Sunday, July 13, 2014

Every artist signs her work.....

Yup, that is what my art teacher in high school, Mrs. Geatches, used to say! And after the label police in my quilt guild have called me on that same issue---I am a believer!

My sweet friend, Josie Janome (15000) actually has a way to help me do this with very little work. And, the best part--it is MY signature.

First, let's head to the Horizon Link Suite playground. Select Stitch Composer:

We're not going to stop at the first screen. Instead, we're headed to the "View". Select it from the indicated tab.

Now, choose an image that has minimal detail. For this tut I am using a basic star shape. (To digitize your signature, write it, scan or photograph it and import as the graphic.)

Now, the fun. 
  1. First, size the graphic using the black box handles. The corner handles will size it proportionally. The boxes centered on the gray line will size in one direction only. Remember, the max size is 9mm; it is still pretty small!
  2. Position the graphic where you want it to stitch in the 9mm field. 
  3. Select the option on the menu bar to "Lock" the graphic in place. (You'll love this feature!) 

Return to the first screen by selecting the "Home" tab

Start adding "points" around the graphic. It is suggested that your points be no closer than 1 mm. Okay, I hear you, "What?!?!?" One millimeter is the size of the square you see. The points in fairly straight areas are easy. To keep rounded areas smooth, insert about 1/2 mm distance from each other. This takes practice and stitch-outs to get right!

Got the points where you think they are amazing? If you need to adjust look to the left of the "Finish" button. Select that, click on the points that need to be moved and do the clean up. When finished click on that same button to turn this feature off. 

Select finish. This will add your beginning, ending and loop stitches. I have tried to use the little buttons on my own with only disaster. This is so much easier!

It is time to send to the USB and on to the machine! Yeah! Rename if you choose. Send it to the ORD file folder on the USB. If you open the ORD file and see another folder, ORDF, do not worry. You do not need to use this second folder. 

Save your work. I always name my first effort with a 1 in the name (ex: jeannie1). Always save where you will remember.....

Walk, don't run to your machine! Stitch your beauty out. How does it look? My first efforts were pretty bad. This is when the reality of 9mm comes home. :-( 

You can open your design in the software in order to move stitches around. Simply click on the flower in the upper left corner and select open. Select the saved design you just stitched. You can now move your stitches around so that they are more pleasing. When finished simply write to your USB or save. 

There you have it! Now a signature for everything! Enjoy claiming your work! 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Playing in the MBX Playground---Part III

It is so good to be back with you! Let's make play with some new toys, what do you say? I hope you are remember our last two playdates! We had so much fun playing with some of the toys in MBX. Today, we're going to do more with less, I promise!

First, you are going to need the finished shape from last week, in the .JAN format:

Open it in MBX. Oh yeah! Don't forget the dongle!!!!!! Once open, select the entire design. You can double click on it, CTRL A or use click on the star (pictured below). This is similar to the digitizing (inserting a LMC) that we played with in part I.

Let's change this baby's size! Remember the biggest swing is not necessarily the best swing for certain adventures---same with digitizing. 
Remember the file formats? We can size this designs in all sorts of ways because it is a .JAN file.

1. Select : Object Details
2. Select : Dimensions
3. Under Dimensions change the Width and Height to 6
4. Select "OK" 
The designs should change sizes immediately. 

Now, let's go on treasure hunt inside one of the 'digitizing caves.' Do you see the filled circle? In the lower right corner of the icon box is a TINY arrow. Click on that. 
Hidden treasure!

Select the digitizing tool at the end of the row: Parallel Stipple Fill Circle. (Hover the mouse on the tool to see the pop-up explanation. )

This tool creates an automatic circle by doing this:
Click in the hoop and hold the Left Mouse button down. 
Release the mouse button. 

That was easy! Right? 

Position the circle, centered over the first design. DO NOT worry about covering the first design with stippling. We will take care of that. 

Let's make sure the stippling is not too dense (this could have been done earlier, oh well!) 
Select : Object Details. 
Select tab: Fill Stitch. 
Look at Stipple Values. Be sure the numbers are as indicated in the picture below. 

While in Object Details.....
Select tab: Dimensions.
Under Dimensions change the Width and Height to 8.

Let's play with one more toy, okay? Let's change this circle to a rounded frame...

Select: Cut Hole (as indicated above). 

