Archive of ‘Inspiration Software’ category

Block of the Month – Block 12

Block 12 – Star Block Instructions

We’re up to Block 12 in the Block of the Month series from the July/August issue of Designs in Machine Embroidery.  You’ll find everything you need for Block 12, video instructions, step-by-step instructions and all download files.  Enjoy!

If you prefer watching the video directly on YouTube, click here.

Download the files for block ten here: Block 12

Materials Needed – for 1 block

Base Block 9” square – muslin or No Show Mesh

Back Block – 9” square

Front – all cut parts from MBP

Warm and Natural or White Batting – 7 7/8” square

Block 12

1 – Back Block

2 – Bottom Base Muslin

3 – Top Base No Show Mesh

4 – Batting

5 – Background

6 – Corner

7 – Star Points

LOADING THE MONSTER BLOCK MAKER

Follow the directions included with the purchase of Monster Block Maker to apply the Maker to a 200mm x 200mm Baby Lock/Brother Snap Hoop Monster.

 

Place the muslin flat on the work surface. Center the Monster Block Maker on the muslin.

Insert the batting into the opening of
the Maker. Place the Top base No Show Mesh over the batting.

 

Working from the center out, firmly
press the No Show Mesh (top) and muslin (bottom) onto the adhesive tape on
 the edges of the Maker.

 

Attach the hoop to the machine.

 

STITCHING THE BLOCK

Stitch color #1, the block layout.  Place glue at fabric #1 as shown in blue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place fabric #1, right side up,
aligning the fabric edge with the stitched outline. Stitch color #2, the
tackdown. Place glue at the seam for fabric #2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place fabric #2, right side down, aligning the raw edges and stitch color #3, the seam.  Place glue at fabric #2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flip fabric #2 open and finger press
the seam. Smooth the fabric and stitch color #4, the tackdown. Place glue at
the seam for fabric #3.

 

 

Place fabric #3, right side down, and
stitch color #5, the seam. Place glue at fabric #3.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flip fabric #3 open and finger press
the seam.  Smooth the fabric and stitch color #6, the tackdown. Place glue at the seam of fabric #4.

 

 

 

 

 

Place fabric #4, right side down, and
stitch color #7, the seam. Place glue at fabric #4.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flip fabric #4 open and finger press
the seam. Smooth the fabric and stitch color #8, the tackdown. Place glue at
the seam for fabric #5.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place fabric #5, right side down, and
stitch color #9. Place glue at fabric #5.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flip open fabric #5 and finger press
the seam. Smooth the fabric and stitch color #10. Place glue at the seam for
fabric #6.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place fabric #6, right side down, and
stitch color #11. Place glue at fabric #6.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flip open fabric #6 and finger press
the seam. Smooth the fabric and stitch color #12.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BLOCK EMBELLISHMENT

Stitch colors #14, 15 and 16 – the
embellishments

Congratulations, your Star Block is complete!

 

 

 

Custom Hoops

Hundreds of hoops are already in all Inspirations software but you did you know have the ability the edit the list by eliminating brands and adding new hoops?

It’s fairly obvious why you would edit the list.  I think we all agree there’s no point scrolling through dozens of hoops that don’t apply to your machine.  It’s easy to do.  Just click on the Hoop icon and select Filter.  When the hoop list appears, remove the check mark next to each hoop that you want to eliminate. Click OK.

The next time you access the list, you will see only the hoops you want to see.

Let’s explore custom hoops.  In my list, I’ve created three custom hoops: 12″ Block, 12″ Round and Placemat.  I can see at a glance how an array of embroidery designs will fill a 12″ quilt block, a 12″ wooden embroidery hoop for wall decor and a standard placemat.

Click on the Hoop icon and select New.  Select Rectangle and type 12″ in the width and height for the 12″ Block hoop. Click OK.

Instantly, I can see how nicely this embroidery layout will fill a 12″ quilt block.

Follow the same steps for a round hoop but select Round from Frame Type field.  This same array doesn’t quilt fit in the 12″ wooden hoop.

To add the Placemat hoop, select Rectangle from Frame Type and type 15″ in the width and 12″ in the height.  Place the digit 1 before the word Placemat to position it at the top of the list. Click OK.

As you can see, this placemat layout needs some work.

Custom hoops make planning embroidery a breeze.  They provide a quick view of the finished layout.  You can then use the Split Design feature to break up it for the hoop you will actually use.

What sizes would you add to your list of hoops?

