Thanks to all of you — voted 2015 Craftsy Best Instructor’s Blog

Craftsy Blogger Awards - Winner Best Instructor's Blog BadgeYes, I am doing the happy dance and it is all because of you!  Thank you so much for taking the time to vote for my blog and let me know that you like the information that I share with you.  It really means alot.

Now don’t laugh, but I’ve been sitting here at the computer trying to think of something to write in addition to this, but I am at a loss for words.  This has been a crazy week – I didn’t even post here that I found out that an article and project I had submitted to Creative Machine Embroidery magazine was not only featured on the front cover but also as a downloadable project! CMEcover silkcase 2015

I have a few things on my “Business Bucket List”, and one of them was to have something of mine featured on the cover of a magazine in my industry.  I’ve been writing magazine articles for years, but they never made it to the front cover!  So as I was browsing through Facebook with my morning coffee and feeling kind of giddy because my blog had made the top 4 in the Craftsy voting…and kapow!  there was my tablet case!  Thank you to the editors at CME for picking my project and showcasing it with such beautiful photography!

Now, if you visit the webpage, there are a few things to download.  First the article with project instructions is always a good thing.  Next there are the embroidery design files and applique templates.  There are a few links on that page and they are only active for a set period of time, so be sure to get them while you can!

In case you were wondering – YES both designs were created using StitchArtist. I really liked the elegant form of the butterfly and knew that the interior holes would be a great job for my Brother ScanNCut. I love using the E-stitch for a finishing stitch for applique and I think it gave a delicate edge for this project.  I’ll let you in on a secret — the flower designs were created to embellish the lining of a jacket I’m working on!  When you want to embellish a lightweight material like jacket lining, you don’t want to use dense designs. Heavy embellishment on a lightweight fabric will change how it drapes and I didn’t want there to be any stabilizer left in the fabric when it was complete.  So I’m working on that project in case you were wondering what else you could do with the designs!

So today’s post is going to be short and sweet — first and foremost because I really wanted it to be about thanking everyone that voted for my blog.  I am honored and very appreciative.  Second – because one of my sew-lutions this year was to be more consistent in my blog posting – once a week is the goal.  Yes, I have 3 sew-lutions, which are sewing related resolutions – blog once a week, decrease the stash, and learn at least 3 new sewing techniques in 2015.  And I think that this whole Craftsy blogger thing will be a motivation for me to stay on track.

Thank you again and hope you all have a wonderful week!  Next blog post – back to the monkey in the box design so we can finish that up!

~Lisa

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And the voting continues – thanks for your support!

TurtleI am so impressed with all of you for voting for my blog and boosting us to 300 votes!  You really made my day.  I wonder if we can get to 400 votes?  Is that too much to ask?  We have until Wednesday Jan 28th at 11:59PM MST so we shall see what happens in the next two days!

So todays free design is another that I have digitized in Embrilliance StitchArtist and it is an applique design.  There are a couple of different things about this design – the finishing stitches are not the traditional machine embroidery satin stitch.  You will also note when you watch the design stitch out that there are no jumps between the purple legs.  I really don’t like to trim jumps and the machines just stitch faster when they travel vs having to slow down, lock, trim, relocate, lock, and ramp back up to speed.  When you have run stitches that travel instead jumps that trim, the machine will just keep on the speed its going.  So when ever possible I like to incorporating travel stitches into the designs I create – hiding them under stitches that will stitch/cover later.

Both Step1of these items are very easy to accomplish in StitchArtist.  First let’s talk about how to get the pretty motif stitch around the applique pieces.  After creating the shape and choosing applique, I set the finishing stitch to None.  If I am using a fabric cutter, I only select the Position stitch.

Yes, I could simply set this stitch type to a single run since I was planning to not have a material position stitch.  However, I know me – I like to change my mind and setting it to be an applique stitch type gives me to flexibility to quickly add the material option in the future by checking the box.  If I set it to a run and later decided I wanted the second run, I would have to copy and paste and make sure it was in the right order or change it from a run to an applique, set it to none and check both boxes.  So I saved myself some extra work today by setting the shapes to applique none in the beginning.

