Archive of ‘Software Saturday’ category

Blue is the Winner!

Earlier this week, I tallied your votes on your favorite of three pillows. Here’s the rundown:

40 picked blue

22 selected pink

4 went for green

I agree, I think blue pillow is splendid.  I love the designs and the color.  Here’s how I made the layout in Inspiration’s Vintage Embroidery software.

Open a new file and click on the Vintage design icon (circled in purple above). Select the Abstract folder and the Abs_0024_Icon_ design.  Click Ok.  Copy, paste and mirror the design.

Select both designs, copy, paste and mirror vertically.Now, tweak the position of the designs to even the spacing.

Select the Vintage designs icon again to add the center design, ABS_0011_Icon_D.

Change the color to blue and move it to the center of the four designs. Select all four designs, right click and select Group from the drop down menu.

On the keyboard, select all (CTRL A), right click and select Align, Center.  

That’s it!  Now the real fun begins: the embroidery and the hunt for the perfect trim!

What’s Your Favorite?

Just a quick blog post today since I’m buried in new projects.  I’ve been working in Inspirations’ Vintage Embroidery Software and designed three different groupings.  One is supposed to be a pillow but I’m having trouble deciding which one.  I need your help but first, a little background on these on-trend stitches.

Vintage Embroidery software has hundreds of built-in designs that have been digitized to give an old world charm to your embroidery.  The designs require a mixture of 15 wt. polyester and 40 wt. polyester thread. This unique combo gives a high-end retail look to your stitches.  They’re so much fun to stitch because the designs are all low-stitch count designs in a minimum of colors so they stitch quick.  With my busy schedule, I’m always looking for fast and easy with big results.  Vintage fits that bill.

Before I proceed any further on this project, I thought I’d ask you – my fellow expert embroiderers – what’s your favorite grouping?  Do you like the pink Vintage design Abs_0213_Ornamental_D?

 

The green Vintage design Abs_0259_Icon_D?

 

Or the blue Vintage design Abs_0024_Icon_D.?

 

Sometimes, I fall in love with all the samples and then, well, pillows become quilts. So help me stay on track and select one.  Your vote counts!

Instant Applique

Make an applique design in an instant in Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro (PEP) or My Quilt Embellisher. Start with a fabric that features a simple shape, like a leaf.  Take a close up photo of the fabric with a ruler in the image and load it as a backdrop in PEP.  Click on the arrow under the backdrop symbol to open the backdrop tools.  Define the Horizon by dragging the mouse across a straight part of the fabric, shown here by the orange line.

Then, define the scale. Drag the mouse 1″ along the ruler and then enter 1″ into the menu that appears.

Now, use the Pen tool to trace around the leaf.

Select the artwork, right click and convert to Applique.

Add some more details with the pen tool. 

And there you have it – so easy in Perfect Embroidery Pro.

Lettering Like the Pros

If you want to get lettering like the pros, you need software that gives you multiple font options, the ability to kern letters, change line spacing, density and column widths.  Inspirations Perfect Embroidery Pro most certainly answers that call.

But if you want to put a stylized effect on your lettering with just a few clicks and instead of getting a master’s degree in digitizing (oh, I wish there was such a thing!), then Inspirations Word Art in Stitches is your answer.

Let’s look at the popular golf brand, Titleist.  Their logo is a simple, classy script but it’s enhanced by the addition of embroidery foam under the stitches.  If you visit their website, https://www.titleist.com/golf-gear/golf-headwear you’ll notice how all of Titleist’s catalog images are shot from an angle to highlight the dimension of the embroidered logo.  That adds serious wow factor to a traditional cap and sport!

In Word Art & Stitches, dimensional text is just a click away.  Whatch how easy it is. Select the Puffy text tool.

Type the word in the message box and boom – there’s your dimensional text.

This is such a popular technique that we teach it in our Stitch Lab events and everyone masters puffy text on their first try.

After teaching how to make it in the software, students learn how to stabilize and stitch the lettering on a pet bandana.  Everyone of those pet bandanas are sent to a local animal shelter.  Talk about a win-win!  Students learn and the shelter gains a customized bandana for their adoption days.

