Archive of ‘Software Techniques’ category

Welcome to the Digital Age!

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I’ll be the first to admit I’m a late adopter when it comes to new technology.  When new technology or features become available—I let my more tech savvy friends and associates test the new features and report back to me.  And even once they’ve explained the exciting new features I’m still kicking and screaming about not wanting to embrace change.  But once I embrace something new—I have to share it from the highest mountain top!

So if you’re a subscriber and you haven’t yet unlocked the magic of the digital version of Designs in Machine Embroidery, then this post is for you!  And if you’re already a subscriber, I may have some handy tips… so read on!

Every print subscription to Designs in Machine Embroidery includes FREE access to the digital version of the magazine.  What does this mean?  You get to read the magazine from cover to cover from the convenience of your e-reader or tablet device. (does not work with Nook or Regular Kindle).  But you like to hold the printed version, right?  You still receive this version in the mail.  You can dog ear it to your heart’s content!  But now you can have the digital version with you wherever you go!  If you find yourself poolside wanting to read up on your favorite machine embroidery magazine, you can!  Or maybe you’re parked in a carpool line, waiting to pick up your kids.  Now you can make that time productive and entertaining by reading Scott Goodman’s column, Great Scott!  But before all this can happen… you need to be sure you have:

  • An active print subscription to Designs in Machine Embroidery. If you don’t, now is the perfect time to subscribe.  Click here to subscribe!  We are running the best offer of the year – 5 free embroidery designs and a super low price!  When you subscribe online, you create an online subscription account (if you are new) – or if you’re an existing subscriber you will sign in with your ID/Password. 

Download the Digital Magazine App.  There are multiple ways of doing this, but the easiest is to go to http://www.dzgns.com.  Click on the appropriate link for your digital device.  For my example I clicked the option for the Apple App Store.  (You can also search for Designs in Machine Embroidery directly in the app store.)

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Download the app.  The circle on the top right corner shows the progress as the app is being downloaded when on Apple devices.  (For Android users it’s a bar)

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Once the app is downloaded, click on Open.

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Click on Subscriptions.

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Click on Current Subscribers.

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Next you’ll need to enter your ID/account information.

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Don’t worry, I panicked too when I saw this but it’s easy to locate.  If you have the information readily available, enter the information.  If you’re like me and don’t have the information read on….

  1. If you have a magazine on hand, the account number is on the address label. If this doesn’t apply to you then read on for additional options….
  2. If you are a current subscriber or have let your subscription lapse you can log in to your subscription account on our website. Your account number is listed as shown in the sample below.  This is the number you’ll use to access the Digital magazine.  Enter the account number, your email address and zip code.
  3. If you are a brand new subscriber (never had an account with us).  Your Customer number will be ready within 24 hours.  You can also call 888-739-0555 from 8 am – 5 pm for assistance on retrieving your number.

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Now you’re ready to read the digital magazine!

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If you have been an active subscriber, you can access previous issues of the magazine by moving the covers of the magazine.  Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Get social!  When you see something you want to share or talk about with friends, just click on the icons to share in your social network!

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You can also type text to accompany the post as shown below.

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If you have a birthday coming up you can easily drop not-so-subtle hints that you want a new design collection, embroidery machine or embroidery tool from your spouse, family members or friends!


Here’s your assignment this week:

Technology has brought about so many improvements to our quality of life.  What is your favorite modern invention?  Post your comment and two random individuals will win $50 gift certificates to use on the Buzz Tools website!

Buzz Tools

The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question:

Fun trivia!  The May/June issue is the first time we’ve featured a cover of the magazine on the cover!  Identify which Volume of Designs in Machine Embroidery is tucked away in Marie’s beach tote featured on the cover.  Post your answer in the comments section and one lucky person will win a Stipple Sea Life collection.

 

The winner is:  Linda Hassett:  “I believe issue #90 is the featured issue shown in the tote”
Congratulations, Linda!  You are also spot on, it is Volume 90 featured on the cover.

