The one tool all embroiders MUST HAVE!!

Are you lost when it comes to selecting the right stabilizer? You need a compass to navigate the mysteries of embroidery!

Not a compass to help you with directions, but an EMBROIDERER’S COMPASS! It is one of the best things to happen to embroidery – this is the handiest tool you will ever have.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS EMBROIDERY TOOL.

WHO NEEDS THE EMBROIDERER’S COMPASS? Everyone, including me. I am a seasoned embroiderer, but when it comes to fancy fabrics and stabilizer, I am truly lost. Do you know offhand what stabilizer to use on gauze? how about bulky knits? Yeah, me neither and that information is kind of difficult to find…unless….you have this amazing tool!

Let’s take a look at it. Keep reading, you will LOVE this:

THIS IS THE BEST EMBROIDERY TOOL YOU WILL EVER HAVE!!!https://www.shop.dzgns.com/products/embroiderers-compass?_pos=1&_sid=d65fb1234&_ss=r

zOOM RIGHT IN AND CHECK IT OUT! Here is the fantastic information you will get with just a turn on the compass! First, find the fabric that you want to use. The top window tells you the correct stabilizer to use. The next window will tell you what needles to use – the size and the type. NEED MORE? The embroiderer’s compass has more! Check out the comments section and get tips and tricks for the fabric.

SO MANY EMBROIDERY QUESTIONS ARE ANSWERED WITH THIS EMBROIDERY TOOL.

Let’s look at the first example: embroidery on velvet. I really don’t know the procedure for embroidery on velvet other than you can’t hoop it because velvet crushes. That is not enough information to get the job done. I need more to be able to successfully embroider on velvet! Dial-up velvet and get all the information fast, easy and complete.

velvet requires two stabilizers!! did you know that?

Did you know that velvet requires two stabilizers? Ok, so now what needle do you use, and what are the steps to get the best embroidery results?

This is how to embroider on velvet!!

Look at all of the information that you get. Everything you need to know about how to correctly embroider on velvet. The Embroiderer’s compass shows you the way!!

Let’s try another one. How about MOISTURE WICKING FABRIC? These are expensive garments, so you better know what you are doing! Let’s navigate the compass:

Boom! the answer is right there in front of you, and you can start stitching with confidence. This tool will save you time and money and will allow you to say “yes, I can stitch on that” each and every time something new comes to your machine. I say it’s priceless.

For $24.99, this tool is worth it…for EVERYONE WHO DOES EMBROIDERY! Check it out for yourself, you won’t regret it. I am very happy that I have one and I am going to store it right beside my machine.

Happy stitching on any fabric!

Until next time,

Sue Brown

(happy to check out embroidery tools and test them for you)

Do you speak embroidery?

Embroidery Lingo

Let’s talk embroidery!  Do you know the lingo?  There are quite a few embroidery terms, short forms, and verbs that we need to be using properly to speak the embroidery lingo properly.  Using the correct terms will help everyone understand your comment or question better, and it will also help you make more professional posts and statements.  Also added in this list are some things that you should be doing in everyday embroidery.  Embroidery is a skill that you must learn!   I am not the Grammar Police, but I do see the same mistakes made over and over again – and as we discussed in the blog two weeks ago, presenting yourself and your business in a professional manner AT ALL TIMES, in every post and everything you do online is paramount to increasing your business.  After all, first impressions are lasting impressions – and social media works the same – even if we are not in person anymore, people do read what you write, and if you don’t present yourself properly in a professional manner, that is what everyone will remember.

I know everyone can read their manuals and find out these definitions, but I am not going to copy and paste any manual – I am going to explain everything in terms that everyone can understand, somewhat of a guideline to speaking and doing embroidery.

Stabilizer:  This is what you use under your embroidery to provide stability for your embroidery designs on your machine.   There are many kinds of stabilizer, just as there are many different fabrics:  you must make sure that your stabilizer is the correct thickness and type BEFORE you hoop.  Hatch has an “auto fabric” feather that will tell you exactly what stabilizer you need to use. Listen to Hatch’s suggestions and your embroidery will look much better, and last much longer too!

