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 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: FLORENTINE STITCH EFFECT

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!!

WILCOM HATCH: Monograms

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:

Embroidery_Monogram_2

Wilcom.com/hatch monogram library

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