Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Halloween machine embroidery Word Art made easy for Mac and Windows users...

This post is dedicated to the students who have asked about Stitch Artist 1 and 2 in my Craftsy digitizing classes.

Create a quick design for the"Trick or Treat "kid inside of you.  Word Art is simple and can be done with almost every home embroidery software package in a short amount of time. Key tips: vary the size, direction and font styles. Choose colors that will stand out from background. If this design were stitched on a black sweatshirt, then the Boo and cat would be changed from black to perhaps glow in the dark white thread.

Embrilliance is affordable, easy to use and gets the job done. Not everyone spends their dollars on expensive features in software that they might not use.  I want all the bells and whistles but that is part of my digitizing illness. There is a lot to be said for pay as you go. I tend to buy as much sewing machine as I can afford and the same for software, knowing I can grow into it!

One of my favorite affiliate instructor friends is Lisa Shaw. Not only does she teach the Craftsy affiliate class Hoop Savvy, Lisa is the guru teacher for Embrilliance. Her booth was next to mine at the AEC this year, and I moved my chair right next to her when she told me:

Embrilliance software can be used by both Mac and Windows users.  

Free on Facebook till 10-9-2015
That caught my immediate attention. I am able to put the software on both of my computers which is incredible.  I can seamlessly use both platforms in the same manner and therefore no transitional learning curve required!

In this photo, you can see how crisp the letters are with a nice raised underlay which is set to the default. Impressive clean stitching by choosing the stitching style, the color, and letter style. The Spooky Word Art design file is on Facebook as a free download for a limited time so you can see it stitch out for yourself!  It shows what Embrilliance can do fresh out of the box without any "insider understanding" of setting. Beginners do not have all the tricks of the trade when they first start creating designs! I could make the stitch out even better with entrance and exit point options and angle directions.

There are 12 letter choices in the basic platform with Embrilliance. The prior post on the Yoga Pillow shows some of the other letter styles included. More lettering is available.

If you add Stitch Artist to the equation then you are getting some great "shape art" (see the cat), filled in by stitches with a click of the button. Stitch Artist 1 has the basic digitizing tools and does nice appliqué, Stitch Artist 2 includes a nice clean column turn addition with more tool features. Stitch Artist 3 is coming soon. Learn more #AffiliateLink

In a matter of minutes, the design was typed into the screen, colors and styles were selected, easily resized and rotated and the cat shape added. True we can use most of our softwares for this but I have a Mac, and the convenience and price point made it a no brainer for me. Plus it helps me answer questions for students in my digitizing classes on Craftsy.
I love the Embrilliance slogan: "Welcome to Embrilliance, embroidery for the rest of us!"
Happy Embroidery, Cookie ~ CookiesCreations.com

Friday, September 18, 2015

Just an idea: simple personalized gifts are often the most cherished!

Embroidery by Cookie, Bib from AllAboutBlanks.com
Do you spend hours trying to find the right designs to stitch on the perfect gift item blanks? Do you over scrutinize your work?

Simple personalization with no digitizing skills needed adds the perfect touch to a gift. You will save hours of searching for designs by adding initials, monograms or names. A small embellishment combined with lettering provides a customized look with little effort.

In the last post, a Yoga pillow was covered in Words (Subway Art) using Embrilliance Software(linked on website to create a design statement.

Your words are art!

Whether you use letters available that may be built in with the embroidery machine, or type text into embroidery software on a computer, your words are art! You can create a beautiful overall motif to go on to the landscape of a gift blank. Many embroidery machines have built in editing functions and designs. Without owning any software, many machine owners can combine words and small designs and produce elegant classic as well as trendy modern gifts. Learn how to use your machine and all the features it comes with first.

ITH Thread Painted Daisy - CookiesCreations.com
We spend hours researching the best resources for blanks, threads, stabilizers and designs. If you choose a reputable source to purchase your supplies, you will be fine.  Dealers vary in the products they carry and in almost every instance they work fine. A machine dealer is invested in your success. Trained staff knows that poor thread quality, incorrect stabilizers, and poor hooping techniques leads to unhappy embroidery machine owners.

Long time online embroidery websites also rest on their reputation. People often write in and ask which stabilizer do I use for the Sock Easy and Easy Tools? Sticky paper is the answer and if you don't have a dealer close by consider TerradonEmbroidery.com . There are other online websites that offer quality supplies to home embroidery machine owners. My top three are Terradon, Floriani and OESD. Not that others may not work, it is what I use.

As hobbyists it is easy to forget that not everyone who sews wants to own an embroidery machine.  They love how embroidery looks but perhaps they are short of time, space, etc. "Sewers" aka "Sewists" are the perfect ones to give a gift of embroidery and are often overlooked because they do "sew".

Before this hobby entered your world, do you recall how much you loved to get a personalized towel, or your initials on a favorite handbag, shirt or set of napkins? By keeping your gifts simple, you will have more time to master your machine and software during the learning phase of your new embroidery world.

Friday, August 28, 2015

One stop machine embroidery software for MAC and Windows Users!

