No matter which Embrilliance program you are using – the free Express mode with BX files, Essentials, AlphaTricks, Density Repair Kit or Enthusiast – its super easy to save the designs you have created. I even show you how to overcome the most common error of “the design doesn’t show up at my machine, why?”
I’ve recently joined a few new embroidery groups on Facebook that are machine specific. I’ve found the conversations quite interesting, the projects are just as adorable as ever, and most of the people are looking to their online community for answers, tips and tricks – just like I was back in the 90s! So this blog post is dedicated to all those starting out. Thanks for turning back the clock!
So – the “Basting Box”
What is she talking about – we’re embroidering not sewing! Some machines have a function built into them that will baste a design. What this is, is a long running stitch that can go in a box shape at the border of a design OR around the entire hoop. This will stitch first, before the design stitches. Software programs like Embrilliance Essentials allow you to add a basting box to an existing design. This is handy if your machine doesn’t have this function. If you don’t have software yet – I’ve provided a link here for a 100×100 basting box in the PES format so that you can actually try using one and see if it works for you.
Link to zipped file Zipped_BastingBox_4x4.zip
I’ve found the basting box so useful, that it is part of every single design I stitch and can’t imagine not going to Utility > Basting Box before I send a design to my machine. Here are the reasons why:
- It is a long running stitch that attaches the stabilizer to the fabric. When using adhesive stabilizer it is an extra safeguard against fabric shift.
- If you are using a topping, and I use a topping on every single embroidery design as well, it holds that in place.
- You don’t need to use pins as your extra set of hands in the hoop
- Doesn’t matter what color thread you use – I normally use the first color in the design because I’m lazy. If you want use a thread color that blends into the background fabric, if you are multiple hooping a design and the basting box is covered by stitches or you miss clipping some, it will be less noticeable.
- It takes less time to stitch a basting box than to drag out Peggy’s Stitch Eraser to fix an oops. This goes right along with “measure twice, check it one more time, then make the cut”
In the software….
It would be easier for me to show you how to add the basting box using Embrilliance Essentials, so I created this short video and posted it to my youtube channel. Please feel free to subscribe to LisaSewBubbles on youtube if you would like to have a notice sent to you when other videos have been posted!
If you don’t have software….
If you don’t yet have software I included a link to a 4×4 basting box earlier. What you would do is simply load this to your machine as a design and stitch it first. Then while the hoop is still at the machine, stitch the actual design. It would be just like the following, except you have two designs, not the basting box in the design. Consider the basting box to be color 0 – – – just saved in its own file.
At the machine…
So this is what happens at the machine. I have loaded my design that has been saved with the basting box added (watch the video above if you missed this part). You will see that the first color is the box – I normally stitch this in the same color as color #2, the first actual part of the design.
I hoop my stabilizer – adhesive stabilizer or in this case a simple tearaway with Mettler Web Bond sprayed on – and place my fabric in the hoop. If I was “hooping” a child’s t-shirt for example, I would hoop polymesh stabilizer (my favorite for knits), spray, turn the shirt inside out for easier placement in the hoop and tape it, clamp it, pin it out of the way. I normally do not pin to the stabilizer in the hoop simply because I find that with smaller hoops I have to “man handle” the stabilizer too much and that can stretch it or cause shifting…resulting in not so stable foundation.
I’m ready to go to the machine – so I attach the hoop and float my water soluable stabilizer on top and stitch color #1 – the box – which attaches all three layers in one step. Nice and stable.
Now I stitch the rest of the design…
I decided to come upstairs and finish the blog post so the design is not yet finished! I will be updating this post with the zip file link in a few minutes.
Once the design is done, I will snip the basting bobbin threads from the back side to remove the basting stitch using my Kai 5100C scissors. Remove the top basting stitch and pull the WSS away from the design. I then take the design out of the hoop and if I had used polymesh or cutaway stabilizer I would use my Kai 5135C curved scissors with the slightly blunted tip to trim the cutaway really close. I normally trim my jump stitches at the machine (using my Kai 5130DC double curved scissors that are super sharp and go over the hoop. If I hadn’t I would trim the jumps BEFORE I removed the washaway on top – simply because if its easier to trim jumps with the WSS there and then it’s cleaner to remove it without the jumps possibly catching on the WSS.
Hope this now makes some sense.
If you are interested in getting more information on Essentials or any of the Embrilliance programs, please click on this link to be taken to their website!
If you’ve read my blog, you know that I have been having way too much fun with the Embrilliance software programs these days. Besides being able to use the same program on my Mac and my PC (no need to learn yet another program) I really enjoy the simplicity and natural order of how the programs look and feel. Stuff like the radio buttons to switch between Metric and Inches are right there at the top left menu bar. I mean it sounds like such a small thing. I sometimes feel alone in my happy little round number metric world when it comes to embroidery. But to quickly switch between measurements – bam! – it’s a really big thing for me to not have to go to some hidden preferences setting to switch to inches to help a friend who feels more comfortable in inches.
And most people could care less about a detail like that ease of use feature – but just think. If they took that much time in their planning of their software from a user interface point of view for the little things, the big things, the things that matter just have to follow suit. The first program I got started with is Essentials — what a great name! Think about the top 5 things you do in machine embroidery software every day. I like to look at my designs, find the one I want to stitch and customize it – to be honest after the very first design I stitched, I don’t think I have ever simply loaded a design as is to the machine and hit start. After the first one, it was – OK that was fun – NOW what can we do to that design! I’m a “onesy type of gal” – each project is unique in its own right 🙂
So using the Merge stitch file, I can look at all my designs and choose the one(s) I want in my layout. Now I can have some fun with customizing! Essentials lets me resize (and recalculates the stitches). I can overlap designs — eek, but I used to have to careful when I did that because stitching two designs on top of each other makes one DENSE section — but not with Essentials! It will automatically remove the stitches from the one underneath in a smart way so there is no gap. And you don’t have to do anything for this to happen! Just save the design!
How about adding some text? There are built in fonts that can be scaled up and down – you can create multiline text without some silly character limit! Its got enveloping so you can shape the fonts into monogram style. You can even create circular or arched text! Now you may have seen some digitizers like Jolson’s, Rivermill Embroidery, Lindee G Embroidery, Great Notions (and new ones coming on) offering designs in the BX format? This means that you can add new custom fonts to the program with a drag and drop of the BX file onto the program. So you can use that zebra applique curly font to create a design that says LISA by simply using the lettering tool and selecting this font you added. Wicked simple – the letters are all lined up, and you can adjust spacing/layout just like a built in font. Now I said applique, right? That would normally mean you would have to stitch out each letter in whole by itself – not with the smart color sort in Essentials! Utility > Sort Colors and BAM! sorted on the save.
All of these functions and more are part of the Essentials program — just enough of fun customizing tools so you can make your design unique to you, send it to the machine and start percolating on the next project! And don’t get me started on the other programs! Holy smokes I can get side tracked for HOURS creating new designs without digitizing a stitch 🙂
A friend of mine was asked what software she thought was the best and I think her response was SPOT ON! The best software for YOU is the one that you use to get the job done so you can start stitching. So if you have software and you aren’t using it, ask yourself why? Does it feel like a really awkward first date when you open the program? Maybe its just not the right match for you! We all learn differently and what makes sense to me may not make sense to you and vice versa. If you don’t have software – be sure that you check out what’s available to you – make a list of what YOU find to be important features. What do YOU find to be essential? Ya never know, maybe you and Embrilliance Essentials are a compatible couple 🙂
Now there are few companies that let you return software – its just not part of the industry standard. Embrilliance broke all those rules with a 90 day money back guarantee. They want everyone to be happy and say so right on the first page of their website!
And to offer some warm up savings on their Facebook page, they are now offering a coupon code for the month of January and told everyone to share it and spread the word! Use FB114 for the coupon code in the shopping cart to get the savings. So I’m doing my part 🙂
Here is a shortened link to the website – checkout the programs, the user’s forum, ask questions via Contact Us.
Stay tuned next week — I talked about stabilizers last time and got to thinking what else is part of the “underside” of embroidery? No I’m not talking about underground secret societies! Think about your bobbins….that’s where we’re going next!
Until next time – Happy Stitching!