Bring out those Digitizing skills (you know you have them!) Follow the arrows above: 
left mouse click at the blue arrow;
Go clock wise, placing 3 right mouse clicks, one at each of the red arrows. (Trust me, it does not take many clicks!) 
Select : Enter (to close the circle)
Select : Enter (to cut the hole

Beautiful! The black lines will not stitch, they are simply outlines in the graphic representation. Save this image (JAN file). If you would like to stitch this design, locate these tools from your menu: 

The first icon will send the design directly to your machine. The second will send the design to the Horizon Link. I usually use the third, to the USB stick. Ask the machine to play......

I love this! Hmmm, now to make the quilt to go with this motif. Until next time!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Sorry about the missed post. It is ready, I just forgot to schedule it! Will do as soon as possible.

Nonna's Scraps
Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Playing in the MBX Playground (Part II)

Yeah! Josie finally invited me, Nonna, to come and play!

If you have not started this project, please refer this post: Playing in the MBX Playground -- Part I

(I am going to apologize that this video is not perfect...haven't done one in equipment and it shows! Please bear with me for now!)

Go to your MBX playground and open last week's shape. Let's play!


I hope that you've had as much fun as I have! Same time next weeK? See you then!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Josie's Diary: Playing in the Park with MBX (Part 1)

Hi! Josie Janome here! Good to be back with you. Nonna is on summer break and she is trying to get caught up on...EVERYTHING! So, here I am once again. 

Did you know that I, Josie the 15ooo love to quilt? Seriously, it is hard to tell who likes playing with fabric more, Nonna or me. But I don't just like to put the pieces together, I adore quilting all of the layers together! And I really get excited when Nonna plays in the MBX software and makes new quilting designs. Do you want to play, too? 

When I was adopted, Horizon Link software moved into Nonna's house with me. It is okay, and works well to feed me designs, but that is about it. HL can help Nonna layout designs she buys or it can tell her how many times to hoop for Acufil but nothing from scratch. It is a playground with a sandbox and one teeter totter; that's all. Nonna gets bored. So, I invited her to play in the park and find discover the neat toys in Digitizer MBX. Wanna play today? 

To get into this playground, you have to have a special key. Nonna calls it a dingle, no...dangle...dongle. It plugs into one of the computer's USB ports and works as  a security device. Nonna really doesn't like this thing...she is always losing it, but it is necessary. Always  have it inserted in the USB port when you try to enter the MBX playground or you won't get in! 

The first time the MBX security guy lets you in and the playground opens this screen welcomes you:
Nonna told this new friend, "Good-bye" by checking the circled box. It really doesn't help much.  

There is so much to discover and love in the MBX playground! When Nonna takes me there she encourages me to try at least 3 new toys, and that is what I'm going to do with you. When there are so many, it can get overwhelming! 

Nonna is a quilter, so she plays best when creating her quilting designs. It is not hard to set up the equipment to make playing fun! 

Select : Setup : Work Environment : Display:

These settings are the playground! They make playing fun and productive. And they can change. Nonna likes these settings to help her get the best quilting designs possible. 

The grid helps with sizing of quilting designs. Nonna says most quilters use 1/4" (0.25) but, that makes too many little squares on the screen! Set it at 0.5 in. 

Snap to grid lets beginning and end points of a design snap perfectly into place. 

The rest of the playground includes the hoop. Since quilt designs are what we want, this Nonna thinks this should be the default hoop:

Toolbars are like the jungle gym, the slide, the teeter totter, etc on the playground....So much! Where do we start? Nonna like to be able to see it all, to eventually do it all! 

But for now, let's make friends with one toy: 

This toy (tool) is the closed single stitch tool. This "toy" is a real treasure chest when creating quilting designs! Notice that tiny arrow at the lower right of the icon....that is the key to several surprises! Carefully click on the little arrow and see what happens! Go know you want to do it...

You daredevil! Found more to play with, but not today.... Close the treasure chest by clicking on the Straight Stitch icon to select it...

Nonna says it is almost time to go home to the sewing room. But, before I sign off let's do one more thing: learn how you and your mouse can play constructively in the MBX playground.

First, move your cursor over the intersection of the black lines. Because you have "snap to grid' selected (see above) any points inserted close to an intersection will snap to that intersection or part of the grid. 

Left mouse click. A small square appears; it indicates a straight segment. Move your cursor 3 grid squares right and 3 squares up (north)....sounds like hopscotch! LMC at that point....

Oops! Clicked too fast on #3! On your keyboard hit delete and the oops goes away! (Nonna uses a Mac---if delete does not work on your PC, try the back arrow ;-))

Follow this picture using the Right and Left Mouse buttons (RMC or LMC) as indicated. For this game, place no more than the points shown. 

