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!



The final day to vote with another free design to download! THANK YOU!

Lilly_finalThe final day of voting has arrived and I am so grateful to all of those that have taken the time to vote for my blog.  The internet is a wonderful thing, but unlike presenting in person, its hard to know if your audience understands or even likes the information that you are presenting to them.  I truly appreciate your feedback and will do my best to continue in this manner!

SO – this is Lilly the elephant.  She’s a layered applique design with a couple of 3D items going on 🙂  Her tail is a simple bunco braid that is attached by the applique finishing stitch and she’s got fringe eyelashes!  The fringe is part of StitchArtist Level 2 and I threw that in there because I think it adds a little something to the finished design without going over-board.  Sure you could use this function to create a flapper dress style “fill” but I like to use it as a little bit of wow and it is very simple do do.  Background

But first, Let me show you what the the original photo background looked like.  When you open an image most of the time its in the orientation that we want to work with – but what if it isn’t?  Use the rotation handle in the upper right corner just like you do on any selected object.  So I enlarged the graphic and rotated it so that it was how I wanted to work with it and set the transparency to a lower value so it was less bold on my screen.  I get distracted very easily – squirrel! – so I tend to plan my workspace so I am most productive.

If you look at the first color break in the design, it is a short little run – maybe 5 stitches.  Its only job is to tell me where I need to put the tail down.  Yes, I could have just guessed when the next run stitched which is the applique position – however I do not want to forget that I need the tail!  In a month from now I can load this design to my machine and it will stitch color #1 and I will literally say “OH I almost forgot – I need to put the tail down, where is my yard?”  Since I said this last night and I literally just digitized the design we all know in a month I will have no recollection until I trim the eyelashes and then its too late.

EyelashSo let’s talk about those eyelashes!  This is a StitchArtist Level 2 function as part of the column stitch – its actually a built in style!  The column stitch is one of the most powerful tools when you want to create interesting designs.  It is also how those swirly tatoo style fonts are created.  The angle of the sitches curve or turn with the shape of the object so you may also hear this tool referred to as the “turning angle tool” in your research.

By the way, I am giving to you here, the SIMPLE “this is how you create this exact shape” explanation – so please check out the information in the StitchArtist section of the manual as well as the Embrilliance videos that show all the features and functions of this tool. If you just look at this example, you are getting a shotglass size dose of the 10 gallon drum of information and capabilities of this tool –  so please don’t limit yourself and check it out!

So by selecting the column stitch Left/Right input method, I started on the right and clicked in my top bottom pattern in the order shown alternating top and bottom.  I started on the right because I am used to demonstrating for a group of people and I like for my audience to see what is being created.  It is perfectly OK to start on the left and go right, you just may need to change the Fringe direction.  The direction is dictated by the 1-2 direction.  I wanted the fringe to be loose on the side where the 2 was which is to the right of the 1 so I set it to Fringe Right. The fringe stitch is a satin stitch that has a locking running stitch on one side – this is what holds the top stitches in place in this case just like false eyelash glue 🙂

Lilly_Start  So how does this work at the machine?  I’ve stitched my design completely.  This photo does not have the finishing stitch done on the ear because I was running out of camera battery and wanted to get it all photographed. And yes I have navy bobbin thread in the machine because I was too tired to go get another bobbin plus the navy shows up nice against the white stabilizer 🙂 Laugh with me – its how I roll!

So the way I like to create the fringe – and remember my way is not the only way, we flip over the hoop and with sharp thin blade scissors trim JUST the bobbin thread for these stitches.  Pictured here are the super thin and sharp Kai 5100DC scissors.  They have a double curved handle so they are great going over the hoop for cutting jumps while your fabric is still Lilly_Backin the hoop (between color changes is when I trim).  This very thin blade is also perfect for sliding right underneath the bobbin stitches and cutting them cleanly.

The only threads you want to cut is the thread that is the underside of the satin stitch.  DO NOT cut the running stitch as that is the only thing that is holding the loose threads in place!  Be careful not to impale the fabric when using sharp scissors – I don’t even cut the stabilizer.

And if you have used a tearaway stabilizer for your project just be careful when you tear it away from the backside of areas like this.  I’ve not had any fringe unravel on me after the fact but you don’t need to be giving it any excuse to misbehave.  If you are a afraid of future wear and tear – a drop of fray check at either end should give you piece of mind.  So once you carefully trim the bobbin stitches, flip over the project and carefully run your fingernail over the column stitch and the loops will pop up!

Lilly_eyeAnd here is a tilted side view of Lilly’s long and flirty eyelashes!  I wanted a soft look which is why I only cut the bobbin thread.  You can also cut the top thread on the fringe side (opposite the side of the run stitch) and they single threads will not be looped so they may have a more wild or organic look.

