Archive of ‘Inspiration Software’ category


I’m so excited to reveal a unique collaboration with Angela Wolf of  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 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 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


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.


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

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

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.

Celebration Quilt – Intro

2019 Block of the Month

By PJ Wong of PJ Designs

Join us for the 2019 quilt-along.  You’ll master piecing and quilting in the hoop.  Here’s how it will work. In each 2019 issue, you’ll find the instructions for three blocks.   You can download the block designs and precut files every month on the first of the month. In addition to the downloadable designs, you’ll find a video illustrating how to create the block files in
My Block Piecer and My Quilt Embellisher.  If you have the software programs, these videos will help you master creating and decorating your own blocks.  If you don’t have the software, you can download the files, send them to your embroidery machine and stitch the blocks.

Finished size: 37” x 46”

Embroidery Products

Embroidery machine with a 200mm x 200mm sewing field
8” x 8” Snap Hoop Monster (for Baby Lock/Brother machines only) All others, use a standard hoop

8” Monster Block Maker

No Show mesh cutaway stabilizer

Fabric glue stick

Embroidery bobbin

40 wt. polyester thread

#90/14 Quilting needle

Temporary Spray Adhesive



Plaid: ½ yd.

All Over Flowers & Scissors: 3/8 yd.

Grey Scissors: ½ yd.

All over Scissors Dots: 5/8 yd.

White Scissors: ½ yd.

Twenty-one 10” squares of a variety of fabrics

Backing: 2 1/3 yd.


All fabrics are available for purchase at

Publishing Schedule

January/February 2019 – Blocks 1, 2 and 3

March/April 2019 – Blocks 4, 5 and 6

May/June 2019 – Blocks 7, 8 and 9

July/August 2019 – Blocks 10, 11 and 12

September/October 2019 – Piecing the Quilt

November/December 2019 – Quilting the Quilt


Do I have to have My Block Piecer software to participate? 

No, all embroidery files will be provided to you at

How will I quilt the blocks? Do I need to purchase quilting

No, all block quilting is provided in the digital files. 

I have My Block Piecer software.  Are there additional instructions for creating the blocks in the software?  

Yes! You will find full-length videos for creating each block in My Block Piecer at

Are quilting designs also created in My Block Piecer? 

No, all of the quilting designs for the 2019 Quilt Along were digitized in My Quilt Embellisher. The instructions for digitizing those designs are included in the full-length videos for each block.

What size hoop do I need? 

All files are provided in 200mm x 200mm in C2S, PES, EXP, DST, JEF and VP3.

Do I have to purchase Monster Block Maker to participate in the

No, you can use a standard hoop but you will have to fill a 200mm x 200mm hoop with No Show cut-away stabilizer for each block.  Monster Block Maker economizes on stabilizer.

Can I purchase the fabric shown in the sample? 

Yes, all fabrics are available at

How do I cut my fabric patches? 

Digital files (SVG and FCM) are provided for each block for digital cutting machines.  PDF patterns are also provided to cut patches with a rotary cutter.

I’m new to piecing-in-the-hoop, can I handle this project?

Absolutely!  You’ll find step-by-step instructions with images for each step of each block. 

I’ve never quilted before; will my blocks turn out wonky?

The beauty of piecing-in-the-hoop is the digital files produce precise
patches and seams.  Just follow the instructions and your blocks will be square and sharp. 

This week, we’ll post the materials for the first three blocks.  Make sure you subscribe to this blog so you’ll when each block is posted. You will be able to watch the videos and download all embroidery files.  If you have My Block Piecer software, I encourage you to watch the videos and work through the steps to create your own embroidery files.  You’ll be so familiar with the steps, you’ll be designing your own blocks in no time!

Digital Cutters and My Block Piecer

Use your digital cutter to cut quilt block patches with Inspirations’ My Block Piecer (MBP) . Let me show you how.

GO to the Block Library and select a block.  I chose Basic, Nested Triangles. This block features five patches, two patches in fabric A and three patches in fabric B.

Go to the Properties Box and click on the Transform tab. Enter the size of your finished block.  My sample is 5” finished – the software will add all necessary seam allowances to each patch. Click Apply.

