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 🙂



StitchArtist – The User Interface, Using the Object Pane, Freehand Drawing and Remove Hidden Stitches with Essentials

Embrilliance GUIThe user interface in the Embrilliance programs is consistent between all the programs.  This is a super time saver in the product line because as you grow or add new programs, you don’t have to relearn an entire new program and where things are located!  For example, most people start with Essentials or even Express (the free program that works with BX fonts from your favorite digitizers).  When you purchase a new program like StitchArtist, you simply open your existing program, go to the Help menu, choose Serial Numbers to add your new serial number and restart as directed.  When you reopen the program you now have the new features that you purchased in the same familiar user interface.  No need to open one program to create lettering, another to combine designs and a third to add stitches or create a new design – its all done in one program.  Pretty slick and a super time saver.

So if you have been using Essentials you are familiar with the user interface and this will just be a quick recap.  The display pane on the left shows you a graphical representation of your hoop boundary – that is, the maximum area where stitches can be placed.  Hoops are always defined in metric measurements – always, every brand, make and model.  We approximate the size to “close enough” inch measurements such as 5×7 which is easy enough to remember but not exact. The two panes shown on the right side show you the same information as the design pane but in a different format.  The Object pane shows the designs and objects that make up what you see in the Design page in the order that they will stitch at the machine and the bottom properties pane changes based upon what is selected and what mode you are in. If you are in regular select mode, and you choose an object from the list in the object pane, the properties pane may show you the current thread color or bring up the lettering properties if it is a lettering object or allow you to adjust the stitch properties if you have Density Repair Kit installed.  The default view for the Embrilliance program will always be the same – no matter what program(s) you have installed or in what “mode” you are in.  Design Page, Object Pane and Properties Pane – if you are missing any of these or want a bit more information on them, check out the video from the Embrilliance youtube channel.

The Object Pane in StitchArtist is a nice way to keep your digitizing pieces organized – especially for re-use in the future!  When I look at the graphic of the monkey in the box, I see two “designs” – the monkey and the box. If I create this as two design objects, its really simple for me to come back in a couple months when I want to create a Cat or Mouse in a similar box – select the Box design, copy it, start a new design page and paste it in.  My “rule of thumb” when creating a design from a graphic is to look at the entire graphic and break it into smaller sections that could possibly be used again in the future.  Yes, I’m lazy so if I can make things easier for me in the future by taking an extra step or two now, I’m all for that!

SA_new designToday, we’re going to work on the monkey so the first thing I will do is to start a new design from the create menu. Remember that the Create menu only shows up after you click on the Create button in the menu bar.  As soon as you choose Begin a New Design, nothing really changes except the Object Pane on the right – you now have a second Design listed and it has a #2 identifying it on the left.  This second Design comes after what we have already created – and everything we create today will be added to this Design.

Now you may be thinking “Design is such a “useless generic” name, wish I could change it” and you can.  Click on the word “Design” and you will get a white entry box where you can type a name in and click Enter on the keyboard.  I renamed the new design I just created to Monkey and the original first design to Giftbox.  You will want to be careful what you name your Design Objects as certain design types (such as Lettering Templates) use this name for specific purposes.  Check out the Embrilliance Manual for more information on this.

Now that I have started a new Design for the monkey – let’s create the hand on the left.  Normally I use Point Drawing mode, but to show you another option in Level 1, let’s use the Freehand tool.  If you enjoy drawing like this, I highly recommend exploring all the options for this tool as described in the manual.  I find it “messy” so I have not become proficient in drawing this way but it does have its merits for those that wish to explore it further.  What is nice about the way this tool works in StitchArtist is that you do NOT have to complete the entire shape at one time. So as you can see in the video, I zoomed in an drew the paw in a couple sections which automatically connected to each other.  When done, you can right click to end or choose the Close.

The Freehand tool does NOT use the bezier handles – or rather they are just not accessible for editing unless you choose to convert the drawing to a bezier curve drawing.  You can delete nodes by double clicking on the node, or add a node by double clicking on the line.  Reshaping is done by simply moving the nodes and the lines reshape with them.  All reshaping is done by moving nodes, you can not move a line like you can when the beziers are active.  Its just a different way to edit shapes – not better or worse, just different.