Hooping:  I know I sound like a broken record here, but I am going to keep saying it until everyone has heard me.  HOOPING IS PART OF EMBROIDERY.  You must hoop stabilizer AND the garment/material that you want to embroider.  Floating is an option and yes, it may work, and it may look OK, but it is certainly not as good as it should be.  Seriously.  I am confident that my embroidery will look great through many wash and regular wear – because I have the proper stabilizer and I have hooped everything properly.  I go for the best, so I take the time to do my best.  Learn how to hoop.  Some projects may be difficult, but it will be worth it!

WSS:  This stands for water-soluble stabilizer and it is one of the most over-used stabilizers around.  It is not actually a stabilizer – it does not stabilize your garment/fabric in any way.    WSS was designed mainly for FSL, and that is what you should be using it for!  You can also use it to help hold the stitches up (a bit) when you are stitching items like towels or anything with a high nap, but you will get much better results with a light fill stitch, stitching first to hold down the nap (also called Hatch Smash).  You do NOT need to use WSS for stitching designs on t-shirts or sweatshirts or jeans.  You are simply wasting money and time.

FSL:  Free Standing Lace is one of my favorite things to do in embroidery, as long as the embroidery is designed well.  The FSL design is made up of only thread – that is to say that you are not embroidering on any material, just some WSS, and when you have finished the design, you soak the design in water and wash the WSS away and you are left with a beautiful design.   I have noticed over the years that FSL designs have changed quite a bit!  I have done a few designs, and my machine was not happy going through layers upon layers of thread to stitch through. I do not continue to stitch when my machine doesn’t like it – I am not going to break or wear my machine down because of dense stitching.  When you are stitching your FSL design, your machine should be happily stitching, no banging, no thread breaks, and no design separation.  I have noticed quite a few people posting designs where the FSL has come apart, or parts have separated from the design, and even been “punched out” of the WSS before it is done!  That is not how FSL is supposed to be!  Some FSL designs are merely a crosshatch design with satin stitches over top and a few layers in between too – while they may be nice-ish, they are not going to hold up well and they are not going to make my machine happy.

ITH – In the Hoop Embroidery Designs: ITH is the short form for in the hoop – which means that the embroidery design is comipleteted in the hoop. Some ITH designs need some sewing when they are finished stitching, but they are still considered ITH. You can make bags, purses, zipper purses and even cute stuffed animals. Anything goes! My favorite place for ITH designs is Kreative Kiwi! Her designs are fantastic! If you want some fantastic machine embroidered ITH mugrugs or coasters, Kreative Kiwi is the place to be. You will love doing ITH once you try it!!

IT’S GRAMMAR TIME!

Embroidery vs. Embroider.  Ok, this is a bit of a grammar police paragraph, but it is worth mentioning.  Some people write “I am going to embroidery this design”.  Embroider is a verb (verbs show action) so the correct sentence is “I am going to embroider this design”.  Embroidery is the name of the skill that we are learning “I am learning embroidery”  or “I am learning to embroider” are both correct.  Of course, there are exceptions to all grammar rules, but that is the basics.

Digitizing:  I see this word spelled incorrectly all the time.  You digitize, or you learn to digitize, and I am digitizing.  It is not digitalizing.  Grammar police, again, but there it is.

Jump stitches:  When you are learning to digitize, one of your main goals is to get rid of as many jump stitches as you can.  Jump stitches are literally “jumping” from one object to another.  A jump stitch can be long (a no-no) or shorter (between letters in a word), some are acceptable and some are not.   Jump stitches between letters are fine, as long as they are not too long!  Again, if I am doing an embroidery design and there are huge jump stitches (my old single needle machine did not trim any stitches) I will STOP stitching that design.  If you have jump stitches everywhere, your needle foot may get caught on them and you might break your machine. If I am working on one of the big machines which trims, I still hear and see all that trimming going on, so I know that the design was not optimized properly – and that means that the digitizer did NOT take the time to digitize properly.