Live or Taped? Two Options for Software Training

Inspiration Webinars are chockfull of information – so much that’s it often hard to absorb all the details. But don’t fret, I’ll show you how I get the most out of webinars. My secret is to watch both the taped and live versions.

The benefit of watching the live version is you can ask a question and get an answer while the taped version allows you to follow along with the instructor.

Sometimes, webinars move quickly and it’s hard to grasp all the information during the live session. Set yourself up for success for a live webinar. Follow these simple steps: find a quiet location to take the webinar, arrive early to download the link, check your connection and finally, pay attention!

If you feel you missed some key points, then take the taped version. Here’s how to get the most out of the taped version. Go to http://www.InspiredbyDIME.com. Click on Webinars on the right column.

Scroll down to view the list. Select Changes are Good! Web2psbl

Click on the link, it takes you to YouTube and the webinar (video) begins to play. Use the pause/play button to stop the video. Web3psbl

Then minimize the window by clicking on the icon at the top right of the screen. The webinar is now paused and the window is resting in the tray.Web4psbl

Locate Perfect Embroidery Pro on your computer and open the program. Go to File, Open to open a new screen. Now let’s get both screens up at once.

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Watch this video to see how to do it.

If you can’t view it here on the blog, use this link to YouTube.

Don’t miss May’s webinars: True Type Tutorial on May 5, 7:00-8:00 CST in Perfect Embroidery Pro with Katherine Artines and May 19, 7:00-8:00 CST is Text, Borders and Florishes, Oh My! in My Block Piecer and My Quilt Embellisher.

Sign up here: http://www.Inspiredbydime.com

 

 

 

Inside Scoop on Placement Marks

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Want to look like an embroidery rock star? Learn how to stitch continuous embroidery designs. Many embroiderers are afraid to stitch continuous embroidery although it’s not difficult; you just have to set yourself up for success.

There are several approaches you can take but my favorite is the addition of placement marks. Placement marks are stitched around the embroidery design to help in placement. They are removed after the project is complete.

Here’s how to add them in all of Inspiration’s software programs: Perfect Embroidery Pro and My Quilt Embellisher.

Open a design in PEP and select it. I’m using a strawberry design (53688) from January’s free designs.

Click on the Placement Marks icon.AM2bl

Click on the mark in each corner. If you’re using a large design, you might find it helpful to add the center marks.  Click OK. AM3bl

Move the marks away from the design for increased visibility and easy removal after they are needed. Select the top two marks. AM4bl

Move them up and away from the design. It’s important that you do not move them left or right, just straight up. Use a keyboard shortcut to ensure the marks will not move to the right or left. Hold the Control key and click on the keyboard’s up arrow to move the design. Continue to click until they are about ¼” away from the design. AM5bl

Repeat the same process for the marks on the bottom.  AM6bl

Now let’s take a look at the color sequence, the placement marks are now the first color – the software automatically moves them to the beginning of the color sequence. I like to tweak that a bit. AM15bl

Select the two marks at the right of the design (if you are stitching from left to right). AM16bl

In the Properties Box, select the command tab and type in the number 9 in the color field. Click Apply. AM17bl

Left mouse click on the number 9 in the color sequence. AM18bl

Move it to the end of the sequence.  AM19bl

Now, let’s take a look at multiple repeats of the border design. AM20bl

Here’s how to make it happen on fabric. Stitch the first design of the border on hooped fabric. When stitching the second design, stitch only the first color (the placement marks at the left) on hooped adhesive stabilizer. AM21bl

Place the hoop under PAL (Perfect Alignment Laser), aligning the laser’s horizontal line with the stitched placement mark.  AM22bl

Then simply slide the embroidered fabric under the beam, aligning the beam with the stitched placement mark on the design.AM23bl

The designs will align perfectly!  Continue for the entire border. You’ll look like an embroidery rock star! AM24bl

If you attend an Inspiration’s Hooping Clinic, you’ll get to learn this technique hands-on! Our education consultants are embroidery wizards – experts all things embroidery – you’ll learn tons of new techniques, tips and tricks! Click here to see where a Hooping Clinic is scheduled near you.

