Saturday, May 13, 2017

In the Hoop Quilting? Save the Mesh!

After many months of in the hoop quilt projects I began to realize just how often I was ordering the no-show mesh for my projects. Don't get me wrong, I like the stuff, but I needed to find a way to be more "frugal" in my usage.

Idea after idea rolled through my brain; just about to give up I noticed a product on my shelf. Desperate, I tried it.....the rest is history for me. Meet my new best in the hoop quilting friend: 3M Extra Strong Duct Tape!

I actually purchased the roll at Lowe's for under $5.00, and it goes a long way! It is smooth and glossy on the non-tacky side and is with out fibers (like the Duct Tape at Michael's). I apply it to the back of my hoop and when I remove it, it leaves no sticky residue. Once I place it on my hoop, the sticky window can be used over and over again! (I have actually complete up to 16 blocks with one taping of the hoop!) The best allows me to cut smaller pieces of no-show mesh, actually saving yardage over the course of a project! 

Join me in this video as I show you how I use this hidden treasure! 

As always....keep sorting the scraps and generating the gems! 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Adventures in StitchArtist: Quilt in the Hoop meets Traditional piecing...

Sometimes I just want to piece blocks...nothing fancy just traditional piecing. So, I began to ask myself why I could not combine more traditional piecing with quilt in the hoop? Join me as I share how I was able to combine these two arts into one....but only with the help of Embrilliance StitchARtist software!

Let's keep sorting the scraps so that we can generate the gems...together! Until next time!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Adding borders to quilt in the hoop projects___my Way!

My quilt in the hoop project UFO pile has been growing! And what is the hang-up? Borders! Yup, simple strips of fabric to finish off those quickly completed blocks.

In my last blog post I shared how I create my own quilt in the hoop blocks in StitchArtist. (You can link to that post here:)

Today, I'd like to share how I quickly finish those quilted projects with a simple border. It is a more traditional looking border, and not finished in the hoop (yet), but really looks nice on the project! I do have a disclaimer....there are multiple ways to add borders. This is simply what works best for me! I hope it helps you finish those almost done projects too!

Until next time! Keep sorting those scraps and generating your gems!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Adventures in Stitch Artist: Create an in the hoop quilt block

I am a person who likes to push my toys to the "let's see limits." But, it has taken me a LONG time to arrive at creating quilt blocks in the hoop of my Janome 15000. Did I think it possible? Yes. Did I try it? Yes. Did I love it at first? No. But, I have long been a more traditional quilters and had to rethink the art. And I have....with the help of Embrilliance StitchArtist software.

It is so easy to create the basic block using the provided StitchArtist Outline shapes. You will be amazed! I was! So, join my latest adventure in creating my own basic quilt in the hoop block.

But, before I embark on my journey I must clarify a couple of things:

  • This block is intended to be joined without sashing---all batting is trimmed away.
  • As it stands it is pretty plain jane; but we will use it for more over the coming weeks and months. 
  • If you wish to save the BASIC block (without stippling) save your file as "8_inchBASIC" before you add the stipple fill to the outline. This will hopefully become clear as you watch the video. 
  • I apologize at the length. I just am so excited about this that I had to share it all. And I apologize that my brain and mouth were not always in sink (I think I needed a nap!) 

Thank you for joining me....let's begin this journey!

Until next time! Keep sorting those scraps and generating the gems!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Adventures in Embrilliance: BX fonts and Digital Cutters

I have been fascinated by the applique BX fonts. That said, the fact that I MIGHT be able to use my digital cutter with them really intrigues me---I like things as easy as possible. But as I looked at the purchased fonts I wondered how I could translate that BX font into a file capable of cutting. Enter Embrilliance suite and its applique features! 

Join me as I show how I used the Jolson Font Tuscan Split to create the applique pictured. And I cut it with my Cricut Explore! Come on along for this adventure: 

Thanks for watching the video! I would like to reemphasize one correction. When I went to stitch the pieces (cut with an inflation of 1.5 mm) I found them just about that much too large. I still had manual trimming after the tack-down stitch. After some additional play I will now change the inflation to 0 - 0.5 mm. Lesson learned: dry-run first! 

Thanks for stopping by! I hope that you have added a few scraps of information in order to help you generate some amazing gems of stitch! 

Until next time.........

Friday, December 30, 2016

Adventures in StitchArtist: The Magic Wand tool...and more!

Sometimes I just need to do something; that is when I turn to Embrilliance StitchArtist and explore. It is so much fun to look for free images and try to create embroidery. That is how I ended up with this image:

Thank you, Google Images! I'm sorry, I have searched for a credit and cannot find it. So.....
Join me as I play in StitchArtist to digitize this image:

On the video I referenced this graphic for digitizing the stings:
I begin inserting the points at the "block" end of the arrow. The "arrowhead" is the end of the segment. 

I love this embroidery! 

Here are the tools (seen on the StitchArtist 1 toolbar) I used: 

Thanks for joining me in this adventure! Until next time...