Connections or connecting stitches:  These stitches are what you need to eliminate the jump stitches to keep your design optimized.  You must learn optimization if you are a digitizer – you must!  You need to make running stitch connections between objects so you don’t have an excessive amount of trims or jumps.  Anything less than a maximum effort on optimization is not acceptable.

Optimization and optimizing your designs:  This should be the final check of your design that you are about to stitch.  Do you need to make connections with running stitches?  Is your design set out in a logical manner?  Do you have tons of unnecessary color changes?  Do you have tons of jump stitches?  Does your machine stitch one color at the top, then trim, and then move to the bottom and back up again? If your machine is doing any of these things, your design is not optimized and therefore not finished!  Take the time and finish it!

Design Registration:  This term has to do with your hooping skills, which includes using the correct stabilizer.  If your design is “out of registration” that means things don’t line up, your fill stitch is pulled back from your outline, or things are misaligned.  These issues are not usually the digitizer’s fault, more often than not it is the embroiderer’s fault!  If you don’t hoop everything and stabilize properly things will move around and pull.  Keep things looking sharp and exactly where they should be by learning hooping skills.

Hopefully, that will helps some people that are struggling with some of these terms.  If you don’t understand WSS and what it stands for, the whole process of FSL will be confusing!  Hopefully explaining these terms will help some of the new people understand some of the terminologies that we use in embroidery.

Now you speak some of the embroidery lingo!

Until next time,

Happy Digitizing

Sue Brown

Joy Rinearson’s embroidery story…

When I was growing up on the farm where we had three TV channels I started hand embroidering. I made numerous quilts that my mother hand quilted. 
Fast forward to last year. I started to sew some home decor items and my old machine kept fighting me. My husband finally talked me into letting him buy me a new one for Christmas. When we went to our local babylock store they have so many wonderful finished mainly Anita Goodesign items such as quilt, placemats, runners etc that we were so amazed at. I had recently retired and just started taking classes to learn new things. Machine embroidery was part of some of those classes.  I bought the Flourish II as I wouldn’t let myself spend the money on a Destiny machine as I didn’t know how much I would use it? I fell in Love with machine embroidery and how it reopened my creativeness. After Eight months I bought the Destiny and I am excited about what I will be able to create with it. 
I am so happy that I found you and Don on the internet. You are fun and inspiring and are helping those of us new to embroidery and those that are digitizing. I’m not ready to digitize, yet..

-Joy Rinearson (via email to OML Embroidery)

Thanks for sharing your embroidery story, Joy!

Do you have an inspirational embroidery story? email me your story to sue@omlembroidery.com

Sue Brown

Part 4 of the Dream Machine 2 + Scan n Cut DX225 series – the grand stitching finale!

This was a fun project to work on!  It’s so creative, and the sky’s the limit!!

In the first video, we created an applique design from an existing design on the Dream Machine – we did some outlines and some satin stitches offset so we don’t cover up the beautiful embroidery AND we put it all together in the correct order.  Once we finished this part, we set up the applique to send to the Scan N Cut DX225 cutter!  We added a bit of extra space around the design – which turned out to be too much space, LOL) and cut the fabric.  We used the special thin fabric blade and cut it perfectly!  I also did an experiment with the new GudyStic temporary adhesive that I love so much – and I got decent results – but I will be working with it more to come up with some better ideas.

In Part 4, the video below, we take all of our applique design components – the placement stitch, the tack down stitch and the satin stitch for the applique as well as the original design plus the pre-cut applique pieces and put it all together at McDreamy (my Dream Machine 2).  Watch the video and see what you can accomplish with a little bit of imagination and embroidery technology!!

Learn. Stitch. Smile

Be confident in every stitch!!

Sue

SEW MANY STABILIZERS, SEW LITTLE TIME…

So many stabilizers, so little time!
When you are first starting out with embroidery, you need to get a machine plus a ton of other things before you even turn on your machine. Having the correct thread is really important, but so is the correct stabilizer. Beleive it or not, using the right stabilizer and hooped properly can make or break any embroidery design. There are so many different kinds of stabilizers, which one should you get first? Wading through the stabilizer list can be confusing, and expensive.

