Friday, June 24, 2016

Adventures in StitchArtist: Creating Applique from Die-Cutter shapes

Each summer break includes a "purge" of my sewing room. But, with the best of intentions to discard (notice I did not say "throw away") those items/unfinished projects that make me ask what I was thinking, I always discover some that just beg me to stay. This year, in the bulk of unbound quilts I uncovered a Christmas table runner that I really like!

Why did I not finish this? Oh, yeah! I wanted more of the red flowers....No problem, right? They might be somewhere on the computer upon which they were digitized. NOT! Hours later I could not find the files. No problem, the flower was Fun Flower from Accuquilt and I have StitchArtist; and I so love it when my toys place nice in the sandbox! This is easy! So....on to reproduce and finish the runner. Join me as I share my adventure in turning a die cut shape into an embroidery file. 

But, before I can begin, I must say that this technique is appropriate for Accuquilt dies, Sizzix dies or any hand cranked die cutting machine. It is not the same for electronic die cutting machines such as Cricut or Silhouette. 

Things I learned in this process:
  • Lightweight card-stock works well. Just mark the wrong side of the cut shape as the wrong side, pretending it is the "white" side mentioned in the video. 
  • This really turned out to be a discussion of nodes and handles. But, it helps a lot to play with them! 
  • Always look at the tool bar when clicking away. There may be the answer to many questions (as in the sensitivity setting!)
  • The higher the sensitivity, the cleaner the outline. 
To review the video:

I have several Accuquilt designs to digitize...I am so excited! I hope that this give you ideas on one more way to get your toys to play together in a creative, productive way! 

Until next time...

Note: I own the die used in this feature. It was used for instructional purposes only. It is available from

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Adventures in StitchArtist 2 or 3: Choosing a learning project and making a suncatcher!

I have been digitizing for a LONG time, about 20 years. But each software is different and speaks its own language. That's what makes delving into a new software a bit intimidating. And as user friendly as StitchArtist is, it is no different in that respect.

For me, there were steps to learning this program: figuring out the toggles, determining the best way to create a straight verses curved line, how to add a know the basics. I watched videos, read the manual and watched more videos. In the end, I just jumped in and did it. And learned from my mistakes.

So, now that I am ready to try something new, how do I choose the new topic. The first question that I ask myself is, "What do I want (or need) to make?" Right now it is bright and sunny outside, my mind is looking at something to draw my eye to the outside...a suncatcher!

So, now my second question, "How?" the manual and what did I find:

Sweet! A new concept in StitchArtist 3 and I'm adding to my experience. But I don't want to make any sun-catcher, I want to make a "stained glass" sun-catcher. So, off to Google I go to search FREE stained glass patterns. 

There were a multitude of these patterns! I wanted something less detailed and this one spoke to me:

I checked the website, read the usage policy and I am good to go! So, now to plan my process....

1. Create the background fill.
2. Color the leaves.
3. Color the tulip
4. Create the "leading" (black outlines)
5. Add a hanger. 

Join me as I create my "Stained Glass" Sun catcher...

To review: 

The sun catcher is stitched on Water Soluble Stabilizer. This rinses out, leaving only the stitching.
It will need to be pressed flat, however. I chose to starch mine as well... Okay, the photo does not show that, but I did! REALLY. 

Until next time...