Adding the hand shown on the right side can be accomplished by a simple copy, paste and move to where it belongs in the design page.  Notice that the pasted object is placed at the end of the current design.  Next we will draw the tail and it is added to the end of the design – each new object you create is added after the last object created UNLESS you choose an object beforehand – future blog post but thought I’d mention the possibility in case you decide to play on your own – and play you should!

So after we draw the tail, notice that it is going to stitch after or rather on top of the paw and kind of on top of the box.  To make things easy, lets first just reshape the bottom of the tail so that it is even with the edge of the box.  We’ll go into how to break up and reorganize the applique position/material/finishing stitches in a future post, but for right now, let’s get this part looking clean.  Look at the object pane and you see that it shows you the stitching order – left paw, right paw, tail. We want the tail to stitch before the right paw so right click on it in the Object pane and choose Stitch Earlier to move it one position sooner.  You can also drag and drop.

RHS_ESS with SAThe following is a really cool feature that I wanted to show for those that ALSO have Essentials authorized with their StitchArtitst.  You can find more information about what this program can do for existing stitch files on the Embrilliance website.  In short, Essentials removes stitches automatically when you overlap designs you have merged. We created two designs in StitchArtist and the second design, Monkey, has applique objects that overlap parts of the first design, gift box.  So when you click on the Remove Hidden Stitches (RHS) preview button, you can see that when you save the stitch file and go to the machine, certain parts of the first design that are hidden by the second design overlapping these areas are removed.  The KEY POINT here is that they are only removed in the stitch file that goes to the machine.  You did not have to muck up your working file to get these holes!  Remember that the RHS button is there to show you a preview of what is going to happen in the stitch file.  There is no need to press it to make it happen – this is all done automatically when you save the file in Embrilliance Essentials.

So here is a short video that shows you all that I just talked about!

Link to Video on YouTube

So we are making a bit of progress with our design.  I hope you are enjoying the journey and look forward to seeing 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

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Embrilliance Coupon & 90 Day Money Back Guarantee – SERIOUSLY!

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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.


Applique with AlphaTricks

As I am getting ready to write this week’s blog, I realized that I forgot to post this one!  Silly me — too much going on this summer with wildfires in Colorado, visitors and traveling!  No worries – here is the post on the kitty bowl placemats that I created from a bargain I got at the Dollar Store!

Kitty Appliques from

Kitty Appliques from

First the designs are part of an adorable set of applique kitty designs that were purchased from A Design by Lyn.  I brought the designs into Embrilliance AlphaTricks and added lettering using imported fonts.  This technique is shown in the following video I created and posted to the BriTon Leap YouTube channel.

Once the designs were created and saved, I was ready to stitch them onto the placemats.  As I mentioned, these were a real bargain at the Dollar Store.  If they were $1 a piece, that would be a bargain, but these for 5 for $1 so they really were a great deal.  I know, five is an odd number for a set of placemats, but for my purposes I wasn’t using them as a set so I didn’t care that the dye lots were quite off in each color.  In addition to the colors being a little off, they were not the most on-grain or squared up placemats!  Using a template for placement was necessary and printing is available in the Embrilliance programs.

Printed template from Embrilliance software

Printed template from Embrilliance software

So once I had my crosshair marked I was ready to stitch the design.  This is an applique design, so it stitched the placement line for the first applique fabric section.  I used a bamboo felt for the kitty body and held it in place with a quick spray of Mettler Web Bond adhesive spray – remember less is more so a quick spray goes a long way!

Trimming away the fabric from the stitching line is a BREEZE using the Kai 5130DC blunted tip scissors.  The bend in the handle goes over the hoop very easily.  The blunted/polished tip stops the point from shearing the base fabric and like all KAI scissors, they are sharp all the way to the point!

Kai scissors model 5130DC blunted

Kai scissors model 5130DC blunted

So, that’s the stitching part of the placemats!  For more information on the software used, please click on my link here in this blog post.

Happy Stitching!  Lisa

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

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


Personalized Tote Part 2

So now we can continue with the customizing of the design for the front pocket of the tote.  The size of the pocket determines that the design should fit in my 5×7 hoop so I make sure that I have this selected from the properties dialog box.  On my Brother machine, the 5×7 hoop is 130 x 180mm.  Do you have a hard time remembering what your hoop size is in metric? I know everyone likes to work in inches, but they aren’t accurate when it comes to machine embroidery.  If I tried to put a 5″ x 7″ design in my 5×7 hoop – it would not fit.  The inch measurement is just an estimate that is easy to remember.

