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!


Adding a Basting Box to a Design – why & how

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

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:

  1. 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.
  2. If you are using a topping, and I use a topping on every single embroidery design as well, it holds that in place.
  3. You don’t need to use pins as your extra set of hands in the hoop
  4. 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.
  5. 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!

Link to youtube video

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!

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

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

         Happy Stitching!

Embrilliance Coupon & 90 Day Money Back Guarantee – SERIOUSLY!

Embrilliance Coupon & 90 Day Money Back Guarantee – SERIOUSLY!.

Embrilliance Coupon & 90 Day Money Back Guarantee – SERIOUSLY!

90day_Embrilliance 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 thsnoweir 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!

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.


A new library for Embrilliance – Alignments


In a previous post about lining up two or more designs in Embrilliance Essentials, I provided a zipped file with the alignment lines in it.  This did get me thinking….”wouldn’t it be nice if there was a library available of various types of alignment stitches right in the program?”  I happened to mention this to Brian Bailie and I would say within 5 minutes he sent me this file and said “will this work?”  So we did some tweaking and and testing to make sure there were no serious issues on my computers and we are now ready to let you guys test it if you want! 

So how do you get this library of alignments?  Download the Alignments.BX file from this link.  YES, if you have AlphaTricks or have seen the video, you know exactly what a BX file is!  Its like a design file with an installer included in it.  This is why when some of you asked “how do I convert my designs to the BX format” – – it really isn’t a format per se.  A BX file can contain a pre-mapped alphabet collection OR a set of embroidery designs OR…oh wait I can’t say anymore 🙂  You’ll just have to wait and see what Embrilliance has in store for you!

Here is the download link:   Alignments.bx file

So, you download the BX file.  Open Embrilliance Essentials and drag and drop the BX file onto the design page.  You’ll get a nifty little window saying that the alignments have been added to your library, just like this:


So now you go up to the little gear button – where you would normally get your built in library designs – and from the pulldown menu at the top choose Embrilliance Alignments and you will see the new files available in the library:


You can add these to your designs just like you would any of the library files!  If you want a center crosshair to stitch in the center of you hoop first (to put a cross on the stabilizer at the center of your hoop) insert the cross and make sure it stitches first!  You know I love to use alignment lines to line up designs because they are the most accurate from a mathematical point of view.  If you have a 36″ ruler on a table – it is really obvious when it is not straight because it is so long.  If you have a toothpick on the same table – it could be off and you wouldn’t know it because its too small.  The “points of reference” of the yardstick are 36″ apart – a toothpick is maybe 2″ apart?  BUT ANYWAY – I digress 🙂

Because there are many different types of alignment objects that people are familiar with, we put a whole bunch of them together in this library – you choose which you like to use to get the best results!  And yes you can resize these in the software.

Now, please know that we are providing them as a BX file today so you can try them out and give us feedback at and click on Contact Us.  Please do not post a question on Facebook or this blog if you want it answered quickly by someone in support!  I have no idea if wordpress will tell me if there is a message here in a timely manner and I would hate for you to think I was ignoring you!!  The Embrilliance team wants to hear from you if you are having issues so that they can be addressed before the next update comes out!  Because YES the plan is to include this file in a future update — unless everyone hates it :-O

So – here’s to lining stuff up!  Look for some future posts that talk about using my favorites!

Until next time, happy stitching!

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