Creating Appliqués. Creating an Appliqué. January 2014

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1 Creating Appliqués Happy New Year from all of us at SINGER! This is the time when many of us like to focus on sprucing up our home or wardrobe for the new year ahead! After the holidays, budgets may seem a bit tighter than usual, but you can always give a quick make-over, with lots of impact, by adding an embroidery or other new embellishment to what you already own. Why not try adding an appliqué? Appliqués can add a wonderful, creative touch to your projects. Although they are simple to make, it does take practice to perfect the technique. In this month s issue of Embroidery Made Easy, we ll show you how you can use the software for your SINGER FUTURA sewing & embroidery machine to quickly and professionally create appliqués that look perfect every time. Valentine s day is just around the corner! This month s featured project is an adorable pillow with heart appliqués that are created with the software. You ll have fun learning this technique while adding a beautiful, yet simple touch to your décor. In addition, we will show you how to access the on-screen Grid function in this month s Inside Your Software section. The grid is a useful tool that will help you to perfectly align design elements on your screen. Once again, Happy New Year and Happy Sewing! January 2014 Creating an Appliqué Appliqué is a wonderful way to embellish many projects such as tote bags, quilts, towels, fashions and much more. An appliqué is an ornamental shape or piece of fabric that is secured to a larger piece of fabric with stitching that encloses the shape. Appliqué stitching can be done by hand or by machine, but creating beautiful appliqués takes practice and can be very time consuming. Special care needs to be taken to ensure that corners and curves are executed consistently for a perfectly formed appliqué. It can be especially difficult to make multiple appliqués that are identical in shape and size while maintaining a consistent look between them. There is a easy way to create appliqués that look professionally finished every time, however. Simply use the Editing software and your SINGER FUTURA TM sewing & embroidery machine! Follow along with the steps in this lesson to learn how. Let s get started! JANUARY 2014 Issue

2 First, you should have a basic understanding of the Editing software which provides options for making changes with an existing embroidery design. Editing allows you to alter the shape, stitch angle, stitch entry and exit points and the stitch type of a highlighted block of stitches. These editing changes are limited to designs that have originated from within the automated wizard programs such as AutoPunch TM and HyperFont TM, however. Designs that are intended to be edited must be in the format that is native to the software for the SINGER FUTURA sewing & embroidery machine, which is.fhe. If you d like to use a design that has been imported into the software from another source, you may do so by using the Convert Stitches to Block function which can be found under the Design menu on the main tool bar. This function will attempt to translate the design into a native format, however it is important to note that very often stitch details can get lost in the translation, resulting in a design that is of poor quality. It is always best to start with a native design. The second thing to note is that basic shapes and simple designs will work best for appliqué. Always start with something uncomplicated such as a heart, circle or other geometric object. You may import shapes that you ve found either online or that you ve created with another draw program on your computer. Just be sure to save the image in a file format that the software will read such as a.jpg or.bmp. There is also an option to create simple shapes in the Draw Package that is built into the software. More information on how to do this will be featured in an upcoming issue of Embroidery Made Easy. For now we ll stick to using a simple object like a rectangle shape that has been imported into the software for the next part of this lesson. Before we begin, make sure that the Draw Appliqué function is set in Systems Parameters. When this is selected, the appliqué will appear on screen with a colored swatch of fabric in the center of the appliqué. Systems Parameters can be found under the Tools tab on the main tool bar. Let s say that you d like to create an appliqué in the shape of a rectangle to use as base for a quilt label. For this exercise, the rectangle shape is available to download from the SINGER website, at First, the rectangle needs to be digitized before it can be transformed into an appliqué. Open the software and select the AutoPunch icon from the main toolbar. Follow the steps in the AutoPunch Wizard to digitize the rectangle. JANUARY 2014 Issue Page 2

3 Step One: Open Image Select the rectangle. (Previously saved to computer) Select Next. Step Two: Crop the image Click and drag the rectangle nodes to closely surround the box around the rectangle. Select Next. Step Three: Set Dimensions Change the unit of measure to inches. Enter 5 in the Width box. Because of the nature and purpose of this design, there are no further changes that need to be made at this time. The remaining steps of the AutoPunch Wizard can be skipped. Click on Finish to digitize the rectangle. The rectangle appears fully digitized and ready for embroidery or editing. In this case the rectangle is going to be edited to create an appliqué. The appliqué feature can be found under the Stitch Type category within the Embroidery Settings menu. Select the Editing icon from the main tool bar. Right click and select Embroidery Settings. JANUARY 2014 Issue Page 3

