YOU FLOAT A BOAT, NOT STABILIZER – Hooping skills 101

Many years ago, when I was just starting with embroidery I read some information about embroidery and running a successful business, and the thing I remember most was this:
“YOU ARE ONLY AS GOOD AS YOUR HOOPING SKILLS”
That made a lot of sense to me at the time, but I didn’t realize the vast importance of this statement. For example, you can have a beautiful design that looks amazing on the computer, and when you stitch it out, it looks terrible. Why? It all comes down to your hooping skills! Hooping skills do not mean just hooping things straight or hooping difficult items, hooping skills also means knowing the proper stabilization for your items that you are embroidering. Hooping skills makes the difference between OK embroidery and WOW embroidery. Which brings us to the topic of today’s blog: FLOATING STABILIZER.
The message I would like to get across is “floating is for boats, not for stabilizer”. This is what I hear often in many, many groups “ I hooped 1 layer of cutaway and floated tearaway, and it still looks awful”. Yes, yes it will because that piece of tearaway is doing zero good. ZERO. Other than making your embroidery thicker, and possibly pulling down the stitches on the top to compensate for the thickness, floating is not doing any good.
Let’s look at this logically. What is stabilizer? Why do we even use stabilizer? Stablizer is a type of material that makes the pretty material more stable for you to embroider on. That is the key there, STABLE – meaning strong and sturdy. If you are floating something and not hooping it, how is it helping to make your fabric more stable? That floated piece is not holding your fabric still – it’s floating around under your hoop…floating free, like the wind, not providing stability to anything! If you hoop two layers of tearaway or hoop 1 layer of tearaway and float a second, which one do you think will be better? Guaranteed it is the 2 hooped layers because they are helping to make the embroidery more stable and strong, which translates into clear and perfectly placed embroidery.

Some designs that you may have will have a small black outline to them. And most of the time when you stitch this out, that small black outline will be out of registration. Why? Because the material wasn’t stable enough for the embroidery, that’s why! When things go out of registration it is because the fabric has MOVED because it isn’t stable enough. Having the material move 2mm to the left is going to be an issue for that small black line! And, if that line is out of registration, it will make your whole embroidery design look awful. The solution is not to blame the digitizer as most do, the solution is to provide more stability to your fabric in the hoop!
One of the things I spend my “free” time doing is teaching  people the proper way of embroidery so that especially on your own designs, you get amazing results. People float all of the time, and some digitizers are putting floating in their instructions…and you are setting your customers up for a fail, and they will complain, and you are not doing your digitizing any justice by instructing people to float stabilizer to try and make your work look better. For best results, HOOP IT.

You can take your cues from things that are right in front of you. For example, Hatch and other embroidery software  has this cool feature where you can pick a fabric type (cotton, leather, polyester) and Hatch will actually tell you what that fabric requires for stabilizers!! It is all right in front of you!! And please take note, not one of the stabilizer recommendations say to float anything – not a single one.

Ahhhh, the answer is right there!!

So what does that tell you? That tells you that the professional embroiderers that have been the top of the embroidery business for 30 years are not recommending floating any stabilizer!!! Why would you not follow their recommendations? (I mean that jokingly, of course, don’t take me too seriously here, but it is a good question!!) Wilcom knows their stuff, they have been doing it, and doing it well for 30 years, and they are the top of the “embroidery food chain” for a reason. So listen to them, and stop floating anything. You can float a boat, or a duck can float, but please don’t float your stabilizer!!

Hooping skills include being able to hoop properly, with the right tension, having the hoop tight enough, placement of the hoop so that the embroidery is straight AND USING THE RIGHT STABILIZER. And all of these things make a big difference to your embroidery.
Let’s say it one more time together “YOU ARE ONLY AS GOOD AS YOUR HOOPING SKILLS “…. And say that to yourself each and every time you embroider a design – are my hooping skills correct? Do I need to do some research on what kind of stabilizer is correct? And when you have a design that has stitched and doesn’t look quite right, it may be the digitizer, but more often than not, it’s user error for lack of the correct stabilizer.
Let’s do this right – do not float stabilizer and let’s have some awesome embroidery stitching out!

Hooping skills: your embroidery will thank you!
Happy Digitizing!

Sue

aka The Economical Embroiderer

Want to learn more?  check out my YouTube channel OMLEmbroidery.  Everything I do is free. Yep, FREE.  100 + videos and counting. Learn and have fun.

FREE EMBIRD STUDIO TUTORIALS

First class uploaded today! Subscribe to our channel so you won’t miss any free classes. More to come!

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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.

#embird #embirdstudio #learntodigitize #embirdlessons #embirdtutorials #studio #digitizing #embroidery #embroiderydesigns #createembroidery #learnembroidery #applique #appliquelessons #learnapplique #embirdhelp #embirdclass #knockdownstitches

 

Class Number 8: Appliqué Cupcake

Check out this new appliqué cupcake design!  Join us for this class and learn to create this awesome design.  This is an intermediate/advanced class and we go over quite a few skills i this class.  We first create the bottom appliqué (the cupcake cup) and then the fun top of the cupcake and then we add the details.  Some well placed and sized column stitches, some swirly bean stitches and a few icons, making the proper manual connections as we go along.  We work with density and backward paths too.  In the end, we finish up the design with some satin stitches to complete the appliqué.  With all the proper connections, this design will stitch out amazing and look great.

 

[shopify product=http://omldigitizing.com/products/class-8-cupcake-applique-advanced]

Making things clear class

We have had quite a few questions regarding our Making things clear class video, and I would like to, well, make things clear.

