Archive of ‘Uncategorized’ category

On January 13th, blog reader Sue L requested information on about Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro’s Scatter tool.  The Scatter tool is fun to explore and very easy to master. Let’s dive in and take a look.

An 8” quilt block is the ideal canvas to experiment with the Scatter tool. Some brief text, Bee Happy, and a swarm of bumble bees will bring it to life.  Draw an 8” square with the Artwork tool.  Select the text tool and select the Tango font in the Properties Box.  Type Bee Happy, adding an extra return to space out the two lines of text.  Click Apply.

Tango Font

Enlarge and center the design in the square. 

In the sequence view, click on the padlock to lock the text. 

The Scatter tool becomes active when you have a design on the screen.  It’s best to start with a small design such as a symbol because the scatter tool will repeat the design to fill a specific sewing field.

Click on Select to access the Symbol library.

Go to Symbol, scroll down to the Bee and click OK.

Click OK.

Click once on the screen and one bee will appear.

Select the bee and click on the dropdown arrow on the Carousel tool to access the Scatter tool.

In the preview window, you can change the size of the sewing field.  The default size is 7.87”. If you’re pleased with the arrangement on the screen, click OK.  If you’d like to see more possibilities, click Apply.  Every time you click Apply, a new layout will be presented.  Since the layout is random, you can not go back to a previously-viewed layout. If you like it, click OK!

To remove the bees that overlap the text, Ungroup the bees. Once ungrouped, all the elements of each bee are also ungrouped. When you select a bee, group it first as you work on arranging the bees.  Select each bee that you want to remove.  The text will still be locked so don’t worry about inadvertently grabbing the text.  You can resize, rotate and reposition each of the bees.  Play with the arrangement until you feel the bees are evenly spaced on the quilt block.

Once you’re satisfied, select all, go to Edit, Resequence by Color and Optimize Sequence.  View the Redraw and save the design. So fun!

2019 BLOCK OF THE MONTH BLOCK 3

Block 3 Package Block

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

Download the files for block three here: Block 3 Files

Block
3 – Package design

Supplies
for one block

Base
Blocks: two 9” squares – muslin or No Show Mesh

Back
Block: one 9” square

Front:
patches from Package/CutFiles

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

1
– Back Block

2
– Bottom Base Muslin

3
– Top Base No Show Mesh

6
– Package

5
– Bow

4
– Batting

7
– ribbon

8
– background parts

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 hoop.

Place the muslin flat on the table.

Center the Monster Block Maker on the muslin.

 

Insert the batting in the opening of the Maker.

Place the 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 on patch #1 as shown in blue.

Place fabric #1, right side up in patch 1, aligning the fabric edge with the stitched outline. Stitch color #2, the tackdown.

 

 

 

 

 

Place glue at the seam for fabric #2 as shown in blue.

Place fabric #2, right side down, aligning the raw edge with the stitched outline. Stitch Color #3, the seam.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place glue at patch #2 as shown in blue.

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 as shown in blue.

Place fabric #3, right side down, aligning the raw edge with the stitched outline. Stitch Color #5, the seam.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place glue in patch #3.

 

 

Flip fabric #3 open and finger press the seam. Smooth the fabric and stitch Color #6, the tackdown.

 

 

 

 

Place glue at the seam for fabric #4.

Place fabric #4, right side down, aligning the raw edge with the stitched outline. Stitch Color #7.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place glue at fabric #4 as shown in blue.

 

Flip fabric #4 open and finger press the seam.  Smooth the fabric and stitch Color #8.

 

 

 

 

 

Place glue at the seam for fabric #5 as shown in blue.

 

Place fabric #5, right side down, aligning the raw edge with the stitched outline.

Stitch Color #9, the seam.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place glue in patch #5 as shown in blue.

 

 

 

Flip fabric #5 open and finger press the seam. Smooth the fabric and stitch Color #10, the tackdown.

 

 

 

 

 

Place glue at the seam for fabric #6 as shown in blue.

 

 

Place fabric #6, right side down, aligning the raw edge with the stitched outline. 

