Archive of ‘Perfect Embroidery Pro’ category

January Update – Buttonholes!

I love machine embroidered buttonholes! Why? Control. Machine embroidered buttonholes give me total control over the length of the buttonhole and the placement. Starting with a digital file guarantees perfect duplicates since I don’t have to guide the fabric under the foot.

So let’s take a look at how easy it is to create custom buttonholes in Perfect Embroidery Pro.2015-01-03_18-45-36

Once you update your software you’ll find a new icon on the top tool bar, a button (it’s easy to update, just say yes when the New Update available window appears).2015-01-03_18-49-00

Click on the drop down menu to access five completely customizable buttonholes, keyhole, round1, round2, standard narrow and standard.2015-01-03_18-49-24

Select your favorite and click the mouse on the screen. Your first buttonhole appears. I chose keyhole – that  hard-to-mimic classic buttonhole!2015-01-03_18-52-00

With the buttonhole selected, click on the Properties box to access the height and density settings. After measuring the diameter of your actual button, add a small amount (such as .10 of an inch) for the length of the buttonhole. Enter that measurement in the height box and click apply.2015-01-03_18-52-43

Naturally, you must make a test buttonhole on the same fabric as the final garment.  Include the identical interfacing, facing or lining on the sample. You can’t cheat here – it’s the only way to guarantee positive results and this is when you’ll tweak the length if necessary.

Hoop crisp or lightweight tear-away stabilizer as it tears cleanly. Once hooped, draw a straight line down the length of the hoop to use as an alignment mark for the garment edge. Spray the hooped stabilizer with temporary adhesive.

Advance to the first stitch to see what end of the buttonhole will stitch first. You want to stitch the end closest to the edge first and sew away from the edge. The fabric will not bulge next to the seam if you do this (a frequent occurrence in manual buttonholes). Rotate or mirror image the design if necessary. Stitch the test version.

Remove from the hoop and tear away the stabilizer. Use a seam ripper or a chisel and wood block to open the buttonhole. If using the seam ripper method, insert a pin at one end of the stitch to avoid slicing beyond the buttonhole.

Or place the buttonhole over a wood block, and insert the chisel into the space between the satin stitching. Press down to cut the fabric. Insert the button into the hole checking for ease. If the button slides in freely, you’re all set. If not, go back to Perfect Embroidery Pro and adjust the buttonhole.

Once you’re satisfied with the buttonhole, it’s time to stitch it on the garment. Measure the distance from the garment edge to the end of the buttonhole. For pleasing proportions, it’s best to leave a space between the end of the buttonhole and the garment edge that is half the diameter of the button. For the 2” buttonhole, move the end of the design 1” from the garment edge. Stitch the design.

Design Tips:

Buttonhole Placement: It can be challenging to determine evenly-spaced buttonhole placement. For garments, mark the widest point of the bust and the top of the garment. Fold the garment, meeting the top mark to the bust mark. Place a third mark at the fold. You now have the positions for the top three buttons. Measure the distance between two buttons. Use that measurement to mark the remainder of the buttons below the bust point.

Fuzzy Fibers: Place a piece of fusible web (protective paper removed) over the buttonhole area. Stitch the buttonhole. Tear away the excess fusible web. Press the buttonhole with a hot steam iron to melt the fusible web into the satin stitches. Once cooled, cut open the buttonhole. The fusible web will tame the fuzzy fibers.

Other great updates this month include smoother icons,  the Monogram, Motif and Applique buttons are now found under the Text designs icon and the lasso button is now under the Select Tool. All of these improvements streamline the screen – you’ll be comfortable in no time!

Enjoy January’s update!

 

A Clutter-Free Digital Workspace

It’s common to feel the urge to get organized in January– purge closets, cabinets and drawers. Many sewers feel the same way. We want a fresh start in the New Year, often pledging to finish projects, clear the cutting table, and tame our stashes – fabrics, stabilizers and threads. The goal is to follow that urge all year and really get our environments under control. I don’t know about you but it’s an annual event for me. It helps me get organized for the next 12 months; forgive myself for the projects that didn’t get completed and make a decision on whether or not I’ll ever finish them. And then toss them, if I know I won’t finish them. It’s a tough decision but I find once I make up my mind, it’s very cleansing to move on with a clean slate. I even like to create a clean space in my digital workspace when I work on a design.

In Perfect Embroidery Pro, My Block Piecer and My Quilt Embellisher, I clean up my thread chips. Sounds silly, right? Well, removing the excess thread chips at the bottom of the screen helps me focus. Let me show you what I mean.

