Hoop Savvy has launched on Craftsy!

Well today is the day – class has launched and I’ve already been answering questions!  You guys are FAST 🙂  For those of you that are interested in taking the class and want to save $20, be sure to use my special sale link.

Hoop Savvy special pricing

Thanks for all the warm wishes and support!



Splitting Embroidery Designs for the 5×12 (130mm x 300mm) PES hoop

Multi-position hoops are pretty awesome if you want to expand your embroidery area and do bigger designs on your machine without rehooping.  LOVE this for names and border designs like an embellished yoke of a shirt!  So you get this bigger hoop and you try to send a 5×12 design to your machine and — nothing.  No big design no nothing!  So what’s so great about this hoop if you can’t use it?

What the hoop allows you to do is hoop once and you stitch designs in each position so that when complete, you have a big design.  Yes, you can attach the hoop to the machine and simply stitch designs in the hoop to create a scene or name moving them using the machine layout functions.  But it is so much easier to use software to do this.

So if you have a larger design that you want to stitch in this hoop, it needs to be split into sections that fit your 130 x 180mm design area – approximately 5×7.  To split a design you need to use software.  There are various programs out there that will do this – I use Embrilliance Essentials because it really is as easy as 1-2-3. 

1. Choose Hoop from Preferences.

2. Open Design and it will show up in the hoop -size, add lettering, whatever you want to do.

3. Go to File > Save Stitch file and the software splits and saves the design file for you into sections that fit your machine.

See it in action – click here

Click here to see how easy it can be to split embroidery designs for this hoop!

Click here to see how easy it can be to split embroidery designs for this hoop!

No fiddling with assigning stitches to hoop flags or moving stuff because the software needs to have complete colors in specific spots or any other “technical” thing for you to worry about.   The Essentials software takes care of all the “technical stuff”.  You just need to be created and create the design layout you want.  Save the file, load each to the machine in the order & position instructed in the TXT file and start stitching.  The TXT file even includes the color break information from the original Large design layout. 

Like I said – super duper simple! 

Until next time – Happy Stitching!   Lisa

If this idea on easily splitting designs intrigues you – you can get more information on Essentials by clicking on this graphic and link:

Click Here for information on all of the affordable easy to use Embrilliance products!

Click Here for information on all of the affordable easy to use Embrilliance products!

Waiting for my Craftsy class to be released….. no Foolin’ around here!


So today is the day…..butterflies in my stomach!

My class on Craftsy is scheduled to be released some time today.  When I was told it was to be released on April 1st, I was like “seriously?!?” but then I thought that the timing was perfect 🙂  Today is a day of fun and silliness – so what better day for my first Craftsy Class, Big Embroidery with a Small Hoop, to be released!


So I started this post in the morning….and VOILA!! Here is the announcement!  Use the above link to get the class at half price!

So, what’s the class about? Thinking, planning and stitching designs that are bigger than your hoop.  We will cover templates and alignment lines – the whole process from start to finish.  There is no reason to think you are limited to a small embellishments just because you have a small hoop!  The design shown above is just one of the hands on projects you can stitch.

So this is no joke! You can stitch big designs with any size hoop – I promise it’s really not that scary and I’ll be sharing some tips & tricks that make the process fun and easy.  I invite you to take advantage of my introductory half price coupon and check out this class.

Happy Stitching!

Small Lettering

First, when I talk about small lettering – I am referring to letters that are around 1/2″ and smaller that are a satin stitch. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, satin stitches have the most pull, so when stitched as a small size, there is always a possibility for puckers which is something you want to avoid.

If you are creating the lettering using fonts that are built into the software program, you should have the ability to make stitch property adjustments.  When letters are smaller, you want to give the “illusion of fill” without having so many stitches.  To do this you want to INCREASE the underlay (this gives color like a basecoat of paint) and DECREASE the density of the top stitches.

Small Lettering

In Embrilliance Essentials, this is done by selecting the text for the built in font and clicking on the Stitch tab.

NOTE: Fonts that have been added to the program as BX files may not show a Stitch tab as shown above because they were not digitized with Embrilliance software so there are no stitch properties in the files to adjust.

So, what kind of adjustments do I make for small lettering?  FIRST, I set my top finishing stitch density to .6 or .7mm  In Embrilliance, the measurements for density are in “points” which is equivalent to a tenth of a millimeter – so as you see in the picture I have selected 7 points.

For the Underlay, I have scooted the running stitch to be closer to the edge.  The “edge” meaning where the needle goes into the fabric to create the satin top stitching.  If you set the Edge Run to zero, it would be right under the needledowns.  You want it to be inset just a bit, but not too much.  Mine is set to half a millimeter -yes you may need to adjust this up or down based on the fabric you are stitching on.