Stitch Color #11, the seam.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place glue at patch #6.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place glue at the seam for fabric #7.

 

Place fabric #7, right side down, aligning the fabric edge with the stitched outline.

Stitch Color #13.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place glue at patch #7.

 

Flip fabric #7 open and finger press the seam. Smooth the fabric and stitch Color #14.

 

 

 

 

 

Place glue at the seam for fabric #8.

 

Place fabric #8, right side down, aligning the fabric edge with the stitched outline.

Stitch Color #15.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place glue at patch #8.

 

Flip fabric #8 open and finger press the seam. Smooth the fabric and stitch Color #16, the tackdown

 

 

 

Place glue at the seam for fabric #9.

 

Place fabric #9, right side down, aligning fabric edge with stitched outline. Stitch Color #17.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place glue at patch #9.

 

Flip fabric #9 open and finger press the seam. Smooth the fabric and stitch Color #18, the tackdown.

 

 

 

 

 

Place glue at the seam for fabric #10.

 

Place fabric #10, right side down, aligning the fabric edge with the stitched outline. Stitch Color #19.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place glue at fabric #10.

 

Flip fabric #10 open and finger press the seam. Smooth the fabric and stitch Color #20, the tackdown.

 

 

 

 

Quilting the Block

Stitch color #21, the Bow echo outline.

 

 

 

Stitch color #22, the stippling and ribbon placement.

 

 

Use actual ribbon or make your own – I used a 2” x 4 ½” strip of fabric, turned the sides and ends under to make the finished ribbon 1” x 3 ½”.

 

 

Place the ribbon using the center lines from color #22.

 

 

Stitch color #23, the ribbon tackdown.

 

Stitch color #24, the border stippling.

 

 

 

Digital Cutters and My Block Piecer

Use your digital cutter to cut quilt block patches with Inspirations’ My Block Piecer (MBP) . Let me show you how.

GO to the Block Library and select a block.  I chose Basic, Nested Triangles. This block features five patches, two patches in fabric A and three patches in fabric B.

Go to the Properties Box and click on the Transform tab. Enter the size of your finished block.  My sample is 5” finished – the software will add all necessary seam allowances to each patch. Click Apply.

Select the block and click on the Cutter icon.

Scroll through the list of formats and select the appropriate format for your digital cutter.  I selected FCM for the Brother Scan ‘n Cut.  The screen shows the first frame, or the two patches for the fabric A. 

When you click on Frame 2, you’ll see three patches for fabric B. Click Save.

Select FCM for the Brother Scan ‘n Cut to actually save the files in that format.  The software creates a new folder with all of the necessary files.  Name the file and select Save.

The software creates a folder and stores the cutting files in that location.

If you are cutting patches for multiple blocks, change the number of repeats on the cutter screen.

How easy was that?

February Stitch-Along

We must thank Joanna Gaines of HGTV’s Fixer Upper fame for the trending farm house décor embraced by America.  Restaurants, hotels, furniture stores, department stores, home stores, craft stores and more.  Painted signs touting sentimental messages, acclamations of faith or humorous sayings are adorning walls everywhere.

As seen in a national home store.

While I love the look, I don’t want to buy/collect or make wood signs for my walls. First, I’m not a painter or vinyl user. I don’t want to age/paint/assemble wood pieces that are part of a fad. And I love fabric more than wood. I just can’t change the fiber of my being (sorry, couldn’t help that pun!) – it’s cotton all the way for me!  So what’s a fabric lover to do?

How about wrapping that fad in beautiful cotton?  Let me explain. Last summer, I looked at the trend and thought, “Why can’t we get the same look with fabric?”

So that’s what I did. I created a line of Farmhouse Panels just for us – embroiderers and lovers of fabric – and digitized designs to embellish them. The panels are designed to wrap around pre-framed canvas.  By finishing the panels as wall art, they fall right into the popular farm house décor trend.  Of course, the kits come with the quilting and embroidery designs plus full instructions for making one for your home. 

