Archive of ‘Software Saturday’ category

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.


June 2017 Update – Video!

Take a video tour of June 2017’s Update, Version 9.55 with Katherine Artines.  Katherine – our resident digitizing whiz – posted a 48-minute tutorial focused on the June update for Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro (PEP) digitizing software.  She’ll walk you through each of the new features so you can see them in action.  Click here to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2867m5j4ZM

In Katherine’s newest video, you’ll explore PEP’s newest features: Nap Blocker, Projection, Filter and Change Style. 

The best part of watching Katherine work her magic is you can learn at your own pace.  You are free to stop the video, rewind and watch important segments again. Before I watch Katherine’s videos, I open Perfect Embroidery Pro so I can duplicate her lesson as she teaches. I watch a few minutes, pause the video and minimize the YouTube screen. Then I repeat the steps she taught in my own software.

If I struggle with the technique, I maximize the YouTube screen and watch again. Once I feel like I know what I’m doing, I move onto her next technique.  I found this is the easiest way for me to master a new technique – by watching and doing right in the comfort of my home.

Katherine is an excellent teacher, she explains every keystroke she takes so that you’re not trying to guess how to get the results she gets.  She uses built-in designs so you can duplicate her work. Plus, she encourages you to use in the built-in art tools as many of us are not artists. She shows you how to powerful results in just a few keystrokes.

Subscribe to the Inspired By Dime YouTube channel and you’ll be notified as soon as a new video is posted.  Then take the time to watch – you’ll learn how to get more out of your embroidery software investment!

Free Updates – June 2017!

If you own Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro, you enjoy free updates forever. Really.  Forever.  Many updates work in the background to keep your software compliant with the latest Windows updates. In addition, some PEP updates include new features.  This month, you’ll find three very handy new features.  When you log on to PEP on Monday, June 5, you’ll be prompted to update your software. It’s not mandatory but it is advisable.

Three of my favorite new features are Projection, Filter and Nap Blocker. Let’s take a look at each one.

Projection morphs a single running outline into unique rows of flowing stitches.  Digitize a curvy line, overlapping here and there to mimic half of a butterfly. 

Select the line.  In the Properties Box, click the arrow next to Standard in the Type field and select Projection.   

Wow – look at what Projection produces!  Beautiful! 

I copied, pasted and mirror imaged the wing.  Then I added antennae and a body. 

It’s easy to change the distance between the rows of stitching. In the Properties Box on the Run, change the Density to produce different results.  The image above was 4.0. A bit more open is 6.0.An exaggerated spacing of 12.0 results is wide open spaces between the rows.

Filter allows you to make quick changes to specific stitch types.  Open a design that includes a variety of stitch types (satin, steil, run, complex fill, etc).  The Owl is from Inspirations’ Elegant Wisdom Collection, design #98627301.  Select the design, right click and select View, Filter. 

A new window pops up with all stitch types.  Place a check mark in the Run box and click OK. 

Now only the run stitches are visible. 

You can make any change you want to these stitches. For now, let’s just change the color to black. 

Select all, right click, View, Show All. 

That was so easy!

What if you want to stitch this owl on terrycloth?  Those run stitches will seep into the texture and disappear.  The Nap Blocker feature adds a layer of stitches behind all other stitches to hold down the nap of textured fabrics.  Select the design, right click, Utility, Create Nap Blocker.

Now the design will sit on a field of stitches whose only job is to smooth the texture of the fabric. The software automatically puts the Nap Blocker segment as the first stitches of the design. Assign a new color to the Nap Blocker, then select a thread to match the fabric. the Nap Blocker stitches will be practically invisible. 

Next Saturday, we’ll delve into to the newly-updated Style feature and explore the Vintage settings in the new Filter feature.  In the meantime, enjoy Projection, Nap Blocker and Filter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Volume 104 Subtle Tees – Leaf Lesson Part 1 of 2 – Software

By Denise Holguin

This is expanded coverage of the Subtle Tees project featured in Volume 104 May/June 2017.

Lesson Highlights:
Copy, paste and rotate designs in embroidery software to suit your needs.


Design:  Leaves & Branches Garland Frame
Company:  Stitchtopia / http://www.stitchtopia.com

I like to let the creative process unfold.  Initially, when I purchased this design I planned on placing a word in between the frame.  But the more I thought about it, I decided to transform the design to a 4-sided frame to showcase a spray painted leaf.

