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.

A message from a nerd

Ok, thats me, I am the nerd.  Actually, I am surrounded by nerds, and thats a good thing.

The message from the nerd is:  STOP USING INTERNET EXPLORER.  PLEASE.  That is the biggest quick tip that I can give you, and will probably help you the most.  Seriously.

The nerd part of me cringes when I hear that people are still using internet explorer.  Its not that I take any issue with the program or anything like that, its that internet explorer is ANCIENT and doesn’t even work on half the websites that you are seeing.  You are missing things, you are missing formatting and you are missing the beauty of the internet.

Believe it or not, websites have to be coded specially for IE viewing – internet explorer can’t read most websites because if its old code…but it can’t  be fixed completely, so some of the websites that you are on with IE will not be showing you the whole website.  No matter how much code I add to my website, IE can’t keep up with it – its too old and can’t read what I am adding.

A perfect example would be when people buy our videos.  In other web browsers, there are no issues in any way.   You click download and it downloads the video to your computer.  However, if you are still using IE, you click download, and it streams the video instead of downloading it.  Right there, that should be enough to switch.  STREAMS the video?  what are you supposed to do with that?  If you pause or have to come back to it at a later time, you have to do it all over again and it counts as a download to our website.  Why oh Why would you want that?  IE can’t read my website when it says the command download – IE reads ????? and decides to stream it.

I hate to think that people are missing out on some beautiful websites, or graphics or even typography – the whole package – on websites because they are using IE.  You are missing out on things- whenever there is an issue with a website, its IE.    IE can be frustrating to anyone – there are always going to be issues.  Read that again, most of the issues you are having with websites – reading it, downloading things, purchasing items, etc. are all because you are using an old, ancient archaic web browser that is so far behind in the times, it can’t even read what you want.

So, then the question is, why don’t they fix IE so it works?  Well, they have not and they will not – and by “they” I mean microstoft – they are not going to update IE, it is what it is – they have come out with a new browser – Microsoft Edge that is a completely new browser.  Thats how old and ancient IE is, they won’t even update it, they started a whole new browser.

Most people use Chrome or Firefox BECAUSE THEY WORK.  THEY WORK ALL OF THE TIME FOR EVERYTHING.  Now, I am a Mac person, so I use Safari.  Same thing – it works.

So listen to the message from a nerd:  stop using Internet Explorer and come over to the other side and have hassle free browsing with another browser.  A new browser is free to use- Chrome and firefox for example.  Its easy to download, and you can easily remove the little icon at the bottom of your screen, and replace it with the Chrome icon.

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NO.  STOP USING INTERNET EXPLORER

CHROME OR FIREFOX (or just about any other browser) WILL MAKE YOU MUCH HAPPIER.  PLEASE CHANGE.  DON’T WAIT, RUN.  CHANGE.  If you need help adding or removing the icon from your bottom task bar, I will gladly walk you through that – its super easy and will take 2 right clicks to do it.

-Nerd

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 🙂

 

 

 

Wilcom Hatch: Priced Right

I know we have been talking about Wilcom Hatch a lot lately, but I am still so excited about this program!

Although we do have a commercial level embroidery digitizing program, I have always wanted Wilcom software – the commercial software!  Every few months I go to Wilcom’s site to see if somehow, some way we can manage to get our hands on the software.  The last time I checked, I saw a picture of WILCOM HATCH.  HATCH?  what the heck is Hatch?  so i clicked on the picture and smiled.  Finally, Wilcom that I can afford!!  Woohoo!  And its all in one package, everything I need.  That is how I found out about Wilcom Hatch and it has been non stop Hatch ever since!

I wondered, as I was downloading the free trial, that is actually free and is fully functional – so you can test stitch the designs that you digitize in Hatch – is Hatch going to be as powerful and as good as Wilcom?  And the answer is YES.  Although I still don’t have the Wilcom commercial software to compare to, I do have other embroidery software that I can use as a comparison, including commercial software.  And Hatch pretty much beats them all – its powerful, everything works, its fast and it has all the tools you will need.

I think a lot of people just see “Wilcom” and immediately think that they can’t afford it, so why bother.  Its Wilcom, we all know it is the best software out there, but only commercial big companies can afford to use it.  Not any more.  Hatch comes along and changes everything.   Every day so far I say ” I am happy to have a piece of the Wilcom Pie”  meaning that I am happy to have ANY Wilcom software!!  And it’s true, I am happy!!

So what about pricing for Hatch?  In this video, I take you to the Hatch website and show you all around, show you the prices, the three modules, the add-ons and where to start.  Personally, I got the advanced digitizing level because I need every tool that they have to offer!  Plus, who can live without their layouts module?  Not me, that’s for sure.

Do yourself a favor and check out this quick minute video on Wilcom Hatch:  Priced just right and see the website and prices for yourself.  You will be impressed!

 

WILCOM HATCH: RADIAL STITCHES

Another awesome stitch effect that is available on Wilcom Hatch:  RADIAL STITCHES.  If you don’t know what radial stitches are, keep reading!  Its a great effect that adds dimension, interest and complexity to any embroidery design.

Radial stitches are similar to contour stitches, in that they move around in a radius from a point.  One of the big differences is where that centre point is located.  In Wilcom Hatch, you can actually move that centre point anywhere you want in the design, even off the design!  This means that you can have the stitches radiating out from any point that you want – and you can change the entire look of the design.

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 11.10.01 AM

In the picture above, I used a tatami stitch with a pattern and set the centre point outside of the first oval, and then used the circle copy feature to make this flower.  As you can see, the ovals merged and the radial stitch still kept its pattern!  I added a plain tatami circle in the middle, and just like that I have a flower – an interesting flower that has a pattern, style dimension and interest!  For a 1 minute flower, i think it looks pretty good!!!

In the picture below, i have set up the oval:  under digitize tools, draw a circle and then apply the radial stitches to it, then use the reshape tool to move the centre point to just below the bottom end of the oval.

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 11.11.11 AM

After the oval shape element has been set up, then I went to the layout panel and picked the Circle Copy tool and played around with it until i got the shape that I wanted – a pretty little flower.  I merged all of the ovals into one piece to create my cute little flower embroidery.

Check out this quick tip video and see the Radial Stitch in action!

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:

Embrilliance Tutorials: Stitch Selection

Busy couple of weeks, but we have quite a few new tutorials for you to view!  All are quick tip videos, but have tons of information in them, and of course all about Embrilliance Embroidery software.  You don’t want to miss any of these videos!!

this first video is all about stitch selections and how you can use them to quickly change parts of your designs – you can select stitches quite a few different ways – lasso, rectangle and brush!  Its easy and fun, and in a few quick steps you can change your amazing designs!

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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