I suggest you start with the basics and then move on from there. When you are new to embroidery, it is better to learn the foundations of embroidery including hooping skills and proper stabilizer for your embroidery. Once you get good at that, then you can start going through all of the “fancy” (and sometimes helpful) assortment of specialty stabilizers. So again, where do you start? Let’s go through the 3 basic types of the embroidery stabilizer, which are the must-have stabilizers to get you started, and you will probably always have a stash of each of these in your embroidery studio.

I keep large rolls of my most used stabilizers handy at my machine.

CUTAWAY STABILIZER: Just as the name states, you have to cut away the stabilizer when you are done doing your embroidery. Cutaway stabilizer is generally thicker than most other stabilizers and will provide a nice solid base for any embroidery. Because the stabilizer is thicker, it will keep supporting the stitches through many piles of washing without giving up and letting your stitches down. You should use some type of cutaway stabilizer for shirts, knits and any stretchy fabric. If you are using stretchy fabric of any kind, make sure you work on your hooping skills so you don’t stretch the fabric while you are hooping. The cutaway will keep the stretch away from the embroidery. If you stretch the fabric while hooping, the stabilizer will also hold this in place, and you will have somewhat curved embroidery that has stretched the fabric out of proportion. If this happens, keep practicing your hooping skills and learn to hoop without stretching. The cutaway stabilizer of some type should be a staple in your embroidery stash.

People ask all the time what “level” or “size” of cutaway do you need? That depends on what you are stitching really. You can go middle of the road and the stabilizer will not be too thick, or you can go the thinnest available and you may have to double up your stabilizer once in a while, depending on what you purchase. If you are doing anything with the embroidery after stitching (for example stitching quilting blocks together) you don’t want to have the thickest cutaway stabilizer – it will make everything too thick and make it more difficult to sew. I find that experimentation with the types of stabilizers is very helpful – get some samples and check it out, and you will decide what looks, feels and works best for you. Once I find a stabilizer that works for many different styles and types of embroidery, I buy it in bulk to save a ton of money. I always have a big roll of cutaway at my machine!

TEARAWAY STABILIZER: Again, just as the name states, this stabilizer tears away from the embroidery when it is finished stitching. Tearaway stabilizer is more like fibrous paper, and can sometimes be a little more difficult to hoop, but keep trying you will get the hang of it. Tearaway stabilizer is used when less stabilization is required for the design and/or the type of fabric that you are using. For example, thick toweling and a light-ish design will need tearaway to stabilize it properly. The tear-away will remain under the stitches, and you carefully remove the rest. If you are not careful when removing the excess stabilizer, you may end up pulling on some of your stitches, so I always recommend using two hands to tear away the excess: use one or two fingers to press down on the embroidery – at the edge of a circle, for example, and use the other hand to tear away and keep your stitches safe.

WSS or WATER SOLUBLE STABILIZER: I always have WSS on hand on my machine. Remember that WSS is not really a stabilizer because it doesn’t provide any stabilization to your stitches unless you are doing some free standing lace designs. WSS was designed specifically for FSL and using on top of a fabric that has a high nap (think towels) to smooth down the high nap fabric before stitching. It does not hold your stitches up or do any stabilization because you literally wash the stabilizer away. Sometimes you can use WSS for making free standing applique designs or designs that need a satin stitch edge free, but other than that, you should not be using WSS. If you are using WSS for the back of a towel, for example, that is not what the stabilizer is meant for, and remember it is not providing stability for your stitches, so it is really not doing any good in that regard. You do NOT NEED TO USE WSS AS A TOPPER FOR EVERYTHING, ONLY ON HIGH NAP MATERIALS. You are wasting time and money if you are using WSS as a “topper” on denim, leather and other thick fabrics. Why waste money if it doesn’t make any difference?
PRO TIP: I don’t actually use WSS as a topper for anything, ever. There is a special stitch that you can create in any software that will hold the fabric down before you stitch any embroidery, and it is called the Hatch Smash Technique. It is brilliant and will make your embroidery design (especially lettering) stand out and look way better than using WSS. Plus, it is a big time saver because you do not have to wash anything away when you are done or wait for anything to dry. Using the Hatch Smash technique will save you time and money, and your design will be finished when you are done stitching, even on thick fur or the fluffiest of towels.  I have created 3 different Hatch Smash videos, so be sure to check them all out.  Keep in mind, my embroiderer friend that you can use the Hatch smash technique with ANY EMBROIDERY SOFTWARE.  It is basically a fill stitch with less density…so you can do that in any software.

