Archive of ‘Software Saturday’ category

Resizing the January Door for 5″ x 7″ Hoops

During Thursday’s Facebook Live session, several viewers expressed an interest in making the January Door in a 5” x 7” hoop. I mentioned you can resize the design to fit your hoop. If you do not have embroidery software, you can download our free embroidery software, Embroidery Tool Shed, just click here

Embroidery Tool Shed allows you to resize (and recalculate the number of stitches), copy, paste, mirror image and more.  Once you download and install the software, click the Embroidery Tool Shed icon on your desktop, and click on Open a Design.  Locate the January Door design, select the .C2S version and click Open.

Click on the Select tool. The Select tool is a red arrow, circled in green below.  Select the design by holding down the left mouse button and dragging the cursor over the design.  You will know it is selected when the design is all blue with a boundary box around it.

To resize, click on the Transform tab in the Properties Box.

Change the height to 7”.  Since there is a check mark in the Maintain aspect ratio, the software automatically resizes the entire design keeping the original proportions.  You’ll also notice there is a check mark in the Regenerate stitches box, that ensures stitches are removed when a design is shrunk and added when a design is enlarged.  Always keep that box checked. Click Apply.

The design now measures 4.30” x 7.01”.  The size is displayed at the top of the screen.

If you want to completely fill your 5” x 7” hoop, you will lose the original proportion. Follow the next steps to see the results. It’s best to start with the original 6” x 10” file.  Go to File, Open and locate the original January Door.c2s file.

Select the design, remove the check mark from Maintain aspect ration box and enter 5” in the width box and 7” in the height. Click Apply.

The design will fill the hoop but be a bit wider than the original.  If you like it, use it! Regardless of the size you choose, go to File, Save As and save the newly-sized January Door as JD_Small in the appropriate format for your machine.  Send the design to your machine and you’re ready to stitch!

Before you move to the machine, I suggest getting familiar with this handy, free software. – you’ll find many uses for it.  Just click on the shopping cart in the lower right corner of the screen (red arrow below) and click on the ellipse next to Embroidery Tool Shed (green arrow below).  You’ll be taken to 10 tutorial videos on YouTube by Inspiration’s Educational Consultant Ashley Jones.  Watch each one to learn how to get the most out of Embroidery Tool Shed.

 

 

 

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.

Block of the Month – Block 12

Block 12 – Star Block Instructions

We’re up to Block 12 in the Block of the Month series from the July/August issue of Designs in Machine Embroidery.  You’ll find everything you need for Block 12, video instructions, step-by-step instructions and all download files.  Enjoy!

If you prefer watching the video directly on YouTube, click here.

Download the files for block ten here: Block 12

Materials Needed – for 1 block

Base Block 9” square – muslin or No Show Mesh

Back Block – 9” square

Front – all cut parts from MBP

Warm and Natural or White Batting – 7 7/8” square

Block 12

1 – Back Block

2 – Bottom Base Muslin

3 – Top Base No Show Mesh

4 – Batting

5 – Background

6 – Corner

7 – Star Points

LOADING THE MONSTER BLOCK MAKER

Follow the directions included with the purchase of Monster Block Maker to apply the Maker to a 200mm x 200mm Baby Lock/Brother Snap Hoop Monster.

 

Place the muslin flat on the work surface. Center the Monster Block Maker on the muslin.

Insert the batting into the opening of
the Maker. Place the Top base No Show Mesh over the batting.

 

Working from the center out, firmly
press the No Show Mesh (top) and muslin (bottom) onto the adhesive tape on
 the edges of the Maker.

 

Attach the hoop to the machine.

 

STITCHING THE BLOCK

Stitch color #1, the block layout.  Place glue at fabric #1 as shown in blue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place fabric #1, right side up,
aligning the fabric edge with the stitched outline. Stitch color #2, the
tackdown. Place glue at the seam for fabric #2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place fabric #2, right side down, aligning the raw edges and stitch color #3, the seam.  Place glue at fabric #2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flip fabric #2 open and finger press
the seam. Smooth the fabric and stitch color #4, the tackdown. Place glue at
the seam for fabric #3.

 

 

Place fabric #3, right side down, and
stitch color #5, the seam. Place glue at fabric #3.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flip fabric #3 open and finger press
the seam.  Smooth the fabric and stitch color #6, the tackdown. Place glue at the seam of fabric #4.