InEdit hoop name Essentials, you can add to the description of the hoop for easy locating in the future.  Open the properties dialog and under Hoops, choose your format and you will see all the hoops available in a list with their measurements in metric.

Refer to your machine’s manual or the manufacturers website if you are not sure what the measurement size is for your machine’s hoops.

When you select the hoop you want and click Edit, you can modify the name.  I like to keep the metric measurement as part of the name.

So now we have the 5×7 hoop on the screen and the design is kind of placed willy nilly on the design page.  So lets move the design into the hoop and rotate it a bit.  There are a couple of ways to rotate a selection in Essential – freehand using your mouse and the blue rotation mark in the upper right corner of the selection OR using the dialog box with rotation angle.

rotationThe Rotation angle dialog box shown by the blue arrow is GREAT when you want to rotate the selection by a specific amount.  For example you want to create a “four patch” of designs that are 45 degrees rotated from each other.  Its also handy for tiny movements and you don’t want to try and make it work using the mouse.

Since I wasn’t sure what would work, I used the Freehand Rotation tool and played around with rotating the design until I got a pleasant looking corner design.  The beauty about playing with software is that you don’t have to “commit” right now to to angle or the location.  I just rotated the selection to “about there” and now I can move on to adding the name.

So this is a feminine design that matches the floral fabric and I’m making it for my Mom, so I wanted to choose a script-y type font.  I found the perfect one at RiverMill Embroidery — and the best part is that all of her alphabet designs are available in the pre-mapped BX format!  This means when you purchase the alphabet set as a BX file, you just drag and drop it onto your Essentials software and it will be added to your font list.  HOW EASY IS THAT?!  The name of the font is Sweetheart – and yes it is a simply sweet style font!


So I click on the Lettering tool – ABC is placed in the center of the hoop – and choose the Letter Property page in the lower right.  Here you can change the ABC to my Mom’s name, Lolly, and select  Sweetheart  from the font list.

The ABC is changed to Lolly and now we can start to customize this letter object layout.  I would like the letters to be closer together, so I use the spacing slider to adjust.

I also adjusted the Slant of the letters using this slider.

Now looking at the size of the lettering versus the size of the rose, I decided to shrink the lettering just a bit.  To resize freehand, grab one of the black corners of the selection and drag it smaller.  I don’t mind if some of the letters overlap the design, so again this is a series of size, move the text, maybe rotate the rose a bit more….  this is all part of the creative process when customizing designs.  Sometimes there are exact steps to take, while at other times, it really is just PLAYING with the design in the software 🙂

BigLWhile moving stuff around I decided that I would like the “L” to stand out more by being larger than the other letters.

When a text object is selected, notice the green symbols – adjustors – at the center of each letter.  When you click on the adjustor for the letter “L” notice that you can now resize and rotate this one letter – and the rest of the letters remain untouched.

There are three adjustment selectors for each letter.  We are just going to work with the CENTER green square.

So I made the L larger and then moved it by click holding on the center green selector and snuggling the L in closer to the “olly”.  So again more moving and adjusting – I can really get lost in having fun watch the design change!

Once I got the design layout i wanted, I centered it in the hoop using the center shortcut button on the menu bar.

paletteMy final step in most customizing projects is to check the colors.  Lolly is going to stitch last on top of the rosebud design and I knew I would choose colors based upon the fabric choice.  I originally thought that since I was also using navy blue fabric in the project that I would keep the text this color, but decided that I would rather use the same dark pink from the rose.

I used the current palette to change the design color.

So, I selected the lettering object and clicked on the blue color in the property pane to bring up the thread color dialog box.

Under View select Palettes and choose the Current Page from the pulldown menu if it is not selected.  This will display all the threads that are in the current design – makes it really easy to choose a color that is already in use!

So I select the deep rose color, click OK and my customizing is complete so I can save my work and go to the machine to stitch.

Once the embroidery was finished on the oversized pocket fabric, I removed the tearaway stabilizer from behind and rinsed out the topping.  After pressing from the back side so as not to flatten the embroidery, I  trimmed the pocket to the final dimensions and constructed the tote.

Finished tote

So here is my finished tote!  Hope that you liked this project and found the instructions for customizing the design in Embrilliance Essentials easy to follow.  Once again, here are the links that I mentioned in this project:

The totebag pattern is from The Renegade SeamStress Blog

The alphabet design set is from Rivermill Embroidery

The rose impressions designs are from SnowLady Designs