Archive of ‘Software Techniques’ category

Software Saturday: Applique to Instant Gift Tag

Make an impression with flawless, personalized gift tags this holiday season!  Once the gift is unwrapped, the gift tag can be used as a Christmas ornament for years to come!

In Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro, open an applique frame from your stash or choose from any of the included applique shapes.

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Click on the Text tool and type the message in the Properties Box.  Select a micro font such as Bauhaus.  Click Apply.

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Center the text in the frame and change the color of the text to another color.

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Select the an Ellipse from the drop down menu on the Artwork tool Insert

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Drag the mouse to draw a small circle and center it above the text.  Select the circle and right click to access more options. Select Convert T, Steil.

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If you’d like to review different applqiue fabrics, select the Applique, and click on the Command tabe in the Properties box. Click on the field next to Fabric.

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Select a fabric to review your work.

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Stitch the applique on lightweight tear away stabilizer – one that tears clean. After removing from the hoop, use an awl or eyelet cutter to open the eyelet. Thread a pretty ribbon through the eyelet and you’re all set. Start making them now and the gifts under your tree will be beautiful!



Text on a Path

One of my favorite things about using digitizing software is learning new shortcuts. For years, I’ve been creating text on a path in a rather laborious method. But now, thanks to Ashley Jones, Inspirations education consultant, I’ve learned a time-saving method and I think you’re going to love it.

In Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro, draw your shape. Select the Artwork tool, and Ellipse.  Path1

Left mouse click and drag to draw an oval.  Select the Shape tool and grab the handles on one node to turn the oval into a balloon.  Path2

Move the node on the right towards the center. Path3

Drag the handle on the node to make a paisley shape.  The paisley shape should measure approximately 3.25″ x 2.25″.Path4“.Select the Text tool and click on the screen. In the properties box, type the message on one line.  In the font selection window, scroll down to the mini-fonts and select Bauhaus.  Click Apply. Path5

Click on the Select tool. On the keyboard, hit CTRL and A to highlight the artwork and the text. Left mouse click to view your options and select Text on a Path. Path6

Boom! The software does all the work for you! Path7

If you have some open space, add a series of periods to fill the gap. Select the Text tool and type multiple periods at the end of the line of text. Click Apply.  Path8

Rotate the design, change the color and there and you have it! Path9

Thanks for sharing that trick Ashley!

Numbered Patches in My Block Piecer

Welcome Software Saturday readers!  Recently, I was creating a Flying Geese border in My Block Piecer. I stitched 16 repeats and after the third or fourth one, I knew the patch sequence by heart. Since I’m always on a mission to find time-saving steps, I figured if I omitted stitching the actual numbers in each patch, I would save some precious time. Here’s how to do it.

Open a new file in My Block Piecer. Click on the Block Libraby icon and enter Flying Geese #7 in the box. Click the green down arrow to jump to Flying Geese #7.  Click OK.N1BL

Select the block, right mouse click and select Ungroup.  Delete both side panels. N2BL

Select the remaining patches and click on the Workflow icon and Autobuild. Click Preview.  There are 12 patches in this unit.  Click Save and close. N3BL

Copy and paste the unit to stitch two in one hooping.N5BL

Select all and Ungroup. Now click on each individual letter and delete it.N6BL

You’ll be left with everything but the numbers.N7BL

But don’t worry, when you saved the design earlier, a PDF was created with a visual guide to the block. The first image includes the numbers on each patch.N8BL

The second shows an image of the design with the numbers.N9BL

And finally, there’s an instruction sheet which guides you through each patch.N10BL

Save this edited design with a new name and use it to stitch the block. Don’t you just love this software? It gives you so much freedom when creating blocks to piece in the hoop!


A Reader Suggested…

Yes, I’m still talking about the wedding! I’ve had so many people ask for details about the, well, the wedding details, I thought I’d keep you in the loop.  Although I didn’t actually embroider the wedding gown lace, I did add some very personal touches to the dress.  I thought long and hard about documenting the ceremony on the inside of the dress. I even asked you to leave a comment and tell me what you would do. My final decision was to add a label at the waistline and an embroidered ribbon to the lining’s hem.

I made several attempts at the label, starting with a traditional slant of the bride and groom’s names, date and location of the wedding.  I didn’t like this at all – the J’s were overlapping and the digits overwhelmed the letters.LabelSS6BL

Making a label is not really that big of a deal unless you think about how it will be read in 20, 30 or more years down the road. It was Janelle’s day, not mine, so I wanted the focus of the message to be on her. And I kept coming back to your suggestions. One of you –  Ruth Peterson – left a beautiful suggestion on July 24. It stayed with me for weeks so I decided to use it. Thank you, Ruth, for your suggestion.