I think the process of creating and transforming is the most enjoyable part of stitching a t-shirt.


Open the Leaves & Branches Garland Frame in Perfect Embroidery Pro or similar design editing software.  I used the 4” frame to accommodate the scale of the shirt and the size of the leaf stencil I will be using.  (This very generous collection includes multiple sizes including:  4”, 5”, 6”, 7”, 8”, 9” and 10”.)

It’s easier to group each row of garland separately before we start rearranging and copying.  To do this, select the top garland.  Right click with the mouse button.  Select Group.  Repeat this step for the bottom garland.  If you choose not to group, it can be a little tricky to select the correct elements that make up a single garland design.

Select the bottom design.  Copy and paste. Slide the design to an empty space.

With the newly copied design still selected, go to the Transform Tab.  Type 270 in the Rotate box and click Apply.

Reposition the design so that it is to the left of the original frames.

Slide the top and bottom garland designs to make room for the new vertical garland.

Select the left garland.  Copy and paste the garland.  Slide it to the right side of the design.

Go to the Transform tab.  Click on Flip horizontal.  Press Apply.

Rearrange the garland designs as needed until you have a pleasing shape.  Once finished, go to Edit / Resequence by color.

Save the design, print a template and send to the embroidery machine.

Vintage, Old School, Retro – Get the Look!

Last week, Sew Much More, Austin, TX, hosted the first Vintage Chic event and wow- it was a hit!  Attendees were fascinated with the look of this trendy embroidery.  Inspirations Education Consultant Ashley Jones repeatedly heard, “Did you embroider your shirt?  Can I do that too?”

Ashley Jones, Inspirations Education Consultant

They were captivated with the new techniques Ashley shared.  The four-hour class went by in a flash.  Ashley freely shared her samples and knowledge so that attendees could go home immediately and have success. She even shared how she used the threads on her serger.

Dime’s Rope 15 wt. polyester thread stitched on a serger!

And how to mix these chunky stitches with prints – like a powerful black and white stripe!

It even pops on prints!

There were so many happy faces in the crowd.

Who said embroidery is a solitary sport?

They couldn’t wait to get started on their own vintage creations.  Attendees exclaimed, “Finally!  I can duplicate this look on my home embroidery machine.”

Ready to get started!

Not only will they have immediate success with these techniques but you’ll two very informative videos on the Inspired by dime YouTube channelOur stitching wizard, Katherine Artines, posted these Vintage introductory videos on Friday.  If you’d like to learn more about the software, click here to watch Katherine’s videos.  While you’re there, subscribe to our YouTube channel so that you get all of the latest information on the Inspirations software line.

Dealers across the country are hosting Vintage Chic events.  Click here to find an event near you!  Join in on the fun because the embroidery rules have been rewritten!

 

The Embroidery Rules Have Been Rewritten

For years, I’ve been making embroidered gifts for two special men in my life. I don’t want to ‘throw anyone under the bus’ so let’s just call them – the boys. The boys are always grateful and charming when accepting these items from the work of my hands.  It’s a lovely moment. I’m touched by their gratitude and they’re touched by my thoughtfulness.  And then….I never see the items again.  I mean, NEVER.  But that’s changed because now I’m using Inspirations newest software – Vintage Embroidery Software – and the boys love the results!  One jacket I created for one of the boys has become a wardrobe staple. I’ve seen him wear it at least once a week. Wow! I’m so impressed with the possibilities this software offers, it’s a real game-changer.

So what’s so different about it?  Well, it’s not traditional embroidery – the rules have been re-written to give the look of yesterday’s hand stitches coupled with today’s digital products and high performance threads.

This software was inspired by what you see in retail stores: big, bold stitches in matte threads on knits, denims, cotton and linen.  The long stitch length and thick threads result in low-stitch count designs making garments so comfortable.  There’s no need for heavy cut-away or fusible stabilizers; just lightweight water solubles or tear-away wash-aways give all the support that’s needed.  Vintage embroidery is fabric-friendly and embroiderer-friendly!  The designs are low stitch count (because the stitches are big and the polyester thread is chunky). And the boys love to wear it because it’s comfortable and mimics what their friends are paying big bucks for.