This video is about Embird Digitizing software – and it is a helpful video for everyone out there.  It covers some basic ideas as well as some more advanced ideas.  It its a compilation of questions frequently asked on our website, via email and on our Facebook group “embird happy digitizing” (where we discuss and post work from the classes).  We are around to answer your questions, but we thought a video that answered the questions, and SHOWED you the answers would be very helpful.   So that is exactly what we did!

Some of the highlights of the videos include the differences between a stitch file and a native EOF file – a file that you created from scratch in Studio – and why you can’t bring in a PES file into studio and expect it to work like a native EOF file.

We talk about pull compensation – what it is – a few examples – and how to properly use pull compensation, including using underlay.

We talk about density – when to change the density and when to leave the density where it is, and why messing with it can make a mess of your work.

We talk about hole cutting, and common mistakes that can be made with hole cutting – why you may get errors with your work, and exactly how to fix them.

We have tried to answer your questions and show you the answers – by the time you finish the video, you will have a clear understanding on these subjects- using examples and showing you clearly why some techniques don’t work very well, and how to avoid having issues with your work.

Enjoy this video and pick up on all the information that it offers.  Coming up this week, class number 8 – its going to be a cool appliqué class with lots of detail work.   Class is set for release on Wednesday, March 23, 2016.  You won’t want to miss either of these classes.

You can find Class Number 7 at OMLdigitizing.com

 

 

Class #6 now uploaded

IMG_0415

We have uploaded the newest class!  and its a good one!

APPLIQUE + APPLIQUE +IN THE HOOP

We listened to everyone saying the they would like more advanced classes, especially in appliqué – so that is exactly what we have for you this week – an advanced appliqué class!  Awesome!

Join us for this class and you will learn quite a few things – two methods of appliqué and how to digitize for each method, we create two appliqués on the same project and tie it all together with some in the hoop work to create this beautiful bookmark just in time for Easter.  In this class, we will create the bookmark from scratch – only using a simple egg template (because I can’t draw an egg, for some reason) and then we build the bookmark from the beginning.  Of course we like to think outside the box, so there are a few suggestions how you can create your own variations on the design.  We use motif stitches, run stitches and we change width and density to make the whole design work.

So check out this awesome Embird Appliqué In the Hoop lesson, and learn how to create an advanced appliqué in the hoop project.

[shopify product=http://omldigitizing.com/products/class-6-easter-applique-in-the-hoop-advanced]

 

Classroom Tips

Hi Everyone! Here are some tips suggestions for everyone attending our weekly classes:
Sign up in advance for the classes to reserve your seat in the class.  We are still “testing” the new software for the classroom, and so far we think that its simple and easy for everyone to use – it gives more of a classroom type setting – you can join the OML school, and then join different classes!  You have a nice record of upcoming classes, too.   Thats another reason why we suggest below that you sign up for the Classroom as well as the classes.
When you are signing up, register on the e-lecta site for the OML classroom. Once you are signed up as a student, you will have access to an abundance of information – including the dates and times of your upcoming classes! If your attendance email gets lost or shows up too late for class, you can simply to to the classroom and sign into your account and get in that way! Super easy!
I would suggest that you show up for the class early : you can get into the classroom 15 minutes before class starts- that gives everyone time to check their audio and microphone to make sure everything works! We are there doing the same things, so stop in early and say HI!!  If you  are having any issues you can always put your hand up and type into the chat box and let us know how we can help!

Make sure that you have a good internet connection for streaming. If you have slow internet, your internet connection might be lost and you may have issues streaming the class! But everyone who signs up for the class will get a free copy of the video of the whole class, so you won’t miss a thing!
Most importantly, if you are having any issues at all about anything at all, you can email us or call us and we will help you out! Of course if you email or call during class time, we can’t answer because we are teaching a class 🙂
Hope that helps everyone, and we look forward to seeing you in the classroom for some great embroidery digitizing lessons!

Embird: Stitch files vs. EOF files

Hey everyone!  Hope your digitizing is going well and you are having lots of fun learning Embird and playing with the program!

I just wanted to post a quick reminder about the difference between stitch files and EOF files, so everyone can have nice stitch outs and avoid any digitizing hassles.

Stitch files:  OK, i could copy and paste a nice definition of what exactly a stitch file is, but I think putting it in normal words would be better.  A stitch file is the “final” stitch file that you can use to send to your machine.  Your machine will only understand one basic stitch file – for example .PES.   I called the stitch file “final” because it is basically in the format to send to your machine – the right size, the right colors etc.  You can make some small changes to the stitch file in Editor AND studio, but only small changes – for example, you can make a 10% size enlargement and have no issues with density or stitch coverage.

OK, so one of the major misconceptions is that if you take a stitch file and use the drop down list that says “edit stitch file in studio” and make some edits in studio and save over it as an EOF file, that makes it an EOF file, so you can edit it like you would a native EOF file.

NO.

The stitch file is ALWAYS A STITCH FILE, no matter where you edit it.  Just because you bring it into Studio, or even call it an EOF file, it is still a stitch file.   The only  fully editable files are native EOF files – the ones you created from scratch in Studio.  So even if you bring the PES file into studio, it is still a stitch file, and all Editor Stitch file rules still apply.

Hope that  helps everyone understand what you can and cannot do with a stitch file and the difference between a true EOF file and a stitch file in Studio.

HAPPY DIGITIZING.

#EMBIRDSTUDIO

#BEGINNEREMBIRD

#EMBIRDEDITOR

#LEARN EMBIRD

Introduction to Embird:

Here is the first part of the video series, an Introduction to Embird – a beginners tutorial explaining how to use Embird.

Don’t have Embird?  Go to Embird.com and download the free 30 day trial and get started digitizing today!