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Bits from Brian – October 2010

Some years ago, hand quilters would have disdain for machine quilters. I guess maybe some still do, but you have to like the idea of machine quilting; Machine quilting gets it “Off the floor and out the door” a lot faster. Unless it’s the wedding quilt or some similar heirloom, machine quilting can be a useful way to bring your project to completion. Continue Reading…

Posted 7 years, 1 month ago at 8:36 pm.

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Bits from Brian – Sept 2010

By now you’ve heard that we have a new embroidery machine to drool over! The Baby Lock Enterprise – a 10 needle embroidering powerhouse! And it has a huge new hoop: 14” square, sewn in two parts.

This new hoop reminds me of a time “long ago” and a story that’s as relevant today as it was then… Continue Reading…

Posted 7 years, 2 months ago at 9:34 pm.

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Bits from Brian, August 2010

    Last month, we started to look at some Studio III features which are often overlooked. This month, we’ll continue along that line of thought and see a few more.

    If you’re new to all this, Studio III is The Must-Have embroidery program. Yes, that sounds like a pitch from Mr. Popeil’s late-night infomercials, but it’s also true. In fact I wrote the program because these were the things my embroidering friends and I found we needed all the time. To do embroidery you need some basic computer functions, and nothing makes it as easy as Studio. Continue Reading…

Posted 7 years, 3 months ago at 9:30 am.

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Bits from Brian, July 2010

    This month, I want to take a peek at some Studio III features which are often overlooked.

  Continue Reading…

Posted 7 years, 5 months ago at 7:24 am.

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Bits from Brian – June 2010

When you’re writing a column, sometimes you wonder if it’s too long or too short. Will your reader be interested? Will it capture their attention? Will it have enough coverage of the material. It’s always a balancing act.

 FASW

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Posted 7 years, 5 months ago at 9:19 am.

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Bits from Brian – May 2010

The editors of the e-news were looking to do a light, easy edition this month – trying to give your brain a rest and inspire you toward creative freedom. When confronted with this idea, I responded, “Oh you want a Puff Piece.” Perfect. We never talk about Puffy Foam™ anymore! For that matter, there are a few ideas that come to mind, being inspired by “Light and Easy”.

So what’s Puffy Foam™? Some of you are new to this, and some are veteran enough to go, “Yeah, whatever happened to that stuff?” Continue Reading…

Posted 7 years, 7 months ago at 2:32 pm.

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Gallery Guides – April 2010

As most of you know, the last several months I’ve been working on MonogramWorks. And you’ve clearly been paying attention, as it’s been very popular. So we would like to say, “Thank You!” to all of our Designer’s Gallery enthusiasts.

                One of the things I promised with MonogramWorks is some additional fonts. And I’ve been busy digitizing. Although I cannot tell you any details yet, I think a picture might be in order (just for you!): Continue Reading…

Posted 7 years, 8 months ago at 10:10 am.

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Gallery Connection March 2010

Last month I gave you a preview about Designer’s Gallery MonogramWorks, an exciting new program which has occupied my full attention around-the-clock for the last several months. If I were a composer, this would be an opus.

This program was conceived as a lower cost alternative, and as an important monogramming supplement, to the other lettering products on the market. Naturally, as we went along, features and ideas got added to the program design. The folks over in DG Marketing asked you to identify your wish-list, added them to our own, and came up with a list of things that we knew you’d love in this program. Then we figured out a price you’d love, which is half of what you expect. Finally, it was my job to bring it to reality. Continue Reading…

Posted 7 years, 9 months ago at 8:06 pm.

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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. Continue Reading…

Posted 7 years, 10 months ago at 9:07 pm.

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Gallery Connection January 2010

10 Tips for Digtizing

It’s January and “Thank heavens all those holiday projects are mostly memories.” Yes, only mostly. Have you ever given something to someone before it was fully completed? I’ve heard this more than a few times over the years, but this year I heard it a lot. It’s the New Year, after all, so you might as well get them back and finish them up!

This year Designer’s Gallery will be 10 years old. It’s gone by in such a flash. And the worst part is that each year goes by successively faster. I’ve always held a 5 year plan for products I’d like to make, and that used to seem like a long time in advance, but now it doesn’t. Is there an appropriate response to the feeling that you’re getting older, and that time is winning out? Yes there is – salute Father Time with the middle digit! Then celebrate every opportunity to participate – make something special for every occasion.

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of digitizing. So I thought maybe I could put up a few pointers on that topic. Now, I don’t claim ownership of these – I’ve learned a few things on my own over the years, but some friends of mine have said things more clearly than I managed to do, so I use their wisdom here as well, with their permission. Continue Reading…

Posted 7 years, 10 months ago at 8:41 pm.

