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Gallery Connection February 2010

Writing MonogramWorks

As I write this, I am stealing precious moments from the final development of MonogramWorks. You’ll see it soon. It has been a large project for me and everyone here at Designer’s Gallery, and I thought the process might be of interest to you.

The idea started to came to me a couple years ago when I noticed that the lettering programs on the market were getting priced a bit high for my comfort zone. It’s not that they aren’t worth it – they are – it’s just that it seems like so many projects need some simple lettering without as many features as the top programs provide.

Then I did an event at B-Sew Inn in Oklahoma and Eileen Roche was there too. This was a couple years ago. At my events I usually have on a shirt that’s been monogrammed at the cuff. And I have a particular monogram that I digitized. Now, being a typical man I don’t want to call great attention to my person with excessive embellishment (unless it’s a trademark infringement on a certain motorcycle company), however being in the embroidery trade I had to compromise and make my design somewhat more interesting than the 4mm block that would typically be used.

Now, Eileen is a master of monogramming and her books and products prove that out. So she’s up there on stage talking about it and I realize that there’s actually no DG program dedicated to such a simple task. Sure there’s lettering, but most lettering fonts aren’t monogram fonts. You need the diamond and the round monogram fonts, which can be found easily enough, but you also want some colorful and decorated fonts too. And the placement of the letters needs to be adjustable.

More importantly, the order of the sewing of the letters needs to be adjustable. Often you want the middle letter to sew last so that it could have emphasis over the letters on either side.

So I put the idea of MonogramWorks into the Idea Jar and sometime in early 2008 the marketing folks at Designer’s Gallery pulled it out.

The only problem was that so much had to be done, and from scratch because of the unique features we wanted.

As the design of the program progressed, and test samples started coming out, everyone got excited. And it became obvious that a lot of cool features could be added and that this program would be great. Well, features take time, and fonts take a lot of effort to digitize and edit. Think about it, every letter is its own design, and it has to sew out nicely at a wide range of sizes.

So here I am; a little late with the product but with more features than we started out to put in it. And the price has stayed low. Really low.

What does it do?

• You can merge multiple embroidery designs together.
• You can resize them +/- 25 % with recalculation. If you have SizeWorks, that limit is removed and you can go down to half, and up to twice and a half as big.
• You can recolor designs, thread by thread, or convert the entire design to a particular thread brand.
• You can print out a template of the design.
• You can save the design (convert it) into many formats.
• You can save the design in a working file so you don’t lose the ability to edit it later.
• You can add monograms OR lettering to the designs. We did limit it to one line at a time, but there is no limit to the number of lines you can add.
• You can easily select monogram layouts, called ‘Quick Styles’ for your monogram.
• You can adjust the lettering layout with simple handles that do things like stagger the letters, rotate them or even size them.
• You can mirror and even colorize individual letters within a monogram for fun.
• You can ‘envelope’ or shape the text with a great deal of control.
• There are scalable frames built in to make a nice composition.
• The monograms have some neat automatic stitching features such as Automatic Compensation and Removing of Hidden Stitches where designs overlap. But there is also manual control of compensation, underlay and density.
• For really large letters, the designs automatically switch to a fill-like satin stitch so that there’s no looping on top of the fabric.
• You can have multiple designs open at the same time and tab between them.
• You can import designs using your Studio Catalog.
• You can drag and drop designs onto the program to open it. Or use Copy and Paste from Windows Explorer.
• You can run it by itself as a stand-alone program or from Studio (1, 2, Plus or 3) or even CustomWorks.

I hope you enjoy using MonogramWorks as much as the rest us of do!
Happy Monogramming!

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Posted in Brian's Articles and News 10 years, 5 months ago at 9:07 pm.

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