Look Closely…

Did you know there’s a speedy auto sizing feature in all Inspirations software programs?  It’s practically hidden but once you know how to find it, you’ll make it a habit to use all the time.

Open a design in any Inspirations software program such as Perfect Embroidery Pro, My Quilt Embellisher, My Block Piecer, Word Art in Stitches and more.  Click on the Hoop icon (on the left tool bar).

Click on the hoop you want to use from the drop down menu.  Use the scroll bar on the right to see all the hoop options.

The design appears centered in the hoop but it’s much larger than the hoop I intend to use.

Click on the arrow under the Hoop icon and select Auto Fit.

Instantly, the design is resized to fit in that hoop! Of course, the stitches have been recalculated so there’s no worry about the design being too dense due to resizing.

Auto Fit is such a time saver!  The feature evens provides a little wiggle room so you don’t have to struggle during the hooping process.

Speaking of hooping, it’s HOOPAPALOOZA at DIME this week!  If you’ve had a Snap Hoop Monster on your wish list, this is the time to take advantage of our low price, free shipping and gift with purchase.  You can learn more here. 

Join me on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 1:00 PM CST on Facebook Live. Marie Zinno, my Stitching Sister and co-author of Hoop It Up will be joining me in the studio. We’ll share our Top Ten Tips for Hooping. Follow us on Facebook to get a reminder here https://www.facebook.com/DesignsInMachineEmbroidery/

See Your Designs on Your Hard Drive

If you’re like me (or how I used to be), you open your design folder on your computer and begin a desperate search, wasting precious minutes sifting through designs.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could see a thumbnail image of your designs? Without opening each design in embroidery software?

Don’t waste anymore time searching for designs. Install Perfect Stitch Viewer on your computer and let the program work its magic in the background.  It’s not a software program you have to learn, you just install it and forget it.

You can take advantage of our special offer this week and download Perfect Stitch Viewer.  Once purchased, you’ll receive an email thanking you for your purchase.  It will look like this:

You’ll receive a second email with your activation number and a link to download the program.  It will look like the image below.  I added the red box and arrow to call out the serial number.

Click on the link and this window appears:

Click on Perfect Stitch Viewer (1) and the program will download and appear at the bottom of the screen. Double click on the download (2).

The Install Wizard will appear.

Follow the prompts to install and click Finish.

Double click the PSV icon on your desktop.

Fill out the Registration form with the serial number (case sensitive, include dashes) you received in your purchase confirmation email.  Click Register Now.

Open a design folder.  You have two options for changing your view in explorer. Click on the View tab (1) and select Large icons or click on the thumbnail icon at the lower right corner of the screen (2).

Now you see all of your designs!  It’s like magic!

Before Perfect Stitch Viewer, my neckline designs looked like this:

Now, I don’t waste any time for searching for my designs.

You can learn more here.

Worth the Wait!

The May, 2019 FREE update for Perfect Embroidery Pro will be available on Monday, May 6.  When you open the software on May 6, you’ll receive a notice to update.  I strongly encourage you to do it because the updates are fantastic!  Here’s what’s in store for you on Monday!

PEP Ver. 12.92

New Features:

Hi-Resolution Displays: New hi-resolution toolbar icons for 4K displays.

 

General Options: New look to Tools/General Options:

Realistic view option: (Optional) Increase double and bean run thickness in Realistic view; Tools/General Options/View.

Default Colors: Set default colors on a new design page:

  • File/New
  • Set Colors
  • Click on “Make Current Default”
  • Click “Yes”
  • Go to File/New, notice that the new default colors appear.
  • May also click on an empty box on the color bar for the option.

 

Print Preview: Print Preview screen is set to “Size to Fit” as a default with a new look.

Eye is sequence view: The eye icon is darker.

Drag and Drop: You can Drag and Drop image file into the center of the work field.

Note:  If you have an image on the screen like above, it will transfer to “Auto Digitizer Wizard” If selected.

Hoops: Added filtering to the Hoop feature; remove or add a check mark for the desired hoops. Jumbo Hoop is now fully supported and new hoops have been added:

  • BabyLock-Brother 240×240
  • BabyLock-Brother 270×400
  • BabyLock-Brother 240×360

Trim: A fast way to add a basic trim to the end of an object.

  • Click on object
  • Click on the “trim Icon”

When using this feature, it will:

  • Add the trim and basic tie off to the end of the selected object.
  • Add basic tie in to the next object.