Check the calendar at InspiredbyDime.com https://www.inspiredbydime.com/inspiration-socials/  to see if a Stitch Lab is coming to your area.  You can fill out the form on that page to be notified when one is coming up in your region.  Hope to see you there!

 

 

 

Satin Frames in Seconds

A simple way to transform a shape into a satin frame in Inspirations Perfect Embroidery Pro is to use the Create Outline tool.

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:

 

The satin stitches fill the star instead of outlining the star. 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.

 

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

 

My Block Piecer Block of the Month: Block 8 – Butterfly Tail – Software Instructions

My Block Piecer
Block of the Month: Block 8 Butterfly Tail
Software Instructions
By Nancy Stansbury

This ongoing Block of the Month series was designed to inspire you to learn new techniques using My Block Piecer.  As a reminder, the first Saturday of every month will feature the software lesson using My Block Piecer.  The following Wednesday will feature the sewing lesson.

  • You are free to adapt the block to a size of your preference.
  • A free trial of My Block Piecer is available if you’d like to try it before you buy it.  Note the “Save” feature is deactivated until the software is purchased.
  • Interested in learning more about My Block Piecer and other Inspirations Software?  Join us at an Inspirations Event.  Click the Events link for events near you.
  • If you’re late to the Block of the Month “party” have no fear!  Start with Block 8.

Let’s continue the journey of learning and creativity!