This t-shirt and hat combo stitched in under 20 minutes – including hooping!  Love that!This backpack stitched in under 8 minutes.  Vintage Embroidery Software takes gift-making to a whole new level.Up until, a home embroiderer couldn’t get this look on an embroidery machine without some serious digitizing skills.

The best part of Vintage Embroidery software is you don’t need digitizing skills. You get to select from over 1500 built-in designs and 18 fonts.  It’s so user-friendly, it even tells you what thread weight to use for each color so you can duplicate the look.   The software gives you tons of editing and conversion tools, it’s quite robust without being overwhelming.

Next week, I’ll show you more and share a link to Katherine Artines how-to video on YouTube.  For now, you can ask your location Inspirations dealer for more information. They received their shipment of the software last week!  And you can attend a Vintage Chic event to learn more about it from one of Inspirations expert embroidery educators.

Click here to find a dealer and here to find an event near you.  In the meantime, take a look at what the software can do to a tired, denim jacket.

 

Fun with Symbols!

The built-in Symbol designs in Inspirations Perfect Embroidery Pro are tiny and intended to be used as border accents.  But you can do so much more with symbols.  Their small stature makes them perfect candidates for stitching fields of flowers, flocks of birds and schools of fish with just a few clicks.

Open a new screen in Perfect Embroidery Pro and click on the Symbol icon. Scroll down through the menu and select the Fish. Click OK. 

In the color sequence window, change the first color to blue, same as the second color.  

Recolor the blue and white to something you’d like. I chose blue and yellow.

Select each color, click on the Command tab in the Properties Box and change the End command to trim from normal. Click Apply. Make sure you do this for all three colors.

If you don’t, you might wind up with a mess like this:

Select the fish, click on the arrow next to the Circle tool and select Scatter.

Change the Area to 100mm x 100mm.  Remove the check in the Auto Rotate box and click Apply because fish in schools all swim in the same direction.

Click Apply again if you’d like a different layout.  These layouts are random so if you see one you like, click OK.

Select the design and Ungroup.  Reposition any fish if you’d like. At this point, there are 162 colors in the design. Yikes!  That’s a nightmare but an easy fix. Select all of the fish, go to Edit and select Resequence by Color.

The design is now three colors but it appears the needle will be jumping all over the hoop. 

No worries.  Go to File, Optimize Sequence. 

Now the design will stitch logically and your one fish has multiplied into a whole school!

Volume 103 It Started with a Quilt Block – Signpost Lesson

It Started with a Quilt Block was featured in the March/April 2017 issue of Designs in Machine Embroidery magazine. Since space is limited on the printed page, you’ll find the details for creating the quilt’s sign post.

Experiment by using your favorite quote or saying for your own signpost.  Dime’s Patch Attach was used to fuse the final sample to the quilt.

Inspirations’ Word Art in Stitches and Perfect Embroidery Pro software programs pack a powerful punch when you have both installed on your computer.  If you do, the Word Art in Stitches features are available WITHIN the Perfect Embroidery Pro software. You don’t have to open both software programs!  Duplicate these steps to create your signpost.


Step 1.  Make the Frame
Open Perfect Embroidery Pro.  On the right side of the screen, click on the Bubble Text icon from Word Art in Stitches.

The window below will open.  Click on the three dots to view the catalog.

Click on Objects / Borders.  Select Borders-10.

Do not type any text in the Words field.  Don’t worry about the size.  The size will be adjusted later.  Click OK.

The frame will appear on the screen.

Select the frame.  Click on the Transform tab on the right side of the screen.  Make sure the “Maintain aspect ratio” button is selected.  Change the frame size to 5 inches  Click OK.

 

With the frame still selected, right click and select Convert To / Applique

In the Properties – Applique box, select “Change Colors.”  Click Apply to update the design.

Repeat Step 1 to add a second frame inside the outer frame. I made the inside frame 4.4” x 3.15”.

Once you’ve completed the inner frame, your design should look similar to the image below.

Change the color of the second frame (any color) to make it easier to maneuver.

Step 2.  Express yourself with a fun message!

Select the Text icon at the top toolbar.