If the LMC places a small square....what does the RMC do? Places a circle and tells your computer to create an arc---a circular segment! Yeah...we can play "ring around the MBX screen!" But more importantly do you know why we did not close this figure? Tap the enter key on your keyboard....

Our digitizing tool was the closed single stitch line. It will automatically place the last stitch on top of the first, closing the segment. 

Nonna says I have to go, but two last things. 

First, save your work! 

File: Save As: Playground 1
Save as: JAN file

We will be using this file in the next couple of blogs. By saving the file as a JAN file it remains totally alterable. You can change the size, the style, the shape; you cannot sew it as a JAN. That will come later! Playdate next week? What do you say? 

Until then...Bring your mouse to the MBX playground and see what shapes you can create! 

While Nonna keeps sorting scraps....

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Josie Janome's Diary--Keeping Track

Hi all! Hope this holiday weekend finds you great!

Nonna just loves the Favorite Stitch feature on me, but she occasionally would like to store more which foot I am wearing or my needle's position. Auntie Lori introduced Nonna to Evernote and Nonna is in love! She decided right away to put my iPad to use for more than just talking to me.

Before I go on, I have to tell you that Evernote is free (but to use their cloud, there is a cost). Once you have Evernote, there are extra apps that make it even better----and they are free!

Nonna has about 4 separate steps that she uses to bind her quilts on me. She played around and discovered the precise needle position (and more) for a 3/8" binding. It's a lot of poking my screen and she didn't want to forget. Here is how Evernote saved her day (and mine, too!)

Download Evernote to the iPad, computer, wherever....
This is the website. For iPad check the App Store!

So, it's on the iPad, right? Once she got familiar with the app, Nonna created my very own book! There are already 2 notes inside my book! One is my birth announcement with my vital stats, like Serial Number!

The next step is to create a new note. Note, it looks slightly different on the iPad. 

By selecting the + sign, a blank form opens on the screen, ready to record anything!

Nonna took photos of me right from her iPad. She chose the Add Attachment icon and this menu opened. The camera activates the iPad camera, Documents is like a scanner, Saved Photos goes right to the Gallery and she could have even taken an audio of my perfect purring motor!

Look to the far right hand corner of the menu icons; do you see the 3 dots? That's more to play with!

Check out that "a" in a circle. That is where the mark-up tools hide on the iPad. 

Select that icon and the left side of the image reveals the mark-up tool, the caption tool and several others. Playing around, Nonna made this entry:

Okay, She made several more entries.... a picture of my quarter inch Accufeed foot, and my cloth guide and it's settings. They all go together in this step for completing the binding on a quilt. Now, if I need to have a factory resent or Nonna's favorite stitches are erased there is a record! It is easy to find and here is the best part---ever! It is totally searchable! Woo hoo! No more frustrated Nonnas! 

 Until next time!

for my 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Josie's Diary: Hanging with my Hoops

Hi! Josie Janome here. Nonna is away from her desk, so I thought I would write today's post. Nonna just finished a quilt that needed lots of blocks that started in the exact center of the block. She sure wore me out nudging that needle back and forth so that it would fall there. I'm telling you, it could have been much less poking on me if she had just know this little secret. Shhh! Promise you won't tell her? I'll tell you...
Calibrate the hoop!

It is not hard, so let's do it together!

1. Grab your ASQ 22 hoop, The plastic template and a scrap quilt sandwich. Hoop the sandwich as if you were going to quilt. Be sure the blue arrow points to the top of the hoop.

2. Set up your machine for embroidery, with the arm open.
3. Select "set" at the lower margin of your machine screen:

3. Choose the embroidery mode (with the blue base):

4. Scroll until you see this screen:

5. Attach the hoop to the embroidery unit.

Note: for the next steps I have removed the foot for better visualization.
6. Under Hoop Calibration, select Yes. The screen will now change to the default hoop:

7. Select the small icon of the hoop next to the hoop's name.
8. Scroll to and choose the ASQ 22 hoop. Select it.
The machine defaults to its known center; but machines vary and so do their owners. Look at your needle. Where is it in relation to the center hole on the template. Look at Nonna's; poor girl! No wonder she kept poking me, the needle is not over the center of the template.
Let's fix it now. Look at the screen. The arrows on the dial will move the hoop in the direction that they point. Nonna's hoop needs to move towards the left and back.
Caution! If my cousin (your machine) says to raise your needle, do so with the fly wheel very slowly! Broken needles hurt!
9. Using the arrow keys, move the needle until it is centered over the hole.
That's more like it!
10. Select OK.

This should help getting those designs right in the dead center, so you can accurately fill each and every block. I am back to hanging with my hoops!

Josie for