Archive of ‘Monograms’ category

Design Bigger than Your Hoop? Split it!

Serious machine embroiderers never let hoop size hold them back. When they think big, they stitch big. But that doesn’t mean they have to have a big hoop. No, they just need the right software and some handy notions (okay, the notions are optional but really helpful!) to get the job done.  Here’s how to do it.

Select a large design. My sample is the letter M from http://www.EmbroideryArts.com, Arabesque 9 XL.  I enlarged the design to a height of 262 mm – a whopping 10.31” in Inspirations Perfect Embroidery Pro. Now that it’s so big, it won’t fit in my largest hoop.  But Perfect Embroidery Pro has a great splitting feature. Open the design in Perfect Embroidery Pro. Click on the Split Design icon. 

The Split Design screen appears. Click on the arrow in the Hoop field and select your largest hoop.  I entered 200 x 300. 

The preview screen shows two hoopings: 1:1 and 2:1. 

Click in either hooping to move the split. Toggle between the first and second hooping to view each individually.  Look for a natural break in the stitches. for instance, I would avoid splitting the column of satin stitches.  It’s better to have one leg of satin stitches in one hooping, and the second leg in the second hooping. Once you’re satisfied with the split, click Save and the software will save the design into two separate files. Print a template of each design and send the designs to your machine.

Place the templates on the left side of fabric (allowing room for the second hooping).  Slide a target sticker under template Hoop 1:1 and align the target sticker’s and template’s crosshairs.  Remove the template. Hoop the fabric with tear-away stabilizer, centering the target sticker.

Stitch the first design: Hoop 1:1. The last color is a vertical basting line (placement line) which will align with the second hooping. Stitch the line in a contrasting color to make alignment easy. 

Remove from the hoop.  Hoop another piece of tear-away stabilizer. Stitch color 1, the placement line, of Hoop 2:1 on the hooped stabilizer. Remove the hoop from the machine. 

Place the hoop under PAL, Perfect Alignment Laser, aligning the stitched placement line with PAL2’s beam.  

Spray the wrong side of the embroidered fabric with temporary adhesive.  Slide the embroidered fabric under the beam aligning the stitched placement line with PAL2. Finger press the fabric to the stabilizer. 

Attach the hoop to the machine and restitch color 1 to verify the design is aligned. 

Stitch the remainder of design Hoop 2:1. Wasn’t that easy?  I often approach splitting designs with a bit of intimidation but I’ve learned if I take my time and pay attention to the details (like aligning the fabric with the laser crosshair), the results come out as planned.Splitting designs is very rewarding – people will think you’re an embroidery rock star!

Mega Monograms

Mega Monograms by Eileen Roche

On the cover of the January/February 2017 issue of Designs in Machine Embroidery magazine, mega monograms were shown.  The monograms are huge – 8″ tall – and are complex fill letters.  They were created in Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro are the magazine included the step-by-step directions for some of the pillows. Recently, I had a reader ask how to transform the letter B into complex fill.

Here’s how. First, select the Text tool and type in the letter.  Enlarge the letter to the size you want, my sample is 8″ tall.  Select the Run tool and trace the outside of the letter B.Trace around each opening.

Select all three lines and click on Combine.

Select the letter, right mouse click, and select Convert to Complex Fill from the drop down menu.Once the letter is converted, you can add a border. Select all three elements and click on the Combine tool. Now the letter is filled.

Select the letter, right mouse click and Add a Border.You can change the border to Steil for a crisp outline on the letter.  If you’re wondering why we didn’t add an outline, here’s why:

It’s All About Perspective!

If you’ve ever gone on a road trip you’ve probably seen roadside attractions.  Imagine the excitement when the denizens of Tiny Land discovered enormous 1” pillows.

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This new roadside attraction draws crowds of people who stop to get their photos taken.  If you take a closer look, the Flamingo’s legs are the letters “J” and “L”

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About the “Pillows”
The scene was inspired by Eileen’s beautiful assortment of pillows on the cover of Volume 102 January/February 2017.  I wanted to see what a miniature interpretation would look like.

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If you look closely, I even coordinated some of the same decorator fabrics Eileen used on her cover project.

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The really fascinating part about the pillows is the tiny lettering.  The “SAS” monogram is only ¼ of an inch tall.  Perfect Embroidery Pro includes an assortment of fonts digitized for small applications.

Whether you need to stitch large embroidery fonts (like Eileen’s oversized pillows) or very small fonts as seen in Tiny Land, Perfect Embroidery Pro has you covered!

