Archive of ‘Lettering’ category

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!

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!

Patches!!!

Once you make a monogram patch, you’ll know why patches are #8 on my 2019 Holiday gift-making list!  It’s so easy in Inspiration’s Perfect Embroidery Pro.  Open a new file in Perfect Embroidery Pro. Select the artwork tool and the Ellipse.

Hold the Ctrl key down on the keyboard and drag the cursor across the screen to create a perfect circle. Size the circle to 2.25″ for left chest embroidery.  Select the circle, right click and select Convert to Applique.

Select the Text Tool. Type the three-letter monogram in the Properties Box and select the Circle Monogram from the list of fonts. Size the monogram to fill the 2.25″ circle. Change the color of the monogram if you don’t want it to stitch in the same color as the applique outline.

Save the design in the appropriate format and stitch it on the heavy-duty water soluble found in the Patch Maker Kit (special offer this week!).  Then follow the instructions in the Patch Maker Kit to permanently attach the patch.  Watch last week’s Facebook Live video to learn more.  You’ll find tips on using patches on slippers, shoes, down jackets, children’s wear and more!

So Much Talent!

What do you get when you give 11 talented embroiderers a fairly simple fabric panel and a few embroidery designs? Eleven uniquely-embroidered works of art. It absolutely amazes me to see how people put their own stamp of creativity into an embroidery project.

The past month has been an eye-opener – we’ve seen subtle touches such as Marie Zinno’s soft blue filagree designs that are built-in the Baby Lock Valiant.

MarieZinno.com

 

And an out of the box transformation by Cathy Sundermann of Stitch Fork Designs. That’s an impressive front door!

Cathy Sundermann of Stitch Fork Designs

Deanna Springer of Nancy Zieman Productions sashed the wood grain panel with Nancy Zieman’s red Riley Blake shiplap fabric to spice it up. Deanna ditched the wrapped canvas idea and added a pretty floral border for a traditional wall-hanging.

Deanna Springer of Nancy Zieman Productions

Milinda Stephenson opted to wrap her panel around a pillow. This was a fast and easy finish and her dog, Iris, loved it!

Milinda Stephenson

Michelle Umlauf used the IQ Designer in her Baby Lock Solaris machine to enhance the lettering. Talk about perfect placement! That’s a show stopper technique and wonderful way to show how to incorporate prints with embroidery. It’s all about value – making sure the embroidery is visible on a busy print.

Michele Umlauf – Sewing Machine Artistry

Carla Reale used Baby Lock’s Palette software program to add her own message in the applique heart of the Grateful panel. Join the Baby Lock Palette group on Facebook to watch her video.

Carla Reale of the Baby Lock Palette Community

Karen Parker made two samples! Her Grateful panel shows offset floral sprays at the top and bottom. I love that layout and never think of using it! Of course she pulled her thread colors from her fun, striped border.

Karen Parker of Thread Head & Company.

Karen’s English Pub theme set the tone for her border fabrics and faux leather trim – complete with nail heads! Her satin circles mimic a dinner plate and the embroidered knife and fork really seal the deal. Finished with two glasses of cold beer, this panel will look great in any proper drinking establishment.

Karen Parker of Thread Head & Company

Debbie Henry extended the wood grain quilting beyond the panel edge onto a wide border. Love her delicate blue floral spray in the center of the heart!

Debbie Henry of Secrets of Embroidery

The Embroiderist, Colleen Bell, used a dark thread to quilt her Gathering panel – love how visible the wood grain is. She paired her panel with an embroidered chalkboard fabric. As a mother of nine, she knows a thing or two about prepping meals!

Colleen Bell, The Embroiderist

Sara Gallegos of Sew Positively Sara added family names to the applique heart on the Grateful panel on her Baby Lock Solaris. Of course, she nailed the placement of the quilting designs with the help of a quick camera scan on the Solaris. Nothing like seeing before you stitch!

Check out her blog at SewPositivelySara to see how she pieced the heart blocks on her pillow.

Sara Gallegos

Our last participant, Debbie Cleek, added trapunto to her floral sprays on the Gathering panel. She used Designer’s Gallery to add the traditional technique of trapunto but with today’s technology.

