Stitch effects are quick and easy in Wilcom Hatch!  Some effects add interest in dimension to your embroidery, but also add a wow factor to your designs.  The florentine effect adds so much to your embroidery work – its an amazing stitch effect that can be created quickly and easily.

So what are florentine stitches?  Florentine stitches are similar to contour stitches, but you can use different stitch types to get the same effect – so you can use embossed fill, motif fill and many other stitches to get this awesome effect.  The effect is that you can contour the stitches along a guideline – for example a plain circle – and add some special effects.  You can even modify or change the curve of the florentine stitches quickly and easily using the reshape tool!  You can reshape the curve to get exactly the effect that you are looking for quickly and easily.  So what do florentine stitches look like?  here is an example using the embossed stitches:

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 2.19.42 PM

If you look closely at the embossed design, the florentine effect is shaping the design in a couple of ways – first it is changing the size of the design from the top to the bottom – the circles on the top portion of the embroidery are larger and wider than the stitches at the bottom.  Also the embroidery has a contour curve to the design too.  So two elements make this stitch effect really incredible!  Here is another example using a motif stitch:

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 2.19.20 PM

The motif stitch is not up and down and straight across the circle:  it bends around in a curve giving it depth and dimension and the size of the motif stitches change as well – the ones farther away from the beginning of the effect are larger, and the ones at the bottom are smaller  – so this effect works two ways, even on motif stitches.  Some of the motif stitches have a better, more dramatic effect with the florentine effect added, so do try some different motif stitches and embossed stitches until you get a stitch style that gets your attention!

Remember of course that will all motif stitches and embossed stitches, you have to make the design large enough for the differences in size to show up – if you don’t see the above effect very well, then just try re-sizing your design element and see if it shows up more.

check out this quit tip video and see the florentine effect in action!!


TODAY IS ALL ABOUT STITCHES AND STITCH EFFECTS!   And we are going to talk about some really cool stitch effects that are available in Wilcom Hatch – they are quick and easy to use and adjust, you just have to  use them in day to day embroidery!

CONTOUR STITCH:  This is the first stitch effect that we are talking about today (and there are more blog posts to come with different stitch effects).  The contour stitch is an amazing effect that gives your embroidery shape, depth and interest and looks more complicated than it is to create!  It certainly adds a wow factor to a simple plain circle!   Here in Wilcom Hatch, you have a plain circle – yes, anyone can create a plain circle, its not that hard:

embroidery circle with plain fill stitch

Yes, its a circle – and thats about all you need to say about that – its nothing fancy and is lacking in WOW.

What if you could make one click and have something interesting, with dimension and includes Wow?  Something like this:

welcome hatch

NOW THAT IS MUCH BETTER!  With the simple addition of the contour stitch, you can add depth and dimension and shading – it makes the circle look a little more 3D and have some dimension to it.  And it is so easy to do!  Just a few simple clicks takes your embroidery up a few levels – from blah and ordinary to WOW, that is a cool effect!  The contour stitches are light and airy, not too dense and sets the focus of your eyes – the contour stitches are directional and contour the shape that you are working on.  It just can’t get any easier than that!  Pick up a FREE demo copy of Wilcom Hatch today from Wilcom’s website:  WILCOM HATCH and start improving your embroidery skills and working with the contour stitch.

Check out this quick tip video and see how easy the contour stitch is to use in every day embroidery:


I HAVE FALLEN IN LOVE WITH MONOGRAMS!  Yes.  Its true.  Wilcom Hatch has the most amazing add on for monograms, and I absolutely LOVE IT.

I have always found monograms a bit difficult to do.  Mainly to be inspired – anyone can add 3 letters and call it a monogram, but good monograms take some style.  Amazing monograms have a cool shaped border, different swirls and swashes and decorations and different set ups for the letters.   Traditionally, there are 3 letters in a monogram, and they are set up in different ways.  For example OML – the letter M will be bigger and the O and the L will be smaller, and usually set up a bit from the bottom mark of the M.  Thats a regular traditional style monogram.  Bleh.  We need more than that!

With the Wilcom Hatch monogram add on, you can have tons of ideas right there in front of you.  MONOGRAM INSPIRATION AND STYLE to say the least.  There are different borders in many different shapes, different set ups for the lettering – consisting of different layouts, and a whole set of decorations, too.   Instead of working on any kind of set up issues, you add your lettering and click on some of the different options.  Yes, it really is that easy!!  Of course you also have the choice of any of the 60 built in fonts and any of the TTF fonts that you have on your computer.  With a few clicks, you are sure to find the perfect monogram with added style!

Here is the description from Wilcom.com/hatch website:

“Create and Re-Shape Lettering
Lettering doesn’t need to be basic! Do it your way with Hatch Monogrammer. Using a built-in “Embroidery Library”, Monogrammer makes it simple to add custom lettering to your designs. Select from the 60 included fonts or convert your own TrueType or OpenType fonts. Adjust your lettering width to make it bolder, or slant them to give an italicized look. Spread your letters apart with the spacing tool.