For the next version I switched the font to one of Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro’s mini fonts – Diana Small. I typed each line of Ruth’s poem on a separate line and hit Apply. LabelSS3BL

I loved what appeared. I quickly did a test stitch out, switching the needle to 65 and the thread to a 50 wt.LabelSS2BL

I didn’t have to make any changes to the text but I did want the label to be finished on all edges. So I went back into the software and selected the Artwork tool and a rectangle. LabelSS4BL

I drew a rectangle around the lettering and selected the rectangle. I right clicked on the rectangle and selected Convert to Run. LabelSS8

When the Properties Box appeared,   I selected Two-ply from the Run menu and reduced the stitch length from the 3.0 default to 2.2. I changed the color to 2 so that the machine would stop after stitching the poem. LabelSS9BL

I hooped a fresh piece of the Bemberg rayon lining and stitched color 1, the text. I placed another piece of the rayon on top of the text and stitched color 2, the outline.  Once removed from the hoop, I trimmed the edges, slit the back and turned it right side out.  And then low and behold, I found a hand needle and actually sewed it to the dress! LabelSS10BL

Check back on Wednesday to see why another addition to the label made it so very special to not only Janelle but the whole Roche family.

Editing in Word Art in Stitches

If you’re like me, you can’t leave well enough alone. You just have to make a slight change to almost any design. I can’t help myself; it’s just the way I am. I’m grateful that I have the ability to do just that in Word Art in Stitches. The software is fantastic – works blazingly fast – and is very user-friendly. But I have to make it my own. Let me show you what I mean.

First, I selected the Bubble text in Word Art in Stitches. SewBL

I opened the Frames in the Shapes window and selected Scallop 2.Sew2BL

I typed in Faith Family Friends in the Words field, selected Japanese Garden from the color theme box and Love in Décor Combo. Once I hit Apply, I liked, well almost liked what I saw. I hit OK anyway. Sew3BL

I wasn’t too thrilled with the large green lips and some of the crowded words as shown belowSew4BL

But I know those are easy fixes. I selected the design, right mouse clicked and selected UnGroup. Sew5BL

Now each element of the frame is a separate design. I selected the lips and deleted them.Sew6BL

I selected the heart at the top of the frame, copied and pasted into the opening left by the deleted lips. I enlarged the heart to fill the space. Next, I selected and deleted some of the words that were too close to other words. Oh my, it’s so much fun! Sew7BL

What word combos would you like to see in a bubble text?

Software Saturday – Kindergarten Rocks!

In today’s lesson, I’ll demonstrate how to create the special requested Kindergarten Rocks embroidery layout.  If you missed part 1 of the series from Monday, you can read it here: Part 1 of Kindergarten Rocks

Open Perfect Embroidery Pro (PEP) software and select the “T” for text tool in the upper left hand of screen. Type the word “Kindergarten” and select the “Kids” font from the font drop down menu. Click “Apply”.

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Click the “T” for text again and type the word “Rocks!” in the text box. Select the “Pepita” font from the menu and click Apply. Move the word down to fit underneath Kindergarten and size accordingly.

Click the “T” again for the text tool and type the words “Class of 2028” in the text box. Locate the Geometric font from the font choices and click Apply.  Position the text centered underneath “Rocks”.

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Go to the drop down menu at the top left upper screen and click “File” Click2Stitch from the drop down choices. Click2Stitch will offer an option box in the center on the screen where you can select the fabric. Under type of fabric select “knit light” (onsie, t-shirt).

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Click “Next” and “Finish”. The Click2Stitch automatically adjusts the density for the fabric selected and recalculates the stitches.  It also recommends stabilizer and pre-washing if needed. You have the option to print the steps if desired.

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Select the 5″ x 7″ hoop.

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For the step by step directions on proper design placement and hooping techniques for this project refer to the Multi-needle Monday Blog titled: Kindergarten Rocks!


Editing Text in Perfect Embroidery Pro

A few weeks ago, blog reader Jenny left a comment on the June 27th post. She asked, “Can you please help me figure out how to “Edit” what I had “Grouped” together? I am not able to ungroup the design as was once before? I have to keep typing the poem up every-time I want to change the name on the stitch out.”

At the time, I responded with this, “Jenny, select the design, right mouse click and choose Ungroup from the drop down menu. There are also Group and Ungroup icons on the top tool bar but I can’t load an image here into comments to show you. Oh, I just realized you mentioned a poem – so that’s a little different. Again, click on the Select tool, select the poem, right mouse click and select Breakup Text from the drop down menu.”

I can do a more thorough job of explaining the process and give more options for editing text. Since the only information I have Jenny is what she stated above, I’ll start from scratch with a recipe. Follow along with me. Open a new page in Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro. Click on the Text icon. The cursor changes to an A and the Properties Box opens. Select your font. I’ve chose Arial Small. Type a fictional recipe into the Properties Box, then click Apply. Text1

With the Text tool still selected, change the justification to Left Alignment. Click Apply. Notice all of the editing features available on the text itself. You can move individual letters, whole words and lines. Text2

When the Select Tool is used, your options diminish. You can size the design (the software sees it as a design and not text when the Select Tool is used), rotate, mirror image, duplicate, etc. But you do not have the freedom to edit the individual letters. Text3

Click on the Text tool again, and all of your text editing options appear. I’ve readjusted the kerning on the word chips. Text5

When I click on the Select tool again, my changes are there. Text6

Save the design now in C2S – the native format of Perfect Embroidery. Change the color of the thread to green and save it as Chips.pes. Close both designs.

