Archive of ‘Perfect Embroidery Pro’ category

Bring Your Questions!

Two embroidery experts are joining me tomorrow on Facebook Live at 1:00 PM CST, Christine Connor of Amelie Scott Designs and DIME Inspiration Education Consultant, Ashley Jones.  It’s going to be so much fun as I continue to celebrate National Quilting Month.  They will both share their secrets on quilting on their embroidery machines – from Christine’s Edge to Edge quilting  techniques to creating the perfect quilt label.

Hope to see you there – it’s going to be fun and packed with tips and techniques to help you quilt those quilt tops!  You can watch on Facebook Live or YouTube Live at 1:00 PM CST. Bring your questions, we’ll be happy to help.

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!

Mistake Cover Up!

On Thursday’s Facebook Live session, I revealed not only my top gift to make for the 2019 Holiday season but also how I goofed on one of the PJs.  I selected a font that sunk into the lightweight knit pajama top – yikes.  I should have known the stitches would be too small for that flimsy knit. From previous experience (ugh!), I knew there was no way to remove those stitches from a lightweight knit.  So, I had two choices: throw the garment away or cover it up.  I went with option 2.  I selected a fun cotton print and made a new pocket – right in the hoop.  Here’s how you can do it in Inspiration’s Perfect Embroidery Pro:

Take a photo of the pajama top – I masked the pocket painter’s tape so that I could see it more clearly in the photograph.

Since I neglected to put a ruler in the photo, I measured the actual pocket and sent the image to my computer.  In Perfect Embroidery Pro, I selected the Backdrop tool and located the image.  The image loads on the screen.  Since I neglected to include a ruler in the photograph, I measured the pocket on the garment (4” wide) and then inserted that number into the Define Scale tool.  The image (backdrop) is now in actual size. Select the run tool and trace around the pocket and above the monogram. 

Select the outline, right click, Utility, Create Outline.

Place .25 in the settings window for seam allowance.

Select the Font tool and choose Classic Monogram.  Type the letters and click Apply.  Save the design and send it to your machine in the appropriate format.

Apply No Show fusible cutaway stabilizer to the wrong side of the cotton fabric.  Hoop the fabric and stitch the design.  Remove from the hoop.  Trim the pocket on the outer stitched line.  Place the pocket wrong side down on a pressing surface.  Fold back the seam allowance on all edges and press.  Use starch or sizing spray to form crisp edges.

Looks like I need to straighten those edges! Once that’s done, pin the new pocket over the old, covering the monogram.  Stitch the pocket to the top. Not a bad fix!

You learn more about handling other tricky fabrics by watching Facebook Live.  Just click here.  

I’ll hope you’ll join me on this Thursday Dec. 19th at 1:00 CST for more embroidery tips and techniques!

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!

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.

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!

Resizing Tip

The Lace Charm collection features 34 small designs  – all under 2” – perfect for adding small enhancements to jewelry, purses, zipper pulls and the like.  Depending on how you intend to use them, you may want to resize the mini designs. No worries, all Inspirations’ software can handle resizing because stitches are recalculated when enlarged and reduced.  If you’re not familiar with the term recalculate, it means stitches are added when a design is enlarged and removed when a design is made smaller.

But sometimes, you want to use caution when resizing. For instance, the Fringe Earring design – the first of my top 10 Holiday gifts to make for 2019 – looks very cool as large, dangling earrings.  One of our Inspiration dealers, Jill Esber from A Scarlett Thread in McDonough, GA, bumped up the volume on her fringe earrings.  She enlarged it right at the machine (Baby Lock Solaris) and loved the results.  She did confess that the eyelet ‘collapsed’ when resized but she was able to force the fish hook earring into the eyelet.  But they look great, wouldn’t you agree?

If you want more control over the sizing, use software. Open the Fringe Earring design in Inspiration’s Perfect Embroidery Pro or My Lace Maker software.  Copy and paste the design. Resize the repeat to 2.5” in height. Notice how large the eyelet is now.  Any earring finding will slip right off the eyelet.

When you measure the eyelets, you’ll find the eyelet has almost doubled in size.

No worries, just resize everything but the eyelet.  In the color sequence window, select the three elements below the eyelet.  Change the size to 2.25”.

Group the three elements into one group (right click, Group). Move the eyelet back in position.  Select all, Align Horizontal.

Now you can bump up the volume without worrying about losing your earring.

30-Second Satin Frame

In Inspiration’s software (Perfect Embroidery Pro, My Quilt Embellisher and more) there’s a speedy method to transform a shape into a satin frame. Follow along in your software.

Select the Star from the Artwork tool menu.

Drag the cursor across the screen to draw the star.  It’s a natural step to select the star, right click and select Convert to Satin.  But here’s what happens when you do that:

The satin stitches fill the star instead of outlining the star.  Definitely not the result we wanted. It’s easy to start over. Just  click on the Undo key. Select the star, right click and select Create Outline. The default setting .08”, that’s fine for this exercise. Click OK.

The points of the outline are squared off so let’s remove a stitch point from each leg of the star to create sharp points.  Select the Shape tool, click on a point, right click and Delete Point.

Select both stars, click on the Combine tool (the paper clip).

Select the star (it’s one unit now), right mouse click and select Convert to Satin.

There’s your frame!  It’s so easy, give it a try.

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