Archive of ‘Uncategorized’ category

Inspirations Dealers are the Best!

What a week! We had 30 fabulous dealers from all over the US join us in Dallas for two days of Inspirations software training. They braved the hot, hot Texas weather to learn how to use Perfect Embroidery Pro, My Block Piecer, My Quilt Embellisher and Word Art in Stitches. They met the whole Inspirations team plus had a tour of our offices.

2015-08-01_12-27-27Not only did they enjoy learning the software programs but they told us what their customers are up to. I’m always interested in hearing about their classes, projects and events. The whole DIME team learns by listening and dealers aren’t shy. They are successful business people with their pulse on industry trends. They are as the saying goes, out in the trenches, and share their thoughts freely. We love meeting with our dealers.

If you spot your dealer in the photos, give them a big thank you for attending Inspirations software training. After all, it’s knowledge they’ll be sharing with you soon!2015-08-01_12-28-25

 

July Updates

 

Happy Fourth of July!

Hope you’re enjoying your holiday weekend. When you tear yourself away from the festivities, you’ll find July’s free designs on the My Today page of Perfect Embroidery Pro, ready for download. 

Once you open Perfect Embroidery Pro, you’ll be prompted to accept the latest version, 8.47. Just follow the prompts to receive helpful new updates. Here’s what you’ll find:

Enhanced icons – those that are active are brighter while the dormant icons are softer. The distinction between the two is now easily identified.

You’ll find a new option for forcing a machine to stop between color changes in applique designs. Since some machines skip a color change when identical colors are next to each other in the stitch order, adding a check mark in the Color Change box will ensure the machine stops at the correct time.  If you’ve been struggling with this at your machine, you’ll find the stop specifically helpful between the placement guide and tack down of an applique design.

After numerous requests, we’ve added the Break Up Path feature for faster editing of buttonholes.  Select the buttonhole design, right mouse click and select Break Up Path from the drop down menu.

The elements will now be grouped in two groups – the decoration and the actual buttonhole.

We all have a favorite thread chart that we use to select our threads. Of course, you’ve been able to select a default palette and custom any chart. Now when you load a C2S design, Perfect Embroidery Pro will convert the colors to your thread chart if you’ve selected that option in Tools, General Options, Environment. Just put a check in the box to activate the option.

If you have Microsoft Surface tablet, you’ll enjoy the new, larger My Today screen.

PES format users rejoice! The warning message regarding designs that are larger than 200mm x 300mm is now a thing of the past.

Open Perfect Embroidery Pro today, download the update and enjoy all the improvements!

 

A Moment with Your Mom

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This year marks my first Mother’s Day without my mom as she passed away on Nov. 16, 2014. My mother and I were separated by 1400 miles but I always felt that we were just moments apart.  In just a moment I could pick up the phone and hear her voice – catch her upbeat contagious joy and gratitude.  Listen to the latest family news, laugh at her funny anecdotes and marvel at how she continued to remain so happy despite her failing health.

My mom was 5’1”, nimble on her feet and in her mind. She often hurried across the floor anxious to reach a chair. When she landed, she lit up the room with her smile. She had a kind word and favorite memory for everyone – let me make that clear – e v e r y o n e!  She could connect with anyone. She found common ground with all people and immediately put strangers or newcomers at ease.

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Not really a fashion icon, Mom had a sense of style and color that was perfect for every occasion. She eschewed the latest trends opting instead for fashions that complemented her figure and lifestyle.  She had class.

She was smart – she read three newspapers a day – and she remembered everything, I mean everything! She could recall the name of your childhood best friend’s uncle – and his wife’s name! She remembered the weather and what she wore to an anniversary party in 1978. She was the best Trivial Pursuit player – ever! We all fought to have mom on our team. And crossword puzzles? She completed one every day for over 30 years.  She knew stuff we never even heard of!

My mom was always there for me, for my five sisters and my father.  Yet, somehow, she managed to keep her distance; she didn’t intrude on our marital relationships and yet was always just a moment away. What I wouldn’t do for one of those moments right now.

Happy Mother’s Day to you and to your mom. Count your blessings this year and steal a moment with her if you can. And if you’re lucky enough to celebrate with her, stitch a lovely ‘something’: a small pillow or linen tea towel to acknowledge her importance in your life.

Click the images below to download the lovely designs – my gift to you in memory of my mom and in honor of your mom.

