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....

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