Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year and a Renewed Passion!

Happy 2016 everyone! I hope that your year is filled with joy!

My new year is taking back to a long time love--machine embroidery. Actually, it was my husband who encouraged me to move my digitizing to the "Mac" side of life; bless him! I am now the very excited learner of Embrilliance Stitch Artist 3! I hope you will consider joining me on my journey with this amazing software!

Wasting no time, I set about to create my first project, a quilting design:

So, how did I do this? I am a "button pusher" when it comes to software. I jump right in and make my mistakes. (I figure there is "undo" for a reason!) Let's start pushing those buttons!

I clicked on the yellow logo, holding my breath and this is what I saw:

Playing with the track pad, I realized that by hovering over the toggles I could discover their purpose. Ah hah! Found it!

My screen changed, and with it a whole new set of buttons!

My graphic, created in a graphics program was saved as a JPG. Because of its format, I selected the toggle IMAGE, found my graphic in its folder on my computer and selected it. Voila! 

With the image selected and using the black sizing handles, I increased the size of the picture to fill my Janome 8 inch quilting hoop. So far, so good, but this is just a picture, it needs to become stitches! In SA, this is a two step process---drawing a line and assign a type of stitch. 

Drawing a line to this image was super simple! SA is a straight forward digitizing program. It directs you! In the DRAW menu, I selected the MAGIC WAND tool. When the toggle is selected it turns a darker shade of gray.

I first clicked on the outer edge of the black graphic. 

Aha! Look closely---nodes! I tried to click on the inner edge of the black graphic, but only succeeded in duplicating the line already there. So, different strategy--I clicked on the tan side of the inner edge, close to the black design. It worked, I had nodes! 

I tried using the enter key, but would loose my work. Time for manual; super simple solution! Clicking off the image does the trick! (Or does it?) By selecting the IMAGE toggle once again, I could "turn off" the image.

This is what I saw in my hoop:

and in the objects menu:

In order to see all of the parts to my DESIGN, I selected the down arrow next to the number "1". Guess what? Still no stitches! And I have two colors of LINES (I wanted only one color!)
In order to get both lines the same I selected the whole design from the objects menu.

In the COLOR tab, I selected 1 COLOR. The color menu popped open and I could choose the exact color for my design!

One color it was!

But what about those pesky stitches? 
Because I am creating a quilting design, I want to assign straight stitches to all of the lines, so I leave the ENTIRE design selected.

SA tells me which menu to use, so off to the STITCH menu! With the entire design selected, I clicked on the STRAIGHT STITCH toggle.

It worked! It worked! 

I could "see" the stitches because I had selected the EYE in the IMAGE tools.

But, the objects menu also has changed to reveal important information!

The two objects that were lines are now designated as RUN (straight stitch). With the objects selected, the lower menu now states RUN. Selecting RUN (at the star) I can see the specifics of my stitches and make adjustments as necessary! 

The last step is to save! Choose the FILE menu; select SAVE: STITCH and WORKING. 
The stitch file will go to my Janome to be sewn. The working file is the file native to SA; I can edit it without issues at any time.  


The dropdown menu reflects my PREFERENCES (set up right after I installed SA!)


I know, I have talked about the center of the design! I'll save that for next time! I cannot wait! 

Until then, 


  1. Well, look at you!!!! I am so excited you decided to add this to your blog!! Seriously, I was so impressed by you yesterday that I doubled-up my resolve to figure out SA and I was watching Brian's SA videos on Youtube when I got the alert that you had posted in Stitch Artist Addicts!! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this. Once I go through his videos, I plan to do just what you have done here to learn the process that you describe. Thank you again for taking the time to do this. If I had known your digitizing background, I would have bugged you earlier! Haha So far, it is my papercraft friends who have taught me so much about machine embroidery. Lots of hidden talents in that bunch!

  2. You humble me! Thank you so very much!

  3. Hi Jeannie! I followed your adventures in Cricut ages ago and now Nadia told me about your adventures in machine embroidery. I bought an embroidery machine last year and love it. Now I'm going to learn about the next step, look forward to following you!

  4. Hi Jeannie, thank you for you great tutorial on SA. I have a very hard time using the magic wand. Could you please elaborate on what settings you use? "Sensitivity settings" I seem to end up with an excess amount of points no matter what setting I have 20 or 250 or in between. What setting did you use for this demonstration?