1. Stitch color 2, the tackdown.

Place patch 2 fabric, right side down, over patch 1, align the raw edges. Stitch color 3, the seam.

Flip patch 2 open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 4, the tackdown of patch 2.

Place patch 3 fabric, right side down, over patch 1, align the raw edges. Stitch color 5, the seam.

Flip patch 3 open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 6, the tackdown of patch 3.

Place patch 4 fabric, right side down, over patch 1, align the raw edges. Stitch color 7, the seam.

Flip patch 4 open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 8, the tackdown of patch 4. Unit 1 is now complete.

Move the design to the top right corner of the hoop leaving space for Friendship Chain B. Stitch the first color, placement guide.

Stitch color 5, the placement guide of Unit 2.

Repeat all of the steps above. Retrieve Friendship Chain B and center it between the previously stitched units. Stitch color 1, the placement guide.

Place patch 1 fabric, right side up, over patch 1. Stitch color 2, the tackdown.

Place patch 2 fabric, right side down, over patch 1, align the raw edges. Stitch color 3, the seam.

Flip patch 2 open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 4, the tackdown of patch 2.

Place patch 3 fabric, right side down, over patch 1, align the raw edges. Stitch color 5, the seam. Flip patch 3 open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 6, the tack down.

Remove the block from the machine and hoop. Trim the units on the outside stitch line.

Piece the units right sides together and stitch with ¼” seam allowance. If making the larger quilt, make three more blocks and set them aside. It’s fun to play with different layouts but it might be wise to wait until all blocks are made to finalize the layouts.

Created by Nancy Stansbury

My Block Piecer Block of the Month: Block 5 Friendship Chain Software Instructions

My Block Piecer
Block of the Month : Block 5 Friendship Chain
Software Instructions
By Nancy Stansbury

This ongoing Block of the Month series was designed to inspire you to learn new techniques using My Block Piecer.  As a reminder, the first Saturday of every month will feature the software lesson using My Block Piecer.  The following Wednesday will feature the sewing lesson.

  • You are free to adapt the block to a size of your preference.
  • A free trial of My Block Piecer is available if you’d like to try it before you buy it.  Note the “Save” feature is deactivated until the software is purchased.
  • Interested in learning more about My Block Piecer and other Inspirations Software?  Join us at an Inspirations Event.  Click the Events link for events near you.
  • If you’re late to the Block of the Month “party” have no fear!  Start with Block 5 or spend a little time catching up.

Let’s continue the journey of learning and creativity!


  1. Open MBP.
  2. Click on Create a New Design.
  3. If the units for the ruler on the design page show mm, Right Click on either one of the rulers on the Design Page, and Click on Inches.
  4. Right Click on either ruler again and click on Grid Settings.
    1. Check marks by:
      1. Maintain aspect ratio
      2. Snap to grid.
    2. Set Horizontal spacing to 0.25.
    3. Click OK.
  5. Click on the Block Icon.
  1. Enter Friendship Chain in the Find box at the bottom of the window (DO NOT CLICK THE ENTER KEY).
  2. Click on the Down green arrow.
  3. Click OK to place the block on the design page.
  • In the Properties Window on the right side of the screen click on the Transform icon.

    1. Have Maintain aspect ratio checked.
    2. Change the Width to 6.
    3. Click Apply.
  • Click on the Reorder icon.
    1. Look at the diagram below for the numbering sequence.Note: The block can be numbered differently, remembering that this is a stitch and flip method of sewing and that each piece can only have one straight seam to connect it to the previous piece.
    2. Right Click to end the numbering. The numbers will disappear but the numbering is still there.
  • Click on the Select icon and click on patches 1 through 3.
  • Click on the Workflow icon.

    1. Select a 200mm x 200 mm hoop or similar for your machine.
    2. Click the Auto Build button.
  • Click Preview. Click Save.
    1. Click on Create a New Folder icon and name Block5.
    2. Double Click on the folder to open it.
    3. In the File name box enter Friendship_Chain_A.
    4. Save as type select Inspiration Series (C2S).
    5. Click Save.
    6. A window will open showing you the files that have been created.
      1. Friendship_Chain_A_001.c2s.
      2. Friendship_Chain_A _artwork.c2s.
      3. Friendship_Chain_A _preview.pdf.
    7. Close the files window.
    8. Close the Save window.
  • Click on the Select icon and click on 4 of the patches in the lower left of the block.
  • Click on the Workflow icon. The numbers have been changed to 1-4.