Need more proof? I found some really thick towels, and I did the same lettering on one piece of the fabric. On the bottom one I used the Hatch Smash technique, and on the other, I used WSS as a topper and made a big mess. The WSS was nearly impossible to remove. The results speak for themselves! Look how sharp the lettering is on the Hatch Smash lettering. That is what you want!!

knockdown stitches

Hatch Smash works perfectly for towels and fluffy fabrics!!

To get started, those are the basic stabilizers that you need: some type of sturdy cutaway, tearaway, and some WSS if you want to try your hand at free standing lace. FSL is one of my favorite things to do, so if you have not tried it yet, go grab some WSS and give it a go – especially great for Christmas decorations!
Until next time,
Happy Stitching!
Sue

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.

Stabilizer: How important is it?

VERY IMPORTANT.

Knowing what stabilizer to use is very important when you are creating or completing embroidery.  You need to know the correct one, every time.  When I first started doing embroidery and digitizing many years ago,  someone said this to me:

You are only as good as your hooping skills.

That didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me at the time, but it sure does now!   Let me explain this to you in a few ways.  Hooping skills mean being able to hoop the garment or hat properly, but also using the correct tension and the right stabilizer, and adding a topping stabilizer as needed.  You can be an awesome digitizer, but if you can’t hoop properly, you won’t be able to sell too many designs because your “show off” picture won’t look great..  Take that into consideration when you are creating designs or doing test stitch outs – it may not necessarily be the digitizing that is at fault, it is often your hooping skills.

First, let’s take a quick look at the word stabilizer – which is a bit different in embroidery, but has the same meaning:

 

stabilizer in embroidery

definition of “stabilizing” from dictionary.com

“to make or hold stable, firm or steadfast”  That is what the different forms of stabilizer will do – it keeps the material stable for you to embroider.  Have you ever embroidered without stabilizer? This is possible on some fabrics, but otherwise the embroidery won’t look good for very long – it will get wrinkled and terrible looking before long, especially after washing any garment.  So that’s the key – the stabilizer is to make the fabric stable and secure and keep it in place while you embroider.

What happens when you use the wrong stabilizer?  Quite a few things can happen, but let’s look at a few of them.

OUT OF REGISTRATION:  this is a big one, that happens all the time.  If you are stitching a design with a thin single stitch outline, for example, you need to have the fabric stabilized properly, or the outline will be out of registration.    That means that the outline running stitch will not match up with the embroidery – it will be outside where it should be or inside – either way, your embroidery design will not look right.  Some registration issues can come from pull compensation or too many layers, but often it can be because poor stabilization technique.  The solution?  Stabilize it better.  If you are using the thinner tear away stabilizer, switch to the thicker and more solid cut away stabilizer.

CRAPPY LOOKING EMBROIDERY:  I don’t know how to describe this in better words – if your embroidery looks less than sharp, letters are not clear and things don’t look right when you are stitching them out, kind of messy maybe- even though it looks great on the computer -stabilizer is the first thing I change.  Depending on the fabric, you may need to use 2 layers of stabilizer to make the embroidery look good.  Of course, there may be many other contributing factors, but stabilizer is certainly one of them, and it’s also the easiest to try – if it works then you have saved yourself tons of time at the computer trying to figure out some solution!