I dragged one of December’s free designs onto the workspace. Notice the 11 color chips in the thread tray. The design is only three colors so I find all of those excess chips to be distracting, unnecessary clutter.Thread1

First, I clicked on the minus sign to remove all excess chips.Thread2

Now, only three chips remain in the tray.Thread3

I’m going to change the colors to reflect a warm, tropical climate (like the one Stitching Sisters are going to enjoy on our February 2016 cruise – join us!) First, click on a chip to see the thread palette.Thread4

At the top of the thread palette click on the brand to access the thread you have in your sewing room.   Thread5

 

Once you set this brand, the palette will always default to that brand although you can reset it anytime you’d like.

Simplifying the thread tray makes it easy to see what threads I need to collect from stash of thread. I love the new plastic drawer inserts that keep my stash under control.  It’s the fine-tuning of organizing that helps me keep my year-long goal of staying on top of clutter!

Look What Comes With the shortE

 

On Friday, I showed the ShortE to students in my recent Stitching Sister event. Many were intrigued by the designs that come with The Shorte so I thought I’d give you a closer look.  We’ve included two versatile sets of quilting designs for allover quilting on whole cloth quilts or pieced quilts. The stipple collection fills the embroidery hoop with linking repeats of meandering wavy lines. You’ll find nine designs in this collection: top left, top center, top right, center right, center, center left, bottom left, bottom center and bottom right.

Shorte2

The Chandelier collection stitches very quickly and consists of a center medallion (for the center of the quilt), a half vertical (for the left and right edges), a half horizontal (for the top and bottom edges) and two border designs. There are several ways to arrange the designs to produce a variety of quilts.

Shorte1

The best way to get started is to print templates of all of the designs so you can audition them on the actual quilt. I love the new Print & Stick Target Template paper – perfect for auditioning quilt designs on a quilt – and they stay put! Before printing, change the thread color on each design to black to make it easy to see. If you’re using Perfect Embroidery Pro or My Quilt Embellisher, select the design and click the 3D icon to change the image to a more vivid rendition of the design.

Shorte3

Place the templates on the quilt and review the layout. If you’re pleased with it, it’s time to get stitching! This week, I’m finally getting a chance to quilt my Sunkissed quilt from Nancy Zieman’s Quick Column Quilt blog tour way back in September. I’m tempted to use the chandelier designs, I’ll keep you posted of my progress.

Sunkissed

Here’s your assignment this week:Leave ac comment and tell us if you think the chandelier or stipple designs will look best on the Sun Kissed quilt. One comment will be chosen at random to receive a $25 gift card to use on the DIME website. Good Luck!
The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question…What size quilt do you typically make?  Post your comments and 2 lucky winners will be randomly chosen to win a pack of the new Print & Stick Target Paper.The winner is… Maxine M.  “I love quilting and I challenge myself constantly. I do wallhangers, baby quilts, quilts of all sizes up to king. My God’s Promise Quilt took 1st. place at the Calgary Stampede and was my first time ever putting a quilt in to be judged. I was so very humble as any quilt I make is for the enjoyment and to see the finished result is so rewarding.”

 

December Update in Perfect Embroidery Pro

Beads, Crystals, Pearls and Rhinestones

Do you love to add crystals, beads and pearls to some of your embroidery designs? Then you’re going to love December’s free update in Perfect Embroidery Pro! Now you can audition gems on a design in Perfect Embroidery Pro before you ever take a stitch. Click on the video below to see how easy it is to add crystals to a lace neckline.

 

If less sometimes leaves you wanting more, then watch the video below to see how a demure neckline can be transformed with holiday sparkle.

Gems are not just for garments as they make lovely additions to home décor items. LuLu Christmas includes a lovely trio of Christmas ornaments – perfect for linen guest towels when sprinkled across the towel. But I don’t always have time to fill the width of fabric with edge to edge embroidery yet I still want a fluid design. The video below shows how crystals are a simple solution in Perfect Embroidery Pro.

When  you update, you’ll find 24 beads, 12 crystals, 16 pearls and 40 rhinestones – each customizable by size. And of course, you can add your own images to the library. Just set the position of each crystal by placing a node on the design or let the software automatically create a string of gems for you – all evenly spaced. Adjust the spacing by changing the instructions in the properties box or fine tune the placement by adjusting the individual nodes.

Stitch marks (you choose between a cross and a circle) are inserted into the design so that the placement can be easily achieved after the embroidery is complete. The size of the stitch marks is adjustable so that even the tiniest gems cover the small marks.

I hope you enjoy December’s free update – I know I’m going to have fun adding sparkle to my creations!

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