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Font:  Arial Small

Additional features:

  • Symbols were incorporated, including the Top Hat, Flamingo and Pine Tree.
  • I used the Bridge Convex Top envelope shape for the “TRB” monogram.

22 new symbols are available to all Perfect Embroidery Pro software owners.  Just run the latest update (Version 9.35) and you’ll find 22 new symbols installed in your software!

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Multi-Needle Monday: Automatic Appliqué on the Brother Entrepreneur and Baby Lock Enterprise

As owners of the Baby Lock Enterprise and Brother Entrepreneur, we are so fortunate to have the latest and greatest technology at their finger tips. We have the scanner and live camera along with automatic basting file (shown in an earlier blog for embroidering t-shirts) and another helpful, quick technique the automatic appliqué feature. The automatic appliqué can create any shape, text or embroidery design into an appliqué without using embroidery software. There is an icon on the screen to convert each design into an appliqué.

I created a simple three-letter monogram inside a diamond shape design right at the embroidery screen; no embroidery software needed. The steps below will guide you how to create your own appliqué once a design, text or shape is shown on the screen.

Step 1. Select the shapes icon under Exclusives and choose the diamond shape.

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Resize the diamond shape to approximately 4″ wide or the size you wish to embroider and select Edit End. diamond mono3

Step 2. Click the blue shield icon; this will add the automatic appliqué around the diamond shape.

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Step 3.Use the select key and highlight the black diamond shape as shown in photo (the original shape) and delete it.

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Go to “Add”. Choose the monogram icon.

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Step 4. Select the letters for the monogram; left, middle and right letters to fit properly inside the shape.

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Resize the letters to fit inside the satin stitches.

Step 5. Hoop the fabric and stitch the placement color (1st color). Add the fabric on top of placement color. diamond mono13diamond mono14diamond mono15Remove hoop from machine and trim excess fabric from around diamond shape.

Step 6. Replace the hoop on the machine and stitch the satin stitch and monogram. diamond mono16

final mono diamond

Instant applique! Right at your fingertips!

Learn more helpful machine embroidery business information by taking my Craftsy class : How to Start an Embroidery Business by Marie Zinno.

Click the link to save $10 on this class.

https://www.craftsy.com/ext/MarieZinno_4963_D

Multi-needle Monday: Pocket Top Embroidery Placement

I would like to share one of my favorite techniques for embroidery above the pocket on a dress shirt. Through my business I work on a variety of different garments and accessories. A popular request is always the top of pocket placement for a corporate logo. My customer is the president of a business and likes to dress professionally in quality dress shirts; he also knows how important it is to promote your business when in public. He wears a company logo on many items especially when he attends tradeshows.

Before I owned my multi-needle embroidery machine, this technique was challenging. I would print a template, tape it on the shirt and use a target sticker to mark my center. Then I would use the trace feature and align the needle with the crosshair on the target sticker. (This technique is still very practical if you do not have a scanner). Now of course, technology has improved immensely in the last few years and the tools at our finger tips are invaluable. My days of “tracing” and actually printing template for small jobs are over.

Here are a few important tips to remember when planning the embroidery above the pocket on a dress shirt:

The logo or text should not exceed 4 inches in width as a rule; this is because most pockets are less than 4 inches wide. Button all of the front placket buttons and place the shirt on a clean flat surface. Use the small Target Ruler (Embroidery Tool Kit) and target stickers.

Press wrinkles from the pocket area. Use the smallest hoop that will fit the embroidery design(4×4 hoop), along with poly mesh cut away stabilizer. Use two pieces of stabilizer if the design is a bit dense, but usually medium weight poly mesh cut away will work fine.

Test your logo on fabric that is similar in weight to the final product. I like to keep an old performance fabric polo or a cotton woven shirt to test my corporate logos before I stitch them on the provided shirt.pocket top1BLpocket top2BLpocket top3BL

Lay the small target ruler above the top edge of the pocket, precisely lining up the center and side edges. The logo should be at least ½ inch above the top edge of pocket. Hoop the upper portion of the pocket in the lower section of the hoop as shown.pocket top4BLpocket top5BL  Place a small piece of blue Painter’s Tape along the top edge of the pocket. The painters tape will give a clear visual guide for you to see in the scanned image. Use the “scan” feature if available on your embroidery machine (looks like a camera icon). Adjust the design if needed as viewed on the screen.pocket top6BLpocket top7BL Unbutton the upper buttons on the shirt and place the hoop on the embroidery machine as shown above. Let the fabric hang down under the machine so it is not caught under the hoop.

