and take your wind and rain with you! Although we havent had any flooding as some of our Central Florida Embroiderers have suffered, or gale force winds, the constant rain and wind for 5 days has my brain jumbled and I'm ready to tear my hair out. But, as far as I know, all of us embroiderers here in Florda are fine, so keep your fingers crossed that it stays that way.
Digitizing tips, as promised. I can’t teach you how to digitize in my blog. I can’t even teach you how to digitize in a classroom. What I can do is to help you along with some basic tips and techniques.. If you’re serious about digitizing, and you’re prepared to spend a bit of time learning and practicing, I recommend my friend and colleague John Deer’s Basic Digitizing Made Easy. John’s instructions are generic, not tied to any particular software product, so they’re good to go for everyone. If you get a chance to take a class with John, do it. He’s not only talented and knowledgeable, but very cute.
I think I’ve learned more about digitizing from watching designs run than from any other source. That means sitting and watching every stitch. One time I was stitching a strawberry, one of the very few free designs that used to be available to us. As I watched I had one of those “aha!” moments. The first thing to stitch was a bunch of black blobs. Then the red strawberry stitched, leaving little holes that allowed tiny bits of the black blobs to show through. I was so excited by this technique for eliminating short, difficult to clip jump stitches that I’ve used it many times since I first saw it.
This is how I did it for flowers on a band. I did this in PE-Design. I don’t know how you would accomplish “hole sewing” with your particular software. You’ll have to consult the dreaded manual for that, but I'm sure it's something simple.
- First I drew 3 circles with no stitch data.
- Then I duplicated the circles, added stitch data and made them larger.
- Next I drew the flowers with no stitch data."
- Then I duplicated the flowers, added stitch data and made them larger.
- Then I drew the rectangle (with stitch data).
In order to be able to grab hold of each of the individual parts I pulled them apart and arranged them on my workspace. The circles and flowers without stitch data are the “holes.” They’re smaller than the same shapes with stitch data so no empty space will show when the design is assembled.
- Now I pulled the round holes onto the flowers and applied hole sewing.
- Then I pulled the flower holes onto the rectangle and applied hole sewing.
- Next I arranged the pink flowers under the holes in the rectangle.
- Then I arranged the yellow flower centers under the holes in the flowers.
- Last I checked my stitching order to be sure that the centers would sew first, the flowers second and the rectangle last.
And this is the finished product. It’s just a rough, poorly drawn design for demonstrating the technique. In real life I would do a more precise job with different kinds of stitches and, of course, so would you. But give it a try and once you’ve mastered the process go ahead and digitize something pretty!
Don’t feel bad if you have no interest in doing this exercise. Not everyone who embroiders needs to be a digitizer. In fact, if there were as many moderately priced designs available when I first started out as there are now, I probably wouldn’t have gotten into digitizing at all. Most of us use our digitizing software mainly for editing designs, combining designs and adding text.
French Bath. We were off to Normandy for our D-Day tour. When we stopped for petrol and potty I had a small but long lasting incident in the ladies’ room. I guess we must have been in Belgium because the signs outside were in Dutch while inside everything was in French. To get on with the story, when I went to wash my hands I squirted soap on them from the dispenser right above the sink. OH, NO! It wasn’t soap, but toilet water! I guess the joke about a “French bath” is more fact than fiction. Scrubbing as hard as I could with soap from the correct dispenser, I couldn’t get the smell out off my hands. Four people were trapped in an enclosed car with that scent for most of the day. Well, at least we had chocolate. Lots of chocolate. And here's the scrapbook page.
I think that's it for me today. I'm having surgery on my left foot in the morning and I expect that I'll be "out of it" through the week-end. Stay dry, my friends in Florida! TTFN