Basically, the Edge Run is putting down a perpendicular running stitch that the satin stitches are going to be able to grab onto.  It’s an added stabilizing stitch providing a foundation for the decorative top stitching (satins).

The satin underlay normally has a similar stabilizing function and is usually set to be a default of 1.8-2.0 millimeters – a true zigzag looking stitch.  However, with small lettering, you want to decrease the distance between the zig zags because you want the threads to add “color” underneath the top satin as well as act as a stabilizing stitch.  Since we’ve decreased the top density, there is less to stabilize, so I like to think of this underneath zigzag as more of a basecoat.

The satin underlay provides some “fill and color” and the lighter density top finishing satin provides the shine and more coverage.  You have to remember we’re talking about small fonts here.  They may not look completely full and satin like on screen, but your stitch out will be so much smoother and flatter that the small lettering will be readable.

Making these changes has nothing to do with changing the stabilizer!  You still want to use the appropriate type of stabilizer for the type of fabric you are stitching on.

Until next time – may your bobbins be full!

Click Here for information on all of the affordable easy to use Embrilliance products!

Click Here for information on Embrilliance software for Mac or PC!

How to Save a Design in Embrilliance Software

No matter which Embrilliance program you are using – the free Express mode with BX files, Essentials, AlphaTricks, Density Repair Kit or Enthusiast – its super easy to save the designs you have created. I even show you how to overcome the most common error of “the design doesn’t show up at my machine, why?”

Click Here for information on all of the affordable easy to use Embrilliance products!

Click Here for information on all of the affordable easy to use Embrilliance products!

Adding a Basting Box to a Design – why & how

I’ve recently joined a few new embroidery groups on Facebook that are machine specific. I’ve found the conversations quite interesting, the projects are just as adorable as ever, and most of the people are looking to their online community for answers, tips and tricks – just like I was back in the 90s!  So this blog post is dedicated to all those starting out.  Thanks for turning back the clock!

So – the “Basting Box”

What is she talking about – we’re embroidering not sewing!  Some machines have a function built into them that will baste a design.  What this is, is a long running stitch that can go in a box shape at the border of a design OR around the entire hoop. This will stitch first, before the design stitches. Software programs like Embrilliance Essentials allow you to add a basting box to an existing design.  This is handy if your machine doesn’t have this function. If you don’t have software yet – I’ve provided a link here for a 100×100 basting box in the PES format so that you can actually try using one and see if it works for you.

Link to zipped file Zipped_BastingBox_4x4.zip

I’ve found the basting box so useful, that it is part of every single design I stitch and can’t imagine not going to Utility > Basting Box before I send a design to my machine.  Here are the reasons why:

  1. It is a long running stitch that attaches the stabilizer to the fabric.  When using adhesive stabilizer it is an extra safeguard against fabric shift.
  2. If you are using a topping, and I use a topping on every single embroidery design as well, it holds that in place.
  3. You don’t need to use pins as your extra set of hands in the hoop
  4. Doesn’t matter what color thread you use – I normally use the first color in the design because I’m lazy. If you want use a thread color that blends into the background fabric, if you are multiple hooping a design and the basting box is covered by stitches or you miss clipping some, it will be less noticeable.
  5. It takes less time to stitch a basting box than to drag out Peggy’s Stitch Eraser to fix an oops.  This goes right along with “measure twice, check it one more time, then make the cut”

In the software….

It would be easier for me to show you how to add the basting box using Embrilliance Essentials, so I created this short video and posted it to my youtube channel.  Please feel free to subscribe to LisaSewBubbles on youtube if you would like to have a notice sent to you when other videos have been posted!

Link to youtube video

If you don’t have software….

If you don’t yet have software I included a link to a 4×4 basting box earlier.  What you would do is simply load this to your machine as a design and stitch it first.  Then while the hoop is still at the machine, stitch the actual design. It would be just like the following, except you have two designs, not the basting box in the design.  Consider the basting box to be color 0 – – – just saved in its own file.

At the machine…

So this is what happens at the machine.  I have loaded my design that has been saved with the basting box added (watch the video above if you missed this part).  You will see that the first color is the box – I normally stitch this in the same color as color #2, the first actual part of the design.


I hoop my stabilizer – adhesive stabilizer or in this case a simple tearaway with Mettler Web Bond sprayed on – and place my fabric in the hoop.  If I was “hooping” a child’s t-shirt for example, I would hoop polymesh stabilizer (my favorite for knits), spray, turn the shirt inside out for easier placement in the hoop and tape it, clamp it, pin it out of the way.  I normally do not pin to the stabilizer in the hoop simply because I find that with smaller hoops I have to “man handle” the stabilizer too much and that can stretch it or cause shifting…resulting in not so stable foundation.