Type:

“Let your” <press Enter key>

“ideas take” <press Enter key>

“shape!” <press Enter key>

Select the Arial font.  Resize to:  3.5” width.  Change the Line spacing to 100 percent.  This will add space between each row of text.  Click Apply when finished.

Center the text on the frame.

I wanted to add emphasis to the words “ideas” and “shape” by using a different thread color.  I can stop the machine before it stitches those words.  Then switch the thread color. But that’s a hassle and I’m easily distracted.  Or I can use the “Break Up Text” feature. Breaking up the text transforms the text data into stitches. All editing will then be done on each individual stitch (or letter if you group them) instead of the entire text word or phrase. It’s best to edit the text (envelopes, spacing, etc) before applying Break Up Text.   Note: It’s wise to save the design in its original version before applying Break Up Text.   Make your changes and save the new version under a new name.

Select the text.  Right click.  Select Break Up Text.

Each letter is a design – not text.

Select the appropriate letters for “ideas” and “shape!”

At the bottom of the screen, right click to add another thread color.

Right click on the Yellow to make the selection yellow.

Your design will look similar to the sample below.  Don’t worry about the colors – you have the freedom to select any thread colors once you’re at the machine.  😉

Double check the stitching sequence is correct.  Save the design and send to the embroidery machine.


Step 3.  Stitching the Sign

Hoop Water Soluble Stabilizer in a 5” x 7” hoop.  Stitch the first thread color—the placement stitch.  Place the wood grain fabric down.  Stitch Color 2, the tack down stitch.  Remove the hoop but do not unhoop the project.  Trim the excess fabric.

Return the hoop to the embroidery machine.  Stitch Color 3, the satin stitching around the outer frame.  Stitch Color 4, the placement stitch for the inner frame.

Continue the process to stitch the inner frame.

The finished sign should look similar to the sample:

Trim away the water soluble stabilizer leaving about a quarter inch all the way around the design.  Soak the design until the water soluble stabilizer dissolves.  Let the frame dry completely.  Iron the frame flat.

Audition the sign on your quilt.  Measure the distance to the grass to determine how long a strip to make for the signpost.  I cut my signpost 6 1/2″ tall by 1 inch wide.  I folded the fabric 1/4″ lengthwise on both sides to create a clean edge.  I ironed it flat for perfect creases.

I ironed Patch Attach permanent adhesive to the sign and the post then I ironed them on to the quilt.


Additional Ideas:

  • Use this method to add labels to the back of your quilt.
  • Word Art in Stitches has a variety of shapes – not just frames.  Experiment with animal shapes, food or people!  

Double or Triple Your Library of Embroidery Designs

Don’t you hate it when you feel frustrated with a design? It’s not tall enough, or curved enough or skinny enough to fit in a certain shape?  (Yikes, sounds like we’re shopping for bathing suits!)  Back to the subject at hand.  When you have a design that won’t fit into the space you need to fill, that’s where software comes in.  Even if you don’t digitize, you can most certainly manipulate designs to get the look you need. All you need is embroidery software with robust editing features.

I use Inspirations Perfect Embroidery Pro for 90% of the embroidery digitizing and editing I do every day.   Recently, I wanted to place a delicate design along the neckline of a onesie. That’s a small area and because it’s so small, its curve is quite defined.   I selected a design from Perfect Embroidery Pro’s Monogram catalog. If you’d like to follow along, here’s how to do it. Click on the Monogram catalog.

2

Click on the Monogram catalog icon and select Mon10683.3

Select and Ungroup the design (right mouse click or use the Ungroup icon on the tool bar). Select the branch on the right.4

Copy and paste the branch. Move it to the upper right, connecting the bottom scroll to the original branch.5

Let’s close the space at the top between the original branch and the new one. Zoom in to get a magnified view. Select the Shape Tool and move the last two black dots to expose the blue squares underneath (the points).6

Select and pull the blue squares down to the original branch.7

Position the black dots back on top of the blue squares, this sets the direction of the satin stitches.8

Hit Enter on the keyboard to extend the satin stitches.9

Select the new branch, copy, paste and mirror image the section. Move it to the opposite side.10

Voila! A perfectly shaped design for a child’s neckline.11Isn’t that fun? With a bit of experimentation, you can transform any design into a new shape.  You can double or triple your stash with just a few clicks.

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!

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