  1. Open MBP.
  2. Click on Create a New Design.
  3. If the units for the ruler on the design page show mm, Right Click on either one of the rulers on the Design Page, and Click on Inches.
  4. Right Click on either ruler again and click on Grid Settings.
    1. Check marks by:
      1. Maintain aspect ratio.
      2. Snap to grid.
    2. Set Horizontal spacing to 0.25.
    3. Click OK.
  5. Click on the Block Icon.
    1. Enter Butterfly Tail in the Find box at the bottom of the window (DO NOT CLICK THE ENTER KEY).
    2. Click on the Down green arrow.
    3. Click OK to place the block on the design page.
  6. In the Properties Window on the right side of the screen click on the Transform icon.
    1. Have Maintain aspect ratio checked.
    2. Change the Width to 6.
    3. Click Apply.
  7. Click on the Reorder icon.
    1. There are three separate patch groups in this block. See the illustration that follows for the numbering order. The block is numbered in this order so the seams will nest when sewn.NOTE: When numbering the pieces of the block, keep in mind that this is a sew and flip method of piecing, so each patch can only have a single straight seam joining it to a previous patch/patches.
    2. Right Click to end the numbering. The numbers will disappear but the numbering is still there.
  8. Click on the Select icon, and and draw a box around the top row of the block.
  9. Click on the Workflow icon.
    1. Select a 200mm x 200 mm hoop or similar for your machine.
    2. Click the Auto Build button. This portion has been created with only one unit.
  10. Click Preview.
  11. Click Save.
    1. Click on Create a New Folder icon and name Block 8.
    2. Double Click on the folder to open it.
    3. In the File name box enter Butterfly_TailA.
    4. Save as type select Inspiration Series (C2S).
    5. Click Save.
    6. A window will open showing you the files that have been created.
      1. Butterfly_TailA_001.c2s.
      2. Butterfly_TailA _artwork.c2s.
      3. Butterfly_TailA _preview.pdf.
    7. Close the file window.
    8. Close the Save window.
  12. Click on the Select icon, and draw a box around the middle row of the block.
  13. Click on the Workflow icon.
    1. The numbers have been changed to 1-4.
  14. Click the Auto Build button.
  15. Click Preview.
  16. Click Save.
    1. In the File name box enter Butterfly_TailB.
    2. Save as type select Inspiration Series (C2S).
    3. Click Save.
    4. A window will open showing you the files that have been created.
      1. Butterfly_TailB_001.c2s.
      2. Butterfly_TailB _artwork.c2s.
      3. Butterfly_TailB _preview.pdf.
    5. Close the file window.
    6. Close the Save window.
  17. Click on the Select icon, and draw a box around the bottom row of the block.
  18. Click on the Workflow icon.
    1. The numbers have changed to 1-4.
  19. Click the Auto Build button.
  20. The build has more than one unit, so it has to be created manually.
    1. Right Click on one of the numbers in the right pane and Click on Reset.
    2. Holding down the CTRL Key, Click on the 1 and 2.
    3. Right Click and Group.
    4. Holding down the CTRL Key, Click on unit and 3.
    5. Right click and group.
    6. DO NOT CLICK AND GROUP THE LAST NUMBER.
  21. Click Preview.
  22. Click Save.
    1. In the File name box enter Butterfly_TailC.
    2. Save as type select Inspiration Series (C2S).
    3. Click Save.
    4. A window will open showing you the files that have been created.
      1. Butterfly_TailC_001.c2s.
      2. Butterfly_TailC _artwork.c2s.
      3. Butterfly_TailC _preview.pdf.
    5. Close the file window.
    6. Close the Save window.
  23. Click the Select icon and draw a box around the entire block, OR Enter CTRL-A to select all of the block.
  24. Click the Cutter icon.
    1. Seam allowance default is .25”. Normally I change this to 0.4” or 0.5”, to make it easier to place the fabric pieces no matter which output format I choose.
    2. How you are going create the fabric pieces for the block, will determine which file format (hoop) to choose for the templates.
      1. If going to print the templates, and use them to manually cut the fabric pieces, select the Paper Letter 210×279.
      2. If going to use the Scan and Cut, select Brother SCN 12x12”.
      3. If going to use the Silhouette, select Silhouette 12x12”.
      4. If making the large quilt, place a 4 in the repeat field.
    3. Can Unclick Optimize Orientation if using a directional fabric (This will optimize how the pieces file on the paper.
    4. Click Apply.
    5. Click Save.
      1. In File name enter Butterfly_Tail Templates.
      2. Select the appropriate format if using a digital cutter. Click Save.
      3. The Following Files have been created.
        1. Butterfly_Tail templates.
        2. Butterfly_Tail templates_preview.pdf.
      4. Close the files window.
      5. Close the Cutter window.
  25. Click on Create a New Design.Note: When using the Merge to open a file, SAVE is actually a SAVE AS and the original file is not overwritten.
  26. If saving all three sections together, go to Step 32.
  27. Click on the Hoop Icon and select the 200mmx260mm or similar for your machine.
  28. Click File, Merge.
    1. Locate the file Butterfly_TailA_001.c2s.
    2. To open Double Click on the name OR Click on the name and Click Open.
  29. Click File, Save As.
    1. In the name field enter Butterfly_TailA.
    2. In the Save as Type select the format for your specific embroidery machine.
    3. Click Save.
  30. Repeat Steps 25-29 for each of the other two embroideries, changing their names so they don’t write over the previous one.
  31. Go to Step 41.
  32. Click on the Hoop Icon and select the 200mmx260mm or similar for your machine.
  33. Click File, Merge.
    1. Locate the file Butterfly_TailA_001.c2s.
    2. To open Double Click on the name OR Click on the name and Click Open.
    3. Move to the top of hoop.
  34. Click File, Merge.
    1. Locate the file Butterfly_TailB_001.c2s.
    2. To open Double Click on the name OR Click on the name and Click Open.
    3. Move to the middle of hoop.
  35. Click File, Merge.
    1. Locate the file Butterfly_TailC_001.c2s.
    2. To open Double Click on the name OR Click on the name and Click Open.
    3. Move to the bottom of hoop.
  36. Select all by both clicking the select icon and drawing a box around all of the designs, or CTRL-A.
  37. Click the Ungroup icon.
  38. To save time at the machine, move all placement guides to the first color. In the Sequence window,click on the icon for the second stitch placement guide and move it below the first sequence.
  39. Repeat for the third stitch placement guide.
  40. Click File, Save As.
    1. In the name field enter Butterfly_Tail.
    2. In the Save as Type Select the format for your specific embroidery machine.
    3. Click Save.
  41. Print the templates, or prepare your fabric and send the templates to your cutter.
  42. Load each design/designs onto your machine and stitch the pieces of the block.
  43. Manually sew the three sections together for finish the block.

