Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Font class

My font embroidery class was quite successful! I have never digitized fonts before, so teaching this class was a learning experience for me.What I found was that PSW 2.0 not only has 48 built in fonts, but also allows you to access the true type fonts that are already installed in your machine. In addition, you can download new ones from free font sites. Of course, don't forget to check the free download  policy if you are using the fonts for some kind of profit. The downloaded fonts are strictly for personal use.

One of my students posed a challenge - creating an applique design, instead of a filled design which I had prepared for the class. We were able to create one, but were limited by the font choice. A neighborhood lunch gathering provided me with another opportunity to create some fun type fonts for personalized name pillows for two kids. The pillow materials were somewhat fuzzy and uneven, which posed a risk that the designs might sink in and get somewhat lost. Also, correct hooping and centering was a challenge too.

Instinctively, I knew that the designs needed a good underlay that would create a good foundation for the top stitches. Also, the stitch type would have to be something other than satin since the width of the individual lettering was more than 11 mm in certain places. I left the density at 4 since I did not want any of the fuzzy materials to show up between the stiches and used a step satin stitch. My pull compensation was set at 3 and 2. The final stitching was not too bad except for a couple of places where there was some shifting and the guideline did not get covered with the top stitch. This did not happen when I stitched this out on a velvet material. I used iron on tear away stabilizer for the back and tear away washable stabilizer on the top. I am not sure if the top stabilizer was not pinned tight enough and maybe that caused this to happen.

I must also mention here that I am very grateful to Pat of Sewamused for her help. She is always very quick with her knowledgeable response. Check out her books on her yahoo group at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TeamSewAmused/.
Ok so now onto how I converted the Curlz MT filled font to an applique.

  • After building the stiches, I added an outline stich manually around each letter.
  • I copied and pasted the line two times with a stop in between each.
  • Then I started editing the second layer of the outline stich by converting it to a column satin stitch that set to a width of 15 and higher density of 20, so the stiches were spaced enough to create a zig-zag look.
  • The last, or topmost outline, was converted to column satin stich with a density of 4 and a width of 30. I used a guideline to make sure that the applique material was snuggly tacked and the top stich would cover the edge of the cut area properly.
  • I did not use any underlay, but I would If I were stiching this out on a towel or a fuzzy material. Putting an underlay can be a part of future editing. Lastly, I deleted the original filled space.
The first layer of outline stich served as a guideline on the base fabric that was used as a visual aid to lay the applique material. The second layer of zig-zag stich was used for tacking the applique fabric and as a guide for cutting out the excess. The last layer of dense stich was the actual top stich to hold the material in place.

I also used my fonting experience to create a frame and stabilizer holder.


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