Step2OK, so I have no finishing stitch – how do I get that?  I drew a line around the top part of the shape only along the outer edges and set it to a motif run.  Because it was an open path, The decorative stitch of the turtle shell was going to cover the spots where the head and legs connected anyway!

Step3And since the decorative stitching of the shell was going to cover the sections in between, I simply created short little single runs to travel from one leg to the next.  Since these runs are connecting to the stitches before and after, you will want to turn off the ties if you have them set on your running stitch.  There is no reason to lock these little runs as we want them to be  a planned part of the design.

So here is the link to the Turtle files.

And if you have not yet voted for my blog before the cut off time, Please take a few moments to do so!  I would certainly appreciate it!  Thank you and enjoy!

Craftsy Blogger Awards - Vote for Me badge


Something new to watch for in machine embroidery

Just imagine being able to modify embroidery designs without digitizing software

Just imagine being able to modify embroidery designs without digitizing software

For my last blog post for 2013 I’d like to share with you something new from Embrilliance machine embroidery software that I think is pretty exciting. And to top it all off, they are introducing this new type of embroidery design with some FREE design libraries.  Please continue reading – grab a cup of coffee or your favorite beverage because I’m going to get chatty and in the midst of all that chatter is going to be some useful information.  It might even spark some interest and ideas on what could be next on the horizon.  Don’t worry – you will get the links to the free stuff – but don’t you want to know why these designs are different than anything else out there?

And you really don’t want to miss out on the information about the FREE SOFTWARE that lets you play and save these designs to your embroidery machine.  Yes, you read that correctly – free software if you don’t already have Embrilliance….but I’m not going to get ahead of myself.  Did you get your beverage of choice yet?  I’ll be here when you get back!

As you see from the picture here, it looks like these are just your ordinary machine embroidery applique designs.  Well they are definitely not ordinary!  These are what we call “Moddies” or “user modify-able” embroidery designs.  I’ve been “modifying” embroidery designs for years with stitch editing software, what makes these so special?  Think about it…. you download an applique design and if you have a stitch file resizer you can make it bigger or smaller without too much trouble, you can move the pieces around like the leaves or petals, but you had better make sure you grab all the stitching lines when you move stuff else nothing will line up again.  And this isn’t always an easy task because applique designs don’t show a fill stitch in your editing software. Selecting all the pieces is not hard to do but you have to be careful and pay attention.  Sounds about right?  Well let me show you something cool……

First – what if yoFabric or noneu could see a fabric preview of the applique designs?  No, I’m not kidding and YES I said free software, hold your horses!  This was the coolest thing ever when I first saw it in EmbroideryWorks with the Accuquilt dies. (Embrilliance is made by the same company that makes the Designer’s Gallery software so if things look familiar….) Now you can have this function in the Moddies.  How cool is this to be able to actually see what the finished design will look like with a fabric preview!

Want to change the color of the fabric? all you have to do is click on the color chip for the finishing stitch (color #3 in your standard applique design) choose a different color and the fabric color is updated. The color chips I refer to are shown in the properties pane in the lower right hand side of the screen.

I saw this one feature and was sold but you may not be as easily impressed as I am ….so I will continue with the neat-o cool features of Moddie embroidery designs!

Your project - your choice!

Your project – your choice!

I’m not a huge fan of the “satin finishing stitch” for machine embroidery applique designs. I used to love to do machine applique with a blanket stitch way before I got my first embroidery machine.  It was too much work to get the satin to have a smooth curve so I stayed away from it on the sewing machine. Yes, the satin is forgiving because it covers the bloopers and raw edge so it is the finishing stitch of choice for most machine embroidery applique designs.  But for me, I love the E-Stitch and blanket stitch options.  WELL, just think if YOU had the ability to take that applique design and decide what type of finishing stitch it had!

Select the object and click on the Applique tab in the property pane (where the color chips were in the last picture).