Open Chips.pes. The design is no longer recognized by the software as text – it’s just an ordinary design. When you click on a letter, the sequence field now shows all of the individual elements of the design – runs and satins. Ugh – that’s very challenging to edit. Text7

Not to worry, you have the original file. Open it and you’ll find the software recognizes it as text and all of your editing abilities are right at your finger tips! Text8

For instance, you can increase the 5 cups to 6 cups in the Properties box.. Text9

This is a great example of why it’s so important to save the original file in C2S and a working copy in your machine format. Make your changes to the original and you’ll always have the ability to edit.



Getting Better Mileage from Your Designs

I’m always on the lookout for new ways to use a design and the best way to do that is to edit in Perfect Embroidery Pro, Inspirations’ digitizing program. Let’s take a look at a lace border design from Inspirations’ Timeless Lace Border collection, design #Lc7x2 4. BL1blog

Ungroup the design. BL2blog

Click on the small arrow under the Select tool and click on Lasso. Left mouse click around the scallop area, right mouse click to close the circle. BL3blog

Copy, paste and move the scallop away from the original design.  Go back to the original design and group it. BL4blog

Select the extra stitches and delete them. BL5blog

The edited scallop should look like this. Group the scallop. BL6blog

Now, let’s put the pieces together. Copy, paste and mirror image the original design. Rotate the unit 90 degrees. Move the scallop into the open end. BL8blog

Rotate and size the scallops to fill the space between the borders. BL9blog

Select the Shape tool and click on the horizontal satin bar to reveal the stitch nodes.  Slide the two black nodes back to reveal the blue squares.  Insert BL10BL11blog

Select and pull the blue nodes towards the original design.

Slide the black nodes in place and repeat on the opposite side. BL12blog

Change the color of the original designs and move them to color 2 as you’ll want the new bridge to stitch first. BL14blog

The addition of the scallop makes an elegant finish on a continuous border. BL15blog

This editing process is the first step in a wedding table runner that I’m working on for my daughter.  You’ll see more in upcoming blogs and DIME articles. I’d love to know what you need help on in your software.  Leave a comment in I’ll add it to my to-do list.

Software Saturday: Forget your troubles with the help of embroidery software!

I looked at the time and braced myself as if an earthquake was about to happen.  It didn’t.  But my mind was miles away.  A week ago on Friday evening we had to put the family dog down.   She was 15 years old and she was falling apart.  As I stared at my computer monitor, trying to figure out what to do next—remembering exactly where I was a week ago at this time, I decided I had to occupy myself.

I opened Perfect Embroidery Pro software without a clear plan and with some reluctance.  There wasn’t any inspiration floating around in my head.  None.

I played with features and dabbled with different design layouts.  During this process, I realized there are some very fun designs in the software….

Did you know there are so many dog related designs built in to the software?

Kibbles would definitely approve.  I was able to make a paw print frame using the Symbols feature.

Select the paw print symbol and click Ok.

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Drag and drop the paw design.  You can make it large or small depending on how far you drag the mouse button across the screen.

I went crazy copying and pasting.

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To see how the design would stitch out I went to View, Slow Redraw.

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That’s when it became clear it was as if Kibbles ran around on the screen.  The paw prints were definitely not in a good stitching order.

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To make the paw prints stitch efficiently, click on Edit.  Optimize Sequence.  That’s much better!

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Since I was enjoying myself and forgetting  my sadness, I decided to try another layout.

Click on the Text tool.  Select Baushaus.  This font seemed to fit Kibbles’ personality.

I typed the name, Kibbles and clicked Apply.

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Click the Text Designs Icon.

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I got very distracted with all the designs!  I chose the Bone design and clicked Ok.

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Click on the Text Designs Icon again.

Select the Crown Design and click ok.

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I rearranged the Crown design so it was positioned on top of the Dog Bone design.

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The bone needed something more.  I added the year, 2015.

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My creative juices continued to flow and I lost track of the time.  The design isn’t quite right.  I experimented again…

I decided I needed to enlarge the name Kibbles.  Perfect Embroidery Pro has a handy cheat sheet.  If you hover over the font, it will display recommended sizes for a particular font style.  Good information to know before I enlarge the name.

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I changed the height to 1 inch.

I copied the name Kibbles.

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I selected the first Kibbles design.  Then I deleted the letters, “les”.

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Next I selected the second Kibbles design.  I deleted the letters “Kibb”.
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I repositioned the “Kibb” above the crown.  Then I rotated the “les” 270 degrees.

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I rearranged name until I had a pleasing layout.

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I clicked on the 3D View.  Now it is a design fit for a princess, named Kibbles!

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An hour of playing with embroidery software kept my mind occupied while creating something special to honor my four-legged friend.  Machine embroidery is such a wonderful creative outlet.  Use it as often as you can!

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  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.

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