STITCHES DISAPPEAR:  Yep, this can happen.  Say you are doing to do a simple monogram on a towel, like a bath towel or something of that nature, if you were to use the wrong topper (which is still called stabilizer), the stitches will disappear into the towel, and you will wonder what you are embroidering!  Even though this stabilizer is on the top, it’s still stabilizer – water soluble stabilizer (or WSS for short) sits on the TOP of the towel to provide a good base for the stitches – so you can see them when you have finished  Of course, you must use stabilizer on the bottom too, but either tear away or cut away.  The WSS on the top will hold up the stitches from the nap of the towel, enabling you to have beautiful stitches, even on the thickest of towels.  WSS can be used in a few different ways, but it is necessary for embroidering on towels or anything else with a big nap.  WSS in some form or another is necessary – and the design, any design will look terrible without it.

There are many other examples of what can go wrong if you don’t have your hooping skills up to par!  Learn embroidery, learn to hoop properly to have amazing stitch outs and better embroidery.   Seriously, you can be a better digitizer by keeping up with your hooping skills.

REMEMBER:  YOU ARE ONLY AS GOOD AS YOUR HOOPING SKILLS.   So hoop properly and show off your embroidery!

mother of dachshunds embroidery design

 

A Little Hatch Embroidery Inspiration

I do spend quite a bit of time working on videos, blogs and answering tons and tons of questions.   I am absolutely not complaining, I do all of these things because I want to, not because I have to or that its my job.  I already have a full time + job making patches.  Embroidery has always been a passion of mine, and I am always happy to share my experiences as much as possible.

I really do appreciate all of the likes and subscribers on Youtube – that keeps me going!  Not to mention all of the likes, shares and thank you notes on Facebook – that also keeps me going too and I love it all!!  I would like to have 10 zillion subscribers and 10 zillion likes, LOL.  OK, well 10 zillion is a big number – but I plan on doing something grand if we ever reach 10,000 likes or subscribers.  I like to think BIG.

Every once in a while someone will share their story.  As you all know by now, here at OML Embroidery we are all about embroidery and the different software that we use.  I do like them all, but the newest one Hatch has my attention for a few reasons – its a very powerful program, its easy to use and its not missing any big things in it – everything you need is right there – to name a few reasons.  Most of all, I think Hatch will open the doors for embroiderers – all embroiderers from beginner to advanced – because of its brilliant user interface and its powerful program. And I like new doors being opened – opened doors lead to opportunities!

So here is the inspiration for the weekend.  This person has been reading my blog and following along with all of the writing, videos and information on Hatch.  Although they have 2 other embroidery programs that they have struggled with for years, Hatch was the program that “opened the embroidery door” for them:

“Thanks for your insightful comments. I’ve been struggling with Embird for years and with Brother PES software for many years prior to that. I’ve been a home, hobby embroiderer since the first home machines came out but just couldn’t make the digitizing software do what I wanted. That changed when you posted your new Wilcom Hatch tutorials. I downloaded the 30 day trial as you suggested and have successfully created, converted, and sewn out several simple, but original designs. I’m thrilled and can’t thank you enough! I wouldn’t have taken this step without your tutorials and encouragement. After playing with Hatch for several days I knew I’d found what I’ve been searching for all these years and bought the digitizer package last night. Hatch makes sense to me in ways Embird and PES never have. And the tools and functions are so darn much fun I can’t wait to get back in and play some more! I’m in love and so grateful that you introduced this to your readers. Please keep the hatch videos coming. Wilcom has some nice tutorials but I like yours much better. Your explanations are clear and concise and your enthusiasm is contagious! Thanks again. OML and Hatch ROCK!”

What a wonderful success story!

Here is what you can take from this story:  Never give up.  Do not be afraid to try something new, take a different approach or learn something new – you never know what is going to happen!

I have said this in a few videos and blogs – if you are not happy with your current software, are struggling or are not able to get the results you want – then why are you using it?  TRY SOMETHING NEW.  You never know what will happen!  You have nothing to lose – Hatch is free for 30 days – and you have lots to gain:  confidence, happiness, a sense of accomplishment and a nice path on your way to better digitizing to name a few! 

Don’t forget to join our Facebook group:  Wilcom Hatch Tips and Tricks  so you can share your accomplishments and your progress with Hatch.  We love to see your work!!