Select the block and click on the Cutter icon.

Scroll through the list of formats and select the appropriate format for your digital cutter.  I selected FCM for the Brother Scan ‘n Cut.  The screen shows the first frame, or the two patches for the fabric A. 

When you click on Frame 2, you’ll see three patches for fabric B. Click Save.

Select FCM for the Brother Scan ‘n Cut to actually save the files in that format.  The software creates a new folder with all of the necessary files.  Name the file and select Save.

The software creates a folder and stores the cutting files in that location.

If you are cutting patches for multiple blocks, change the number of repeats on the cutter screen.

How easy was that?

Custom Quilting

Last week, blog reader Kay asked for some help in Inspirations’ My Quilt Embellisher. It’s a popular software program and easy to use. You can design custom quilting for an 8-point star in just a couple of steps. Follow along to learn how.

Click on the Block Library icon. Go to Eight Point Star and select Arrow Star. Click OK.

Select the white diamonds in the center of the block. Right click on a color chip in the tray (bottom of the screen) to change the color of the diamonds.

Change the color of the center diamonds.

We’ll start by filling the negative space with stippling, In the sequence view, select the remaining white shapes (red box) and click on the Stippling icon (red arrow). In the Properties Box, change the Stippling style to Hilbert (green arrow).

To decorate the eight points, use the art tool to draw a diamond. Size the diamond to fill one of the star points.

The diamond pre-set shape in the Art tool drop down menu.

Select the diamond and click on the Contour tool.

The Contour tool fills a shape with rows of stitches.

Copy and paste the Contour diamond to fill the star.

Save the design. That was easy, wouldn’t you agree?

Software Questions? Read on…

It’s been a fun journey hosting Software Saturday for the past five years. I’ve covered many of Inspirations’ software programs with primary focus on Perfect Embroidery Pro. In order to continue offering educational content, I’d love to hear your thoughts on future lessons for Inspirations software programs.

I know a blog is fairly one-sided but I do read all of the comments and use that information to create new posts.

Please leave a comment below and tell me what Inspirations’ software you’d like to see discussed on Software Saturday. Perfect Embroidery Pro, My Block Piecer, My Quilt Embellisher, Word Art in Stitches, My Fabric Designer, Vintage Embroidery Software or My Quilt Planner? And what topics would you like covered?

You input matters – so take a moment and share your thoughts – let’s make 2019 the year to master the software you’ve invested in.

Set the Stage

Many embroiderers are stitching last minute gifts and that can mean trying to tame long fibers like faux fur and lofty knits. You need to ‘set the stage’ for the beautiful stitches and give them a foundation to sit on. Inspiration’s Perfect Embroidery Pro’s Nap Blocker feature is the answer for providing a base for the beautiful stitches while taming the fibers. Nap Blocker adds a layer of complex fill stitches that’s just light enough to flatten the lofty fibers creating a smooth surface for the embroidery. Here’s how to do it in PEP.

Select the Text tool and type JOY in the Properties Box.  I used the Bookman font. 

Select the design, right click to access the command menu.  Select Utility, Nap Blocker.

Instantly, a layer of complex fill is added to the design in the first color position.

The fill extends .15” beyond the design to ensure any long fibers will not obstruct the embroidery.  You can change this by selecting the fill only and resizing.

Notice how the complex fill is placed at the beginning of the design in the color sequence. 

Stitch the complex fill in the same color thread as the fabric. This is key because you want these stitches to disappear behind the beautiful embroidery.  And…you don’t have to use a topper when you use Nap Blocker. How sweet is that?

If you’re working with intricate text, you might want to adjust the shape of the nap blocker.  the image below shows the default nap blocker for a paragraph of text.  Remember, nap blocker has a default setting of .15″ so if it sees a space wider than that, it will leave it open.

It’s easy to adjust this.  Click on the shape tool, select the nap blocker (color 1).  All of the points will be visible. 

Drag the cursor over the points you want to remove.Hit delete on the keyboard. Poof!  They’re gone and the space is not filled!

Much better presentation!

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