Edit your lettering using the “Select and Re-Shape Object” tool. Manipulate your lettering in multiple ways right on screen including: adjusting spacing, scaling lettering, and reshaping your letters to create your own personalized design.

Choose your own Layouts with multiple Baselines
Go one step further and choose your layouts with multiple baselines. Lettering shapes and layouts are what give your lettering unique shapes and structures. Choose from a variety of placements – Free or fixed, circle or arched, upright and even free form are just the start of baselines you’ll find yourself using.

Customize your lettering further by adding ‘lettering art’ styles which will distort your lettering by making it arch, compress, stretch or bulge- giving you the ability to manipulate your designs to your liking.

Multi-line Lettering
Lettering doesn’t stop at one line. When dealing with multi-line lettering, Hatch Monogrammer provides up to four alignment and layout options. You can even customize each line accordingly to achieve the personalized alignments and baselines you envision.”

If you wanted to know the different borders/lay, here is a great picture of the library of styles that Wilcom Hatch has built in:


Wilcom.com/hatch monogram library

Check out this quick video and see Wilcom Hatch Monograms in action:

Thread Breaks: Why?


Some of our prettiest Madeira thread that we use

Every embroiderer has been in a situation where an embroidery machine that was running smoothly only a day before, suddenly begins to break the upper or the underthread almost every stitch. How annoying is that??  There are a few things you can do or change to make your machine run smooth again.

The first thing I do on my single needle machine is re-thread the top thread.  Its usually my fault, or the thread has slipped slightly  and does not have the proper tension.  I may have to thread it a few times, but I always make sure to pull through new thread, just in case it is the thread at fault.  That has happened, but more often than not, its me missing a part.

On the multi-needle machines, I will look at the machine and see if it needs cleaning, and if it does, I will unthread everything, blow out the thread “path” with some canned air and re-thread.  This usually fixes it and the machines can get back to work!

More reasons:

Upper thread – old thread, or thread that doesn’t come off the spool evenly.  You can always use a thread net to make the thread an even tension when it comes off of the spool.  This usually solves it all on my single needle machine.
Bobbin – change the bobbin – if you use pre-wound ones, they are not always perfect!  If you wind your own, take a look at it to see if everything is even.
Stabilizer – are you using the right stabilizer?
Needle- change the needle regularly – if there are any slight bends, or the needle is dull or even a burr in the metal, that might cause thread breaks.
Tension regulation. Check your upper thread tension. Often the reason for the thread breakage may be too tight a tension.

An upper thread of poor quality – sometimes, if you use cheaper or older thread at the top, it simply breaks.  One of our big machines will not use any other threads other than Madeira threads – the other 4 machines are happy with upper end threads, but not necessarily Madeira.

Rayon thread. This thread often causes thread breakage trouble for beginners.  You could find the same color thread of a different brand in your thread stash and see if that works.

Metallic thread. Metallic thread can and usually becomes an issue – so be prepared for beautiful results, but with a hassle!!  The best practice for using metallic threads is to simply slow the machine down.  This works for me – I don’t usually mess around with machine tension, so this is the easiest solution.  And be patient.

Density:  Last but certainly not least is the density of the design!  You should be checking the density of the design BEFORE you send it to the machine.  But if you are having issues and have changed the threads and done everything else you can think of, then go back and check the density of the design, and in particular the spot that you are having issues.  You may find a “blob” of threads, or places that the needle penetrations are way too many, and that will cause some issues.  This may happen more often than not when you are using any auto digitizing feature of an embroidery program – there can be layers and layers of thread that you didn’t realize were there – it can become quite a mess.

Hopefully everyone has less and less thread breaks as you are making your own designs and control how they are going to stitch out.  But if you are having thread breaks, go through the list one by one until you get it resolved.

Re-thread upper thread.

Change bobbin.

change needle.

Change thread (and re-thread, of course)

Hooping and stabilizer.





Wilcom Hatch: Lettering Glyphs


While I do understand that I am super enthusiastic about typography as well as being an embroidery nerd, this is seriously going to change how I work from now on.  Really, its that big.

Let me explain what I am raving about in one word.  Glyphs.

Quite a few people don’t know that along with the basic lettering in TTF (true type fonts) there are usually a whole different set of glyphs – there are symbols, special lettering, letters with accents, different styled numbers, ligatures, swashes and fancy swirls just to name a few.  The problem is, most programs make it super hard to find them, and we tend to forget that they are there.  Even if you do find them, unless you are using a program like Adobe Illustrator, they are difficult to get into whatever you are working on.  Wilcom has seen this issue and has come up with a perfect and brilliant solution that will change boring lettering into something more!!  And to make things even better, you do not have to leave Hatch to use these special letters!  Its all right there in the program – quick and easy access and easy to use!   Another problem with using glyphs is that some TT Fonts have quite a few glyphs – so many that they are hard to see in the programs that come with Windows and Mac, and even third party programs.  You have to guess at what you want, and quite often get it wrong and have to start over again, painstakingly “building” your lettering.  Wilcom Hatch embroidery software has taken the guesswork out of glyphs – the icons for them are BIG and CLEAR and you can view them as outlines and with stitches.  You really can’t ask for anything more!  its perfect!  and it will change how i use any of my fonts:  its like a whole new world has opened up for me and I am certain that my typography designs will be spectacular.