And for everyone out there that is  using  Wilcom Hatch and loves it as much as we all do – then SHARE – get the word out everywhere and anywhere – like things, subscribe, share posts, share videos SHARE – and maybe you will help someone else!  Make your voice heard -shout it out – be passionate and enthusiastic about Hatch – you never know who is listening!!

Happy Digitizing everyone, and have a great weekend. I am going to finish work and spend some of my weekend “off time” digitizing.

More Hatch videos on Monday 🙂

 

 

 

Beginner Embroidery

Hey everyone and Happy Friday!  Today’s blog goes out to all the brand new digitizers out there.

Good for you!  Welcome to the embroidery world!  Welcome to learning all about embroidery!  Embroidery is an exciting and creative venue, and I love figuring out new techniques and styles and generally playing with embroidery.

For the new digitizers out there, there are a few things that you must do once you decide that embroidery is what you want to learn about and eventually create.

If you have been embroidering for a while, and know your stitches and understand hooping etc.  this next section will not apply to you.

First:  you need to have an embroidery machine.    Really, you need to have one.   You don’t have to have a $10,000 6 needle machine,  a single needle lower end one will do – you need to be able to stitch out designs and see the stitches, see the mistakes and understand a few things, and I feel strongly that you can only learn all of these things by using an embroidery machine and watching it work.

Second:  RESEARCH AND LEARN.  Yes.  You must learn about embroidery…everything you can about embroidery…how to use your machine, hooping, stabilizers,  bobbins, different threads, different needles, different fabrics,  jump stitches, connections, color changes…the list goes on and on.  You have to learn embroidery – its a skill.  If you think you can pick up digitizing software and instantly you are a digitizer, you are wrong.  It takes so much more than that.  It takes WORK.  It takes LEARNING.  It takes TIME.  It takes RESEARCH….it takes a lot.  The more you put into digitizing, the more you will get out of it with beautiful stitch outs and beautiful designs.

No matter what embroidery software you are using, you must learn about embroidery.  You must understand that you can’t make a satin stitch 3 inches wide…you need to understand stabilizers and good hooping, you must understand all about embroidery before you can learn to digitize.  If you don’t understand embroidery, then you will be frustrated as a digitizer.  SUGGESTION:  watch different designs stitch out…pay attention to what is happening on your machine.  learn about connections…learn to see the difference between a good stitch out and a bad one and most importantly WHY.  Watch designs stitching from different sources – some are better than others.  Hoop…and re-hoop and practice hooping using the correct stabilizers.  You can have the best embroidery design ever, and if you hoop a stretchy material with tear away stabilizer, the design will look terrible.  Remember “you are only as good as your hooping skills” .  You also need to understand what Push/Pull compensation is, and watch it in action on your machine with different stabilizers.  Use your embroidery machine…embroider everything you can and learn to hoop even the most difficult fabrics or items.  How can you create a simple design for a shirt collar and make it fit properly, if you have never embroidered on a shirt collar?

And here are the big ones that I can’t stress enough time and time again:

UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A STITCH OR MACHINE FILE AND A FILE THAT YOU CREATED:  .EMB, .EOF, .PXF FILES ARE DIFFERENT FROM STITCH FILES.  THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A STITCH FILE AND A WORKING FILE…BIG…

UNDERSTAND THAT IF YOU TAKE A STITCH FILE AND RENAME IT A .EMB FILE, IT IS STILL NOT A NATIVE .EMB FILE AND YOU STILL DON’T HAVE BIG EDITING CAPABILITIES.

UNDERSTAND THAT YOU CAN’T TAKE A STITCH FILE, BRING IT INTO YOUR DIGITIZING PROGRAM AND EDIT IT VERY MUCH…YOU CAN’T TAKE A STITCH DESIGN THAT IS 2 INCHES AND MAKE IT 7 INCHES.  YOU DON’T HAVE THAT LEVEL OF EDITING.