YOU could choose to which finishing stitch to use on the selected object and YES YOU could choose to put satin on one and blanket on another!….and…you can choose the stitch settings like the width and length to match the size or look you are going for!  OK – now you have to admit seeing the flame applique with fabric looks pretty cool doesn’t it?  So much more visually descriptive than just lines of stitching, no?

all togetherSo what if you wanted to move some stuff around – like say add the leaves to the flower in different spots? or maybe take those petals on the flower and combine them to make a four leaf clover instead?  When you select the “object” in the object pane on the right top side, like the leaf for example, it is selected in the design page.  Look at the “color breaks” of this one object in the properties pane on the lower right.  HOLY SMOKES!  All three sets of stitches – the placement, the tackdown the finishing stitch – they are all selected at one time so you can move this little leaf all together wherever you want it in the design page!  OH and you see that little blue circle in the upper right corner of the selection?  That lets you rotate the selected object!  All together – at one time.  OH and see the black handles on the object?  That lets you resize the selected object — all together!

And just as if you were using a digitizing program and creating this yourself with stitch properties…..when you make these modifications to the “moddie design”….wait for it……the stitches are recalculated based on the new shape/size/properties you chose.  So YES, a shape with a blanket stitch going around the edge will actually have more perpendicular stitches added!  This does NOT happen when you simply resize an ordinary applique design with a stitch file resizer like BuzzSize, Embird or even Embrilliance!  This is a function of the design file itself that is activated and accessible in the Embrilliance software.  This happens because this library of designs are Moddies – the latest greatest thing to hit the machine embroidery world.

OK, I know you have heard enough from me about this and I’m sure you want to go play and have some fun 🙂  I did say the designs were free and that you could play with them in free software, so here are the details – I didn’t say here is the catch!  There is no catch!  This design library is free – the Express mode software is free and here is what you need to do to get it.

FIRST, if you already own an Embrilliance customizing program – Essentials, AlphaTricks, Enthusiast or DRK – all you have to do is download the BX file and drag and drop it onto your program and it will install the library files.

SECOND, if you do NOT have Embrilliance software you can still play with these designs using Embrilliance Express mode software.  It is a limited functioning program – it doesn’t have a serial number.  What it allows you to do is use BX files that you have – like purchased alphabet designs in the BX format become keyboard fonts or these moddie designs can be utilized and saved to a stitch file for your machine.

Click here to go to the Embrilliance website

Click here to go to the Embrilliance website!

To get the Moddies, you will want to go to the Embrilliance website, click on the User’s Forum link in the left column and choose the SHARE! forum.  You will see a post made on Dec 24th 2013 by Lisa SewBubbles (that’s me) and you will want to click on that post.

I would highly ….no, strongly recommend that you read this forum post as well because it gives you even MORE information about how to install and access the designs…. with pretty pictures!  And once you read that forum post you will land right at the download link for the moddie library!

If you do not have Embrilliance customizing software and need to get Embrilliance Express mode, you will want to go to the downloads page on the Embrilliance website and select the download for your operating system.  Oh, did I happen to mention that this FREE software will run on EITHER a Mac or a Windows computer, just like the full versions!  Really cool stuff going on at the Embrilliance website!

Click here to go to the Embrilliance website

Click here to go to the Embrilliance website

This is what the Downloads page looks like – do not choose the demonstration version but rather select the program here.  When you download the program, install it and open the program, you are prompted for a serial number.  You get a serial number if you purchase the program so simply choose Done to close the serial number dialog box and you will be informed that you are now running in Express mode. It is a limited function program that allows you to use BX files you have purchased or downloaded.  You will do this each time you open the program when you are running Express Mode.

And just think of the possibilities with Embrilliance!  Using the moddie library design and Embrilliance Express mode, you too can create the following design in a few minutes.  All I have to do now is go to File > Save Stitch file as….save the design to my USB and put it in the machine to stitch.  How cool is that!

The sky is the limit!

The sky is the limit!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until next time!  Happy New Year!  May 2014 bring you health happiness and lots of smiles.

Lisa