 

 

 

 

 

Place fabric #4, right side down, and
stitch color #7, the seam. Place glue at fabric #4.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flip fabric #4 open and finger press
the seam. Smooth the fabric and stitch color #8, the tackdown. Place glue at
the seam for fabric #5.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place fabric #5, right side down, and
stitch color #9. Place glue at fabric #5.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flip open fabric #5 and finger press
the seam. Smooth the fabric and stitch color #10. Place glue at the seam for
fabric #6.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place fabric #6, right side down, and
stitch color #11. Place glue at fabric #6.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flip open fabric #6 and finger press
the seam. Smooth the fabric and stitch color #12.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BLOCK EMBELLISHMENT

Stitch colors #14, 15 and 16 – the
embellishments

Congratulations, your Star Block is complete!

 

 

 

Splitting Designs

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. 

I added the bold yellow line to the photograph to make the stitched line more visible. In reality, a single line of running stitches is underneath the drawn yellow line.

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!

A Very Cool Tool

Wouldn’t you agree the planning process is the most time-consuming and challenging part of machine embroidery?  Well, you’re not alone.  One of our team members thought previewing a design on fabric would streamline the planning process and after several months of development, we now have a way to do that.  Check out this cool new tool.

The Maximum View Projector, or MVP, is your solution for intricate design placement. The MVP comes with MVP software that converts any embroidery design into an image – sized perfectly – to audition on your fabric.

It’s so easy to use.  Let’s take a look at the process.  Download and install the software. Attach the projector to a work surface with the included clamp.  Measure the projector’s image area which will be up to 14″. Enter the measurements into the software.

Load the embroidery design (any format).  Then save the design in Color, Silhouette Positive or Silhouette Negative.

Save the image(s) to a USB stick and insert it into the projector.  Use the remote (included) to view the images. Slide your fabric under the image, moving the hooped fabric until you are satisfied with the placement of the embroidery.

The leaves and stem are printed features of the fabric while the flower is the image of the design. Notice the 3-d embroidered flower in the finished block above.

 

Align a Target Sticker (included) with the image’s crosshair.  Attach the hoop to the machine and center your needle over the Target Sticker.  It’s just like using a template without the hassle of a printer.  You can watch a video demonstration here.

I’m sure this will be a hot topic during our Wednesday, June 26 Facebook Live session at 1:00 CST.  Not only will I take questions on the MVP but I have a very special guest joining me – Christine Conner of Amelie Scott Designs and author of Edge to Edge Quilting.  Christine is helping me wrap up Hoopapalooza month as she’ll be sharing tips for edge to edge plus custom quilting.  I can’t wait to hear what she has in store!

Please follow us on Facebook to get a reminder for our Live session.  See you on Wednesday!  https://www.facebook.com/DesignsInMachineEmbroidery/

Look Closely…

Did you know there’s a speedy auto sizing feature in all Inspirations software programs?  It’s practically hidden but once you know how to find it, you’ll make it a habit to use all the time.

Open a design in any Inspirations software program such as Perfect Embroidery Pro, My Quilt Embellisher, My Block Piecer, Word Art in Stitches and more.  Click on the Hoop icon (on the left tool bar).

Click on the hoop you want to use from the drop down menu.  Use the scroll bar on the right to see all the hoop options.

The design appears centered in the hoop but it’s much larger than the hoop I intend to use.

Click on the arrow under the Hoop icon and select Auto Fit.

Instantly, the design is resized to fit in that hoop! Of course, the stitches have been recalculated so there’s no worry about the design being too dense due to resizing.

Auto Fit is such a time saver!  The feature evens provides a little wiggle room so you don’t have to struggle during the hooping process.

Speaking of hooping, it’s HOOPAPALOOZA at DIME this week!  If you’ve had a Snap Hoop Monster on your wish list, this is the time to take advantage of our low price, free shipping and gift with purchase.  You can learn more here. 

Join me on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 1:00 PM CST on Facebook Live. Marie Zinno, my Stitching Sister and co-author of Hoop It Up will be joining me in the studio. We’ll share our Top Ten Tips for Hooping. Follow us on Facebook to get a reminder here https://www.facebook.com/DesignsInMachineEmbroidery/

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