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.
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 🙂
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.
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