Trim Branches: A new trim function giving you more control on how you want the trims to be added.

  • Auto: (default):  Trim if the stitch is longer than 2 mm.
  • Always: Will always trim
  • Never: Will never trim
  • Longer than: User can set the distance

Trim, Weld, Intersect: These three functions have been moved to “Shaping” and can be used with a right click when two objects are selected.

Auto Save/Recover: Setup can be found in Tools/General Options/Environment and File/Recover.

To use this feature: go to File/Recover.

Raised Satin: adds multi-layer satins on top of each other.  The default is 4.

Radial Fill can be found in Complex Fill.

Special Files:  We have moved Inspirations special file formats out of the standard Open and Save.  It has its own selection under File called “Special Files”.

Auto Digitizing: Improved color reduction, tracing, support for transparent PNGs, direct victor files (svg, ai, etc.) conversion without tracing. You can try the new same images in c: /dime/Images (Autodigi_*.png and Vectors_*.svg).

 

  1. Effects panel: One click conversion to various stitch types:

Batch Conversion (Updated): New Batch Conversion options, several additions including conversion embroidery format to PNG. Note:  it will convert in 3D realistic mode with no cross hairs. Select by File, Select by Folder.

New and improved curve editing: A new mouse icon appears when editing a curve in an object when the Shape tool (F9) is selected.

More Efficient Editing: The Shape tool (F9) now remains in active mode while selecting new objects for editing. To return to the Select tool (F7), left click on Select.

All Inspirations software programs will have the free update on Monday, May 6.  If a feature is standard in that software module (My Block Piecer, My Quilt Embellisher, Word Art in Stitches, etc), then it will be updated on Monday.  This software gets easier and easier to use!  It’s like the developers know exactly what we want before we do!  Enjoy your free updates!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lace!

I’m so excited to reveal a unique collaboration with Angela Wolf of AngelaWolf.com.  Angela and I have been working on this for several months and finally – we can show you what we’ve been up to. If you don’t know Angela, you’re going to love her work.  A fashion designer at heart, Angela has created a new embroidery collection for dime – Angela Wolf’s A Touch of Lace Collection 1. She came to this task with a true designer’s eye and designed lace elements to fill hemlines, sleeve inserts, pant legs and more.  She told me she’s always been on the lookout for just the right lace to add to her garments. Instead of shopping, she starting drawing and the results are fantastic!

Whether you use a single-needle machine like Angela did here.

Designs in Machine Embroidery

Or a multi-needle machine, the results are beautiful!

Designs in Machine Embroidery

 

And who wouldn’t want to wear this?

Designs in Machine Embroidery

This week, Angela and I are giving you a chance to win her collection ($79.99) and a copy of My Lace Maker software ($499.99)!  Why both?  Well, the beauty of having both is you can use Angela’s pretty lace elements and design your own custom lace arrangements for your garments.Designs in Machine Embroidery

 

No digitizing skills needed! In My Lace Maker, design your own beautiful lace from over 1100 motifs. Plus, you’ll find all the tools you need to transform any embroidery design into free standing lace. Select from more than 280 shapes, fill them with motifs, add an airy grid and column connections.  You’ll learn more about My Lace Maker in Software Saturday blogs.Designs in Machine Embroidery

 

For now, jump into the contest. You will have three chances to win by tagging friends and commenting via our blog, Facebook, and Instagram.

  1. Subscribe to our blog at dzgns.com and then leave a comment at the end of this blog.
  2. Follow/like the Designs in Machine Embroidery page on Facebook and Instagram
  3. Once you’ve finished steps 1 and 2 then tag a friend in the comments and say “Done!” (If you do not have Facebook or Instagram, complete step 1 then comment on the blog saying “Done!” If you are already a subscriber to the blog, make sure to do the bonus entry by subscribing to our Youtube channel and comment “Done”! on the blog after subscribing)

Bonus Entry: Repost/Share this giveaway with the hashtags #dimegiveaway #mylacemakersoftware and make sure to tag us! (If you do not have any social media, you can still join the bonus entry by subscribing to our Youtube channel at dzgns !)

For ONE more chance to win, click here https://contest.app.do/dime116 and fill out a quick form from Angela Wolf!

Giveaway ends on Wednesday April 3 and the winner will be announced on April 4 at 4:00PM.

 

What’s Your Favorite Embroidery Tool?