Embroider the design and remove the hoop. Trim the thread tails (as you can see in the photo) and carefully trim the excess stabilizer from the back of the shirt. Always leave at least a ¼ of an inch of stabilizer around the embroidery design.

* Have the customer sign a Customer Supplied Garment Waiver to cover yourself in the case of a mishap (they only happen on expensive and sentimental items) Haha.

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Join me in my Craftsy class for more information on Starting a Machine Embroidery Business. Forms are included in the class materials.

https://www.craftsy.com/ext/MarieZinno_4963_H

Multi-Needle Monday: Custom Monogrammed Dining Room Chairs

My latest order from an interior decorator consisted of 6 large monograms embroidered on expensive damask fabric for dining room chairs. The monogram is created by the designer and is sent to me to be digitized into an embroidery file.chair monoBL

We usually correspond back and forth a few times so I can gather the following information: fabric content, end use of fabric to be stitched and size desired.  These three key factors are crucial when planning the embroidery process.  As I mentioned in a past blog, I always embroider a sample stitch out (which the decorator will pay for) to be certain that the monogram size and thread color are exactly as planned and envisioned.

The fabric is cut by the designer large enough for me to hoop easily and shipped to me along with the work order form. Most people have no idea how we actually embroider fabric, so you need to be specific and mention the measurements needed to fit the fabric in certain hoops etc. They always mark the fabric for me, as the “face” of the fabric can be confusing sometimes (subject for another blog one day). The thread color has been determined and I purchase at least 4 spools so I can have both machines running simultaneously. Therefore I can quickly move ahead to the embroidery when the fabric arrives. The following photos will show you how I prepared for multiple embroidered monograms.

The intertwined “D” monogram measures 9 inches wide x 6 inches tall, the stitch count is 31,000 stitches and takes approximately 48 minutes to complete. Since I have 2 multi-needle embroidery machines I can easily accomplish this order in under 3 hours if all things go as planned. (bobbin change, thread breaks, and possible other interruptions always expected).

Measure and locate the exact center of the cut fabric sections, fold and iron the fabric in half vertically and horizontally. Place the large target ruler on top of the fabric and slide a target sticker in the center hole. The monogram has to be embroidered in the “exact” area of damask pattern for all 6 chair backs (more pressure).chairmon1BLchairmono2BL

I selected to use a medium weight cut away stabilizer because the fabric will be stretched and stapled (upholstered) on to the chair backs at the designer’s work room and also because of the high stitch count of the embroidery design. The fabric can be easily hooped in my 300 x 200mm size large embroidery hoop.chairmono3BL I always double check under the hoop before it is placed on the machine for excess fabric that could be caught in the bottom frame. Notice how my 2 machines are happily working side by side when I took this photo? sewingroom1BL

Before stitching a special job like this I change the needles that will be used and start with a fresh bobbin in both machines so they will end at the same time. Make sure to leave space around the embroidery machine especially when using the large size hoops.

Next week I will show the finished photos of the embroidered monograms. I am happy to share that they turned out great!

Click the following link for a special coupon to use on my Craftsy class : How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business”.

https://www.craftsy.com/ext/MarieZinno_4963_H

Multi-Needle Monday: Popular Christmas Gift

If you have a machine embroidery business, I am surprised you even have time to read my current blog this week. The Christmas season is the busiest time of the year for custom gifts, and for the people who make it happen. I would like to share one of my popular, super quick to stitch embroidered gifts: the personalized Christmas ornament design. It is perfect for t-shirts, sweatshirts, baby onsies, aprons and even terry cloth towels. Last year my go-to embroidery design was the snowman face from http://www.embroiderygarden.com and this current embroidery design; Christmas ornament, is just as versatile and can be found at http://www.planetapplique.com . Of course, you do not have to own an embroidery business you can still stitch a simple design like I suggested on a t-shirt, towel or other item. The trick is to test the design, use proper placement and add interesting fabric for the appliqué.

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Many of my customers request a simple embroidery design to be stitched on long sleeve t-shirts or sweatshirts for the children in their family. The t-shirts look great in photographs and are so festive at a family gathering. Use the last name initial if possible, in the center of the ornament, to make sizing a bit easier for all of the siblings or family members.

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We would love to hear about one of your go-to embroidery projects that you sell or make for gifts during the Christmas season.