Debbie Cleek of Designer’s Gallery

I’d like to give a huge thank you to all of the participants. If you followed along, I’m sure you’re were as impressed as I was with their creativity. And so many techniques were shared! Please leave a comment and tell me what’s your biggest embroidery challenge. We’ll pick a random winner to send one Farmhouse Sentiments kit.

Lettering Like the Pros

If you want to get lettering like the pros, you need software that gives you multiple font options, the ability to kern letters, change line spacing, density and column widths.  Inspirations Perfect Embroidery Pro most certainly answers that call.

But if you want to put a stylized effect on your lettering with just a few clicks and instead of getting a master’s degree in digitizing (oh, I wish there was such a thing!), then Inspirations Word Art in Stitches is your answer.

Let’s look at the popular golf brand, Titleist.  Their logo is a simple, classy script but it’s enhanced by the addition of embroidery foam under the stitches.  If you visit their website, https://www.titleist.com/golf-gear/golf-headwear you’ll notice how all of Titleist’s catalog images are shot from an angle to highlight the dimension of the embroidered logo.  That adds serious wow factor to a traditional cap and sport!

In Word Art & Stitches, dimensional text is just a click away.  Whatch how easy it is. Select the Puffy text tool.

Type the word in the message box and boom – there’s your dimensional text.

This is such a popular technique that we teach it in our Stitch Lab events and everyone masters puffy text on their first try.

After teaching how to make it in the software, students learn how to stabilize and stitch the lettering on a pet bandana.  Everyone of those pet bandanas are sent to a local animal shelter.  Talk about a win-win!  Students learn and the shelter gains a customized bandana for their adoption days.

Check the calendar at InspiredbyDime.com https://www.inspiredbydime.com/inspiration-socials/  to see if a Stitch Lab is coming to your area.  You can fill out the form on that page to be notified when one is coming up in your region.  Hope to see you there!

 

 

 

Make Sketch Fonts

Spotted on garments, chalkboards, wood signs and even glassware, open, airy fonts are the rage. It’s easy to get the same look if you have Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro.  Follow along and you’ll be stitching this look in no time.

Open a new screen in Perfect Embroidery Pro (PEP).  Go to File, Import TT (True Type Fonts).

Select a script font from any true type font installed on your computer. Write the message in the text field and place 500 in the size field. Click OK.

The text appears on the screen.  To produce the best stitch file, meld the connecting elements.  Select the o and v, right click, Shaping and Meld.

See how the o and v are one continuous line and do not overlap like the v and the e? 

That’s the looks you’re going for.  At this time, the ov is one unit and the e is a separate element.

Select the ov and e, right click, Shaping and Meld.

Select all, right click, Convert to Complex Fill.

With Love selected, change the Fill Type in the Properties Box to Contour. Click Apply.  Change the density to 1.0 and the stitch length to 2.6. And there’s your sketchy font!

I just learned this trick from one of our education consultants, Tina Bartelmay.  Tina is an embroidery whiz – she uses PEP everyday – evident in her awesome samples!  Catch her at upcoming DIME event at a dealer near you.  Click here to learn more about Tina.

Thanks for sharing this great tip, Tina!

Embroiderers Always Get This Request

Stitching a name on a stocking cuff is something almost every embroiderer is called upon to do during the holiday season. Most cuffs are faux fur with long fibers that can creep over embroidery obstructing the beautiful stitches.  On Saturday, I showed how to use Perfect Embroidery Pro digitizing software to create a light complex fill to hold down long fibers of faux fur.

Now let’s take a look at how to stitch it.  On a single needle machine, you’ll have to open the side seam of the cuff to flatten it (and possibly a portion of the stocking).  Find the horizontal center of the cuff and place a target sticker in that position.  Point the arrow towards the top of the cuff (where it meets the stocking) so that the word will stitch in the correct orientation.

Hoop adhesive tear-away stabilizer and remove the protective paper.   Place the cuff on the hooped stabilizer, keeping the straight edge parallel to the hoop. I like to rest the body of the stocking over the pantograph as it has less chance of falling into the sewing field.  If there’s a hanging loop, pin it to the stocking.

Stitch color 1, the light complex fill, in a thread color that matches the cuff.  

