Category Archives: Software

Flying Geese Foundation Pieced Block (Using an Embroidery Machine)

Flying Geese

Flying Geese

One more block of my Sampler Quilt – only another 7 to go.

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Images from 'Royal School of Needlework - Embroidery Techniques'

Images from ‘Royal School of Needlework – Embroidery Techniques’

I really like textiles and embroidery. I like the look of embroidery and the stories behind the creation of embroidery, but I am too lazy/impatient to do hand embroidery. I do like machine embroidery – both free motion and the digitised version – what I would really like to do is create embroidery that looks like it has been done by hand using my embroidery machine. To this end, I have been trying to improve my digitising. I made this blackwork sampler and now I am trying to learn silk shading. I am discovering a few tips and tricks with my software (which is Embird) and like anything I just need to practise.

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More Digitising

Lion digitised using Embird Studio

I’m still working my way through the Embird Studio tutorial – I am up to pg 674 of 786!

The above image is of a lion I digitised (one of the lessons).

In each lesson I learn something more and now I know how to add extra detail in the outline and how to make fur.

I’ve also learnt how to delete double-ups in the outlines – like this on the whale (I outlined the purple section and the blue sections and so in places there are two outlines).

Whale has a double-up outline

I’m almost ready to tackle some of my own original designs.

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Learning to Digitise

Digitised Flower

I’m still learning how to use Embird Studio.

In the above image I created one petal (using the drop library shape) and then used the Auto Repeat command to rotate and duplicate the petal. However, the blue circle in the centre is on top of the pink petals – I can’t seem to delete the bits underneath and it will be too bulky and dense. I tried using the Create Fill Opening Object, but it just cut a hole in one petal (rather than all of the petals). I do have one more idea to try …


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Digitising Practice

I’m quite keen to create my own machine embroidery designs – more because I can’t find what I want. In November last year I bought Embird Studio and although I have mastered straight line designs (like this), I haven’t  ventured into more complicated territory or taken advantage of the software’s feature.

I decided it was time to learn. I read the tutorials that came with Studio and that was quite a help, but I still felt a bit lost – it seemed that I would do something and it would work, but when I tried it again it wouldn’t work. I needed more instruction. In the end I bought Carolyn Keber’s ebook. I baulked at this at first – it is 770 pages long and quite expensive, but it is exhaustingly comprehensive and it is obvious that Ms Keber expended a lot of time putting it together.

The image above is my attempt at one of the early exercises (I haven’t finished yet). This is what it is meant to look like …

I’ve only read 60 pages, but I have already learnt quite a bit (like how to alter the direction of the fill) and I feel quite positive about the whole process.


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Flying Geese Block – Foundation Pieced with Embroidery Machine

I finished testing my flying geese block – it took three attempts.

I made this block using foundation (or paper) piecing on my embroidery machine. I digitised the design using Embird Studio.

The final design size is 138.4 mm by 139.6 mm.

Read this if you’re interested in using your embroidery machine to foundation piece – it does make for very accurate piecing, but your limited by the size of the embroidery hoop.


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Machine Embroidery Design – Log Cabin block


I’ve been using my embroidery machine to make foundation pieced quilt blocks. This makes for greater accuracy. I wrote a tutorial about it a few years ago – you can find it here. There are also a few free designs available for download (hour glass, snail trail, water lily and picture frame).

I digitised the log cabin myself. In the past I have used Thred as my digitising software – it’s free and they’re heaps of tutorials on how to use it. However, the limited number of colour changes meant that I had outgrown it. So I purchased Embird Studio, which is the digitising plug-in for the Embird package. I’ve been using Embird for years to convert, rezize, merge, etc designs, so I feel confident that Studio will meet my needs.

I’m finding it increasingly difficult to find designs that I like – most are frumpy, over-filled, too sentimental and just boring, so I mean to design my own.

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Applique T-Shirts

Miss A wanted a Pony T-Shirt.

I’ve put it all together in Embird. The pony and flower are from Designs by Juju. The alphabet I use in the label is one of Embird’s alphabets (22 I think) and I make the satin stitched borders in Thred.


This is Miss P (who – of course – wanted a dinosaur).


The Dinosaur design is also from Designs by Juju.

I’m hoping to get them stitched out tomorrow – Miss A is back at school!

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Tutorial – Machine Embroidery Multi Hooping Part 2 and 3

The tutorial (on how to create large machine embroideries) is finished you can find it here.

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Machine Embroidery Multi Hooping Tutorial

As promised, here is the start of the tutorial.

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