4 The Embroidery Settings menu pops up with several options for appliqué. One, or a combination of all, may be used. 1. Guide line stitch length: Running stitches that are sewn indicating where the appliqué fabric should be positioned onto the fabric in the hoop. The length of the running stitch can be altered. 2. First Hold down line: Running stitches that are used to hold down and secure the appliqué fabric in place. 3. Second Hold down line: A second row of stitches that will secure the appliqué fabric, in this case the stitches are in the shape of an E. 4. Overlock Stitches: The satin stitch outline which provides the final touch to the appliqué. The Density and Width of the satin stitches can be also altered by typing in new values in the spaces provided. 5. Frame Out: A jump stitch to move the embroidery frame out, allowing you to easily place the appliqué fabric in the position indicated. Once you ve selected the desired options, select Apply and the rectangle now appears in the hoop as an appliqué! The stitches that were in the center of the rectangle are replaced with a colored fabric swatch; and the perimeter of the rectangle has a satin stitch outline. You are ready to add the lettering to the label at this time. Follow the normal procedures for lettering. Sometimes when the appliqué function has been used, the software will retain this as the stitch type setting when moving to another function. It may be necessary to change to another stitch type. Click on the Embroidery Properties icon on the lettering tool bar and select Satin under the Stitch Type tab. Select the Lettering icon from the main tool bar. Type in the desired text, select the font style, size, spacing, etc. Pay special attention to take a look at Embroidery Properties after using the appliqué function, as the software may retain this as the stitch type when moving onto another function. JANUARY 2014 Issue Page 4

5 The appliqué is ready for embroidery and may be sent to the machine at this time. Place the hoop that has been prepared with the base fabric and stabilizer onto the embroidery arm of the machine. Select the Transmit to Machine icon from the main tool bar. Select Send Design. The embroidery process for appliqué is a bit more involved than stitching a normal design. The machine needs to be watched very closely and manually stopped for each part of the appliqué process. The first stitches that are sewn are the running stitches that indicate where the appliqué fabric should be placed. Stop the machine once the positioning outline is sewn. Lay the appliqué fabric over the foundation stitches. Re-start the machine and continue to embroider until the first and/or second hold down lines are sewn. Stop the machine again when the hold down lines are finished and just before the satin stitch outline starts. Don t worry if you have sewn a little too far on any of these steps - simply use the reverse button on the machine to back up stitches in the embroidery. Carefully remove the hoop from the embroidery arm of the machine without disturbing the fabric in the hoop. Use an appliqué scissors to trim away the fabric on the outside of the appliqué area. You ll want to trim as close to the stitches as possible without cutting into the stitches. Replace the hoop and restart the machine, continue to stitch the satin outline of the appliqué. The stitching process will end with the lettering. And voila! You have a beautifully executed quilt label! Now let s take a look at how you can incorporate Appliqué into a regular embroidery design. We ll use the Balloon image that is built into the software. Open the software and select the AutoPunch icon from the main toolbar. Step One: Open Image Select the Balloon image that is built into the software under the Images folder. Select Next. JANUARY 2014 Issue Page 5

6 Step Two: Crop the image. Click and drag the rectangle nodes to closely surround the box around the balloon. Select Next. Step Three: Set Dimensions Change the unit of measure to inches. Enter 4 in the Width box. For this design, you may skip to Step Four and move onto Step Five by selecting Next twice. Step Four: Classify Blocks Move the slider bar to decrease the width to 6.0mm. There are no further changes that need to be made at this time for this particular design. The remaining steps of the AutoPunch Wizard can be skipped. Click on Finish to digitize the balloon. The balloon now appears fully digitized and ready to embroider in the hoop on the screen. We re going to edit at this time however, to transform it into an appliqué. Select the Editing icon on the main tool bar. Click on the main part of the balloon to select that block for editing. Notice the outline of the balloon has small nodes on it indicating that it is selected and ready for editing. Right click and select Embroidery Settings from the pop up menu. Select the Stitch Type tab from the Embroidery Settings menu. Scroll down the list and select Appliqué. Enter in the desired options then select Apply. The balloon is transformed into an appliqué and is ready for embroidery! JANUARY 2014 Issue Page 6

7 Show/Hide Grid The Grid is a very useful tool inside your software that can help align design elements on your screen. Sometimes it s difficult to line up lettering and pasted designs, and the grid can aid with positioning the elements precisely where you d like them. You may apply the grid to your work area at any time, and it can be toggled on or off easily. The size of the grid can also be set according to your needs. As with other tools found in the software for your SINGER FUTURA sewing & embroidery machine, there is more than one method to locate or access the grid. One way is to select View on the main tool bar; scroll down and then select Show/Hide Grid. Once this is selected, the grid is turned on to your working canvas. You may also access the grid by using the keyboard shortcut command w. This will easily toggle the grid on or off every time you press the w on your keyboard. The size of the grid blocks can be changed. To set the size of your grid, select Tools from the main too bar, then select Set Grid Size. The Grid Properties menu opens and you are able to type in a value for Width (X) and Height (Y). The grid blocks have a default setting of 10mm unless you ve changed the unit of measure to English (inches) in Systems Parameters. When English is set the size of the grid blocks will appear in inches. Lock Values will lock the height and width of the grid block so that they will stay in proportion to each other when resized. If you d like to change only one dimension of the grid block, uncheck the Lock Values box, then type in a value for the height and the width separately. The grid has been used to align the design elements in the Happy New Year design. The blocks provide a perfect line to rest the letters on and for centering all of the elements. JANUARY 2014 Issue Page 7

8 Heart Appliqué Pillow Learn to make perfect appliqués every time using the software for your SINGER FUTURA TM sewing & embroidery machine! It s simple and fun to do! Transform simple shapes into appliqués for all sorts of projects even make quilt labels! This pillow is made using a simple heart pattern. Visit the SINGERCo.com/blog or SINGERCo.com/projects to download the project! Coming in the Next Issue Endless Embroidery JANUARY 2014 Issue Page 8

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