    1. Click the Auto Build button.
  • Click Preview.
  • Click Save.
    1. In the File name box enter Friendship_Chain_B.
    2. Save as type select Inspiration Series (C2S).
    3. Click Save.
    4. A window will open showing you the files that have been created.
      1. Friendship_ChainB_001.c2s.
      2. Friendship_ChainB _artwork.c2s.
      3. Friendship_ChainB _preview.pdf.
    5. Close the file window.
    6. Close the Save window.NOTE: Since the triangle on the upper part of the block is identical to the one that was just created, there is no need to create a third embroidery design.
  • Click the Select icon and draw a box around the entire block, OR Enter CTRL-A to select all of the block.
  • Click the Cutter icon.

    1. Seam allowance default is .25”. Normally I change this to 0.4” or 0.5”, to make it easier to place the fabric pieces no matter which output format I choose.
    2. How you are going create the fabric pieces for the block, will determine which file format (hoop) to choose for the templates.
      1. If going to manually cut the fabric pieces, print the templates and select the Paper Letter 210×279.
      2. If going to use the Scan and Cut, select Brother SCN 12x12”.
      3. If going to use the Silhouette, select Silhouette 12x12”.
    3. Can Unclick Optimize Orientation if using a directional fabric (This will optimize how the pieces fit on the paper.
    4. Click Apply.
    5. Click Save.
      1. In File name enter Friendship_Chain Templates.
      2. Select the proper digital format (from the drop down menu) if using a digital cutter and click Save.
      3. Since I’m using paper templates, the following files have been created.
        1. Friendship_Chain templates.
        2. Friendship_Chain templates_preview.pdf.
      4. Close the files window.
      5. Close the Cutter window
  • Click on Create a New Design.Note: When using the Merge to open a file, SAVE is actually a SAVE AS and the original file is not overwritten.
  • Click the Hoop Icon, and select 200mmx200mm hoop or similar.
    Note: If desired the embroideries can be saved in a specific format individually or they can be combined into one file.
  • Using the File, Merge
    1. Locate the file Friendship_ChainA.c2s.
    2. Double Click to open, or Click on file and Click open.
  • File, Merge, Open Friendship_ChainB.c2s.
  • Move to the lower left corner of the hoop
  • Copy, Paste.
  • Click the Transform Icon on the Properties Window.
  • Rotate 180 degrees.
  • Move to the upper right corner of the hoop
  • Save.
    1. In the name file enter Friendship Chain.
    2. Save as type enter the format for your machine.
    3. Click Save.
  • Print the templates, or prepare your fabric and send the templates to your cutter.
  • Load the design into your machine and have fun making this block.

 

Circles Got You Going in Circles?

If your embroidered circles look more like ovals than you know what I mean by ‘circles have you going in circles?’  What you see on the computer screen is not necessarily what you see stitched on fabric.  That can be frustrating but help is just a click away.

Recently, I was digitizing a new Stipple collection that features a rainbow of embroidered polka dots.  Unfortunately, I can’t unveil the new collection just yet but it will be available soon. Back to the problem at hand,  I was diligently working away and stitched my sample.  Ugh! My circles weren’t round, they were oval.

And that’s definitely a rookie digitizing mistake.  In Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro, it’s so easy to fix this problem.  I selected all of the polka dots and changed the Pull/Pull setting in the Properties Box.  Here’s how to do it.

Use the artwork tool to draw a small circle (.25″) diameter).  Convert it to satin.  Click on the Pull/Push tab in the Properties Box.  Notice the Value is set at 100%.

Change the value to 120%.

View the difference on the screen.  Notice the higher percentage fills out the circle across the width. The width of the dot now measures .28″ while the height remained the same at .25″.

The difference is minute but it’s all that was needed. My circles are now really circles!