I’m ready to go to the machine – so I attach the hoop and float my water soluable stabilizer on top and stitch color #1 – the box – which attaches all three layers in one step.  Nice and stable.


Now I stitch the rest of the design…


I decided to come upstairs and finish the blog post so the design is not yet finished!  I will be updating this post with the zip file link in a few minutes.

Once the design is done, I will snip the basting bobbin threads from the back side to remove the basting stitch using my Kai 5100C scissors.  Remove the top basting stitch and pull the WSS away from the design.  I then take the design out of the hoop and if I had used polymesh or cutaway stabilizer I would use my Kai 5135C curved scissors with the slightly blunted tip to trim the cutaway really close.  I normally trim my jump stitches at the machine (using my Kai 5130DC double curved scissors that are super sharp and go over the hoop.  If I hadn’t I would trim the jumps BEFORE I removed the washaway on top – simply because if its easier to trim jumps with the WSS there and then it’s cleaner to remove it without the jumps possibly catching on the WSS.

Hope this now makes some sense.

If you are interested in getting more information on Essentials or any of the Embrilliance programs, please click on this link to be taken to their website!

Click Here for information on AlphaTricks and all of the affordable easy to use Embrilliance products!

Click Here for information on Essentials and all of the affordable easy to use Embrilliance products!

         Happy Stitching!

Stabilizers – starting a conversation

All sorts of stabilizers – photo from pinterest

Let’s talk a little bit about stabilizers and what their job is when it comes to machine embroidery. There is NO WAY that one blog post can cover everything about stabilizers – I actually started out being very general in my post and then thought it would be best if I focused on one thing at a time.

Now just to clarify what I’m talking about when it comes to stabilizers – this is something that is used to create a stable foundation in the hoop at the embroidery machine.  There are many different brands and types, each has its own job, there really is no ONE stabilizer that works for every single application.

I took a class many years ago from a commercial digitizer, when the home market of machine embroidery was in its infancy and something he said has stuck with me ever since. For results that will last washings, wear and time, the stabilizer you use is most important, the item you are stitching on is completely irrelevant.  Choose your stabilizer type and weight to fulfill the needs of the design (stitch count, density, etc).  I like to keep this thought in mind when I’m choosing which stabilizer to use for a project.

It makes sense if you think about it – if the stabilizer is what is holding all the stitches, your embroidered item is just “hanging out” enjoying the embellishment.  So with that frame of mind, if you used a cutaway stabilizer, you could probably stitch any design on any fabric!  But we use other types of stabilizer for our projects because we don’t want to add the bulk of a cutaway for fabrics that do not need this type of stability.

AH – so you choose a tearaway to match the cotton fabric, you stitch the design and something is not right – maybe you’ve got a bit of puckering or the outline doesn’t match. Maybe the design feels really thick when you take it out of the hoop and remove the stabilizer.  These are “signals” that the design you are stitching may be too dense for the fabric you have chosen to stitch on — the last part of that sentence is what you need to contemplate.  “the fabric you have chosen to stitch on”.

ProjectAdvisorYes different fabrics will react to having a design embroidered onto it differently than others.  There is no 100% correct all the time end all be all solution match up embroidery design, fabric & stabilizer – sorry!  Unless you like the look of cutaway showing through on your batiste curtains.  There is however some good charts and resources available to you so that you have a starting place for your choice.  Some software programs like Embrilliance Essentials will offer you suggestions right in the program.  Other programs like Embrilliance Density Repair kit will not only offer you these suggestions, but will try to adapt the design to match the fabric you are choosing to stitch on.

I also like the PDF file provided by Embroidery Library that has quite a robust chart of types of fabrics with the type of stabilizer used AND the styles of embroidery designs that works best!  This is very handy and a great place to start when planning your embroidery projects.  Here is the link to that PDF file from Embroidery Library.  Not only is Embroidery Library one of my goto resources for finding particular embroidery designs but they also have a great resource in their project section.

So here is a teenie tiny slicing start for a conversation on stabilizers 🙂  I have to laugh that on one of the embroidery groups I belong to, someone commented about all the photos of beautiful projects I post.  If they could only see all the whoops of bad choices I’ve made over the years!  I may not be an expert in stabilizers, but I’ve surely made my fair share of poor choices with interesting results — I just choose not to photograph and share all of those!  Learning by experience has the S.O.P. for my journey into machine embroidery.  Just hope that I can share a little of that experience with you and maybe it will help!

Until next time – happy stitching!