Course 3 now open, and Version 8 released in the US

At last I have launched Course 3 which covers all the features added to the V7 release. This includes Raised Satin, Stump Work, Trapunto, Support for the Punch Tool and many other improvements to the existing functions.

So far I have covered some of the improvements to the interface and looked at the Raised Satin tool. There is a bit more to come on that before moving on to the other topics.

Now that course 2 is completed, I have released it on DVD for those who prefer that option.

Version 8 has been released in the US and it looks exciting. I’ll have to wait though for the Australian release. The release notes for this version are now available from the Bernina USA site. I believe a free 30 day trial is available from dealers and should be available from the Bernina USA site some time this month. Also check out the Yahoo group for info and comments from users of this software.

Machine Embroidery on a vest Part 1

The top front embroideries.
The top front embroideries.

I’m working on a vest for a workshop I’m running in October, and as I haven’t posted for a long time, I thought I would share the process with you. There will be a few posts about this as I work through the process.

I was running out of ideas for things to put my embroideries on. There are only so many bags, towel toppers, table runners etc. that a person needs. I originally trained as a dressmaker/pattern maker so decided to revisit those skills and start making some garments with a view to embellishing them with machine embroidery. I decided to draft my own pattern and have discovered Valentina, an open source pattern making software. This software is not for the novice, you do have to know how to draft patterns, and have some understanding CAD type drawing programs. However the software is very poweful and is actively being worked on with the roadmap of new features looking very promising. The advantage of working on the computer to create my patterns is that I don’t have to have a wardobe full of blocks/slopers that become obsolete if I gain or lose weight. I can also use the same designs and simply enter someone elses measurements to create a pattern for them. Comment below if you would like to hear more about this software.

Rose PatternHaving made my pattern, I was now ready to decide on the embroidery. As usual I wanted to digitize a new design. The Antique Pattern Library has some wonderful old embroidery books available as PDF’s with a Creative Commons-Non Commercial-ShareAlike license. I found this design on the cover of Motifs Pour Boderies, a DMC publication. Using the Windows Snipping tool, I saved a .png copy to load into my digitizing software. I digitized various sections of the design so that I could re arrange them to suit the vest. I kept it simple by doing the whole design in satin fill. In the next post, I will talk about how I arranged the design and sized it to fit the vest pattern.

FAQ’s about my On Line Classes

Here is a video showing how to enrol and an overview of what to expect in the course.

Current Courses Available:-

Course 1 For versions 6 and 7 of Bernina Designer Plus

This course caters for beginner to intermediate users of the software. You can find an outline of the contents here.

Course 2 – For versions 6 and 7 of Bernina Designer Plus

For intermediate to advanced users. Follows on from Course 1 and includes:-

Lace, Cross Stitch, Quilting, Carving Stamp, Morphing, Multi Hooping, Ripple and Contour Fills, Sculptured Fancy Fill

Course 3 For V7 of Bernina Designer Plus (V8 users may also find this useful)

This course will cover all the features added to the V7 release. This includes Raised Satin, Stump Work, Trapunto, Support for the Punch Tool and many other improvements to the existing functions.

New Features in V8For people who have upgraded from previous versions.

This course will cover all the new features added to the V8 release.

Beginners Course 1 for V8 – For those new to digitizing, have limited skills in digitizing, or have come from another brand of software.

How long do you have to complete a course?

You can take as long as you like. You are enrolled indefinitely. Work at your own pace.

Do you need a Pay Pal Account?

No. The payments are processed securely through Pay Pal protecting both you and myself, but you are given the option to use a credit card.

What if I don’t understand something in the course?

There is a Q and A Forum where you can post questions. I try to answer the questions within 48 hours.

What if I have Problems with the enrollment process?

Click on the Contact Me tab at the top of this page and let me know what your problem is. I will try to sort it out ASAP

What if I forget my password?

Click on the Contact Me tab at the top of this page and let me know. I will issue you with a temporary password via email so you can log in and reset your password.

Do I need fast internet?

As much of the content is made up of video, you do need good internet speed and download capacity. If this is not the case, consider buying the DVD’s. You will still have the option of asking questions via email.

Click on the Contact Me menu item at the top of this page if you wish to purchase the DVD’s



Course 2 is now Open

Following the success of Course 1, I have opened Course 2. The price remains the same $60USD for 6 Units of content.

Topics that will be covered in Course 2 are

  • Lace
  • Cross Stitch
  • Quilting
  • Carving Stamp
  • Morphing
  • Multi Hooping
  • Ripple and Contour Fills
  • Sculptured Fancy Fill

Not in this order

On line Classroom

At last I have got my online classroom up and running! At the moment the Course 1 only includes content for Version 6, but my Version 7  is on the way. As soon as possible I will add V7 material to the course so that it covers both versions.