Here is an example of what I am talking about:

Plain lettering:

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 7.55.12 PM

Lettering using glyphs:

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 8.01.55 PM

See the difference?


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Embird: Making a cool Motif

Create your own motif stitches

If you don’t already know, you can create your own motif stitches and save them in Embird Studio!   We do have an awesome instructional step by step video that will help you make your own motif stitches.  In that video, we made alphabet letters, but for this tutorial, we can make anything we want – even a gun!!

The first step is to navigate into Studio and click on the OBJECTS menu, and then click on User Editors (shortcut CTRL+ALT+U) and this screen pops up:


Nw you have the power of Embird in your hands!  Click on the middle icon, and the design editing comes up  – make sure you click on the motif tab so you can create motif stitches. After you have everything ready, you can now import a small image to use as a backdrop for the design.  The new design covers up the design lines, but leaves the circle and the stitch line.


Remember the rules of motif stitches – they go one way – that is there is a start point and an end point that must stay at the start and end so that they connect when the stitches are formed – that is why the circle stays in view!  So make sure your start and end points are even, and then you can start adding your stitch points in between those points:


This may take  a bit of getting used to, but its really easy once you get going!  If you look at the motif box with the black bounding box and down in the right corner, you can see what your motif stitches look like:  so far so good.  I need to make a few changes to make the stitches more fluid – but its all coming together fine!  There are no curved points, so remember not to add too many stitch points – the motif stitch is quite small, so you don’t want to have tons of needle penetrations going on.

Once I have refined the design and watched it stitch out a few times, made a few more changes, my Gun Motif stitch is ready to go!  Voila!  a Gun motif!!


If you want to learn more about Motif stitches and how to make them in a step by step video, check out our Motif Class and you can learn to create any motif stitch that you want.  Awesome!
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New Embrilliance Quick Tip Video

Check out this new quick tip video that we just uploaded:

All about stitch selections!  Making stitch selections is quick and easy AND you have more than one way to make your selection!  Not just a regular bonding box in a rectangle, you can also BRUSH your selection and lasso your selection.    Once you make your selection there are also many options – you can split the design, you can change the elected stitches to another stitch (from fill to satin, for example) and even change the pull compensation.

Check out the video – don’t forget to subscribe to our channel, like the video and join our Facebook group Embrilliance Tips and Tricks.

Embird Update: 10.17

Have you updated Embird yet?  you should be on 2016 version 10.17 – the last update was on March 16, 2016.  If you have not already updated your software, you should do it!

There are are few bugs that they have fixed:

Embird is now able to process the new Pfaff .VP4 format. It will convert to and also from this format.
Fixed bug in .FCM format.
Fixed bug in Iconizer for processing .SVG files and .EMB files.
Fixed bug in Alphabet and Font Engine plug-in causing stacking of objects.

New changes:

New function “Insert Knockdown Stitching” added to color popup menu in Editor.
Support for Janome Cutwork Needles 1-4 and Viking Cutwork Needles 1-4 added to color popup menu in Editor.

Good news about adding a whole new feature to Embird – adding knockdown stitching to your stitch files!  Thank you Embird!!

But wait, what are knockdown stitches??  Knockdown stitches are somewhere between an underlay stitch and a fill stitch. Knockdown stitches can be very handy, indeed.   They are stitched first on a design, and knockdown stitches are meant to make a firm base for your actual embroidery.  A good example is if you are going to embroider a design on a towel – if you simply embroider the design using backing, you will find that the nap of the towel may just show through your embroidery!  Yucch!  Nobody wants that look.  Yes, you can use WSS (water soluble) as a topper for the embroidery (you can float the WSS on the towel before you embroider, and it will help the stitches stay on top of the  fabric).  However, WSS can be messy and awkward and might not necessarily have the clean look that you want.  The solution is knockdown stitches.  Knockdown stitching will lay a nice base of not-too-dense stitches down before your actual embroidery – providing the perfect place for your embroidery – with no material nap showing through!  How awesome is that?  Knockdown stitches are simple to do, and Embird has provided a quick and easy method to do them – the option for knockdown stitches is right in editor, just a click away!

I have created this quick tip video to show you how to create your knockdown stitches and some of the features in the stitches – the parameters you can change and what settings to use.

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Don’t just digitize, OPTIMIZE too! Class #3

Newest class just uploaded!  This class is perfect for digitizers at any level – beginners need to know this skill to keep developing their digitizing work, and intermediate advanced digitizers must optimize designs before stitching them out.

Optimizing your designs is a very important step in any digitizing, big or small, complicated or simple.  In this video, I am going to show you how to organize all of your objects to avoid too many thread changes, and how to make connections to minimize jump stitches.   I show you two ways to make your connections:  the automatic connection tool and how to do them manually.  Either way is good, but it depends on your start and end points and what level you are making the connections.

So don’t miss this video and learn how to optimize your designs for better stitch outs- if you are not making connections, you are missing out on a vital part of digitizing – and you must learn how to make connections.