I’m so excited about it that I reached out to Baby Lock and asked them to join DIME on a Stitch Along for National Embroidery Month (February) featuring Farmhouse Sentiments. 

During the stitch Along, you’ll find 13 blog/social media posts showcasing the Farmhouse Panel.  You’ll learn different ways to embellish them and you’ll have 13 chances to win a Farmhouse Kit.  Just look for the Stitch-Along badge and you’ll know you’re in the right place. Make sure you join us!

Look for this badge during February, National Embroidery Month.

I’ll kick it off next week, February 1, with a Facebook Live at 1:00 PM CST. I’ll reveal the list of Baby Lock/DIME influencers who are participating and share a quick how-to of what’s needed to stitch one of the kits.   I can’t wait to see how the influencers will finish their panels. 

During the month, you’ll find me on Facebook Live three more times: Feb. 6, 20 and 28 so that’s a great opportunity for you to join in and ask questions about quilting with your embroidery machine.  Before we get started, tell me what panel you would stitch first if you win Farmhouse Kit, the Grateful Panel or the Gathering Panel. Both panels come in the Farmhouse Sentiments Kit.

Custom Quilting

Last week, blog reader Kay asked for some help in Inspirations’ My Quilt Embellisher. It’s a popular software program and easy to use. You can design custom quilting for an 8-point star in just a couple of steps. Follow along to learn how.

Click on the Block Library icon. Go to Eight Point Star and select Arrow Star. Click OK.

Select the white diamonds in the center of the block. Right click on a color chip in the tray (bottom of the screen) to change the color of the diamonds.

Change the color of the center diamonds.

We’ll start by filling the negative space with stippling, In the sequence view, select the remaining white shapes (red box) and click on the Stippling icon (red arrow). In the Properties Box, change the Stippling style to Hilbert (green arrow).



To decorate the eight points, use the art tool to draw a diamond. Size the diamond to fill one of the star points.

The diamond pre-set shape in the Art tool drop down menu.

Select the diamond and click on the Contour tool.

The Contour tool fills a shape with rows of stitches.

Copy and paste the Contour diamond to fill the star.

Save the design. That was easy, wouldn’t you agree?

Software Questions? Read on…

It’s been a fun journey hosting Software Saturday for the past five years. I’ve covered many of Inspirations’ software programs with primary focus on Perfect Embroidery Pro. In order to continue offering educational content, I’d love to hear your thoughts on future lessons for Inspirations software programs.

I know a blog is fairly one-sided but I do read all of the comments and use that information to create new posts.

Please leave a comment below and tell me what Inspirations’ software you’d like to see discussed on Software Saturday. Perfect Embroidery Pro, My Block Piecer, My Quilt Embellisher, Word Art in Stitches, My Fabric Designer, Vintage Embroidery Software or My Quilt Planner? And what topics would you like covered?

You input matters – so take a moment and share your thoughts – let’s make 2019 the year to master the software you’ve invested in.

Ramping Up

I have been spending the last few weeks ramping up for a great 2019 and it has totally consumed my time.  In February, we are celebrating National Embroidery Month by partnering with Baby Lock and fellow embroiderers to bring you a blog tour based on quilting with your embroidery machine.  If you’re a frequent visitor here, then you know I love to quilt with my embroidery machine. So I’m really pumped to see what the other bloggers will create!  You’ll learn more about that on February 1st.

My friends over at Nancy Zieman Productions are hosting a giveaway on my Quilt with an Embroidery Machine in 8 Easy Lessons book during the month of January. 

You’ll find everything you need to know about
quilting with your embroidery machine in this book.

Stop by Nancy’s blog and leave a comment to be entered into the drawing.  One of my favorite tips in that book is using pool noodles to baste a quilt.  Yesterday, I basted a whole cloth quilt in under an hour with the pool noodle technique. So much fun!

Pool noodles to the rescue!

In 2019, you’ll find a new block of the month quilt and you will be able to download all of the embroidery designs for piecing and quilting in the hoop!  Look for the first block in the coming weeks here on the blog.  