Version 7 is now included.

Each course has 6 monthly sections. Only Month 1 is currently visible. Each month a new month will be revealed.

Each month has three Sections

  • Digitizing Theory – A step by step guide to using the software, starting at the very beginning. Great for people new to the software, but as it is very detailed, experienced users should browse the content for anything they haven’t picked up on yet.
  • Digitizing Project – Step by step instructions to digitize a design, and instructions and patterns to complete a project using that design. Suitable for all levels of experience.
  • Practical Embroidery – Suggestions for suitable fabric, stabiliser and hooping etc. for the project.

The course content consists of videos and notes. The notes are in PDF format so that you can save them to your computer or print them.

There is a Question and Answer forum where you can post if you need anything in the course clarified.

The cost is $60.00US per course (6 months), but you will remain enrolled in the course permanently so you can always return to go over the content, or re download any PDF’s you may have lost.

After 6 months if you would like to continue, you can enroll in the next course.

Just click on the Classroom tab in the top Menu to get started.

More Digitizing For Quilting

I have made a couple more videos with quilters in mind. Outlining or Echo Stitching and Creating a stipple background for a quilt block.
While the concepts are great for quilting in the hoop projects, they can also be used purely as decoration to enhance any design.
Both techniques are easy to do. The Echo Stitching video uses the Outline Design tool. Version 5 does not have this tool, so I have included instructions on how to get a similar look in that version.


The Portfolio section of the Bernina Designer Plus, is the file management area. Here you can navigate to any folder on your computer and view thumb nails of the designs in that folder. You can sort designs, access designs from zipped folders and open designs into the digitising part of the software for editing. You can convert designs from one format to another, either individually or in groups. You can also convert the designs to multiple formats at once. Here is my latest video showing you how to do all of this and more.

Puffy Foam

Puffy Foam is used in embroidery to pad stitching to give a three dimensional look. Sulky produce packs of this foam in 2mm and 3mm thicknesses. You need to use foam that tears easily. Not all foam sheets will work. Possible uses for this technique are lettering on hats, decorative projects and artworks including wall hangings.
Recently I shared a link on the Machine Embroidery and Digitizing Facebook Page to an article published by Wilcom on digitizing for Puffy Foam. I remembered doing a Puffy Foam design some time ago and thought I would share my experience and provide some additional tips.

Chinese Symbol for Peace stitched using Puffy Foam
Chinese Symbol for Peace stitched using Puffy Foam

I chose A chinese symbol, because traditionally they are created using a paintbrush, and therefore the individual parts don’t have blunt ends. Normal lettering has blunt ends, and as explained in the Wilcom article these are areas where the foam might poke out unless you digitize some covering stitches.
For those of you who are using the Bernina software, I set the Satin Stitch Spacing (density) to 0.23 (the default is 4). This is nearly twice as dense as normal. I made sure Satin Stitch was selected (not Satin Special) so that there were no needle penetrations in the middle of the design,  and I deselected the underlay.

Stitch settings for Puffy Foam
Stitch settings for Puffy Foam

I was not in Artistic Mode and I had view Needle Points selected. As you can see some of the areas of the design were too wide for normal satin and the software has replaced the stitches with jump stitches and needle points. I decided to use the reshape tool to change the angle of the stitching to fix this problem. I also kept an eye out to avoid any long stitches forming along the outline of the object.

Unwanted needle points and jump stitches
Unwanted needle points and jump stitches

Changed Angle Changed Angle

I set two underlays. For the the first underlay I chose ZigZag and changed the stitch length to 8. This eliminated any needle penetrations in the middle of the foam. The second undelay I chose was Edge walk. This was to add additional needle penetrations around the edges to help with tearing away the excess foam on completion, and to help with achieving a neat edge.

Underlay Settings
Underlay Settings

Next I checked my stitch order to minimise jump stitches. I then moved my start and end positions to put any remaining jump stitches in places where objects were close enough so that they wouldn’t show. In other projects I may choose to put the jump stitches where they are easy to trim, and depending on your machine you may get the machine to trim the jump stitches for you.
As a result of the above processes, the software has now put travel stitches running under the satin stitch.

Unwanted Travel stitches
Unwanted Travel stitches

As Travel on Edges is not available for Satin Fill, these have to be moved manually. I went into edit mode, (press”E” on your keyboard) And left clicked and dragged these stitches to the edges. (see my video on Manually Moving and Deleting stitches on YouTube for more info on moving stitches).
You can digitise a placement outline if you like, but I chose to use the basting stitch on my machine as a guide to where to lay the foam.