I believe that software goes hand in hand with machine embroidery. Even if I don’t want to change the design at all, I personally need to be able to print actual size templates so that I can mark my fabric and hoop accurately; this is best done in software. The worst feeling is spending 40 minutes stitching a design on a shirt only to try it on and realize you have a lovely embellished armpit (or worse!) Using a printed template removes any guesswork as to where the design is going to end up when it is stitched.
So yes, in Hoop Savvy, we will work a bit in software to show you how to do some fun “hoop related stuff” such as watching the design stitch out on screen to help you plan the stitching at the machine. And what about creating and visualizing repeating border designs without having to print out multiple copies on paper – wouldn’t it be great to preview the border in software when you digitize it?
Of course, we will also talk about creating layouts for multi-position hoops with alignment lines, and how to add a basting box to help with professional stitched results when floating. Oh yes, we will talk about floating in case you were wondering what that was all about! And if you have misplaced or never got the plastic grid that came with your hoop – I’ll show you how to create a new one using software so that you can mark your fabrics for accurate placement!
Here come the butterflies again….
Stay tuned – I will have links with 50% off pricing to share with you as soon as the class launches! I know you like a sale as much as I do 😀
I will admit that my reason for today’s post is to “make things easier for me”. Smile with me – once you get to know me, you will find I am all about EASY – easy for me and easy for you!
I belong to quite a few machine embroidery groups on Facebook and one of the questions that I see asked quite often is how to line up multiple hoop designs such as 3 letter monograms or words/names using just a single position hoop. I did a blog post on this a few years ago, and I teach a Craftsy class on it, I have a coupon for that class, and I have a free alignment line library for Embrilliance available from another post….so you can see ALL the work I have to do to find those posts that all relate to one another! So as I was flying back from visiting family in CT last night I thought, “hmmm Lisa, why don’t you do a blog post with all that information in it in one place so you and everyone else can have all the information in one place”.
The most popular post on this topic is on how to add alignment lines to a design. This technique can be done with any sized hoop and I created some screen captures of the steps I would take to use this technique for a 3 letter monogram. For the complete original post, you can find it here: Original Post
In the original post, there is a link for a zipped file with alignment lines. A few months later, Embrilliance came out with the first BX file, a library of alignment lines that could be added to any Embrilliance program.
This made it very easy for me – and everyone else – to add center crosshairs or alignment lines to any design. In case you missed that blog post, here is the link to the original.
I really do like to create a stitch designs that are bigger than my hoop. And it doesn’t matter if I have a 4×4, 5×7, 6×10 or 8×12 hoop – once you learn the technique, if you are like me, you will notice that a few things will happen:
1. The hoop size becomes irrelevant – does NOT even matter one bit anymore because you have software and can line up anything.
2. Because the hoop size is irrelevant….yes your embroidery gets bigger even when you get a bigger hoop 🙂 There really is no limit to what you can embroider as far as size goes.
3. You may find that it is easier to rehoop more often instead of splitting a design down the middle.
For example, you could look at the size of the above design and see that it could be split in half – right down the middle of the third flower, in my opinion YUCK. It would be so much easier to put the sun in one hoop, the flowers in a second and the bear in a third – keep all the designs together. When you use alignment lines between each overlapping section, no one will ever know that you only have a 5×7 hoop!
And if you want to learn from the ground up how to create big design layouts with any size hoop – check out my Craftsy class! Here is a discount on the class which has 7 projects – all done with a small hoop (click on graphic below to go to the sale page). The techniques can be applied to any size hoop. I personally enjoy taking Craftsy classes – what I like about them is that I can watch them any time and as often as I want. Asking questions is super easy – just pause the video, ask your question and you’ll get a personal answer.
So here is a link with a discount coupon (click on the graphic below) – and if you like my Facebook page, you will see that every so often I put up discount notices for other classes!
So these are just a few of the blog posts I have done that talk about rehooping designs to create larger layouts. I hope that even though they are repeats, you find it nice to have all the similar information brought together in one post 🙂
In a previous post about lining up two or more designs in Embrilliance Essentials, I provided a zipped file with the alignment lines in it. This did get me thinking….”wouldn’t it be nice if there was a library available of various types of alignment stitches right in the program?” I happened to mention this to Brian Bailie and I would say within 5 minutes he sent me this file and said “will this work?” So we did some tweaking and and testing to make sure there were no serious issues on my computers and we are now ready to let you guys test it if you want!
So how do you get this library of alignments? Download the Alignments.BX file from this link. YES, if you have AlphaTricks or have seen the video, you know exactly what a BX file is! Its like a design file with an installer included in it. This is why when some of you asked “how do I convert my designs to the BX format” – – it really isn’t a format per se. A BX file can contain a pre-mapped alphabet collection OR a set of embroidery designs OR…oh wait I can’t say anymore 🙂 You’ll just have to wait and see what Embrilliance has in store for you!
Here is the download link: Alignments.bx file
So, you download the BX file. Open Embrilliance Essentials and drag and drop the BX file onto the design page. You’ll get a nifty little window saying that the alignments have been added to your library, just like this:
So now you go up to the little gear button – where you would normally get your built in library designs – and from the pulldown menu at the top choose Embrilliance Alignments and you will see the new files available in the library:
You can add these to your designs just like you would any of the library files! If you want a center crosshair to stitch in the center of you hoop first (to put a cross on the stabilizer at the center of your hoop) insert the cross and make sure it stitches first! You know I love to use alignment lines to line up designs because they are the most accurate from a mathematical point of view. If you have a 36″ ruler on a table – it is really obvious when it is not straight because it is so long. If you have a toothpick on the same table – it could be off and you wouldn’t know it because its too small. The “points of reference” of the yardstick are 36″ apart – a toothpick is maybe 2″ apart? BUT ANYWAY – I digress 🙂
Because there are many different types of alignment objects that people are familiar with, we put a whole bunch of them together in this library – you choose which you like to use to get the best results! And yes you can resize these in the software.
Now, please know that we are providing them as a BX file today so you can try them out and give us feedback at http://www.Embrilliance.com and click on Contact Us. Please do not post a question on Facebook or this blog if you want it answered quickly by someone in support! I have no idea if wordpress will tell me if there is a message here in a timely manner and I would hate for you to think I was ignoring you!! The Embrilliance team wants to hear from you if you are having issues so that they can be addressed before the next update comes out! Because YES the plan is to include this file in a future update — unless everyone hates it :-O
So – here’s to lining stuff up! Look for some future posts that talk about using my favorites!
Until next time, happy stitching!