I’ll be back to my regular posting schedule this weekend.  I hope you had a great holiday and I wish you good health and happiness in 2019.

My Block Piecer: Block 12 – 1904 Software Instructions

My Block Piecer
Block of the Month : Block 12 1904 Star
Software Instructions
By Nancy Stansbury

We hope you have been enjoying the block of the month series.  Remember, you can go back to previous posts to catch up on what you missed.


  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 1904 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.
  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.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 while holding down the CTRL key, click on patches 1 through 5 (Square in a square).
  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.
    3. Click Sort Numbers and Click Yes.
  10. Click Preview.
  11. Click Save.
    1. Click on Create a New Folder icon and name Block 12.
    2. Double Click on the folder to open it.
    3. In the File name box enter 1904_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. 1904_StarA_001.c2s.
      2. 1904_StarA _artwork.c2s.
      3. 1904_StarA _preview.pdf.
    7. Close the file window.
    8. Close the Save window.
  12. Click on the Select icon, and while holding down the CTRL key, click on patches 6 through 9 (Corner). Notice the numbers have changed to 1-4.
  13. Click on the Workflow icon.
    1. The numbers have been changed to 1-5.
    2. Click the Auto Build button.
    3. Click Sort Numbers and Click Yes.
  14. Click Preview.
  15. Click Save.
    1. In the File name box enter 1904_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. 1904_StarB_001.c2s.
      2. 1904_StarB _artwork.c2s.
      3. 1904_StarB _preview.pdf.
    5. Close the file window.
    6. Close the Save window.
  16. Click on the Select icon, and while holding down the CTRL key, click on patches 10 through 13 (Top triangle).
  17. Click on the Workflow icon.
    1. The numbers have changed to 1-4.
    2. Select a 200mm x 200 mm hoop or similar for your machine.
    3. Click the Auto Build button.
    4. Click Sort Numbers and Click Yes.
  18. Click Preview.
  19. Click Save.
    1. In the File name box enter 1904_StarC.
    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. 1904_StarC_001.c2s.
      2. 1904_StarC _artwork.c2s.
      3. 1904_StarC _preview.pdf.
    5. Close the file window.
    6. Close the Save window.
  20. Click the Select icon and draw a box around the entire block, OR Enter CTRL-A to select all of the block.
  21. 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”.
    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. If using a digital cutter, select the appropriate format for your cutter from the drop menu.
      1. In File name enter 1904_Star Templates.
      2. Click Save.
    6. The Following Files have been created.
      1. 1904_Star templates.
      2. 1904_Star templates_preview.pdf.
    7. Close the files window.
    8. Close the Cutter window.
  22. Click on Create a New Design.Note: If desired the embroideries can be saved in a specific format individually or they can be combined into one file.
  23. To save entire design in one hooping, Go To Step 43.
  24. Click on the Hoop icon and select a 200mmx200mm or similar for your machine
  25. Click File, Merge.
    1. Locate the file 1904_StarA_001.c2s.
    2. To open Double Click on the name OR Click on the name and Click Open.
  26. Move the design to the lower center of the hoop.
  27. Click File, Merge.
    1. Locate the file 1904_StarC_001.c2s.
    2. To open Double Click on the name OR Click on the name and Click Open.
  28. Move the design to the upper left corner of the hoop.
  29. Copy, Paste.
  30. Move the design to the upper right corner of the hoop.
  31. Click on the Select icon and draw a box around the upper two designs.
  32. Copy, Paste.
  33. Move near the center of the hoop.
  34. Click File, Save As.
    1. In the File name enter 1904_StarA.
    2. In the Save as type select the format for your specific machine format.
    3. Click Save.
  35. Click on New Design.
  36. Click on the Hoop icon and select a 200mmx200mm or similar for your machine.
  37. Click File, Merge.
    1. Locate the file 1904_StarB_001.c2s.
    2. To open Double Click on the name OR Click on the name and Click Open.
  38. Can fit all for designs needed for one block in a 200mmx200mm hoop.
  39. After bringing in the first design. Copy, Paste and rotate each design as necessary.
  40. Click File, Save As.
    1. In the File name enter 1904_StarB.
    2. In the Save as type select the format for your specific machine format.
    3. Click Save.
  41. Go to Step 47.
  42. To save as one hooping.
    1. Click File, New.
    2. Click File, Merge.
    3. Locate 1904_StarA.001.c2s.
    4. Click File, Merge.
    5. Double Click to open.
    6. Locate 1904_StarB.001.c2s.
    7. Double Click to open.
    8. Move to upper leftr corner of the hoop.
    9. Copy, Paste.
    10. Rotate right twice.
    11. Move to upper right corner.
    12. Copy, Paste,
    13. Rotate right twice.
    14. Move to lower right corner.
    15. Copy, Paste.
    16. Rotate right twice.
    17. Move to lower left corner.
    18. Click File, Merge.
    19. Locate 1904_StarcC.001.c2s.
    20. Double Click to Open.
    21. Move to Upper center of the hoop.
    22. Click Copy, Paste.
    23. Click on Rotate right twice.
    24. Move to center right side of hoop.
    25. Click Copy, Paste.
    26. Rotate twice.
    27. Move to bottom center of the hoop.
    28. Click Copy, Paste.
    29. Rotate Twice.
    30. Move to right center of hoop.
    31. Adjust designs as needed for spacing.
  43. Let’s combine all of the Placement Stitches so they all stitch out at once.
    1. Click Ungroup.
  44. In the Sequence window
    1. Locate the second set of placement stitches.
    2. Click on them, and holding down the left mouse key, move to the top of the sequence window.
    3. Repeat for all 8 of the placement stitches below the first.
  45. Save the design in the format for your machine.
  46. Print the templates, or prepare your fabric and send the templates to your cutter.
  47. Load each of the designs into your embroidery machine to stitch the nine units.

