Creative articles about embroidery

Lesson 19: BERNINA Embroidery Software V8: Tula Pink embroidery designs and hexagons

This time I want to show you how to personalize ready-made embroidery designs, to make your own color setting, to combine this with fabrics. There are so much beautiful embroidery designs to choose from: this time I have looked at the designs made by Tula Pink. She designs not just embroidery, but also quilts and fabrics.

She also works with a BERNINA machine and designs for OESD: I will work with some designs from ‘The Imaginary Menagerie’, showing you how to preview ready-made embroidery designs via V8, to know how they ‘work’, before loading them onto your machine.

25 Beautiful designs – large to very small. The largest is a tiger head: it will be aprox. 18.3 x 19.3 cm – but it is a very special design, because it will not be made with Satin Stitches, but with Candlewicking Fill. Which brings the stitch count to 109.815!! This will be visible when loading this design on your workspace, but be patient – it will take some time before it is fully loaded and ready. 

Enhance it = zoom in, to see how the design is build up: lots and lots of Candlewicking ‘balls’ are placed together in a grid, similar to cross stitch. Using ‘.Stitch Player’ gives me an idea how the embroidery sequence will be. The actual embroidery will be something for the future, because I need smaller and different designs for my coming project.   4kleinebestandenThese are the smaller designs: I can use them to place on the center of a solid fabric Hexagon, to give it a spark. Four different small designs, each just large enough to use as they are: Spirit Accent 1, 2, 3 en 4. 

For such small designs, the Small Hoop is suitable – finally, I will use it. Not often am I making embroidery designs this small. I will make them one at the time, using a small piece of fabric for each hexagon. Choosing the Small Hoop, 50×72, via ‘Select a Hoop’, a dialog box that appears after clicking on Show Hoop, the setting is made. Hoop position = automatic centering.

Such a small design fits well in this small hoop. With the grid, you can tell that the design measures aprox. 2 x 2 cm. This information can be seen at the bottom of your screen too, and – after selecting the design – in the Transform Toolbar with Width and Height.  There are 1237 stitches, which is a lot for such a small design. 5 Color are used. 

I have reduced the amount of the colors, which is always possible: taking them from 5 to 3. Via ‘Color Film’ the embroidery sequence is visible, and what objects are using a certain color. To change colors, click on a box in the docker, to select that object/those objects, then choose a color from the Color Palette and click (or double-click). If there are not enough colors with the Color Palette, use ‘Add Palette Color’ to see more.

Because there were 5 colors originally, after reducing this to 3, there were still 5 boxes with ‘Color Film’: some of them now with the same colors/threads. OR, V8 places them together, the moment you have two matching colors. By dragging these boxes on top of each other, the amount of color changes is reduced too. If the boxes of the docker are too small, just click and drag the docker to the left, making the boxes larger. You will have to scroll to see all of them, if there are a lot of boxes.
Using ‘Stitch player’, gives me a good impression how this design will be embroidered, and checking the embroidery sequence. If that is not placed on a logical sequence, I can shift boxes in ‘Color Film’ to change that. 

Each color change is now set: three colors are left, which means just two color changes have to be made.

After removing the unused colors (icon Hide Unused Colors, to the right of the Color Palette’, the 3 remaining colors that will be used are visible.

opusbstitckBringing these designs to my B770QE with embroidery module, means I have to transfer them to my USB stick. It is always good to check if all three files have been transferred: you will need the .EXP, .INF and .BMP files.

My machine does the actual embroidery: I have used a black fabric, because of the choice of fabrics for my project. Because I wanted to use the small hoop, I have placed this on my B770QE. But sometimes it is more efficient to place multiple embroidery designs on your workplace in V8, combining them color/thread wise and use a larger hoop to embroidery them all at once: you will have to calculate the distance between designs, because with my project, they will have to be cut out in a specific measurement, for hexagons. It’s up to you how economically you want to work.

I will make the multiple designs with my Jumbo Hoop: right-clicking on ‘Select hoop’, then choose this hoop for embroidery. 

By selecting that hoop, a ‘lonely’ small design is centered. But there will be more… 

I’ve calculated the distance that need to be between two designs for the size of the hexagons, I will be cutting from the fabric. I want the designs centered on a hexagon, placing as much embroidery designs within the security (red) lines of the Jumbo Hoop. 

Taking the required distance in account, I have placed 3 designs horizontally. Via Ctrl+C = copy, and Ctrl+V = paste, I have multiplied the number of designs, dragging them to the new spot – each 6 cm apart (using the grid). 

Copying 3 designs together, and pasting them above and below the first row of 3, gives me a total of 12 designs that can be embroidered at once. If I wanted to embroider them at this point, there will be a lot of trims, even though I am using just three colors. I can reduce that to drag boxes with the same color/number on top of each other, in the docker ‘Color Film’.

Or I can arrange them much faster, via Color Sequence, by using ‘Arrange’ on the Menu Toolbar, ‘Sequence’ and clicking on ‘By Color’. A dialog box pops up, telling me there will be 3 thread changes in total, after ‘OK’,

and all is compressed: now my B770QE will embroider the first color/thread for all 12 designs, then change to the second and the third color, until all is done. The number of stitches at the moment: 15.140.

The Print Preview shows me up front how it will be embroidered. I can see also the number of trims, color changes etc.  Saved it all, and transferred it to my USB stick for embroidery.

Making the embroidery hoop on black batik: that’s the background for the hexagons: the colors will look ok. As you can see, I’ve changed thread colors while making the embroidery. I wanted to add yellow with the purple/blue’s. You can do that: although there are colors/threads chosen, changing them by using different spools/threads is ok. The image above shows the finished embroidery, which I’ve placed under tension to make it completely flat.

I have printed hexagon shapes on thick paper, using them as templates. There are many .pdf files via Internet: be sure to cut them exact, to make them fit. I have glued the fabric seam allowances with my Bohin Glue Pen instead of basting them, placing the embroidered hexagon pieces away, for future use.

I have made another design from this Tula Pink collection, for the center of my project. A Spirit Snail, with lots of colors. 

Embroidered also on black batik, to make the colors of this snail stand out.

The project I’ve made is a pillow case: the snail as center piece, the 12 hexagons surrounding that, and using a bright dotted black fabric and 6 solid hexagons to complete it.

A detail shows the embroidery and the batik fabrics, with free hand quilting. Don’t you love it to personalize ready-made designs?

Next time another subject: see you then!

Happy Stitching,

Sylvia Kaptein
Sylvia’s Art Quilts Studio

BERNINA Embroidery Software V8: Tula Pink embroidery designs and hexagons

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