Here's the solution that has worked so well for me:

Embrilliance and Stitch Artist!  The Embrilliance platform works on both Windows and Mac computers. No dongle to transfer back and forth. One license let's the consumer keep a copy on both Mac and Windows computers.  Of course, the computers must belong to the owner of the software in accordance to license agreement.

My own plugins are Embrilliance, Stitch Artist 2, and Editing, and my plan is to add Density for those purchased designs that are too stitch intensive.  All of us own some of those bullet proof designs! Another use for Density would be to overlap two designs and remove the built up stitches underneath for combining!

The learning curve of the modules is pretty easy.  If you are not into digitizing complex designs then Stitch Artist 1 certainly offers many nice features plus appliqué capability.  An added feature exists in Stitch Artist 2 with the turning of a corner using the column tool which may or may not be important to you.  I've owned the software since May and added Editing after the original decision to work with Stitch Artist 2.  Using the lazy days of August to test out the features that my students ask about in Crafty to duplicate the lessons in my class. It works very well for the course.  The text is lovely as you can see in my pillow. The pillow makes a nice gift for any student of Yoga who takes their "corpse pose" seriously at the end of practice, LOL!

I tested out the gradient fill for the heart element, which proved to be another delightful and intuitive feature.

It is easy to reorder the elements.  I prefer to stitch from bottom to top, and it took only seconds to rearrange things accordingly.  The lettering is easy to manipulate, as either individual letters or whole words.

Stitching simulation is available: Yes, you can watch it stitch on the screen prior to stitching it out on your embroidery machine.  The pillow was done with my Windows computer that I use for local classes.

Here is one done on the Mac that took just a few seconds to create the appliqué using built in shapes that come with the software.  I have such an appreciation for the crisp sharp points in the star and tree. This was done in a 4x4 hoop which is always the litmus test for me.

I am a software junkie and have several.  Each software offers unique features.  The advantage of being able to have the same software on both the Mac and Windows computers is a real bonus.  The layouts are the same.  They work the same.  They stitch out equally great.  Because you can add the modules you desire, it keeps the costs within budget.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

#InsanitySewing by expert Mary Sue McGill Mosby

How many of you know someone who brings such experience and beauty into the world of quilting/sewing? 

Mary Sue McGill Mosby

The photos of her work are beautiful. "Sue", 92 years young, makes the insanity of cutting up beautiful fabrics into a display of eye catching quilts. Her daughter shows bragging pictures in yoga class quite often. Here you can see her #InsanitySewing for yourself.

Sue started learning how to sew and work with fabric creations as a little girl growing up in Lake Butler, Florida.  Her first attempts were with re-purposed string from wrapped store packages but she quickly moved on to embroidery, crochet, tatting, clothing construction and eventually quilting.  While she is aware of the new machines for making quilts, she has enjoyed a lifetime of stitching many of her projects by hand.  Now living in Canton, Mississippi, she is among several senior quilters who were recently honored by the Mississippi Quilt Association in an exhibit at the Mississippi Forestry and Agriculture Museum in Jackson Mississippi.  She is shown here with her Cathedral Windows quilt.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Cutting up perfectly fine fabric...#InsanitySewing!

Level of #InsanitySewing is now confirmed. Take great looking fabrics, cut and stitch them into nine patch blocks, cut again and repeat

Plan Ahead!

Try to save time by purchasing the needed fabrics in pre-cut  squares.

Ensure that the blocks are cut square and on the grain prior to purchase!  Sad moment... I didn't... always check for wonky blocks!

Go back to the store and buy the same fabrics on bolts to re-cut needed squares. Several of the pre-cuts were skewed beyond use.

Stitch 9 patch squares and makes lots of them because you want this quilt to be useful for the recipient, right?  Be sure to press seams in opposite directions throughout the stitching. There are lots of youtube videos on how to press seams should you need help.

#InsanitySewing continues...Cut the 9 patch squares up!
The squares are straight but the photos were taken at a distant angle.Optional: The big trick after cutting up each nine patch in the middle is to know which ones to reposition for more #InsanitySewing! Not a necessary step if you like total randomness.

My preference is semi randomness.  Turn the top left placing the white square to the left corner and the bottom right white corner to the far right corner.  As shown:

Sew the bottom row together and the top row together and each time you stitch remember to press.

#Insanity sewing continues as you stitch the top and bottom rows together!

The final result should be lots of random blocks that have the illusion of being very  pieced and time involved.

Want more how to info? On YouTube search disappearing 9 block to find several useful videos on this topic. All versions bring a variety of ideas for assembly.

Here's one  that made me smile with enthusiasm:
The disappearing 9 block.  ~Quilt in a Day.

For commentary on the wonky blocks and fabric see Facebook page and take a scroll!

This project stems from a charity ASG project meeting that was lead by Sandie Hendler and Mary McLaughlin. Consider joining the American Sewing Guild where the sewing community gathers near you. Charity Quilt in-progress with local ASG in pinks!

Thank you to my friends at Sew Incredibles, ASG neighborhood group.  You live on  the edge of "#insanity sewing" encouraging all those to explore all sewing techniques. Shout out to Sandie Hendler, Susan Eisen and Mary McLaughlin, you rock!

You have encouraged everyone to cut up perfectly good fabric and evolve into something new.