So here are the design files for today’s blog post.  I hope that you enjoyed the information presented during this fun week of voting!  No matter the outcome at midnight tonight – I thank you for your very visual support and appreciation of what I do!  You have each made me feel very special – thank you!

….and if this is your first time to my blog on the final day of voting here’s the link:
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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!

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How to Digitize in StitchArtist Lesson 1 of many – opening the graphic, setting the plan and GO!

monkey in boxBetween Christmas and New Year’s, I thought I would try to make a couple posts on some of the digitizing functions of StitchArtist.  I know many people got the program for Christmas or are thinking about getting the program.  I’ve been using it for over a year and really enjoy creating my own designs.  I thought that creating a series of posts that follow me through a design from start to finish might help give some insight as to how a “non-professional but always learning” digitizer works with the software.

First, let me say that this project will be using StitchArtist Level 1 just to demonstrate that there is quite a bit you can do with this entry level digitizing program!  Yes, it runs on both a Mac or Windows computer and pretty much looks the same on either operating system – so just because the picture/video is done in the Mac version, pretend you are looking at a windows computer and tell yourself “Its ok that my program is not identical, if I click on the same button on my computer that looks a little different, the same thing happens so it’s all good!”  YES you can start with Level 1 and upgrade to Level 2 at any time.  YES the program is stand alone, HOWEVER, I have other Embrilliance titles installed so when you watch the video, you may see other buttons that you will not have if you only have StitchArtist authorized.  I WILL NOT be using any of these buttons, so please do not say “I have StitchArtist Level 1 and mine doesn’t look like yours, why?”  Yours will have every function and feature that I actually click on and use in this blog post – I will not be discussing the other programs.  If you are paying attention to the other stuff I’m not talking about…stop that 🙂

In case I forget, you can find out about the software from the Embrilliance website and here is the direct link to the StitchArtist page:

There are many ways to do any single task – including how to digitize a design.  In fact, I would say ESPECIALLY when it comes to design creation because this is a personal and artistic form of expression.  That being said, I’m going to walk you thru ONE way that I chose to create this embroidery design – not the right way or only way – but rather, my way. Use this information any way you want!

Before I start any embroidery project, I decide what hoop I am going to use.  I’m choosing to create the design for the 5×7 or 130mm x 180mm PES hoop.  Deciding this now will tell me how much detail to include – for example I have zero desire to stitch large areas with fill stitches or cut applique shapes the size of pennies – not my idea of fun.  I also work in metric because it just makes more sense.  I know the difference between a 2mm and 3mm stitch but .078 inches or .118 inches means nothing to me visually – I can’t “see” the difference between those in my head.  But I know that a 2mm running stitch is going to be wicked tiny and a 3mm stitch will do decent curves for a running stitch.  So the first thing I will do is open my software, set my measurement and hoop.

The most common way to begin creating a design is with using a graphic or picture as a guide.  StitchArtist is NOT an automatic digitizing program.  Computer software programs have zero creativity and emotion.  Creating an embroidery design is an artform and StitchArtist provides you with tools so that you can creatively interpret the graphic into a stitch file.  So the first thing I will show you is how to do is setup your workspace and open a graphic into the program.  I drew this monkey in a gift box and scanned it into my computer as a JPG file.  The important part of this step is that what you open as a background is a graphic file such as a JPG, BMP etc.  Formats are listed on the website.  The software doesn’t care that you can’t draw – it cares that you choose a graphic on the computer to open.  How the graphic got there is up to you!

Once I open my graphic as a background, I size it to fit my hoop and save the file.  Saving often it a good plan in my book.  When someone asks how often you should save, my answer is that I save as soon as I finish something I never want to do again.  I strongly dislike duplicating work.  Therefore, I save often.

I have zero intention to replicate the information that is well documented in the manual. Again – I’m not into creating more work for me 🙂  If the manual did not exist or was poorly written, I would have a different opinion on the matter.  However, I read the manual.  Its a great read – one might even venture to say that it is entertaining and fun!  I have a copy in my kindle app so that I can search and refer to it often.  The Embrilliance manual makes sense and gives you background information on digitizing practices as well as how to use the various tools in the program.  I highly suggest that if you have not done so, that you download the manual from the Embrilliance website and check it out.  Not sure where to find it? There is a link on the StitchArtist page to both the FAQ and the manual.

