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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


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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.


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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


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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

 


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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.

 


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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!


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Software Saturday – The Backdrop Tool in My Quilt Embellisher

One of the helpful features of Inspiration’s My Quilt Embellisher is the backdrop tool. The backdrop tool allows you to bring an image on to the screen and audition embroidery in actual time. It’s a surefire way to design beautiful blocks.
First, take a photograph or scan an image of your quilt into your computer. Take note of where you stored the photo on your hard drive.
Open a new file in My Quilt Embellisher. Go to File, Load Backdrop. Locate the image of your quilt block and click OK. MQE_b1
The image appears behind the grid on your screen. Chances are the image is not perfectly square on the screen. That’s ok; it’s an easy fix in My Quilt Embellisher. Hover the cursor over the backdrop tool on the left toolbar. MQE_b2
Click on the small arrow under the icon to access the Backdrop tools. Select Define horizon. MQE_b3
Place the cursor on one corner of the block and with the left mouse button depressed, drag the cursor across the block to the opposite corner. Release the mouse. The image will straighten on the screen. MQE_b4
In the properties box, notice the size of the image – it’s quite large. MQE_b5
That measurement is the size of the image, not the block. So let’s tell the software exactly what size our block should be.
Select Define Scale from the Backdrop tool menu. MQE_b6
Place the cursor on one corner of the block and with the left mouse button depressed, drag the cursor across the block to the opposite corner. Release the mouse. A window appears. Type in the correct measurement. My actual block measures 7” so I type in 7”. MQE_b9
The image shrinks and in the properties box, the size of the image changes too. MQE_b10
The properties box measurement is larger than 7” because it’s illustrating the size of the image – all the white/gray space that’s actually part of the image.
Now that you are viewing the block in actual size, it’s time to audition embroidery designs in the patches. This block was created for a sweet couple, Liz and Mike Tucker. The monogram font is August, the heart is Block Frill Heart (found in Embellishments) and the bird is #57488 in My Quilt Embellisher Free Designs.MQE_b12


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The Dreaded Empty Bobbin Message

 

Several weeks ago, I wrote about quilting Sunkissed on the Shorte. I promised to tell you what you do when you have to change the bobbin in the middle of the quilt. First, I’ll give you two steps to set yourself up for success.

  1. Wind several bobbins before beginning the quilting, you’ll go through them faster than you think.
  2. After quilting several rows of designs, check the bobbin level when the right edge of the quilt is in the hoop. It’s easiest to check the bobbin when you’re stitching near the right edge.

No matter your best intentions, it might slip your mind and you’ll wind up getting the dreaded empty bobbin message:

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The first thing to do is exhale, it’s not the end of the world. Now, take a moment to locate the last stitch.

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Carefully reach under the quilt and release the hoop from the pantograph. Before actually moving the hoop, grasp the Monster top frame, quilt and bottom frame all together, firmly holding it by the frame – not the fabric. Slide a flat board such as a clip board or the magnet shield (that comes with your hoop) under the hoop to create a flat, sturdy resting spot for the hooped quilt. Move the frame/quilt to the left to reveal the bobbin case. Remember the quilt is still attached to the ShortE so you can’t just move the hoop to another work area.

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Change the bobbin.

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Firmly grasp the hooped quilt by the frame and reattach it to the machine. When attaching, push the hoop onto the machine by the attachment, not the frame. The needle should be positioned over the last stitch.

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If not, lift the top frame and reposition the fabric so that the needle is over the last stitch. Hold onto the needle thread and drop the needle into the fabric and pull the bobbin thread to the top surface. Pull a 6-7” thread tail. Continue to stitch the design.

The magnetic frames make minute adjustments under the needle a breeze!

Here’s your assignment this week:
I’m sure you’ve come across the empty bobbin message. What do you do to avoid this? Wind several bobbins? Purchase pre-wound? Throw away almost empty bobbins? Or just bear with it? A random comment will be selected to win a pack of Print & Stick Target Paper!
The winner of last week’s assignment:
Tell us your absolute favorite song that makes you want to sing at the top of your lungs. We will pick 4 random comments and they each will receive a $25 gift certificate to Zippy DesignZ! !And the winners Are: Donna Fecteau, Teresa Mitchell, Breda Sutton and Tammy Wright!

 


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Multi-Needle Monday: The Craftsy Craze

You know the saying that there is never a perfect time to have a baby or get married or do whatever etc etc…It is so true and it’s called life! Our wonderful, loving yet elderly mother passed away in November 2014 while I was working on my Craftsy class. My proposal with Craftsy was accepted in October and I thought a December taping would work ok. Well, mom was definitely not herself when I went to visit in early November and we all noticed a sudden unenthusiastic demeanor. She was always interested in all six of her daughters’ and 12 grandchildren’s stories. She read three newspapers a day; completely a daily crossword puzzle and called us on the phone. All of these routines stopped. She lost interest. We knew her health was failing. Mom could not breathe from COPD and was on oxygen 24-7. It’s a horrible disease and a preventable one. She lost her fight and her “girls” were heartbroken.

I could not focus on work related tasks and to-do lists after her death. But I know my mom would have told me to push through with the commitments I made, stay busy and don’t dwell on sad or negative things. She was right, again. Craftsy gave me the choice to push our date back but my class chapters were 90% ready. So the push continued and I am so glad I did.

My class is bit different than most because it is instructional only. We do not create projects but I guide the student along the way to starting an embroidery business. So many people I meet around the country tell me they embroider for friends, co-workers and family members for free because they are not confident charging for their craft or hobby. Machine embroidery is the perfect business or profession to work in because it’s so flexible.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

The atmosphere at the Craftsy studios is young, fun energy and completely professional at the same time. That can be a hard balance to achieve but they have. The studios are housed in an old taxi cab call center; think of the TV show Taxi.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery BlogEileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Each separate quiet studio has its own camera and sound equipment and staff. My crew worked with me for 3 full days of taping (now they are experts at hooping and tackling hats). The hardest part of the week is trying to smile for hours on end. They really treat you like a star.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

 

The producer is the captain of the ship for sure and the cameraman and editor are the indispensable crew members who all work side by side in the studio with endless wires and sound breaks.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Did I mention how loud it is when a workman goes up on the metal rooftop during our segment? The entire studio, which consists of 5 individual studios complete with their own crew, meets for lunch at the same time each day. I think it eliminates the noise and gives everyone time to chat and discuss the production. It also gives the instructors a chance to meet other instructors who are taping a variety of segments.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I totally forgot to photograph the Keurig coffee station! Every flavor imaginable was offered.

The Craftsy headquarters are located in a high rise building in downtown Denver.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

The cubicles are carefully and artistically decorated with a variety of off-the-wall mementos; such as unicorns and dinosaurs.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

The quiet phone closet features record album covers.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery BlogEileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

 

During my quick visit they were installing new wiring which looked like it would be enough for the entire high rise building but was only for the offices on one floor.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

My experience was absolutely enjoyable and productive at the same time. I hope you have chance to view my class “How to Start an Embroidery Business” if you are interested in starting an embroidery business in the future. Click here and receive a discount on my class. See you over at Craftsy!

 

 


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