August 15, 2016


So, I’ve finally done it, I’m starting my blog! I decided after attending two classes this past week when I shared information with some ladies at one of the classes, they asked if we could go to lunch. They wanted to talk more about embroidering and hear more ideas and tips.

I love to research as many ideas which can make our hobbies easier and more enjoyable! We love to quilt and embroider, but sometimes we are so frustrated we cannot center our designs on a border or square up a quilt. We just do not have the tools we need! It can be so frustrating! I like to find ways to make life easier and then pass on this information!

I also love to read many blogs, yahoo groups, Facebook groups and every other thing I can get my hands on for tips and information! I send out tips, as well as YouTube video URL’s to friends all the time. I think great ideas need to be shared or it gets lost inside our heads. If I do not share, who will remind me how I told them the trick. For example, “Jo, this is how to make those pinwheel blocks”!


Friends have been nagging me for years to start something like this because I am computer literate. I can explain things in a way they can understand. The older generation was passed over when it came to computer instruction, they had to pursue it for themselves and I was one to those. I worked for IBM both before and after children and ran a large computer network in a suburban Chicago school district. Since my back issues limit my outdoor activities, I now enjoy digitizing, embroidering, and quilting. As with computers, I am addicted to machines. I have a 10 needle Brother, a Janome 6600 and a Gammill Longarm, as well as a few others on the side. I’ve had several other types of machines and not married to any one name brand. I think we should be able to go into a shop and pick the color of the case and all the features we want. Then say, “That’s the machine I want next!”


As I was saying, last week I attended to two classes, one was on my 10 needle embroidery machine and the other was Techniques for Embroidery. In the 10 needle class we always start with show and tell. One lady brought in some beautiful embroidery she had done, one design on a blouse and the other on a runner. She had done multiple placements on the blouse and had done a wonderful job with placement. On the runner she had tried to use some tool to try and place six or seven of the same or very similar designs on it. I suggested she use adding machine tape next time to aid in placement. None of the ladies had ever heard of using this technique and were surprised that I had. I’ll explain the technique: 1) You would measure the runner, say 36 inches, 2) measure your design 5 inches and allow for space between designs. A 36 inch runner can spaced several different ways. For example, you can have 6 designs with an inch in between each design and a 1/2 inch on each end. Take your adding machine tape and measure out your first fold 1/2 inch. The second fold is the 5 inch, then 1 inch, 5 inch, 1 inch and so on. Use this same method if you are quilting a border on your quilt, it is much easier for the quilt as you fold for the peaks and valleys. Measure out the length of your border and add a 1/2 inch for the seams on each end. If you are doing an orange peel design, each time the design repeats, you fold. This way you know if your design fits your border, or if you need to space it in or out a bit. Here is a great tutorial!


The other tidbit I want to share is about the program Embrilliance. It’s a wonderful program you can get from . They have a nice demo I want you to try and to see how easy it is to use Fonts. Fonts are something us embroiderers are always puzzled over. When we want to use a font we usually are limited to the ones which were installed with our software program or true type fonts on our computer. We can also search the internet and use sites like Etsy to find some we like, but you have to place one letter at a time. It is a matter of lucky if they stitch out properly. If they are a small font, it is just a guessing game! People who are creating fonts are making a new type of font, it’s called BX. Instead of being a PES, ART, JEF or other embroidery font types, it is BX, and embrilliance allows you to use this BX font. Instead of adding letter by letter, you type in your sentence and save it as file, PES or whatever. I’ll tell you how.

1) Open Embrilliance
2) This is the picture you will get after you type the “A” key which I will explain

perfect copy for blog

3) If this is the demo and not your program, it will ask you for your serial number. Select done.
4) The next window will say, “Hi, the serial number is missing, but some things will still run” and you select “OK”
5) Now is when the fun part starts. Click on the “A” on the top of the page.
6) An “ABC” will be in the center box. In the bottom right corner you will see the font “Block”.
7) I buy a lot of my fonts from Rivermill Fonts, These are digitized nicely and they have BX fonts. O.K., getting back to business. I love the font Disneyland and it has all the sewing formats including BX.
8) I would take the BX file and drag and drop the file on top of the word “Block”. Now the “Disneyland” font is installed.
9) You can now click on the word “Block” and you will see all the installed fonts including “Disneyland”.
10) The box above is for you to type in. You can type anything in this box, full sentences, multiple sentences, etc.
11) To save go to “File” and save “Stitche FiLe” as the format you sew in. It’s that easy! You can now open your file in your software you own or right on your sewing machine!

I have never seen an easier piece of software than this for fonts! I’m sure there are many more wonderful things this software does and I plan on researching it more intensely.


One more tip regarding fonts we learned in the techniques class applied to small fonts. Always stitch with a 60/8 needle and 60 weight thread. I had never heard this before and wanted to pass it on before I forgot. I want to remember this tip when my small fonts look bad!

One of the most important things I learned in class was about the shrinkage of stabilizer! Our instructor Melisa Nisius, held at Above and Beyond Sewing in Thorton, CO, told us we needed to start washing all stabilizer as it shrinks a minimum of 5%!!!! We all sat there with our mouths wide open in shock! I went home and immediately did the test she told us to try! I used a 12 inch square of Floriani No-Show Fusible Mesh (Yes, she washes all fusible). I washed it by hand in warm water and hung it out to dry and was shocked! I took pictures so you could see what happened!

Washed Stabilizer

It wasn’t even 11 1/2 inches! That’s a lot of shrinkage! She asked us, “Didn’t you think interfacing in home ec classes shrunk?” Well, of course, but this is expensive stabilizer???? She buys hers, takes it off the roll, and throws it in the washer and dryer (not fusible) and puts it back on the roller! She does this with everything that stays in fabric, not wash or iron away. Some ladies could not get past this, and at the end of the 4 hour class, were still in shock. It was a lot to take in! I think she found out, this should be the last thing on her agenda in the next class!


I think I’ve given you enough to think about for today and leave you with some quick tips till I see you again.

1) Clean your hoops often with Williams Electric shave (find it in the men’s shaving area) It will take off all the gum on your hoops and your room will smell fresh.
2) Use your Clover clips to keep your fabric off your hoops
3) Save your Pedi toe sleeves to carry your bobbins
4) Remove your blue marks with your kids Aqua Doodle toy

Enjoy every day, as we love to create no matter who likes it or doesn’t, we loved making it for them!

Cathy  😀