Happy stitching!

Enjoy a $20 coupon to use for my Craftsy class “How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business” by Marie Zinno

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Diary of a Novice Embroiderer: A Harrowing Tale

Preface:  My friend Gus asked me to embroider a pillowcase as a birthday gift for his wife, Sophia.  I agreed and expected him to purchase a pillowcase.  Instead, he purchased fabric, sewed the pillowcase and presented it to me to embroider.  It was flawless—and I was so touched that a husband would do that for his wife.  Not only that—he had a special sentiment he wanted embroidered for his dear wife.

For reasons that defy logic, I chose the day before Sophia’s birthday party to start stitching the gift.  The timeline below showcases my thought process while completing the project.  I share my tale in hope that you can relate and find solace in knowing the creative process is indeed a process—full of ups and downs but this is how we grow and gain experience.


6:00 pm.  I guess I should start stitching the pillowcase.  I am relieved Eileen improved the layout of my design.  My original versions weren’t as artistic as I wanted.  My biggest concern is hooping the pillowcase.  It’s probably wise for me to stitch a test sample.   I am glad Gus bought tons of extra fabric—hopefully I won’t need it to make a new pillowcase.

6:30 pm.  Everyone at the office left for the weekend.  Eileen gave me advice on hooping and assured me I could call if I needed help.  Now it’s just me, the pillowcase and dozens of tools.  I felt like Sheldon from the Big Bang theory.  This pillowcase HAS to be perfect.  I better unhoop it and try again.

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This is an important engineering feat.  Wait… no, it’s just a pillowcase.  But it really does need to be precision placed.  Yes, I should unhoop and try using a different method…IMG_8042BL

I decided to start over using a different hooping method…Eileen's Machine Embroidery BlogEileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

7:38 pm.  I sent a frustrated text to my friend:  “the opposite of fun is right now!  I will never ever agree to stitch something special for someone else.  It’s so difficult!  No, it’s impossible!  However… I did learn how to use the camera function on THE Dream Machine… so that’s a positive.”

7:45 pm.  I guess it’s time to hit the Start button to take my first stitch.  I wondered if I would look back at that moment with regret.  I looked at the design on-screen—it indicated it will take 31 minutes to stitch.  After that time, I will know if the design is crooked or not.  But by that time it’s too late.  This is highly stressful.

7:51 pm.  Wow!  This is working!  It’s absolutely working!  The rich purple thread I chose is perfect!

7:53 pm.  I kept a watchful eye on the machine as it stitched.  Because the pillowcase is cylindrical (and a tight fit) in the hoop, I had to make sure the excess fabric didn’t get caught during stitching.  I should have listened to Eileen and used one of our Hoop Guards.  That would have helped.

There was a brief moment I took my eyes and hands away from the excess fabric.  Sure enough, the fabric got eaten by the machine. I remained calm.  This is why I’m at the machine, watching and waiting.  I can fix this.

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I carefully clipped away the few stitches that were eating the fabric.  Then I used the machine’s stitch advance/reverse feature to back up and redo the stitches.

8:00 pm.  Look at me!  I’ve got skills.

8:15 pm.  I sent a photo to my friend showing the progress.  My friend’s reply, “Because stitching text wasn’t challenging enough, you had to add the butterfly!  You really challenged yourself!”

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

8:34 pm.  My ears perked up to the familiar, comforting chime of the embroidery machine, indicating the design is finished stitching.  The friendly smiley face appeared on the machine, as if sharing in my joy of accomplishment.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I examined the pillowcase, still hooped in the machine and proclaimed, “look at me, I stitched my first pillowcase!”

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

About the design:
Butterfly from Kreations by Kara.  http://www.kreationsbykara.com  Search:  BB Shadowed
Lettering from Perfect Embroidery Pro software.  The path tool was used to create a unique curved effect.

 

Here’s your assignment this week:

We are going to turn the table and ask you to post an embroidery related question for us in the comments below this week! Denise and Eileen will do their very best to get you an expert anwser and one lucky commenter will be chosen to win Eileen and Marie Zinno’s new, yet to be released Hoop It Up book!

The winner of the last assignment answered the following question:

Thank you all for allowing me to share this occasion with you. I hope you’ve learned some tips and maybe even thought of using an idea or two for a special bride in the future. What tip or idea from this wedding do you think you are most likely to use?

The winner is:  

Beth Daniels: “I would use the ribbon idea on even some clothes that I would make with the pattern number and name of clothing.”