Digitizing a Mylar Design

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Want to add sparkle and sheen to simple images? Try Mylar applique. When using Mylar, let the Mylar shine through the stitches. Plan on using a motif fill that mimics fish scales. MylarFish Start with a drawing of a fish – I drew this simple shape in Inspiration’s Perfect Embroidery Pro. There are six elements: the main body, the three fins, the head and the eye. Fish (1)

Select the body, right click and select Complex Fill. Fish (2)

With the body selected, change the Fill Type to Motif and the Pattern to #135 in the Properties Box (Fill Tab). Change the Pattern length to 2.5, put a check in the 3D effect box and click Apply. Fish (4)

Select the head, right click and select Complex Fill. With the head selected, change the Fill Type to Wave, Stitch length to 2.8 and the Density to 3.10. Click Apply. Fish (5)

Select the eye. Right click and select Complex Fill. Leave the default settings. Fish (6)

Select the eye, right click and select Create Border. Fish (7)

Select the border, right click and select Steil. Fish (8)

Change the width to 1.5 in the Properties Box (Steil tab). Fish (9)

Select the three fins. Right click, Convert to Run. Change the length to 2.4. Fish (10)

Select the head and the body, right click and select Create Outline. Change the distance to zero, click ok. Fish (12)

The outline is artwork at this point so select it, right click and convert it to Run. Change the run to a Bean stitch, 2.4 stitch length, 3 repeats in the Properties Box, Run tab. Fish (14)

Now let’s change the stitch order as you’ll want the outline to stitch last. The order should be: body, fins, eye and outline. One last step: add a placement guide for the Mylar. Select the last color, the outline, Copy and Paste. Select the copy, change it to a run stitch (from a bean) and set the stitch length to 3.0. Renumber the colors place the run stitch outline as the first color. Fish (15)

How fun is that? Perfect Embroidery Pro makes you look like a digitizing whiz!

 

 

 

 

Software Saturday – My Quilt Embellisher Labels


LabelMQE

When you stumble across a family heirloom, don’t you find yourself yearning for some background behind the object?  Don’t you wish you knew the date it was created and by whom? And where?  I sure do.  So I think we should take that into consideration when we make quilts and include a label.

Of course, labels are as individual as signatures but here are my self-inflicted rules for quilt labels – with the emphasis on self-inflicted!  I think it’s important to document the title of the quilt, the recipient (if there is one), the quilt maker’s name and hometown, the date of completion and…how to care for the quilt.

Two more rules that I have are to make the label visually appealing and add it to the quilt before the quilting is complete. I’ll explain how I add it to the quilt in a future post but for now, I’ll concentrate on digitizng.

My Quilt Embellisher has 99 different labels to get you started.  Open a new file in My Quilt Embellisher, click on the Border icon and select a favorite – I like Border 74. label1

It has adornments at the top and bottom; an inner bean stitch outline and an outer satin stich outline.  Select the design, right mouse click and Ungroup. Now, delete adornments and the satin stitch outline. label3

Select the Text icon and click inside the frame.  Move the cursor to the Properties box and type the title of the quilt. Select a font from the drop down menu, I’ve selected Bauhas.  Click Apply. label4

Select the Text icon again and click inside the frame.  Move the cursor to the Properties box and type your name, click on Enter and then type your hometown on the second line. Click a different font from the drop down menu – Cursive in this sample. In the Line Spacing box, enter -5. Click Apply. The negative number automatically pulls the letters close together mimicking handwriting. label5

Just a little more information and we’ll be done. Select the text icon again, click inside the frame and move the cursor to the Properties box.  Type the date on the first line and the care instructions on the second line.  In the font drop down menu, select Arial 4mm.  Click Apply. label7

Select all of the elements, right mouse click and select Align, Horizontal Center. label8

Once you’re satisfied with the layout, reorder the color sequence. In the Sequence window, select the first color, the frame. label9

Move it to the last position. The label is ready to be stitched! label10

On Wednesday, I’ll share the next steps – applying to the quilt.