 

 

 

Make Sketch Fonts

Spotted on garments, chalkboards, wood signs and even glassware, open, airy fonts are the rage. It’s easy to get the same look if you have Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro.  Follow along and you’ll be stitching this look in no time.

Open a new screen in Perfect Embroidery Pro (PEP).  Go to File, Import TT (True Type Fonts).

Select a script font from any true type font installed on your computer. Write the message in the text field and place 500 in the size field. Click OK.

The text appears on the screen.  To produce the best stitch file, meld the connecting elements.  Select the o and v, right click, Shaping and Meld.

See how the o and v are one continuous line and do not overlap like the v and the e? 

That’s the looks you’re going for.  At this time, the ov is one unit and the e is a separate element.

Select the ov and e, right click, Shaping and Meld.

Select all, right click, Convert to Complex Fill.

With Love selected, change the Fill Type in the Properties Box to Contour. Click Apply.  Change the density to 1.0 and the stitch length to 2.6. And there’s your sketchy font!

I just learned this trick from one of our education consultants, Tina Bartelmay.  Tina is an embroidery whiz – she uses PEP everyday – evident in her awesome samples!  Catch her at upcoming DIME event at a dealer near you.  Click here to learn more about Tina.

Thanks for sharing this great tip, Tina!

Training Room Christening!

I almost forgot to post today because I’ve been busy getting ready for the arrival of the Inspirations Educational Consultants.  Monday is the first day of hands-on training in our brand, new conference room and everyone at DIME couldn’t be more excited to welcome our education team.

They will learn new techniques, try out new products and hone their embroidery skills during this three-day summit. And then – bring all of those fresh ideas to your local sewing machine retailer. For the first time, we’re rolling out 2-day hands-on events, so look for an upcoming DIME event in your area.  

In fact, I’m personally kicking off the hands-on events at Quilt Beginnings in Dublin, OH on August 10-11 with Inspirations consultant Ashley Jones.  The 2-day hands -on event, Stitch Lab, sold out so Quilt Beginnings is now moving the event to a larger venue.  There are still a few seats left but you better hurry – visit http://www.quiltbeginnings.com to learn more.

I’m hoping my Stitching Sister will make a special guest appearance – after all, the event is in Ohio! As of now, she has a scheduling conflict but one can always hope!

The winner of last week’s drawing is Susan Clark.  Susan wrote that vanilla is her favorite ice cream flavor.  Can’t go wrong with vanilla! Congratulations Susan! We’ll send you a copy of Stipple! Sprinkles this week. Enjoy!

 

What’s Your Favorite Flavor?

A few weeks ago, I shared some tips on digitizing circles in Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro.  You can read how to digitize round circles, not oval by clicking here.  In that post, I showed a couple of tight shots of a work in progress.  Now I can show you the whole project – Stipple! Sprinkles since it’s available now with free shipping.

I had so much fun designing this quilt. It brought back many happy childhood memories. Growing up in a seashore resort, we had many ice cream choices in the summer months.  Our little 5-mile long island in South Jersey was sprinkled with ice cream stores – from the north to the south and the beach to the bay. 

My mom would fill her station wagon with whatever daughters, (there were six of us), cousins and friends were in the house. Of course, this was before, ahem, seat belts! You really could load eight or more small children in a station wagon – we survived.

She would take us to her favorite spot – Titleman’s Ice Cream – and let us order whatever our hearts desired.  To a child, it was a huge treat – the menu board offered so many choices.  And it was fun to read it aloud to the younger siblings who didn’t read yet. I can still see the yellow neon lights of the stand and Mr. Titleman’s gleaming white work pants and t-shirt.  He worked hard – making fresh ice cream every day.

Today, when I scoop ice cream, I think of those summer days. I think of the joy a scoop of ice cream can bring to a child’s face.  I also think of how sharing ice cream makes you feel. There’s something unifying about sitting across a table and enjoying a cold, creamy treat.  It’s different than sharing a meal – the formality melts away – it’s just shear pleasure. And it’s brief – it only lasts a little while.  Whether you are licking a cone or scooping a dish, ice cream brings smiles.

You can imagine the fun I had while I was digitizing this new collection.  My first thought was to make the quilt on blue fabric.  Blue is always a winner in my book but i was disappointed at the first couple of blocks.