Perfect Embroidery Pro is definitely my favorite embroidery tool.  This user-friendly software gives me everything I need to create one-of-a-kind embroidery projects.  Yesterday, my latest book, The Flower Box Quilt, was released.  It’s a sampler quilt with a modern layout plus a table runner bonus project.  The 68-page book is loaded with tips and techniques on stabilizing quilting fabric, machine embroidered applique and quilting.

I used Perfect Embroidery Pro through the entire design process. From creating the embroidered applique elements to designing the custom quilting on the blocks to the quilting on the sashing and of course, the overall quilting in the large negative space areas.

How did I go about designing a large-scale project like this? One stitch at a time. Literally. And Perfect Embroidery Pro made that easy.  I drew each flower. Then converted the artwork into applique.  I used the copy, paste and rotate features to set the four elements into 12” blocks.

Of course, each flower had to be tested and tweaks were made along the way.  But as long as I worked in Perfect Embroidery Pro, I could save every version until I was satisfied. Then the fun part started.  I visited my local quilt shop to select bright, cheery fabrics.

Once each block was stitched, it was time to concentrate on the quilting.  I just uploaded an image of each block into PEP and doodled.  PEP gave me the freedom to experiment. I saved several versions of each block before getting to the stitching stage.  I love how I can audition ideas without stitching!

If you’d like to purchase The Flower Box Quilt book, click here for more information. This week, on Wednesday, March 20, I’ll be doing Facebook Live at 1:00 CST to share my top tips for professional results with machine embroidered applique.  Hope to see you there!

 

 

6 Tips for Continuous Line Designs

Recently, I’ve been digitizing quilting designs – continuous line designs in Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro.  Continuous line designs present challenges to digitizers that are all their own.  Since the designs are just one line of thread, there’s not a lot of room for error. But the biggest challenge may be in the pathing – where the needle will travel throughout the design. Sometimes this is intuitive and sometimes, not! I’ve learned a lot as I’ve worked on these designs. Here are six tips that have kept me on track.

Start with pencil and paper. Sketching a continuous line design is the best way to address the pathing. Even if it’s digital clip art, print it out and trace over it. If you have to lift the pencil to draw the next area, there’s going to be a break in the stitching.  Find another solution like backtracking (retracing over previous stitches) or looping (adding an extra design element like a vein on a leaf) to get to the next area.

Dive in –Go to the software and get started. You’ll find the time spent sketching/tracing has already focused your brain on the task. Sketching is like stretching exercises before a run – they prep your mind and body for the task ahead. Start drawing the design and adding nodes.  It will flow faster than you think. Don’t worry if it looks like a mess at first. You can tweak each node later.

The Close Line feature is a time saver. If you’re drawing a closed shape, at the last node, right mouse click and select Close Line from the drop down menu. The shape will instantly close and you won’t waste time wondering why your continuous line turned into a two-ply. In Perfect Embroidery Pro, draw the shape, (setting modes with a click of the mouse), when the shape is complete, right mouse click to end the line.  Select the Shape tool, right mouse click and select Close Line.

The Slow Draw tool is your best friend.  Before you begin tweaking the nodes, click on the Slow Draw tool. This tool allows you to focus on the pathing. Keep a close eye on the screen as the design stitches.  Get your pathing right, and then tweak the nodes.

Zoom in. Magnifying the stitches on the screen helps you see exactly where they lie in the design.  This is quite helpful when perfecting individual shapes within a design. There are several ways to zoom in on a design in Inspriations’ software programs. The most obvious is to click on the magnifying glass.

Or select a percentage from the drop down menu at the top tool bar. I

It’s important to remember when you are zoomed in, you are seeing a magnified view of the stitches – not what it will appear when sewn. So don’t stress out too much!  Pull back to actual size often to keep it in perspective.

Save As often. You really can’t have too many versions of your work. Go to File/Save As and rename the design every time. Eventually, you’ll be satisfied with the final design and you delete the earlier versions.  But during the design phase, it’s wise to keep each version. Just go for something basic like HeartV1, HeartV2, HeartV3, etc. Use the same method for all your digitizing and you’ll know where to find your latest and greatest.

I’ve found these tips to be real time-savers. I seem to be immersed in quilting designs right now – there’s so many beautiful designs dancing in my head! I’d love to know what you’ve been working on.

How to Use Inspiration’s Perfect Embroidery Pro’s Scatter Tool

On January 13th, blog reader Sue L requested information on about Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro’s Scatter tool.  The Scatter tool is fun to explore and very easy to master. Let’s dive in and take a look.

