Thursday, September 2, 2010

5D Smart Update - 9.1

As often happens right after a major software release, an update follows quickly to fix last minute issues that pop up after the program discs have been finalized and sent off for duplication.

PFAFF has released the 5D Embroidery 9.1 patch via Smart Update. The update process runs a little differently than previous versions of the Embroidery Suite, so we've taken screen shots to show you how it goes...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Cutwork Needle Tutorial

This tutorial walks through the steps of stitching a design with the PFAFF Embroidery Cutwork Needle Kit.

The kit comes with a set of four cutwork needles - each color-coded needle has a "chisel" point angled in a different direction.

Click here to see the Cutwork Needle Kit in action.

This is design #17 from PFAFF collection #441 - Creative Cutwork. These designs can be stitched using the Cutwork Needle Kit, or cut with scissors like traditional cutwork designs. The benefit to the Cutwork Needles is you don't have to remove the hoop and trim out all those tiny areas by hand.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Reindeer Stockings

These Reindeer Embroidery Designs from Anita Goodesign are so cute, I made not one, but two stockings to display in the store as samples:

Like a lot of Anita designs, these are applique. I used faux fur for the reindeer, so they are just as cute and fluffy as can be. Also, by cleverly putting our names on them, we've got new stockings to use this Christmas!

Precise Positioning on the PFAFF 2170

We practiced Precise Positioning on the PFAFF 2170 embroidery machine today - good thing, since we are teaching a class on it next week!

(If you're new to machine embroidery, Precise Positioning is the process used on PFAFF embroidery machines to position a design exactly where you want it to go on a garment or project. It's perfect for aligning multiple designs and making big designs from multiple hoopings.)

I think we'd psyched ourselves out about it and thought that doing it on the 2170 was going to be much harder than it actually was. We use that feature all the time on the Creative Vision, but had never done it on the 2170. Anyway, we figured it all out and we've developed several practice exercises and written a Quick Reference card for the students, so all the prep work is done. Now we just have to print the handouts and pack the equipment and we'll be ready to go.

We taught two full classes on Precise Positioning on the PFAFF Creative Vision last month and they went great. When everyone arrived, we were very upfront saying "You will NOT leave this class with any sort of a project" - it's strictly a hands-on session practicing the skills of drawing a dot on the fabric, then placing a design exactly on that target. Then repeating it over and over...probably 15 to 20 times by the end of the session.

Here's what everyone left with: lots of running-stitch positioning exercises. Aligning the two applique puzzle pieces was the "final-exam".

Everyone responded very well to the class - there were some definite "light-bulb" moments as the concept clicked. Best thing - Eleanor, one of our students came to software class the following week with a beautiful block with four puzzle pieces perfectly aligned! We love her applique fabric choices:

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

PFAFF Embroidery Cutwork Needle Kit

Last week, we were at PFAFF Convention in Minneapolis. One of the new products they introduced was the Embroidery Cutwork Needle Kit. It's a set of four needles with cutting points that are used with special embroidery designs. These needles cut the fabric, so you can do intricate cutwork designs without having to trim out the tiny areas with scissors. Here's a YouTube video we made to show how it works:

I shot these video clips while I was in class learning how to use the needles. At each step, I'd start the machine running, then grab the camera and shoot another clip. Then that night in the hotel room, we edited them together, recorded the voiceover track, posted it to YouTube, and sent out an email link. I think we were up until 2 a.m. working on the silly thing.

We were surprised by how many times it's been viewed - apparently, other PFAFF dealers have sent the link to their customers, so while it's not quite gone viral, it's pretty exciting to see it being viewed by so many people...literally all over the world. We keep compulsively checking every day to see how many have viewed it!

Welcome to our blog...

Hello, everyone - it's Don and Phil! We're setting up this blog to unite all the various "threads" of our sewing, quilting, knitting, embroidery, software, and teaching lives. This'll give us a place to post videos, lessons, and other materials so they can be easily referenced and linked. I'm sure we'll also post the occasional recipe or photo of our dogs. :)

We'll have comments enabled, so if you find something we say useful, please let us know. We also have Share buttons for Facebook and other social media - so feel free to share a link to this page.

Don & Phil