Hidden Treasure

Buried in the Properties Box in Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro is Projection. A hidden and often forgotten treasure, Projection takes a simple shape and transforms it into a hoop full of beautiful stitches.  When Projection was introduced as a new feature in a free update in June 2017, most of us looked at it as something fun to incorporate into open airy designs, like this butterfly.

But let me show you what it can do with a simple geometric shape like the diamond. Click on the Run stitch tool and select the Art tool. Select Diamond from the drop down menu. Drag the cursor to draw a 1″ x 1.25″ diamond.

In the Properties Box on the Run tab, select Projection from the Type field. 

The diamond is filled with smaller diamonds, the default setting is 3.0 stitch length and 1.5 Density.  That’s a too many repeats for me so I’ll decrease the density.

Change the stitch length to 2.4 and the Density to 5.0.

Select the diamond and click on the Carousel tool.  Select Reflect.

In the preview window, type 2 in the repeat field and click Apply.

The hoop is filled with the diamond repeats. 

Select the diamonds, go to to Edit, Optimize Sequence.  Click on Slow Redraw to watch the design stitch seamlessly from diamond to diamond. 

I can’t wait to stitch this in some specialty threads. First, I’ll use KingStar Metallic and then I’ll stitch a second sample in Medley variegated thread.  After I see those samples, I’ll copy and paste the diamonds to fill the open areas.  Oh my, so many possibilities! There are so many hidden treasure in your software!

My Block Piecer Block of the Month: Block 4: T Block Sewing Instructions

My Block Piecer
Block of the Month: Block 4: T Block
Sewing Instructions

Block 4 is a two-unit block in the My Block Piecer Sampler Block of the Month. My Block Piecer splits some blocks into smaller units when a patch shares seam allowances with more than one patch. We’ll piece each of the units in the hoop. Then the units will be removed from the hoop and sewn together on the sewing machine with ¼” seam allowance.

T Block A
Hoop tear-away stabilizer in a large hoop. Load the first unit, T Block A into the hoop and move it towards the top to make room for T Block B (or a second repeat of T Block A if you are doing multiples). Stitch color 1, the placement guide.

 

Place patch 1 fabric, right side up, in patch 1. Stitch color 2, the tackdown.

Place patch 2 fabric, right side down, over patch 1, align the raw edges. Stitch color 3, the seam.

Flip patch 2 open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 4, the tackdown of patch 2.

Place patch 3 fabric, right side down, over patch 2, align the raw edges. Stitch color 5, the seam.

Flip patch 3 open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 6, the tackdown of patch 3.

Place patch 4 fabric, right side down, over patch 3, align the raw edges. Stitch color 7, the seam

Flip patch 4 open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 8, the tackdown of patch 4.

Place patch 5 fabric, right side down, over patches 1 and 3, align the raw edges. Stitch color 9, the seam.

Flip patch 5 open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 10, the tackdown of patch 5.

Place patch 6 fabric, right side down, over patches 4, align the raw edges. Stitch color 11, the seam.

Flip patch 6 open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 12, the tackdown of patch 6. T Block a is complete.

If making multiples of Block 4 for the large quilt, stitch three more repeats of T Block A.

 

T Block B

Retrieve T Block B. Stitch color 1, the placement guide of T Block B, on hooped stabilizer.

Place patch 1 fabric, right side up, over patch 1. Stitch color 2, the tackdown.

Place patch 2 fabric, right side down, over patch 1, align the raw edges. Stitch color 3, the seam.

Flip patch 2 open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 4, the tackdown of patch 2.

Place patch 3 fabric, right side down, over patch 2, align the raw edges. Stitch color 5, the seam.

Flip patch 3 open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 6, the tack down.

Place patch 4 fabric, right side down, over patch 3, align the raw edges. Stitch color 7, the seam.

Flip patch 4 open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 8, the tack down.

Place patch 5 fabric, right side down, over patch 4, align the raw edges. Stitch color 9, the seam.

Flip patch 5 open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 10, the tack down.

If making the large quilt, stitch four repeats of T Block B (three fit in an 8” x 8” hoop).

Remove the units from the machine trim the units on the outside stitch line. If making the larger quilt, make a total of four blocks and set them aside. It’s fun to play with different layouts but it might be wise to wait until all blocks are made to finalize the layouts.

Created by Nancy Stansbury

 

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