I love how easy it is to customize a label in My Quilt Embellisher.

Numbered Patches in My Block Piecer

Welcome Software Saturday readers!  Recently, I had a conversation with an avid My Block Piecer user. She loves this software and makes large blocks and mini blocks – really, really mini blocks!  She told me she struggles with one thing – the numbers that are stitched in each patch. On the one hand, she loves the numbers because they tell her where to place the next piece of fabric. But…sometimes she doesn’t want the number to actually stitch. She would prefer to skip the numbers when using light colored fabrics or when stitching mini blocks. Since the numbers are part of the schematic (the outlines of the patches), she can’t just skip the colors at the machine.  So here’s how to get rid of them in the software.

First, open My block Piecer and go to File, New.  Click on the Block Library icon and choose from over 1200 blocks. 4_3_9

Select your block and click OK.  4_3_10

Left mouse click and drag the cursor around the block.  4_3_11

Select the Workflow tool. 4_3_12

In the Workflow window, set the size of the hoop, click on Auto Build.  4_3_13

Click Preview. 4_3_14

Click Save and name the block.  The software automatically saves the block (stitch file) and the artwork in a folder. Open the stitch file. 4_3_15

In the color Sequence window, click on a color. You’ll see the design is grouped so right click and select Ungroup. 4_3_16

Now, move the cursor back to the design. Drag the mouse around each number and delete them one by one. 4_3_17

What remains is the block schematic – sans numbers! 4_3_18

Go to File, Save As and assign a new name to the design. Use this design to stitch and the original design to print the schematic and instructions.

Don’t you just love this software? It gives you so much freedom when creating blocks to piece in the hoop!

Software Saturday – Two Part Applique

Hey Software Saturday readers! Check out these two videos on how to make a two-part applique. In less than eight minutes, you’ll learn how to import True Type Test, load a back drop, trace an image and convert both to applique.

View the first video here or jump over to YouTube to watch.

And wrap it up with video 2, here or on YouTube.

You’ll find tons of uses for two-part applique. Just imagine the fun you’ll have mastering this technique.

Software Saturday: Using the Reflections Template

Quick Tips:

Did you know there are free design downloads every month in Perfect Embroidery Pro?  Every time you open your software you’ll see the My Inspiration Today window.  Click on the images of the free designs to install the designs on your computer.

Did you miss a month or two?  The designs are still available – notice the link “Previous Monthly Designs” in the same window.

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For today’s lesson we will:

  • Edit a free design for the month of March 2015.
  • Add a new hoop size to your menu of hoops
  • Ungroup a design to edit.
  • Learn how to use the Reflection feature.

Set Up Workspace

Launch Perfect Embroidery Pro.  If you haven’t downloaded the free designs for March 2015, do it now.

Click Create a New Design

Click on the Hoop Icon.  I always like to select the hoop before I get started because I need boundaries!

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For my example I will be using the 9.5” x 14” hoop from THE Dream Machine.  This hoop size doesn’t exist in my hoop menu so I will take the opportunity to add it.  Click on New.  Type the hoop dimensions.  Name the hoop for future reference.  You might want to enter both horizontal and vertical versions of your hoop.  14” x 9.5″ and 9.5″ x 14″.  If you don’t have this hoop, locate your hoop in the menu.  If you are unable to locate, follow the steps to add your hoop size.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Select Design

Click on the Library Tab on the bottom right side of the software.  (Step A. in image).  Select the March 2015 designs.  (Step B in image).

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Scroll until you find the rabbit with the flowers.  Drag and drop the design into your hoop workspace.

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Select the design.  Then click on the Sequence Tab.

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Right click on the design.  Select Ungroup.  All elements in the design are ungrouped.  This will make it easier to manipulate the design.