This color’s only function is to hold down the nap of the fur. It should virtually disappear after the decorative embroidery is applied.  If you look closely at the image, you’ll notice I changed threads in the center section.  The outside sections are stitched in a 40 wt. polyester thread – with the traditional sheen of an embroidery thread. The center section was stitched in our Retro Vintage thread – 40 wt., a matte finish.  I think it disappears quite nicely. In fact, I can’t wait to try it on towels. Anyway, back to the task at hand.

Stitch the next color in traditional thread and you’re done! 

No topper to remove, just tear it away from the hooped stabilizer and it’s ready to hang. How many stockings have you stitched this holiday season?

Software Saturday: Stitched Poetry!

Farewell to My Red Pen
By Denise Holguin

As Managing Editor, a portion of my time is spent editing the magazine. This includes making sure advertisements are placed, the Buyers Guide has the correct page numbers and the Table of Contents leads readers to the proper articles. I do all these tasks with a red pen.

And as strange as it sounds, I have only one (favorite) red pen that I use issue after issue. I was at a great loss the day it ran out of ink.

I penned a poem to commemorate the ‘passing’ of my red pen. Humored by the absurdity, I decided to take it one step further and embroider the tribute on to fabric.

Goals for this article:

 

  • Inspire you to start thinking about custom gifts you can make for family and friends that only they would understand.
  • Help you to discover your inner poet!
  • Practice your lettering and layout skills in embroidery software.
  • Problem solve on the fly.

 

 

Embroidery Products
Make Something UT5084 from Urban Threads (3.39” x 3.86”)
Free Skull Design courtesy of Designs in Machine Embroidery.

Embroidery software (Perfect Embroidery Pro was used)
Hoop Size: 300×200

At the Computer
First, we will type each line of text. Then we will rearrange and add other elements.

In Perfect Embroidery Pro, select the Text icon and type the words, “arewell, my friend.”

Click on the Text icon again and type, “You’ve served me well.”

Click on the Text icon and type, “When we, upon the page, would dwell”

Click on the Text icon and type, “To an editor, your color”

Click on the Text icon and type, “Was heaven, but now you’re dead.”

Select the Hoop icon on the left side of the screen. Select the 300×200 hoop. This will establish boundaries to rearrange the poem.

Select all the text. (Control-A). Change the font to “Times.”

Click on the first line of text. Go to the Transform tab and change the height to .69 inches. Repeat this step for each line of text.

Once finished, your text will look similar to the sample shown.

Click on File / Merge. Select the Urban Threads design. Place the design in an open space. We will be editing the design to fit our needs. Select the design. Right click and select Ungroup.

Select “Make Something” and delete it.

Since this is a tribute to a red pen, I selected and deleted the other tools that didn’t fit the pen theme.

You should only have two pens remaining.

Slide the last pen to the left of the marker. Then copy and paste the same pen and place to the right of the marker. Flip the last pen Vertically.

Copy the marker and place it to the right of the pen. Flip it vertically. Copy the first pen and marker and paste them to the right. Your version should look similar to the image shown.

Select all the pens and markers. Right click. Select Group.

Rearrange the rows of lettering to fit within the hoop. This isn’t the final stage of rearranging but it’s the first step.

Slide the pens to the right side of the hoop as shown.

Click on the Text icon. Type the letter “F”. Select Old English. Size the Width and Height to 1.77 inches.

Position the letter in front of “arewell”.

Select the Text icon. Type the word “red”. Select the Athletic font and resize it to 2.05” wide x .80” tall.

Position the word after “color” as shown.

Go to File / Merge Design. Select the Skull design.

Place the skull at the end of the poem.

Change the “F”, the word “red” and the set of pens to red.

I decided to change the word “heaven” to blue. There are three ways to do this:

Inconvenient & Hard:

 

  • Stop the machine before it stitches.

 

 

Too Much Work:

 

  • Edit the line of text so that it’s made up of three designs.

 

 

Easiest! (but you need to be responsible)

 

  • Select the last line of text. Right click. Select Break up text. Note, when you do this, the text is no longer a font.

 

 

Each letter becomes an individual design.

Select all the letters for the word “heaven”. Change the color to blue.

The third line of the poem is a little tight in the hoop. Change the height to .67 inches. Make any other last minute adjustments to the layout of the design.

Select All. (Control-A). Go to Edit / Optimize Sequence.

Save the design and send to the embroidery machine.

I framed the design and added the red pen to its final resting place.


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