Friday, April 29, 2016

Digitized Machine Embroidered Multihooped Scallops

Behold! My first project that involved multi hooping!

I have wanted to know about multi hooping for a while. What is multi hooping you ask? It is where a whole machine embroidery design has to be hooped more than once to achieve the final result. The trick is getting it to join smoothly and without the join being noticed.

Then one day I discovered a new canvas in my upgraded digitizing program. It was a hooping canvas. Previously, I had only had an artwork canvas and an embroidery canvas, now I had a hooping canvas as well. I decided to play, and the only thing to play with was a big design that needed multiple hoopings.

I had asked a lady I know who is very good at digitizing. All I knew was that there were registration points for matching purposes, but I didn't know how or where to put them.  The only clue that A---- had given me was to start small, and had suggested to start with a flower that need a long stem. Mmmmm.......... what would I put a flower on? So I go thinking, what else could I do that would need a long line, take little matching, and that  could be used if it worked? So my scallops were born.

I started looking through my files to see what scallops I had. I did have one, but it was too small for what I wanted, so I set about digitizing a bigger one. I was going to stitch them out onto white fabric, cut the excess fabric away then use them as a trim of a bag. Sort of like a lace trim inserted between two pieces of fabric. They didn't need to be too strong just for a trim, but I still wanted them strong. So there are two different underlays under the scallop, as well as interfacing ironed onto the fabric. Hopefully this will be strong enough so the scallops wont stretch, or tear at the points.

The program automatically made them with the stitch angle at 45 deg. This was not good so it needed to be changed. I put it at 90 deg,  It was fine at tip of the scallop, but  did not look good at the points. I had discovered an 'add stitch angles' button which I decided to play with. I am sure I had it before the upgrade, but had never used it. It came in good use now. I inserted multiple stitch angles into my scallops to be at 0 deg at the points, and 90 deg at the tip of the curve. This made the stitches curve beautifully around the scallop.

OK, so scallop done, it now needed to repeated so it stitched out in a smooth stitching sequence. Time to adjust start and end points before repeating. In all, I repeated the scallop so I had a line about 19 inches, that's nearly 50 cm in length. A length  that I could use, and definitely had to be multi hooped.

In the hooping canvas, I learnt how to position hoops, add hoops, add splitting guides and a lot more that in reality I didn't need. It certainly was a learning curve. According to the program, I had one splitting guide, and two hoopings, but when I came to stitch it out, the machine told me that the design was too big for the hoop. Mmmmm........ not according to the program. This is where I found out that I could change the hoop size, and when I put in the hoop size that I had on the machine, I now had three hoopings!

OK, so now I was about to start stitching out this design. I had searched on line for resources on multi hooping, and read tutorials and watched You-tube videos. One of the tutorials said to use sticky backed stabilizer. I had seen it, but never used it. Could I buy it? Yes I could, but I chose not to. Instead I used my trusty tear-away. Lesson leaned, not a good choice.

The program had split the file into three different parts. I had to stitch part 1, re-hoop, match up registration points, then stitch part 2. Part 1 had registration points in the stitch out, and I was supposed to match the registration points in Part 2 to those in Part 1. The problem was that because I had used a tear-away stabilizer, it tore at the registration points! I tried to match them up when stitching out Part 2, but of course I was out and things didn't match. Mmm....... lesson learnt. I was out by about 2 mm, not a huge amount, and my scallops overlapped so at least it was still usable.

When I came to stitch out Part 3, I didn't even use the registration points, I just moved the design on-screen and matched the start point of part 3 with the end point of Part 2. Perfection!

That's when I decided to stitch another line of scallops, the could be used on the other side of the bag. I have trimmed them now, and they are ready to trim my new bag.

OK, so my first try at multi-hooping was a huge lesson. I have learned heaps. Would I do it again? Absolutely! So watch this space for more multi hooping adventures and of course my finished bag trimmed with my own stitched out scallops.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Grace's Garden

"Grace's Garden" is the name I have given to my latest finished creation. It is a quilt that I made for a family member for her birthday. The quilt was born of scraps, with just one added fabric of flowers that blended in with the scraps.

The tiny coloured squares were produced by cutting strips,  sewing the strips together in an order, then cross cutting. This produced a strip of coloured squares separated by white ones.

Overall, the quilt was planned in my quilting program, which is attached to my digitizing program. I could insert fabrics, work out the size of the strips to cut, and have a virtual vision of what the finished quilt would look like.

As I worked on it, the quilt started to talk to me as to how I would quilt it. The flowers won out. Stitched in pink, they were stitched through paper on which I had drawn the design. The paper was then easy to tear away. The sashings were ditch stitched.

The label took nearly as much time to do as the quilt itself. It has been digitized, and I wanted to continue the flower theme into the label. It was these flowers that took the time. I wanted them to 'radiate', and this meant learning about the 'star fill' feature in my digitizing program. In the meantime, my PC crashed and I had to sit patiently and wait for it to be fixed.

The PC is all fixed now, the quilt is finished, and has been gifted. Hopefully the new owner will get plenty of warm cuddles from it over many years to come.