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!



Hoop Savvy Sneak Peek #4 – twas the day before class launch…

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 😀

Hoop Savvy Sneak peek #3 – and then there were butterflies….

Remember my comment on “having butterflies” when we announced my second Craftsy class? The pink butterfly on the ball cap is one of the included designs for this class and used in a few of the class examples, so I was trying to be cute and hint at the same time 🙂  So here is sneak peek #3 showing one of the included designs and yes you will see how to stitch it on a hat!
Hoop Savvy Sneak peek #3
This class is going to cover all sorts of hooping techniques from everyday flat fabric hooping to creating a flat stable embroider-able surface on something like a hat that is curved and not quite “hoop-able”.  I can’t give it all away just yet – but class launch is in a few days…eek!  Talk about butterflies!

The post that I send a link to most often…. How to line up designs for re-hooping

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

step1 step2 Step3 Step4

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!

Title Card for Blog

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 🙂


Personalized Tote part 1

I keep getting distracted by “life” — and I know I’m not alone in this!  So I’ve decided to write smaller posts and post them one at a time as I get them done instead of one big long one.  This way, when the Milgard window man rings the doorbell to replace the garage window that was shattered by a Flicker bird a couple weeks ago, I can just hit publish and at least part of the project will be posted 🙂  Maybe this will help me get it completed!

So first off, here is the link for the totebag instructions in case I forget to post that later:  Click here   I found the instructions extremely well written with LOTS of pictures. I was multitasking – making two totes at the same time – and the great step-out pictures really kept me in line! The only part that threw me off was the 1/2″ seam allowance that I just couldn’t get used to.  So there was a bit of “reverse sewing” done when attaching the side panels, but besides that, it all went together rather simply!

Rose Impression design collection

I knew that I was going to embroider the pocket, so I cut this piece over-sized so it could be trimmed down.  Based upon the measurement of the pocket, I knew the design should be about 5×7.

I had the perfect design in mind – one of the Rose Impressions designs from SnowLady.  I had stitched out the large ones on the flap of a messenger bag and knew that her style of digitizing the roses would be a perfect compliment for the fabric I had selected from my stash.  Here is a link to the multisized set: Click here

So I had the project selected, and the design selected – now it was time for me to go into the Embrilliance software and start customizing.

merge_sizeSo the first thing I want to do is select the design and open it into my software.  All of the designs are gorgeous, but I was going for a specific “look”.  I knew I wanted to include a name with the design, so I was looking for a “strong corner” that wasn’t too overwhelming.  I also knew I wanted to stitch this in my PES 5×7 which is actually 130x180mm – YES it is important to clarify what machine/format 5×7 hoop I’m choosing because none of the machine formats are actually 5×7 exact OR even the same size.  So I choose the design (shown with a check mark on my Mac) then click on Import to have this design added to my design page in Embrilliance Essentials.  First thing I do is save my project name so that if I get distracted I don’t have to start over from scratch!

Design pageSo here is my design open in Embrilliance Essentials.  Couple things to point out in case you aren’t familiar.  To quickly switch between metric and inches, use the measurement radio buttons on the left of the menu information bar at the top.

The hoop selected as well as the design size is shown at the bottom of the status bar.  When the design resides OUTSIDE the hoop boundary in the design page, you will see a yellow warning highlight over the design size.

The object pane on the right shows the name of the merged stitch file – click on the arrow to the left to expand the design into its color breaks/objects.  It is now really easy to select and delete parts of a design by color – simply click on the color in the object pane for the stitches you want and they are selected in the design page.  When something is selected, it is shown in color and the rest of the design is grayed out.  I did not want the “impression” of the rose, so I selected the gray redwork style object in the object pane and hit the delete key.

Step 1This color is removed from the Object pane on the right.

Its color is no longer listed in the color properties list below.

The stitches are removed from the design page.

The design size is updated at the bottom of the screen.

I want to make sure that I save my work so that I can come back to it later.  Some people like to ask “how often should you save your work?”  My rule of thumb when customizing designs is to save everytime you complete something you “never want to do again”!  Computer glitches happen – the phone rings, the cat jumps on the keyboard, I get sidetracked and forget what I was doing and start another project!  Hitting CTRL+S or Command+S on the keyboard following every step is an easy habit to get into and has saved my bacon many a time!

In fact, right now, Daisy is on alert — looks like the Milgard window guy has arrived!  So I will continue this project in a bit!