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Quilt in the Hoop: Planning my Project...and the Finished Project

In the last Quilt in the Hoop (QIH) post I added the "happiest" fabric from Connecting threads to my virtual stash. Now I want to do something with it! Off to plan my quilt layout in QIH!

The app opens to the My Quilts page. to begin a new quilt, I tapped the "+" in the upper right corner of the screen.

The Quilt Editing page opens. By tapping the "Edit" toggle and then the "BLOCK 1" square, I can open the library of blocks available at this time. (I really cannot wait for more to be released!)

To find the perfect block I scroll through the images. 

Found one! So, I tapped on the block (1). I can now choose to color the patches in the block as desired. Towards the bottom of the screen are the directions, "Select pieces for fabric choices." (2) By tapping on the desired patch I can choose my fabrics from the scroll bar at the bottom. The Connecting Threads fabrics I previously added can be found in the "From Fabric Stash" area. If it is purple, it is selected. 

I scrolled through the swatches until I found the yellow swatch and tapped on it. I can even color several patches by tapping on their pieces (see the check mark?) and then scrolling until I find the correct fabric for those pieces.

I continued until I had the block colored as I desired. 

Because I was going to use the same block throughout the quilted piece I tapped on the slider, "Use for all squares." I then selected DONE from the upper right of the screen.

Back to the QUILT EDITING page so that I can arrange my blocks! First, I tapped on the toggle ROTATE on the right side of the page. Now by tapping on each block I can rotate it 90 degrees. 

With my blocks arranged to my satisfaction, this page is ready to help me finish this project and get quilting! 
  1. I can name this quilt! Jury is still out on this one right now. 
  2. This line contains the "vital statistics" of my project. First, I determine the size of my blocks: S (4.5"), M (6/5") or L (9"). Next, I set the width of my project and the height (or the number of blocks wide and/or high). I can see the approximate size of my project. Finally I can see the fabrics used and a preview of what I am doing! But, more about the last two later!
  3. I can even add up to 3 borders or sashing to my project by moving the slider to the right (when active I see purple!)

Adding my borders is easy! 
  1. I moved the slider to the right. Three border selections visualized.
  2. Tapping each block, I am able to add the fabric of my choice for my first border. 
  3. I selected the number above the fabric choice and adjusted the number to the desired width of my first border. I repeated steps 2 and 3 for each border I desired. For this quilt I added 2 borders. 
  4. Wait! I cannot see my borders!?!? To the far right is the preview button for my quilt. Tap that....

I get a really good graphic representation of my project. I can also see where I made a layout mistake! (Can you find it?) Selecting DONE sends me back to the editing page to correct my oops!

Back at edit. Using the ROTATE toggle, I fixed my oops! Happy camper here! Immediately to the left of the FABRICS toggle (circled) I note the size of my project as 20 x 46". Great size for a runner...I'm ready to sew!  But ow much fabric should I order? This app is so complete, that it calculates the amount of fabric needed for this project (not to include the backing). In order to find the amounts of fabric needed, tap the FABRICS toggle. 

For each fabric, the app has given me an amount to purchase. Let me say, this amount is generous and I am pretty sure that this amount of fabric will yield leftovers in the end. By naming the fabrics as I did, I have a record of where to find this fabric and what line it is in. (See my post on adding fabric here.) 

I decided to print my list for future reference. 
  1. I tapped the "send" icon at the upper right side of the page. 
  2. In the new dropdown, I selected print.  Please note, I do have a printer connected to my iPad, so I chose the PRINT icon. but, as you can see, there are many ways to save this page of information. How about creating an Evernote file just for quilts? 

Selecting DONE returns me to the EDIT page. This app has thought of everything! Select TEMPLATE from the EDIT page. Tap on one of the blocks of the quilt. 

A new page opens with templates of all of the pieces of this block. 

The video library includes great information regarding the use of these templates for piecing the blocks. I prefer to use strips in the pieces---I'll share that technique in the not too distant future! 
There is much information on this scroll, scroll, scroll! 

Look what I found! The block layout with numbers corresponding to the template numbers! Sweet! is the order of stitch! Not much easier in my book! But, there is more....

I can now see exactly which pieces are cut from which fabric! I selected the FABRICS toggle at the top of my page. A new page opens....

I now know exactly which piece is cut from which fabric! I do not know about you, but I've paid top dollar for quilt patterns with less information! Again, this can be printed, choice!

If I had my fabric I would be ready to sew these blocks....

There are several ways to send the stitch files to your machine, account, or USB. My choice is to send to my AcuDesign app.

First I select the SEW toggle and then the block that I wish to sew...

A new screen opens and I can select my method of choice....

I like my AcuDesign (AD)! I have had a problem with recognition of the AD app, but it is an easy fix...simply open the app and let it run in the background; problems solved. It is a great app, trust me! to order my fabric and get stitching! 


The holidays intervened. I ordered my fabric, and of course, had plenty! I finished the runner in a couple of days. I just love the way it turned out! The points are SOOOO exact! What do you think?

Off to plan another project! Thanks for joining me....Until next time keep sorting those scraps and generating those gems!