 

Check Your Bobbin Case

I’m sure you know the drill – you’re stitching away trying to finish a project during this busy holiday season.   And the thread breaks.  You notice it is actually shredding. Hmmm.  So you rethread. And it still shreds.  So you change the needle.  It still shreds.  Argghh!  So frustrating, right?

Well, before you pull your hair out, check your bobbin case.  Take it out of the machine and examine it closely.   Run your fingers over its surface.  It is smooth?  Really, really smooth?  If it isn’t, you have a problem.  Take a look at my bobbin.  Notice the white spot where the arrow is pointing?  That’s a burr.

I don’t know when it happened or why but the evidence is there.  I tried sanding it with very fine grit sandpaper to smooth away the burr from the plastic surface but that didn’t do the trick. After rethreading, I realized the case was beyond repair.

Time to replace it. Off I went to the dealer to buy a new one, in fact, I bought two.  Just in case something like this happens in the future:

That’s not my bobbin case, in fact, in happened in a recent class.  I have no idea how or why it the needle got stuck in the bobbin case.  I was so impressed I had to grab a photo.  Have you ever seen a needle do this?

 

 

Stabilizer Hack

Recently, I’ve been stitching a ton of free-standing embroidery designs on water soluble stabilizer (WSS).  The results are stunning but I’m going through a ton of stabilizer!  The designs are best stitched on two layers of WSS so of I cut two lengths to fill the hoop, I find I’m wasting about 12″ of stabilizer per hooping.  Ugh!  Don’t you hate wasting stabilizer?

Now, I keep the stabilizer on the roll and let it sit behind (or under) the machine.   I roll out one length to cover the hoop, fold the stabilizer over to create the second layer, then hoop the two layers with the roll extending behind the top/back of the hoop.

On a traditional embroidery machine, i just place the roll over to the side of the machine leaving enough slack to avoid any drag.

On a tubular machine, I pull the excess off to one side and place the roll under the hoop.  Again, the key is to unroll enough stabilizer to avoid any drag on the hoop.  

After the embroidery is complete, just remove the project from the hoop, slice the stabilizer close to the embroidery and repeat the process.

You have to try this!

 

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