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

“Every sewing studio runs more smoothly with embroidery essentials. For today’s blog, Eileen reached for Sulky’s Soft N Sheer Plus to complete the garment. What’s your favorite go-to Sulky product? Post a comment and one very lucky winner is going to score BIG courtesy of our friends at Sulky!” And the winner is:  Sharon – “As a newbie embroiderer I find your tips very helpful. It’s a case of “I don’t know what I don’t know.””

Multi-Needle Monday: Text Tools at Your Fingertips

 

One of my favorite features about my multi-needle machine (Enterprise or Entrepreneur) is the touch screen text tools. As an embroidery business owner I wear a lot of hats; marketing, finance, designer, and operator so if I can save a little time to stitch a name on a hat back or the sleeve of a coaches shirt I am elated. Using the programmed fonts and editing tools to accomplish this task makes professional looking lettering at your fingertips.

Convert horizontal text into vertical text.

There are a handful of occasions when a vertical name is needed such as: bat bags, locker bags and a length of a sleeve. This is how I create the vertical text on my 10 needle embroidery machine.

 

Step1. Select the lettering icon on the main screen and type in the word “Coach”. Generally the vertical name or word would be all caps.

Select the Array icon and diagonal choice.

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Step2.Select and hold the lower bottom bold diagonal line. The letters will move from a diagonal into a perfect vertical line. Touch close and embroider the text. Size and spacing can still be adjusted as needed.

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Array Text

Select the horizontal line icon and the arch icon. There are many different ways to position the text with the array keys. The arch feature is the perfect tool to use if you add a name to the back of a baseball hat. You can easily squeeze the letters to fit around the opening.

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Slice Tool

This feature separates each letter in a line of text.

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Type in the name or text needed and select “Spacing” icon. Touch the picture of a knife and you will notice the knife moving between each letter in the word.

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Use the “select” key to highlight a letter to be re-sized or moved if needed. Touch edit end and embroider the text.

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Learn more helpful machine embroidery business information by taking my Craftsy class : How to Start an Embroidery Business by Marie Zinno.

Click the link to save $10 on this class.

https://www.craftsy.com/ext/MarieZinno_4963_D

Software Saturday – My Quilt Embellisher Labels


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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.

Multi-Needle Monday: Automatic Appliqué on the Brother Entrepreneur and Baby Lock Enterprise

As owners of the Baby Lock Enterprise and Brother Entrepreneur, we are so fortunate to have the latest and greatest technology at their finger tips. We have the scanner and live camera along with automatic basting file (shown in an earlier blog for embroidering t-shirts) and another helpful, quick technique the automatic appliqué feature. The automatic appliqué can create any shape, text or embroidery design into an appliqué without using embroidery software. There is an icon on the screen to convert each design into an appliqué.

I created a simple three-letter monogram inside a diamond shape design right at the embroidery screen; no embroidery software needed. The steps below will guide you how to create your own appliqué once a design, text or shape is shown on the screen.

Step 1. Select the shapes icon under Exclusives and choose the diamond shape.

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Resize the diamond shape to approximately 4″ wide or the size you wish to embroider and select Edit End. diamond mono3

Step 2. Click the blue shield icon; this will add the automatic appliqué around the diamond shape.

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Step 3.Use the select key and highlight the black diamond shape as shown in photo (the original shape) and delete it.

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Go to “Add”. Choose the monogram icon.

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Step 4. Select the letters for the monogram; left, middle and right letters to fit properly inside the shape.

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Resize the letters to fit inside the satin stitches.

Step 5. Hoop the fabric and stitch the placement color (1st color). Add the fabric on top of placement color. diamond mono13diamond mono14diamond mono15 Remove hoop from machine and trim excess fabric from around diamond shape.

Step 6. Replace the hoop on the machine and stitch the satin stitch and monogram. diamond mono16

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Instant applique! Right at your fingertips!

 

Learn more helpful machine embroidery business information by taking my Craftsy class : How to Start an Embroidery Business by Marie Zinno.

Click the link to save $10 on this class.

https://www.craftsy.com/ext/MarieZinno_4963_D

Multi-Needle Monday – Tackling Hard to Hoop Items

My favorite solution for hard-to-hoop items is Quick Snap Frames. There are many uses for the Quick Snap Hooping System such as stitching backpacks and small cosmetic cases. The Quick Snap System comes with a variety of metal base frames that are inserted into a bracket attached in the center back of the embroidery machine.

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The top clear frames are held in place with super strong magnets that slide into the grooves. Seven metal frames and 15 coordinating top frames are included with Quick Snap.