So once the graphic is open in the background – that is the inspiration upon which the embroidery design is going to be created. My “vision” is that this 5×7 design will be part applique with various stitched accents.  The monkey is coming out of the gift box, so the first thing that needs to be created is the box and its lid.  My favorite drawing tool is the point input – click your mouse and that’s a node.  You do not need to have the last click be on top of the first click in order to close a shape – that’s done for you automatically using the close button on the menu bar.  And for those that want to get the most our of their software and have read the StitchArtist chapter as suggested, you already know that you can use the Command+right click (CTRL+right click in windows) to end and close the shape in one step.

The Applique stitch properties for Level 1 has two sections – the stitch properties and the tie off properties. (note: Other levels may have more pages to their properties pane.)  Hopefully you have stitched a few well digitized designs so you know that locking stitches or ties are important at the start of a color/section as well as at the end.  These are called Ties in StitchArtist and you can turn them on or off for each object you create.  Yes, I will show you some examples later on in this project of when you would not want the ties to be turned on.  You have various options for the applique properties – the style of finishing stitch and its density and width for example.

The Applique object type can have up to 3 parts and you have complete control to turn any of these – on or off.  An applique normally has a single run that stitches showing you where the fabric needs to be placed.  This is referred to as the Applique Position stitch.  The machine would stitch this and stop because it is its own colorbreak.  You would place a piece of fabric in the hoop covering this outline.  The next colorbreak is another single run (material position) – it holds down the fabric you just placed in the hoop and stops.  If the fabric you placed in the hoop was not cut to fit this shape ahead of time (either by hand or die or fabric cutter), you would remove the hoop and trim the fabric.  Return the hoop to the machine and stitch the final colorbreak – the finishing stitch.

As you can see in the applique properties, these three “stitching objects” are all part of a single object – so if you reshape the applique shape you automatically reshape each of the components. Kind of cool and saves you a lot of time.  You can also turn off any one or more of these depending on what it is you are trying to do.  For this example, our applique will have the 3 components – we’ll start off simple!


Check out the video clip here to see how we got to this point!

If you thought I was going to work through this entire design in one blog post – SORRY!  If you have the software, I encourage you to play.  By playing with the software, you will slowly develop YOUR WAY to do something which may be different than mine – and that’s a wonderful thing to happen!

We have quite a few more lessons coming up so be sure that you subscribe to my blog.  And please remember that if you have questions on the software, you will ALWAYS get an answer by clicking on the Contact Us link on the website!  This is the best and fastest way to get information on any of the Embrilliance programs.

Until next time – see you online!

Saving cut files for the Cameo, Scan ‘N Cut, & more for embroidery designs

Create with fabric cut using Silhouette Cameo - Essentials will save the cut files from your appliqué embroidery designs!

Create with fabric cut using Silhouette Cameo – Essentials will save the cut files from your appliqué embroidery designs!

I had mentioned in an early post that there was a simpler solution on the horizon for creating cut files for machine embroidery appliqué designs.  Well it has arrived!  The current version of Essentials software has some pretty nifty features and functions for existing appliqué embroidery designs and I just finished the video showing a quick overview of these functions.

Before I give you that link let me first talk about the purse shown to the left.  I’ve been reading about all these people who were embroidering monograms on straw floppy hats they had gotten at discount stores like DollarTree.  Ours did not have any but they did have these really cool circular placemats in all sorts of bright colors.  I picked up a few thinking I could bring out the Puffy Foam from its stash in my closet and try my hand with a swirly monogram.  Before I forget – this alphabet collection is from Rivermill Embroidery and stitches out LOVELY!

And then I thought about trimming those appliqué pieces in the hoop on a textured rather stiff surface like this straw placemat.  Yeah.  I’ve been doing this long enough to know there was not enough wine in my house to calm my nerves with that project! Even with my favorite Kai Scissors! But I knew Embrilliance was working on creating the cut files so I waited a week or so until I got the test version and HOLY SMOKES!  Embrilliance, Cameo and machine embroidery appliqué designs is a winning combination.  I’m in heaven.

And sure I can rather quickly create the cut file in the Studio software and double checking to make sure that it is the exact size and shape to match the embroidery design – but that’s only part of what makes this triple combination so perfect.  In Essentials, when you combine two designs together and over lap them, the Remove Hidden Stitches (RHS) function kicks in when you save the stitch file.  The software AUTOMATICALLY looks at the overlapped area and removes the stitches from the first design on the bottom during the save process.  And what is even better, is that this process is only done in the stitch file – what you will send to the machine.  Your original working file still has the complete designs.  Yes, if you want to tweak things and change them up, no need to start over – simply open your working file (has the BE extension), make your changes, and resave to the stitch file.