So I switched gears and picked out some yummy fabrics for the appliques and a plain white background.  After surveying my selections, it dawned on me that I should ‘sprinkle’ color on the white background. That’s when the embroidered sprinkles were born! Adding the embroidered sprinkles to the white fabric was the key to success- it let me match my thread to my fabric colors.

Today, I’m more of a chocolate chip fan. How about you, what’s your favorite flavor? Are you a vanilla, strawberry, butter pecan or rocky road fan?  Or maybe you love gelato?  Possibly you like sherbet like I did when I was a child.  Share your favorite flavor and you could win a copy of Stipple Sprinkles!

My Block Piecer Block of the Month: Block 7 – 9 Patch Star Software Instructions

 
  1. My Block Piecer
    Block of the Month : Block 7 – 9 Patch Star
    Software Instructions
    By Nancy Stansbury

This ongoing Block of the Month series was designed to inspire you to learn new techniques using My Block Piecer.  As a reminder, the first Saturday of every month will feature the software lesson using My Block Piecer.  The following Wednesday will feature the sewing lesson.

  • You are free to adapt the block to a size of your preference.
  • A free trial of My Block Piecer is available if you’d like to try it before you buy it.  Note the “Save” feature is deactivated until the software is purchased.
  • Interested in learning more about My Block Piecer and other Inspirations Software?  Join us at an Inspirations Event.  Click the Events link for events near you.
  • If you’re late to the Block of the Month “party” have no fear!  Start with Block 7.

Let’s continue the journey of learning and creativity!