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Sometimes a particular accessory has many obstacles such as zippers, rivets, tiny inside pockets of bags and thick bulky seams. If the clear top acrylic frames do not lay properly or easily because of bulky seams, my solution is to use only the magnets.

Here’s how I use them. Measure the design, measure the opening of the accessory and select the correct size Quick Snap metal base frame. Attach the metal base frame to the machine and use the trace feature to make sure the design is centered and fits in the selected frame.

Mark your item to be embroidered with a target sticker and place a piece of stabilizer on top of the metal frame. Slide the item onto the frame, centering the target sticker under the needle. Add the magnets.

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The magnets will hold the item on the metal frame during the stitching process. This technique made easy work of monogramming nine cosmetic cases for wedding attendant gifts.

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Follow the same instructions for embroidery a larger item such as a backpack. The monogram for the backpack measures 5” tall and the zipper area was a bit restrictive for the top clear frame. So I measured and centered the design before the pocket of the backpack was inserted on the frame.

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The magnets easily held the bulky (and expensive) backpack on the hoop. Of course this was for my 17 year old daughter and she wanted metallic thread! It turned out great, just as she envisioned.

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Software Saturday – Text on a Path – Fast and Friendly!

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.

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!

If you missed Tuesday’s webinar on Template Tricks, click here to watch Katherine Artines fantastic insider tricks!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9EAZLs1fko&feature=youtu.be

 

Multi-Needle Monday: Embroidering on T-shirts

Embroidering t-shirts are so simple on a multi-needle machine. Through my five years teaching on the road with my Stitching Sister we have discovered many interesting scenarios regarding hooping t-shirts. Single needle embroidery machine owners have to be creative when they hoop and embroider a t-shirt. We teach some out of the ordinary techniques such as using tape, clips, Hoop Guards, spray adhesive and pins. Some people use all of the items listed! If you are fortunate enough to own a multi-needle embroidery machine, hooping and embroidering a t-shirt is very simple.

Step1. Select the embroidery design and decide on the appropriate size hoop. T-shirts should not be embroidered on a hoop larger than a 5” x 7” for optimal quality. For example: stitching jumbo letters or multiple lines of text on a stretchy knit fabric is not ideal. Make your job a bit easier and re-size the design to fit in a 5” x 7” or 4” x 4” hoop.

Step 2. Stabilizer rule: If it stretches, cut it out. It’s that simple. Stabilize the wrong side of the t-shirt in the area to be embroidered with a fusible no-show or poly-mesh cut away stabilizer. Cut the stabilizer larger than the hoop you plan to use. For a 4” x 4” hoop, cut a 8”  square of fusible stabilizer. (Poly mesh and no-show are interchangeable terms.) Poly mesh stabilizer is available in fusible and non-fusible in white, natural or black colors.

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Step3. Do not over stretch the fabric when placing it in the hoop. Once the fusible poly mesh is ironed in place, carefully hoop the fabric taut without over stretching. Mark the area to be embroidered with a target sticker; cross hair centered in the hoop. The fabric should be tight like a drum, without ripples. Feel underneath the hoop to make sure excess fabric is not caught in the hoop. Remove the target sticker after it is aligned with the needle bar.hoop1

Step4. DO NOT FLOAT! (To float fabric is to hoop stabilizer and spray adhesive to the stabilizer, then add the garment or fabric on top of the hoop. The fabric is not actually contained in the hoop.) I hear so many embroiderers talk about floating the garment or fabric and floating the fabric does not create any tension on the fabric.

Embroidery machine manufacturers make hoops because it is the best way to stabilize the fabric. Yes, there are many instances when you might need a specialty hoop and we are glad to have them. On a daily basis, hoop properly and your embroidery will look professional.

Step 5. Use water soluble stabilizer on top of the fabric to keep the thread from sinking into the knit fabric. Hold the stabilizer in place with the basting file.hoop2

Step 6. Use the free-arm ability to easily embroider tubular items such as t-shirts, sweat shirts and onesies. Insert the neckline over the machine throat and let the body of the shirt hang below the throat. Get creative if the design is more vertical, you can use the sleeve to fit around the hoop’s extended attachment.

Want to learn more about stitching professionally? Take advantage of this $10 coupon for my Craftsy class, How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business.

 

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.

[KGVID width=”640″ height=”350″]http://dzgns.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Batch-ConversionPEP.mp4[/KGVID]

To watch on YouTube, click here.

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

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