One of the potential lumps in an overlapped appliqué

So that’s all fine and dandy with traditional embroidery designs….but yes… this is also possible with appliqué designs – OR if you mix and match appliqué and traditional embroidery style designs!  In other software programs, and I’ve been doing it for years so its nothing new, you would have to open the combined designs and use the stitch editing function to select and delete those stitches underneath.  Again, not hard to do, just extra steps.  And you have to be careful with appliqué, is that you don’t want to remove the placement and material stitches when you start deleting things – then you get into trouble at the machine.

But what Brian Bailie of Embrilliance has done is developed a way for us to go in and tell the software “hey this is an appliqué design.  It has running stitches that are used to mark where the appliqué fabric goes, hold the appliqué fabric in place so you can trim around it, and then finish it off with a satin or other decorative stitch.  So now that you know that, Mr Essentials Software Program, when I choose to overlap these designs, you need to think of the region enclosed by the appliqué position running stitch as “filled with stitches” not this empty white space.  I want you to remove anything that is underneath just like you would if it was a filled stitch design”  Hey – I talk to my software and computers all the time so this does not seem like an unusual conversation to me 🙂

comparison of puffy foam vs none

Now removing the extra satin stitch from overlapped designs may not be that impressive to you.  So you have a little bit of overlapped satin stitches – eh no big deal!  Well you haven’t stitched with Puffy Foam yet have you!  This hit me when I was trying out colors on placemat number 1…the letter S does not have foam under the letters and looks rather choppy.  I was going for a tropical look so not only did the teal colored finishing stitch give me the pop I was looking for, but placing the puffy foam on top of the appliqué fabric and having the finishing satin go right over it really helped it stand out and make a statement.

And because I was using Essentials software, when I stitched the letter S first, where the designs overlapped, the satin had been removed — so there was no shiny bump in those areas – the satins were gone.

I use the Puffy Foam made by Sulky – it tears away very cleanly without pulling the stitches.  No I have not tried craft foam – I have enough of the original in my stash to host kindergarten arts and crafts day for a month so there is no need for me to try anything else.  Hey, it was on sale and its not like it will go bad!

Seriously, my stash has been in development for years.  I have been challenging myself to use fabric in my stash first so it has been shrinking – not as quickly as I would have liked, but its a work in progress.

Saving a Cut File in Essentials from an appliqué position shape

Saving a Cut File in Essentials from an appliqué position shape

So I saved my cut files just like the video shows – on the Applique Position tab, you choose Save as CutFile and in the Save as dialog choose which format you want to save to.  Now just so you know, a cut file is not a stitch file…and its not really a graphics file.  But I am so happy that the folks at Embrilliance figured out take the stitch file information and translate that in such a way that the cutting machine can create a shape that fits inside the stitched shape!  This is an exclusive feature that is being patented.  On top of that, there was a lot of conversations and working behind the scenes with the folks at Silhouette in order to actually create the Studio file.

And the software will also save an FCM file which is what is used by the Brother Scan ‘N Cut (SNC)  – save this file to a USB stick, put it in your SNC and pull it up to cut right there on the screen!  The other two formats are more universal – SVG and PLT.  If you have a cutting machine that uses or imports either one of these formats this is what you will want to save to!  The SVG format is super popular among those in the scrap booking industry.  No.  Just say No….I have to tell myself No every so often that I do not need to know more about scrap booking….I fear it can be just as addictive as machine embroidery and my stash does not need to go in that direction 🙂

So a lot of work went into making this easy to use function – so glad that we get to benefit from their hard work!  So are you interested in seeing the software in action with this neat feature?  Here is the link to the youtube video:

Check it out.  If you already own Essentials the update will be available (if it hasn’t been posted yet) from their website under the download link.

Yes this software works on either Mac or Windows and if you happen to own both computers, you can install the program on both without extra cost.

If you don’t own Essentials and it looks like something you might be interested in, why not check it out?  I don’t work for the company – I’ve been an independent educator for machine embroidery for well over 17 years.  However, I am an Embrilliance affiliate because I believe that this company offers an excellent product for the price and I am impressed with the innovative thinking that goes behind all the features and functions that are added to the programs.  12 built in fonts that stitch out well at various sizes, monograms or multiline text capabilities, resize designs with stitch recalculation by either pulling on the corners of the design to make the design “that big” or type in an accurate size, merge designs, remove hidden stitches, work with BX fonts so you can type names using fancy alphabets, sorts colors, converts to your favorite thread brand, print templates and color change sheets, split for the basic multi position hoops, switch between metric and inches with a simple button at the top of the screen, add a basting box and more — all this in one program with an easy to use interface.

ANYWAY – I’ll get off my soapbox for now 🙂  Have a great week – happy stitching!  Lisa SewBubbles

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

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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.