An 8” quilt block is the ideal canvas to experiment with the Scatter tool. Some brief text, Bee Happy, and a swarm of bumble bees will bring it to life.  Draw an 8” square with the Artwork tool.  Select the text tool and select the Tango font in the Properties Box.  Type Bee Happy, adding an extra return to space out the two lines of text.  Click Apply.

Tango Font

Enlarge and center the design in the square. 

In the sequence view, click on the padlock to lock the text. 

The Scatter tool becomes active when you have a design on the screen.  It’s best to start with a small design such as a symbol because the scatter tool will repeat the design to fill a specific sewing field.

Click on Select to access the Symbol library.

Go to Symbol, scroll down to the Bee and click OK.

Click OK.

Click once on the screen and one bee will appear.

Select the bee and click on the dropdown arrow on the Carousel tool to access the Scatter tool.

In the preview window, you can change the size of the sewing field.  The default size is 7.87”. If you’re pleased with the arrangement on the screen, click OK.  If you’d like to see more possibilities, click Apply.  Every time you click Apply, a new layout will be presented.  Since the layout is random, you can not go back to a previously-viewed layout. If you like it, click OK!

To remove the bees that overlap the text, Ungroup the bees. Once ungrouped, all the elements of each bee are also ungrouped. When you select a bee, group it first as you work on arranging the bees.  Select each bee that you want to remove.  The text will still be locked so don’t worry about inadvertently grabbing the text.  You can resize, rotate and reposition each of the bees.  Play with the arrangement until you feel the bees are evenly spaced on the quilt block.

Once you’re satisfied, select all, go to Edit, Resequence by Color and Optimize Sequence.  View the Redraw and save the design. So fun!

Celebration Quilt – 2019 Block of the Month Block 1

Block 1 – On Point Block Instructions

If you prefer watching on YouTube, click here.

Download the files for block one here: Block 1 Files

Blk1 On Point design

Recommended Fabric for 1 block

Base Block: one 9” square muslin

Stabilizer: one 9” square No Show mesh

Front – patches from OnPoint/CutFiles

Warm and Natural batting: 7 7/8” square

1 – Back Block

2 – Bottom: Muslin

3 – Top: No Show Mesh

6 – Center Front

5 – Corners

4 – Batting

LOADING THE MONSTER BLOCK MAKER

Follow the directions included with the purchase of Monster Block Maker to apply the Maker to a 200mm x 200mm Baby Lock/Brother hoop.

Place the muslin flat on the table.

Center the Monster Block Maker on the muslin.

Insert the batting in the opening of the Maker.

Place the No Show mesh over the batting.

Working from the center out, firmly press the No Show mesh (top) and muslin (bottom) onto the adhesive tape on the edges of the Maker.

Attach the hoop to the machine.

STITCHING THE BLOCK

Stitch color #1, the block layout.

Place glue at patch #1 as shown in blue.

Place fabric #1, right side up, aligning the fabric edges with the stitched outline.  Stitch color #2, the tackdown.

 

Place glue at the seam for fabric #2.

Place fabric #2, right side down, aligning
the raw edge with the stitched outline. Stitch Color #3, the seam.

Place glue at patch #2 as shown in
blue.

Flip fabric #2 open and finger press
the seam. Smooth the fabric and stitch color #4, the tackdown.

Place glue at the seam for fabric #3.

Place fabric #3 – right side down
aligning the raw edge with the stitched outline.

Stitch Color #5, the seam.

Place glue at patch #3.

Flip fabric #3 open and finger press
the seam. Smooth the fabric and stitch Color #6, the tackdown.

Place glue at the seam for fabric #4
as shown in blue.

Place fabric #4, right side down,
aligning the raw edge with the stitched outline.

Stitch Color #7, the seam.

 

Place glue at patch #4 as shown in
blue.

Flip fabric #4 open and finger press the seam. Smooth the fabric and stitch Color #8, the tackdown.

Place glue at the seam for fabric #5 as shown in blue.

Place patch #5 – right side down aligning the raw edge with the stitched outline. Stitch Color #9, the seam.

Place glue at fabric #5 as shown in blue.

Flip fabric #5 open and finger press the seam. Smooth the fabric and stitch Color #10, the tackdown.

Quilting the Block

Stitch colors #11, 12 and 13, the quilting elements.

Congratulations your On Point block is complete!

 For information on the Monster Block Maker click the image below.



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