    1. Open MBP.
    2. Click on Create a New Design.

    1. If the units for the ruler on the design page show mm, Right Click on either one of the rulers on the Design Page, and Click on Inches.
    2. Right Click on either ruler again and click on Grid Settings.
      1. Check marks by:
        1. Maintain aspect ratio
        2. Snap to grid.
      2. Set Horizontal spacing to 0.25.
      3. Click OK.
    3. Click on the Block Icon.
      1. Enter 9_Patch_Star in the Find box at the bottom of the window (DO NOT CLICK THE ENTER KEY).
      2. Click on the Down green arrow.
      3. Click OK to place the block on the design page.
    4. In the Properties Window on the right side of the screen click on the Transform icon.
      1. Have Maintain aspect ratio checked.
      2. Change the Width to 6.
      3. Click Apply.
    5. Click on the Reorder icon.
      1. Number the patches in the block. Look at the diagram below for the numbering sequence.NOTE: Also notice that the first row is numbered from left to right and the second from right to left. This was done so the seams will nest when sewn together. Third row is same as the first with only colors in different positions so it does not need to be numbered.NOTE: When numbering the pieces of the block, keep in mind that this is a sew and flip method of piecing, so each patch can only have a single straight seam joining it to a previous patch/patches.
      2. Right Click to end the numbering. The numbers will disappear but the numbering is still there.
    6. Click on the Select icon and draw a box around patches 1 through 4 (top row).
    7. Click on the Workflow icon.
      1. Select a 200mm x 200 mm hoop or similar for your machine.
      2. Click the Auto Build button. If the right window looks like this, the block was created with one unit, go to Step 8.
      3. Right Click in the window on the right side (with the numbers) and Click Reset.
      4. Holding down the CTRL Key, Click on the 1 and 2.
      5. Right Click and Group.
      6. Holding down the CTRL Key, Click on unit and 3.
      7. Right click and group.
      8. DO NOT CLICK AND GROUP THE LAST NUMBER.
    8. Click Preview.
    9. Click Save.
      1. Click on Create a New Folder icon and name it Block 7.
      2. Double Click on the folder to open it.
      3. In the File name box enter 9_Patch_StarA.
      4. Save as type select Inspiration Series (C2S).
      5. Click Save.
      6. A window will open showing you the files that have been created.
        1. 9_Patch_StarA_001.c2s.
        2. 9_Patch_StarA _artwork.c2s.
        3. 9_Patch_StarA _preview.pdf.
      7. Close the file window.
      8. Close the Save window.
    10. Click on the Select icon and draw a box around the middle row.
    11. Click on the Workflow icon.
      1. The numbers have been changed to 1-5.
      2. Select a 200mm x 200 mm hoop or similar for your machine.
      3. Click the Auto Build button. If there is only one unit, go to Step 12.
      4. Right Click in the window on the right side and Click Reset.
      5. Holding down the CTRL Key, Click on the 1 and 2.
      6. Right Click and Group.
      7. Holding down the CTRL Key, Click on unit and 3.
      8. Right click and group.
      9. Holding down the CTRL Key, Click on unit and 4.
      10. Right click and group.
      11. DO NOT CLICK AND GROUP THE LAST NUMBER.
    12. Click Preview.
    13. Click Save.
      1. In the File name box enter 9_Patch_StarB.
      2. Save as type select Inspiration Series (C2S).
      3. Click Save.
      4. A window will open showing you the files that have been created.
        1. 9_Patch_StarB_001.c2s.
        2. 9_Patch_StarB _artwork.c2s.
        3. 9_Patch_StarB _preview.pdf.
      5. Close the file window.
      6. Close the Save window.
    14. Click the Select icon and draw a box around the entire block, OR Enter CTRL-A to select all of the block.
    15. Click the Cutter icon.
      1. Seam allowance default is .25”. Normally I change this to 0.4” or 0.5”, to make it easier to place the fabric pieces no matter which output format I choose.
      2. How you are going create the fabric pieces for the block, will determine which file format (hoop) to choose for the templates.
        1. If going to print the templates, and use them to manually cut the fabric pieces, select the Paper Letter 210×279.
        2. If going to use the Scan and Cut, select Brother SCN 12x12”.
        3. If going to use the Silhouette, select Silhouette 12x12”. When using digital cutters, add a 4 in the repeat box if making four blocks for the large quilt.
      3. Can Unclick Optimize Orientation if using a directional fabric (This will optimize how the pieces file on the paper.
      4. Click Apply.
      5. Select the appropriate format for your cutting method and Click Save.
        1. In File name enter 9_Patch_Star Templates.
        2. Click Save.
        3. The Following Files have been created.
          1. 9_Patch_Star templates.pdf
          2. 9_Patch_Star templates_preview.pdf.
      6. Close the files window.
      7. Close the Cutter window.
    16. Click on New Design.Note: When using the Merge to open a file, SAVE is actually a SAVE AS and the original file is not overwritten.Note: If desired the embroideries can be saved in a specific format individually or they can be combined into one file.OPTION 1: Save each design individually.
    17. Click on the Hoop Icon and select 200mm x 260mmhoop or similar.
    18. For each of the two embroideries, Click File, Merge.
      1. Locate the file 9_Patch_StarA.c2s or 9_Patch_StarB.
      2. To open Double Click on the name OR Click on the name and Click Open.
      3. Click Save.
      4. In the Name field, Enter 9_Patch_StarA OR Star_B.
      5. In the Save as type select the format for your machine.
      6. Save.
      7. Go to Step 24.

OPTION 2: Save entire block in one hoop.

  1. Click on the Hoop icon and select a Hoop size to 200mmx260mm or similar size.
  2. Click File, Merge.
    1. Locate the file 9_Patch_StarA.c2s.
    2. To open Double Click on the name OR Click on the name and Click Open.
    3. Move it to the top part of the hoop.
    4. Copy, Paste.
    5. Move embroidery to the bottom part of the hoop.
  3. Click File, Merge.
    1. Locate the file 9_Patch_StarB.c2s.
    2. Move to center of hoop.
  4. To save time at the machine, stitch all placement guides in the first color.
    1. Select all.
    2. Ungroup.
    3. In the Sequence window move each of the other two placement stitches below the first one.
  5. Click Save.
    1. In the Name Field enter 9_Patch_Star.
    2. In Save as Type select the format for your specific machine.
    3. Click Save.
  6. Print the templates, or prepare your fabric and send the templates to your cutter.
  7. Load the design/designs into your machine create the 3 pieces for the block. Remembering on the bottom to reverse the two triangles.
  8. Sew the 3 sections together manually to complete the block.

 

 

 

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