Will the person with the initials SFN please step forward?

Eileen's Machine Embroidery BlogWill the person with the initials SFN please step forward?  We have a free towel to give you!

Here’s an unusual problem you have probably never encountered:   we end up with some unusual embroidered samples in our offices!  No, we didn’t randomly pick SFN.  This towel has an exciting history.  It was used on the set of Sewing with Nancy!

I was tapped to demonstrate one of my favorite sewing tips in a brief 5-minute segment on Sewing with Nancy. I selected the initials because well, frankly, they’re beautiful! After all, how many ERs and NZs can one embroider? The filming went off without a hitch and now the towel sits in my sample room begging for a more elegant resting spot. And now that it’s served its purpose, we’d love to see it go to a better home.  So if your name is:

  • Sarah Francesca Norris
  • Sally Florence Nicholas
  • Samuel Filipe Nunez
  • Steven Frank Nelson

Or any other wonderful name with the initials SFN, we want to hear from you!  We will ship anywhere in the continental US.  One random person with the correct initials will be selected as the lucky recipient of the towel.  Now you might be asking, how will we verify if you have the right initials?  This will be the honor system.  Besides, how many of us want a towel with someone else’s initials hanging from our towel rack?  Looks a bit suspicious to me! Although it’s not uncommon to collect and display vintage linens adorned with a variety of initials.

If it has been awhile since you’ve reviewed monogramming etiquette and you’re wondering about the proper order for initials—here’s a quick review.

If the embroidered initials are the same size, arrange them:  first name initial, middle name initial, last name initial.

If the middle initial is larger, then it is the last name and should be placed in the center.  first name initial, last name initial, middle name initial.

While these are the standard recommendations, you are welcome to exercise creative license!  Just always be sure to make sure the initials don’t spell something unexpected that won’t be appreciated.

Here are some additional blog posts on Monograms:

Monograms for Men

Lowercase Monograms

Monograms for Today’s Marriages

 

Multi-Needle Monday: New Product Introduction

This week on our continuing series for the Multi-Needle Monday blog we will focus on the last but not least step in our new product introduction: promotion.

Again, our focus is on the small embroidery business owner who is now ready to market a new product. How will you get the word out to your current customers? Will you take the photographs yourself or hire a professional photographer?

There are so many quick and free ways to market a new product today that you really cannot go wrong unless you do nothing. For instance Facebook is the perfect platform to launch your business and “test” new items. Use it to tease your customers to see what colors, lettering styles, embroidery designs or accessories they prefer. When you have narrowed down your choices, add these products to your main website or Esty store. It’s a good idea to feature or “post” a new photo weekly on your Facebook page to keep your customers tuned and interested.

Take great photographs and make great samples! Stitch colorful samples with coordinating and crisp embroidery designs or lettering. Position the embroidery as the main focal point. Use a larger scale design, monogram or appliqué to pop in the photograph.  Remember, time is money and high stitch count designs are not necessary. Trim the thread tails, press the hoop marks out of the sample item and make sure all water soluble stabilizer is completely removed.  The majority of cameras have a high pixel number and the resolution is very clear- water soluble fragments can easily show up in a photograph.

I have learned to use a tri-pod for my camera (tri-pods are available for cell phones too) and foam board from a craft store to easily reposition as a table when desired. Take photographs outside if you have a nice backdrop such as potted flowers or tall grass. Always try to take a handful of photographs, not just one or two. Learn out to use the photography software that is included in most operating systems; such as crop, brightness and resize.

The photos of the back to school accessories for college were taken around a beautiful pool at dusk; which is a perfect time for photography.

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I recently read about a few business owners who “barter” for different tasks of trade in their town. Do you have a close friend or acquaintance who is a photographer and in need of some embroidered polo shirts? Is there a “techy” neighborhood college student who can help you set up your Facebook or Etsy shop business page? The student might appreciate a few personalized items in exchange for their expertise. I will tell you that the marketing chore never ends when you own a business but it has to be done. Try to learn as much as you can and take control of the obstacles ahead.

Here are a few marketing platforms to use: Instagram,  Pinterest, Blog, Twitter, and Facebook. I think all of the platforms are helpful and virtually free but you need to decide where your customers are and what the most popular outlet for your demographic is.

*Remember not to list an item that is out of stock or on back order. You should have checked the inventory before you selected the new product to introduce.

 

Join me in my Craftsy class titled”How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business” save $10 with this coupon link.

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