One of the benefits of writing a blog and selling embroidery designs is that I have a lot of opportunities to connect with some major embroidery enthusiasts. One recent connection resulted in a mutually beneficial collaboration; I digitized a unique design, and my new friend provided me with super cute images for the new product listing.
My new buddy Britt had developed a cute design for a quilt especially suited for babies of Chinnock helicopter pilots. She started by making one for herself, and writing about it on her blog, providing instructions for people who wanted to make it themselves. In fact – Britt randomly met a woman who had made a similar chinook quilt and told her she found instructions online. Coincidently the instructions were from Britt’s blog. Crazy!
Britts chinook quilt was gaining a cult following, and she was receiving requests to have them made. The catch? Chinook quilts were taking her a very long time to make since she hand appliquéd all of the helicopters. This is when I entered the picture.
Briitt contacted me after finding my Etsy store and asked if I could custom digitize her Chinook helicopter according to the picture she supplied. Not a problem.
Once I sent Britt the design she test stitched it out right away. Since this was the first time she had appliqued by machine – it blew her mind. The emails she was firing off that night while watching her embroidery machine stitch like crazy were absolutely hilarious. She was overjoyed.
Now Britt’s officially hooked on machine embroidery and I’m hitting her up for more cute embroidery ideas.
If you have ever been to a big industry trade show you may have noticed that the most popular look worn by exhibitors on the trade show floor is either a polo shirt, oxford or sweater with a corporate logo stitched on the upper chest. Now that I have some digitizing and embroidery chops, and I was heading off to represent our family business at a trade show (Supply Side West in Las Vegas), I decided to make a “corporate” sweater. And the lucky recipient was my dear brother.
I had been a little nervous about stitching on a sweater, so I bought a $15 sweater at Marshalls just in case I screwed it up. All went well – the only issue was that the thread color I used was a little bit too close in color to the sweater so it didn’t stand out that well.
Nevertheless my brother still liked the sweater enough to wear it… and he fit in perfectly with all the other trade show exhibitors.
Doing some custom digitizing work is great practice for an embroidery file digitizer like me. I have a tendency to digitize files that are simple and ones that I like personally, so getting requests from other people presents a challenge for me and forces me to explore new techniques. I have recently taken on some custom digitizing requests to help me build my skills.
My latest custom digitizing project was to recreate the Mini Cooper logo. I started by creating the large white, background shape. I then made the black wings and reflected them through a center point so they were symmetrical. Next, I created the largest background circle in the center. I then selected all the “wing” pieces and the center circle and subtracted them from the white background. Next I duplicated the center circle and scaled it to make the white outline and an additional black satin stitch outline. Finally, I created the letters and subtracted their shapes from the black background circle.
The client wanted the design in two different sizes: 2.5″ wide and 2″ wide in VIP or VP3 format. Fortunately, she is very happy with the design and is “excited to stitch it out.”
I took on the challenge of digitizing a galloping horse applique design. And when I say “challenge,” I’m not kidding. My client had an image of a jockey riding a horse from a blanket that she liked, and she wanted me to re-create it as an embroidery file.
The reason why digitizing this graphic was so hard was because it is an applique design that incorporates a lot of embroidery details. The stitching of the jockey and horse blanket lay over the applique fabric. in creating the outline satin stitch for the applique, I had to start and end precisely around the horse blanket and the jockey.
I was careful in specifying the stitch order of the embroidered pieces so that the connector strings would not be too long. I also varied the stitch angle on the different elements of the jockey’s body.
My test stitch sample turned out okay despite the fact that I used a very thick fabric for the appliqué. I would not recommend using such thick applique fabric for this particular design since embroidered elements span the background and the applique fabric and if the fabric is thick – it’s tough to make it look seamless over the design.
I feel totally like Summer Beasley from “School of Rock” because I am so giddy-excited about receiving my first gold star for some digitizing work I did for one of my Facebook friends. I am now part of a new group on Facebook where people make requests to have graphics digitized and those of us who digitize respond with quotes. I figured this would be good practice and an opportunity to connect with more machine embroidery peeps, so I took on this little project.
Here was my challenge: digitizing this racing jacket and hat. It was a great graphic to digitize because of it’s symmetry and it’s simple bold lines and solid shapes.
And here is the resulting file.
My first digitizing client remarked that she thought the file was “brilliant!” (She’s British) I’ll take that as a gold star.