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Gallery Connection December 2009

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but sometimes words are all you’ve got.  This month let’s talk about the letters used in embroidery. Specifically, there are two basic types of lettering used in embroidery: Pre-digitized letters and True-Type auto-digitized letters.
 Let’s start with True Type letters. True Type letters, originally developed by Apple Computers are the mainstay fonts used in computing. There are also OpenType fonts, a later Microsoft and Adobe technology, which are similar.  The fonts describe the letters by drawing the outline of the letter. This outline can be used to create an embroidered letter. The sample below was created using the Letter tool in MasterWorks with the TTF option on an Arial Bold font:
 TT as Satin FIll Continue Reading…

Posted 8 years ago at 1:46 pm.

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Gallery Connection November 2009

Overcoming the 7 Fabric Challenges
I’ve never seen a succinct list of the fabric ‘issues’ in embroidery, so let’s make that list and discuss the problems and solutions:
1.) The fabric ‘pulls’ or ‘puckers up’ because of the tension applied to embroidery thread.
2.) The fabric ‘pushes out’ from being squished flat under the embroidery.
3.) The fabric is a loose knit or weave, therefore stitches that are close together wind up in the same needle-hole.
4.) The fabric has a nap which can poke up in-between the embroidery stitches.
5.) The fabric gets perforated by the needle which can weaken or even cut out a hole.
6.) The fabric slides around in the hoop.
7.) The fabric gets marks from the hoop, A.K.A. ‘Hoop Burn’. Continue Reading…

Posted 8 years, 1 month ago at 8:54 pm.

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Gallery Connection October 2009

The Gallery Connection October ’09 – Embroidery Software Basics

Typical Embroidery Application

Typical Embroidery Application

Continue Reading…

Posted 8 years, 1 month ago at 3:18 pm.

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Gallery Connection Sept ’09 – Editing Basics

I thought it would be useful to cover the basics of editing designs, merging them together, sizing them, etc. It’s one of the most requested and used features of our software, so much so in fact, that you can do some editing in virtually any of the programs. Let’s take a visual tour of what’s available…

Home Sweet Home

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Posted 8 years, 4 months ago at 5:27 pm.

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New Website

Well, it’s been a long time coming and we’ve finally gotten to it – rebuilding this website. Continue Reading…

Posted 8 years, 4 months ago at 3:00 am.

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Gallery Connection August ’09 – Project Advisor

Hi Everyone!

Last month we took our Stabilizer Quiz, “Which stabilizer were you?” They are all great and very much necessary! And that thought led me to think about the project types out there. There’s a lot available to use an embroidery machine on. And how do you do it? What changes when you go from a structured hat to an unstructured one? Maybe you just stick some stabilizer in either of them anyways, right? “The more the merrier,” right? Er, well not really. Continue Reading…

Posted 8 years, 4 months ago at 1:11 am.

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Gallery Connection July ’09 – Take the Quiz!

It’s time for some fun. I was recently asked about doing a Facebook application. You know, Facebook, one of the social sites on the internet. Where people who haven’t seen each other can chit chat and generally make a nuisance of themselves. It’s a good way to keep your friends and family close…at a distance, if you know what I mean? Continue Reading…

Posted 8 years, 5 months ago at 1:11 am.

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The Gallery Connection June ’09 – UFOs revisited

One of the most enjoyable parts of my job is meeting you, our customers. Recently I had the chance to attend an event with around 250 people, men and women, from all walks of life, with at least one thing in common; they love to embroider. I was shown so many examples of their creativity, that I was once again surprised at the uses of our products. I never get used to that. Continue Reading…

Posted 8 years, 6 months ago at 1:01 am.

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Gallery Connection May ’09 – Jargon Junket part 2

Gallery Connection May 2009

                Hi everyone!  Last month I took you on a jargon junket, exploring the mysterious language of computer hardware and specifications. My plan was to expose the terminology in an accessible way, or at the least with some entertainment value.  Since it was to be a two-part series, perhaps I better continue, lest our editors take offense. Continue Reading…

Posted 8 years, 7 months ago at 1:07 am.

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Gallery Connection June ’08 – Personalizing with Lettering

Ah, Spring – it’s already here in the Southwest as I write this. Mothers’ Day is just past – and I’m sure breakfast in bed would’ve been nice, but maybe you at least got a nice brunch out of it. And if you were lucky, perhaps you got a call from the kids. But now that it’s all over, take some time for yourself. Hang out in your sewing room, spend some time with Nancy (Did you know there’s DVDs available for when she’s not on air?) and maybe do a little bit of quilting or finish up a UFO. (Heaven forbid!)

Now, if you’ve got the itch to make something simple, there’s always an embroidery project that you can do with lettering. It helps to keep the creative juices flowing to create some lettered projects. If you need another excuse, it’s also good to get the gears of your machine into motion. Continue Reading…

Posted 8 years, 7 months ago at 4:20 pm.

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