Understand that these rules apply to ALL DIGITIZING SOFTWARE.   A stitch file that your machine can understand is something completely different from a working file…if you get frustrated and change softwares, those rules still apply.  People ask me this all the time…”I AM SO FRUSTRATED..I HAVE A .PES FILE THAT I BRING INTO STUDIO AND I WANT TO MAKE IT BIGGER AND IT WON’T WORK….I AM SO FRUSTRATED…WILL HATCH/EMBRILLIANCE/WILCOM etc.  DO THIS?  No.  No it won’t.  A STITCH FILE IS MADE FOR STITCHING, A WORKING FILE IS MADE FOR WORKING.  Understand this part, and you will save yourself hours of frustration and wasted materials.   WHAT DOES A WORKING FILE LOOK LIKE? my first answer is “it will look like YOU CREATED IT”   OK, in the software it looks the same as any other file, except that it is completely editable…and the name of it will be different.  Machine files are named depending on the type of machine that you use:  .PES for brother, JEF for Janome, XXX for singer, etc.  The working files will be named differently:  EOF for Embird .EMB for Wilcom, PXF for DG15, etc.  You can’t send a working file to your machine:  your machine will not acknowledge it as anything and it will not stitch.  So again:

STITCH FILES (.PES, JEF, DST etc) are for stitching on your machine, not for working on and editing.

WORKING FILES (EOF, EMB, PXF) are for working on and will not work in any machine.

Once you have mastered embroidery on its own, it may be time to move on to digitizing.  If you understand embroidery, you will better understand digitizing – it will make more sense.   Sure, you can get an embroidery machine and the software that it comes with and dive right in and do everything at the same time, but if you do one step at time you will learn properly and save yourself tons of frustration.   You can’t expect someone in grade 1 to understand something in college, right?  grade 1 is building the foundations for everything you learn in college.  Ok, I am not saying that mastering embroidery is going to take you 12 years, but it is going to take time.  Take the time.  Learn.  Have fun.  Learn some more.  Be happy.

If you have any brand new embroiders/digitizers that you know in your group, etc.  pass this information along to them.  It will be very helpful!!

RIPPLE STITCH IN WILCOM HATCH

YES.  THE RIPPLE STITCH IS IN WILCOM HATCH.  The ripple stitch is one of the most requested stitches- for a good reason – its truly that amazing!  While you can reproduce this sitch manually in some programs, it doesn’t look as good and is generally quite difficult to accomplish.  NOT ANY MORE!  YOU CAN DO THE RIPPLE STITCH IN ONE CLICK.   Oh, I know that everyone is going to love this one – its not just me being super enthusiastic about a stitch effect, this is a big one!

What is the ripple stitch?  It is similar to the contour stitch, in that it stays with the contour of the object that you are using, but it spirals out from the centre of the object in a way that makes the final design have amazing depth and shape – and is really cool to see, too.  It is a nice line stitch, but with a few different elements to it – it follows along the contour, changes spacing and gives an effect that you will love!  In a basic style with no changes – this is what the ripple stitch does to a basic flower shape:

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 2.57.00 PM

WOW.

Look at the contours, look at the different density and the different stitch widths – all from one click.  Now this example is just from a simple flower design that we made using an oval shape and the Circle copy in the layout tab.  We merged all the shapes together and then clicked on the ripple stitch – and this is what Wilcom Hatch does with it.  Wow.

Here is the same design, zoomed in a little bit more, so you can see the detail of the lines and density:

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 3.04.32 PM

I don’t know about you, but I can think of a million times that this would have added the wow-factor to some simple designs!!  It looks great,even on a simple design like this basic flower.  I keep thinking about Halloween designs – this effect would look awesome on a skull or a pumpkin.  How about different threads?  you could use variegated threads – the design works it way out from the centre, so i think variegated thread would add something even more to this design.  Can you imagine??  I can’t wait to stitch this out on my machine.  And Christmas designs??  The fun we are going to have with Wilcom Hatch for the holidays!!

So the possibilities are endless – the ripple stitch s the stitch of the year – and everyone wants this stitch – its that good.  Check out this quick tip video to see exactly how the ripple stitch is created, and how you make make adjustments quickly and easily: