Archive of ‘Inspiration Software’ category

Hoops, Cheater Quilts, and LACE

Hey Embroidery Friends!

We hope you all are staying safe, healthy, and creative! We had an absolutely wonderful time with our good friend Reen Wilcoxson of Embroidery Garden today on our live session. We talked about her collaboration with DIME’s My Lace Maker software on her lace collection, her new space, all the new monster hoop sizes, the ways you get to “cheat” with a cheater quilt, and more!! We even had a giveaway (;

If you missed us live and need something fun to do while at home, watch our rebroadcast below!

Snap Hoop Monsters and Cheater Quilts on sale now HERE.

For our Hoop Compatibility Chart CLICK HERE.

Now is the perfect time to catch up on your #DIMEDOORS! If you missed stitching January through March, CLICK HERE. If you didn’t see your door shown on one of our lives yet or would like to again, make sure you post your door onto YOUR personal page with hashtags #dimedoor and #dimesewalong so we can find you!

Most of our recent events have been postponed to later this year. Please check out our Inspired by Dime website for details when you CLICK HERE.

Next week, we will have special guest and renowned YouTuber, Becky Thompson. We can’t wait to chat with her and share more amazing embroidery with all of you.

Happy Stitching!

 

Micro Lettering Isn’t Just Small

Micro lettering isn’t just smaller than standard embroidery fonts, it’s digitized completely different.  If you want professional results in small embroidered text, then you have to start with professionally digitized micro fonts.

You most certainly can create a text phrase in a standard embroidery font and shrink it.  But the results will not be pleasant.  The stitches will pile up at the column intersections, small openings will collapse and the lettering will be illegible.  So why waste your time, energy and materials?  Start with a true micro font and you’ll be pleased with the results. Let’s take a closer look.

At a quick glance, the two letters look very similar except for size.

But if you look at the framework, you’ll notice the areas where the columns meet are treated differently.  On the large letter, at the top of the A, the columns actually overlap.  That’s important on standard size letters to avoid gaps between the columns.

It’s not just the peak of the A,  overlapping is also visible where the horizontal column connects with the vertical columns as shown in the highlighted areas below.

On the Micro A, the top of the A is a wider satin, rather than two angled and overlapped satin columns.  The horizontal column stops at the edge of the vertical columns. This digitizing technique allows the tiny lettering to stitch with crisp edges making it legible.

The underlay is also different as the columns are narrower and the stitch count is smaller in micro fonts. You can purchase 11 Micro Fonts with full editing abilities in Inspiration’s Embroidery Tool Shed.  Just click on the shopping cart at the bottom right of the screen. Scroll down to Micro Fonts.

Click on the ellipse to purchase.  This week, the Micro Font Pack of 11 fonts is on sale for $179.99, a savings of $20.00.  That’s only $16.37 per font and each font includes upper and lower case along with numbers and punctuation.  You’ll use these fonts on every quilt label, recipe, logo, bible verse, birth announcement and more.  You can learn more here. 

The Micro Font Collection works only in Inspiration’s Embroidery Tool Shed.  If you already own Inspiration’s Word Art in Stitches, you already own the 11 Micro fonts.

Best Update Ever!

There’s a new update available for Inspiration software and it will put a smile on your face. The newest version puts all of your Inspiration software programs in one platform. Instead of having to open each software individually, you’ll open Embroidery Tool Shed, where you’ll find all of your Inspiration software programs.  The Embroidery Tool Shed has the same familiar screen that you’re familiar with a couple of small changes.  You’ll notice there is now a cart at the bottom right under the properties box. Click on the cart to view all software.

 

You’ll see a yellow check mark next to each software program you have registered.  If there is no check mark, then you can try each program. Just left click on the ellipse and select Try.  When you’re in demo mode, you can explore the program’s features but will not be able to save a design.  It’s a fun way to play before you purchasing.

There are more improvements to specific software programs in this update. My Lace Maker:  Select multiple lace designs from the Lace library – a huge time saver!

In Perfect Embroidery Pro, it’s now possible to print a crosshair on individual designs on one sheet of paper.  Yeah!  Personally, I’m thrilled to have this feature because I use Print & Stick Target Template paper and I despise wasting a sheet with just one small design.  Open several designs in one file.  Select a design, right click and select Utility/Add Crosshair.

Repeat for the remaining designs.  Now when you print, the designs will print on one sheet (if they on a standard piece of paper) and each will have a crosshair.  Love that!

You can now rate a design.  A great way to keep track of your favorite designs – just click 5 stars for your favs. Create your own rating system to make searching for designs easier in the future.

 

In Perfect Embroidery Pro and Word Art in stitches, you can now map purchased design fonts. Go to Tools “Font Editor”. A window will appear with an alphabet.  As you select each of the individual letters (of your purchased digitized alphabet), strike the corresponding key on the keyboard to ‘map’ the letter to the keyboard.

I’ll post a more in-depth how-to on this new feature in the near feature.  It’s best to subscribe to this blog to be notified with a new post, video or live discussion is going to happen.

If you have Perfect Stitch Viewer, the new update includes a better view of your embroidery designs in Explorer. In Explorer, select Details Pane.

A properties box will appear in the folder providing details of the design along with the image.

Oh boy, so many fun features to explore! I think the saved the best for last because all future updates will be done with just one click. Imagine just one update!  Instead of updating every piece of Inspiration software, you’ll be able to do it in a flash!

I did preview of the update on Facebook Live on Thursday, Feb. 27, you can still watch it.  Just head over to Faebook or YouTube and watch.

Subscribe to this blog so you don’t miss any details on how to use and enjoy the new features. See you on Thursday at 1:00 PM CST on Facebook Live and YouTube!

The Big Reveal

I’ve been looking forward to tomorrow’s Facebook Live broadcast for several weeks and have been keeping hush about what we’ll reveal. We have two big announcements – one is all about Inspirations software and the other is the Dime March Door.

I’ll reveal a transformation that will make your embroidery software experience more enjoyable.  DIME will flip the switch on the new software ‘mothership’ during Facebook Live at 1:00 PM CST.  The best part – the new mothership is free and will house all your existing Inspiration software programs.  Don’t have any Inspiration software programs?  No worries, you can download the ‘mothership’ for free and use its basic editing features. I hope you’ll join me during the broadcast as I’ll be happy to answer our questions.

Speaking of free downloads, tomorrow is the big reveal for the March Door. I hope you’ll love my version of the first signs of spring.  I’ve heard some oohs and ahhs from office mates when they saw the March Door so I’m hoping you’ll feel the same way.  I’ve also heard some sewing machine retailers are hosting Watch Parties in their store.  Might be a good idea to check with your local sewing machine retailer and see if they’re hosting a Watch Party, then plan on joining them for the big reveal!

The last Thursday of the month is beginning to be my favorite day of the month!  See you at 1:00 CST on Facebook Live or YouTube Live.  To be notified when the broadcast starts, like our Facebook page or subscribe to our YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/dzgns.  See you online at 1:00 CST!

Touring America’s Most Attractive Quilt Shop

It was so much fun touring the oh-so unique Quiltique shop! Going live at a different location (on a phone at that!) is bound to have mishaps but luckily we were able to transition our tour into two parts fairly smoothly! To find events like this one and more near you, visit our site HERE. This special live is only available on our Facebook but we will be back to streaming to both Facebook and YouTube next week. We can’t wait to show off all the February #dimedoors you all have been stitching for our #dimesewalong!

Watch Parts One and Two below to see why Quiltique is America’s most attractive quilt shop!

Part One:

Part Two:

Love is in the air and with all the embroidering going on this year, we’d all love some direction! 🥰

If you haven’t grabbed your Embroiderer’s Compass yet, now’s your chance! On sale NOW for a limited time only. Use code EMBCPSFS214 for free shipping up to $10 in the U.S. when you CLICK HERE.

 

Resizing the January Door for 5″ x 7″ Hoops

During Thursday’s Facebook Live session, several viewers expressed an interest in making the January Door in a 5” x 7” hoop. I mentioned you can resize the design to fit your hoop. If you do not have embroidery software, you can download our free embroidery software, Embroidery Tool Shed, just click here

Embroidery Tool Shed allows you to resize (and recalculate the number of stitches), copy, paste, mirror image and more.  Once you download and install the software, click the Embroidery Tool Shed icon on your desktop, and click on Open a Design.  Locate the January Door design, select the .C2S version and click Open.

Click on the Select tool. The Select tool is a red arrow, circled in green below.  Select the design by holding down the left mouse button and dragging the cursor over the design.  You will know it is selected when the design is all blue with a boundary box around it.

To resize, click on the Transform tab in the Properties Box.

Change the height to 7”.  Since there is a check mark in the Maintain aspect ratio, the software automatically resizes the entire design keeping the original proportions.  You’ll also notice there is a check mark in the Regenerate stitches box, that ensures stitches are removed when a design is shrunk and added when a design is enlarged.  Always keep that box checked. Click Apply.

The design now measures 4.30” x 7.01”.  The size is displayed at the top of the screen.

If you want to completely fill your 5” x 7” hoop, you will lose the original proportion. Follow the next steps to see the results. It’s best to start with the original 6” x 10” file.  Go to File, Open and locate the original January Door.c2s file.

Select the design, remove the check mark from Maintain aspect ration box and enter 5” in the width box and 7” in the height. Click Apply.

The design will fill the hoop but be a bit wider than the original.  If you like it, use it! Regardless of the size you choose, go to File, Save As and save the newly-sized January Door as JD_Small in the appropriate format for your machine.  Send the design to your machine and you’re ready to stitch!

Before you move to the machine, I suggest getting familiar with this handy, free software. – you’ll find many uses for it.  Just click on the shopping cart in the lower right corner of the screen (red arrow below) and click on the ellipse next to Embroidery Tool Shed (green arrow below).  You’ll be taken to 10 tutorial videos on YouTube by Inspiration’s Educational Consultant Ashley Jones.  Watch each one to learn how to get the most out of Embroidery Tool Shed.

 

 

 

Lofty Monograms!

Gift #2 on my top 10 gifts to make for the 2019 Holiday season was a personalized throw. There’s such a wide selection of throws available at every price point and in many different fabrics. In Thursday’s Facebook Live session, Deborah Jones and I reviewed four different throws: a fleece buffalo plaid, a nubby and stretchy chenille, a poly/wool blend tweed and a faux suede with a Sherpa back.  The trickiest one to embroider was definitely the stretchy chenille because of its thick yarns and open weave.  But I am thrilled with the finished results.  Let me walk you through the process so you can duplicate this at home.

Open a new file in Inspiration’s Perfect Embroidery Pro.  Select the Text tool and type in your monogram.  Select the Fan_Scr font and click Apply in the Properties Box.

With the Text tool selected, click on the monogram and the kerning tools will appear.  Drag the blue diamond between the letters to change the spacing.

Click on the Select tool, right click and select Utility, Nap Blocker from the dropdown menu.

Leave the default setting at 4.0 mm and click OK.

The Nap Blocker, or low density fill, will now be the first color of the embroidery design.

Its function is to hold down the fabric’s nap and create a delicate, yet solid base for the beautiful monogram.  Without it, the monogram would slip between the chenille’s yarns. The end result would be less than professional!

Change the color of the Nap Blocker to match the fabric and select the color of your choice for the monogram.

Click on the Auto Baste tool to add a basting outline around the design.  It will stitch in the first color.  Send the design to the machine.

Hoop the throw with Piece & Stitch Tear Away Wash Away stabilizer.  Place water soluble topper over the design area to allow the embroidery foot to glide over the surface.  Without it, the foot would caught in the loops.  (Hmm…wonder how i figured that out!)  Stitch color 1, the basting outline.  Stitch color 2, the Nap Blocker.

Finally, stitch the monogram.

Remove the throw from the hoop. Snip the basting stitches and remove.  Tear the excess Piece & Stitch stabilizer from the wrong side of the throw. Tear the water soluble topper away from the monogram.

If you hate those pesky bits of water soluble stabilizer that are trapped in the small openings, then you’ll love Deborah Jones’ tip for getting rid of every last speck. Watch the Facebook Live session from Thursday, Dec. 5.  You can watch here on YouTube or over on our Facebook page.

I love this throw and think it will definitely put a smile on someone’s face at Christmas!

Instant New Baby Gift

As embroiderers, we are always driven to create a custom gift for new parents but it can be difficult to find time to create something special.  For the new parents, there’s nothing quite like seeing the statistics of your new baby etched in thread on pretty fabric. Inspiration’s Word Art In Stitches has just what you need to put a smile on the parents’ faces.

Subway blocks were added as a free update to the software several months ago and I think many of us forget they are in the software.  Let’s take a look. Open a new file in Word Art in Stitches and click on the Library icon under the Properties Box (lower right corner).  Scroll to the bottom of the list.

Here you’ll find nine different blocks for baby, new home, wedding and more.  Select the first one, Baby 4×4. Once the design appears on the screen, select it, right click and Ungroup.

It’s so easy to change the name, date and weight to customize the block for the new baby.  Just click on the name and type the new name in the Properties Box.

Select the name, drag one of the side handles to stretch the text to fit the space.  It’s that easy!

Do the same for the date and weight.

The block is 4×4 but you can resize it to fit your needs.  Wasn’t that simple!  You can use as framed artwork, a custom block in a quilt or as a quilt label.  I’m sure you’ll find many ways to use the Subway blocks.

Remember to join me on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 1:00 CST on Facebook Live and YouTube Live to see gift #4 in our holiday gift making countdown!.  I hope you had a chance to see gift #5 on Nov. 7 – it was one of my all time favorites!  If you missed it, you can watch it anytime, check it out!

Digitizing for Metallic Threads

Last week, I provided some tips on digitizing for metallic thread.  Reader Janis O’Connor asked for some clarification on how to stitch the underlay of a complex fill in polyester thread and finish the decorative layer of the fill with metallic. There may be a better way to do this but this is how I do it. Let’s walk through the process. Draw a hexagon with the artwork tool. Select the design, right click and convert to Complex Fill.

Click on the Redraw tool, and notice the underlay that’s automatically added to the complex fill. Below is a screen capture of the underlay only.

Of course, in Inspiration’s Perfect Embroidery Pro, you have control over the type and density of the underlay.  Click on the Underlay tab in the Properties Box and note the underlay is Perpendicular with a density of 3.0.  Remove the underlay by clicking on the check mark next to Perpendicular. Click Apply.

Now, select the hexagon, copy and paste it.  Change the color of the first hexagon to pink, this will serve as the underlay.  Select the pink hexagon.  The Fill tab will be open in the Properties Box.  Change the density to 3. Click Apply.

The pink hexagon is the same density as the original underlay but the stitches are traveling in the same direction of the blue hexagon.

Change that by selecting the Shape tool and moving the black circles to the opposite sides of the hexagon. 

Now the underlay will be perpendicular to the complex fill providing a stronger foundation.

Small changes to run stitches and satin columns help light reflect off the metallic thread resulting in eye-catching sparkle. Lengthen short running stitches to provide more metallic surface.  Just change the stitch length in the Properties Box to 2.8 or even longer.

Add curvy edges to satin columns. Use the shape tool to move the nodes on each side of the column.  If your column doesn’t have a node, place the cursor where you want to add one, right click and Add Point.

The image below shows an exaggerated example as just a little movement can make big changes in a metallic design. 

So go ahead, add a little sparkle to your stitches!

Get More Sparkle from Your Designs

It’s sparkle time!  You can add a shiny element to many designs but you should set yourself up for success.

Use your digitizing software to change some elements into metallic-friendly details.  In Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro digitizing software, lengthen run stitches.  My normal stitch length for quilting designs is 2.4.  For metallic threads, I increase the length to 2.8.  The longer stitch length lets the metallic thread shine on the fabric while shorter stitch lengths, tend to hide the pretty sheen.  Imagine how pretty those longer stitches will look on a dark fabric.

Reduce the density of a complex fill.  The stitches should lay right next to each other without overlapping. The density default setting is 5.0, type in .80 and click Apply.

If your design requires underlay, consider making the underlay a separate color.  Stitch the underlay first in a coordinating polyester thread, then switch to the metallic to add the top layer.

Satins – think curves!  Metallics really shine when light bounces off the thread at different angles.  So curve your satin columns, and adjust the widths to take full advantage of the light.

The satin column on the right will reflect more light than the blue, straight column.

When digitizing for metallic thread, schedule some extra time for testing your digitized designs.  I hope you had a chance to watch our Facebook Live session this week. Embroidery expert Deborah Jones and I shared ideas for using metallic thread and there’s a special offer on a holiday 6-pack of Kingstar Metallic thread. Click here to take advantage of the special price.

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