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.

Friday, August 14, 2015

The new embroidery machines are coming!

The new machines coming  out this season are amazing.  My newest favorite home embroidery machine is the Brother Persona.  It gives you the freedom to embroider: pant legs, caps, handbags, and more with no flatbed in the way! It comes with a bobbin winder which for those of us with a 6 or 10 needle feels like a great bonus.

Smaller foot print makes this machine fit in the sewing room!  Yes, it is the machine so many of us have asked for.  It is a single needle machine with many extras included.   The Droplight makes for perfect positioning!

This is a Brother video found on youtube and in their words "meet the Persona, a singular sensation!"  I really love this machine, the size, the 4x4 and 8x8 and cap hoops fits so many needs plus all those designs!

It is a dream come true. Babylock will have their version out soon.  What do you think?  See it for yourself.  Most cheerful and informative Brother video, makes you smile to the music! No affiliation but lots of enthusiasm!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Quick Sewing Skill: perfect mitered corners for napkins and more!

This week's design freebie download on FB!
It would be fun to use mini designs not only on socks and small t-shirts it but also on cocktail and dinner napkins. We can't always find the napkin size we need. Knowing how to stitch a beautiful mitered corner will save you money and time while adding professional finish to your sewing and quilting projects.

A new machine embroidery freebie is available. Stop by and like us at CookiescreationsWebsite on Facebook. Did you notice the mitered corners on the sample pillow featuring our free design?


Here is a pictorial walk through to help you make great corners easily!

The hem width is up to you.  The sample project uses a 1” hem width. 

Step one:
Mark your napkin’s hemline with a disappearing soluble pen.

Step two:  Press napkin on all 4 hemlines

Step three: Unfold and fold each corner in forming a triangle.

Step four: Measure 3/8” from fold and mark.

Step five:  Some prefer to unfold point at this time, fold corner in half on point and measure a right angle line and sew that line and then trim to a 3/8’or less seam.  

I prefer to cut along the 3/8” line:

Step 6: Unfold trimmed edge, fold in half the other way, matching fabric edges and straight stitch along the 3/8” crease.  The 3/8” seam becomes the mitered seam which will sit perfectly centered when you turn it right side out.

Download the machine embroidery angel file on Facebook while it is available. Like us on Facebook!