Archive of ‘Software Techniques’ category

Bring Your Questions!

Two embroidery experts are joining me tomorrow on Facebook Live at 1:00 PM CST, Christine Connor of Amelie Scott Designs and DIME Inspiration Education Consultant, Ashley Jones.  It’s going to be so much fun as I continue to celebrate National Quilting Month.  They will both share their secrets on quilting on their embroidery machines – from Christine’s Edge to Edge quilting  techniques to creating the perfect quilt label.

Hope to see you there – it’s going to be fun and packed with tips and techniques to help you quilt those quilt tops!  You can watch on Facebook Live or YouTube Live at 1:00 PM CST. Bring your questions, we’ll be happy to help.

Embroidery Tool Shed and March Door Reveal!

Hello Embroidery Friends!

Today we had a LOT going on! We finally unveiled our March #dimedoor for our #dimesewalong (SEW cute) and walked through our brand new software tool, Embroidery Tool Shed! As innovators we are constantly trying new things, especially with our technology, and sometimes with that there are a few technical difficulties so please excuse those errors in our live video! Overall it was a great live and we can’t wait for you to watch, learn, laugh with us at the mishaps, and enjoy the reveal !

Download the Embroidery Tool Shed HERE.

Download the new MARCH dime door HERE.

Want to catch up on the first two doors for January and February? CLICK HERE.

Don’t forget we have some AMAZING events coming up very soon so make sure you sign up quick! Here is a list of the ones closest on the calendar:

Paula’s Fine Fabrics- Feb 28-29 with Tina Bartelmay in Jacksonville, FL

Plano Sewing Center March 6-7 with Aine McCarthy in Plano, TX

Quilts and Lace March 6-7 with Ashley Jones in Melbourne, FL

Sewing Center of Santa Fe March 13-14 with Tina Bartelmay in Santa Fe, NM

Allbrands March 20-21 with Lisa Knight in San Antonio, TX

Greens Sewing & Vaccum March 20-21 with Sheryl Burnette in Medford, OR

AAA Sewing & Fabric March 28-29 with Sheryl Burnette in Lomita, CA

Jackman’s Fabrics March 28-29 with Ashley Jones in Fairview Heights, IL

Happy Stitching!

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!

Celebration Quilt

Celebration Quilt – Sashing Instructions

We’re wrapping up the Block of the Month series from the Volume 118, September/October issue of Designs in Machine Embroidery.

Download the files for the sashing here: Celebration Quilt Sashing

Horizontal Sashing Units

Piece four cornerstones to three sashing strips.  Make five horizontal sashing units.  Set aside.

Block Units

Piece four sashing strips to the sides of three blocks as shown.  Repeat for four rows.

Piece one block unit to one horizontal sashing unit.

Add another block unit to the pieced block/horizontal sashing unit, matching the seams of the cornerstones to the blocks.

Continue piecing the quilt.

Add the borders.  Press the quilt. 

Quilting with a Sewing Machine

Cut the batting and backing 41” x 50”.  Place the backing on a flat surface, wrong side up.  Center the batting on top.

Center the quilt top on the batting. Pin baste the quilt.  Stitch in the ditch around all blocks with the sewing machine.  Use a decorative stitch such as a serpentine stitch to quilt the borders.

Quilting with an Embroidery Machine

Download the sashing and cornerstone designs from the blog (http://www.dzgns.com/blog). Hoop each sashing and cornerstone

Trim the excess backing and batting.  Bind.

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!

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