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For this project, I only want the green scrollwork design.  Select the first 7 thread colors and press the delete button on your keyboard.

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All that remains is the green scrollwork.

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Select the design.  Then click on the Reflection icon on the toolbar.

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This is where fun and discovery begin!

I typed 2 in the Repeats box.  Then I changed the Angle to 45.0.
I unchecked Horizontal reflection.  Click Apply to see how the design will be manipulated.

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Then I unchecked Vertical reflection and checked Horizontal reflection.  Click Apply to see how the design will be manipulated.

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Then I checked Horizontal and Vertical reflection boxes and clicked Apply.

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I also experimented with the Angle by changing it to 20.

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In the end I decided I liked the 45 degree angle with the Horizontal and Vertical reflection boxes checked.  Once you’re satisfied with a layout, click Ok.

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At this point you can add monograms or additional designs.  With the reassurance from Sam Solomon, our Creative Director, I decided less is more.  (I tend to want to add more, more, more!)  But the design is pretty just as it is!

Quick Tip:
Curious to know how long the design will stitch?  Click on File.  Select Design Analysis.  Information about the design is available.

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Click on Production.  This gives me just enough time to step away, check my email and maybe even have a snack while the embroidery machine does its magic!

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Here’s the stitch-out.  I am glad I listened to Sam – it didn’t need any more design elements added.  It’s beautiful just as it is!

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But wait, there’s more!  All variations below were created from the same embroidery design we used in the example.  I used the same techniques in the lesson – just deleted different elements.

Creepy Bunny Reflections!

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Easter Egg Reflections!

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Lily Reflections!Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Imagine what you can do!  Better yet, don’t imagine!  Open your software and start experimenting!

For more information about Perfect Embroidery Pro, to locate a dealer or to learn about Inspiration Social events, visit the Inspired by DIME website.

 

Converting Designs in Perfect Embroidery Pro

Inspiration’s Perfect Embroidery Pro has a unique feature – batch conversion. This handy feature quickly converts one, two, several or dozens of machine embroidery designs from one embroidery format to another. It all happens in the blink of eye – which lets you get to the fun part of embroidery – the actual stitching!

View this quick video to see how easy it is.

Converting Designs In PEP

To watch on YouTube, click here.

No more, Save AS, Save As, Save As over and over again!

All You Need to Know About Lettering in Perfect Embroidery Pro

One of the mottos that I live by is using time well. Let’s face it, we all try to cram as much into a day as possible. So when I have a choice about how to spend my time, I want to learn something. If I learn one thing when I read a book, take a class or watch a webinar on machine embroidery, then I consider it a good investment in my time. I imagine you feel the same way about your time.

If you watched Tuesday’s webinar by Katherine Artines, I’m sure you learned more than one thing about lettering in Inspiration’s Perfect Embroidery Pro. Here are some of my favorites:

Why mini fonts look best when stitched with a 60 wt. thread in a #9 needle.2015-02-21_13-28-18

The shortcut to view all of the available characters in a special font.2015-02-21_11-03-47

More than one way to access and view the over 200 fonts that included in Perfect Embroidery Pro.2015-02-21_11-02-18

An attractive alternative to override split satins when enlarging fonts into jumbo letters. You have to watch the webinar to see how easy it is to make this switch from a satin:2015-02-21_10-46-49

to a fancy fill:2015-02-21_10-46-03

How to emphasis the meaning of the stitched word.2015-02-21_14-07-55

Witness the morphing of a single line of text into an inviting expression.2015-02-21_13-53-18

Learn the secret to better envelopes.2015-02-21_13-50-20

See the trick to perfectly flanked motifs in arced lettering.2015-02-21_14-06-39

And you’ll be intrigued by Katherine’s creativity when she explains how each of these fun designs are created in Perfect Embroidery Pro.2015-02-21_10-52-05

Watching this video is time well spent. Click here to view the webinar.

 

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