Machine Embroidery Digitizing — An Experiment

I love machine embroidery.  I love it because of the technology involved.  I love it because it is mesmerizing to watch.  And I love it because I can design and create my own work, and, though I learn from others, the field is wide open to creative possibilities.

But I wanted to try some slightly different things, and have a little fun with my machine and software.

Special thanks to Amanda Whitlatch, Bernina of America Educator, who teaches their Software Sampler webinar. It will be available Jan. 19 to the public.  Find out more here

I was determined to digitize the new 780 machine.  I started by creating a sketch from a decent photograph of the machine. I wanted  something like a mechanical drawing of it, since I knew I also eventually wanted to create a stitched outline (or redwork) of the machine, as well as an overall embroidery.







In the V6 software, I added colors and a store-bought background design (Damask Etchings) for my first attempt.  That design took over 2 hours to stitch out and I learned a great deal about the limits of the software and the limits of my patience.  Still, it stitched out OK and I certainly have a useable design.  If I were to stitch it out again, I would go back into the software and “tweak”.  A lot.







As part of the Software Sampler project, we created a notebook cover for a pad of paper, playing around with different fonts.  But since I wanted to make further use of the machine design, I included the outline design of the machine. As you can see, the front/back cover is linen, while the inside picks up the bright colors.







Finally,  I decided to re-digitize the machine in a little cleaner way and add it to the outline designs to make a tote bag. You can see the result. Here is also a pic of the machine sewing out the embroidery design of itself!







I have so many other ideas of things to digitize, I almost don’t know where to start.  It is somewhat time-consuming, but what craft or skill is not?  I find that as I get excited about a project, the time flies.  Experts would call that “flow,”  that time when you are challenged enough to lose track of all time, yet not so frustrated by the project as to give up.

So many people now have told me that sewing is their therapy.

I hope that you, too, have something in your life that causes you to lose all track of time.

Snowflakes for Sandy Hook

I’m sending some snowflakes to CT.

The PTA there is collecting them in order to decorate the new school for the kids when they return after the holidays. This much I can do.  I can send snowflakes.

And while I will be advocating for many other things after this event–mainly gun control, mental health awareness and the toning down of a culture of violence–the main thing I can do RIGHT NOW happens to be something I would gladly do any day.

And so I will make snowflakes.  Big ones, small ones, doesn’t matter.  And if you would like to contribute, you can make some too.

Here’s the address:

Connecticut PTSA, 60 Connolly Parkway, Building 12, Suite 103, Hamden, CT  06514

And here’s the website for more information: