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Adding a Decorative Fill Pattern around an embroidery design

Adding a Decorative Fill Pattern around an embroidery design

by Liana Kirkey

Hey – looks like I got your interest piqued yesterday with those gorgeous Decorative patterns Fills in My Design Center on the Brother Luminaire Innov-is XP1, or, its friendlier name, the Luminaire.

The Brother Luminaire XP1

While those fill patterns are stunning on their own, today I’ll take a look at how they can become the perfect backdrop for a focal-point embroidery design. Were you with me a few weeks ago when I applied auto-stippling around a design? It was pretty easy, right? It’s just a couple more steps to do it in My Design Center – and those steps are worth it, because I’m not limited to stippling!

Power up the Luminaire, because you’ll want to follow along with me as I add a Decorative Fill Pattern around an embroidery design, quilt-style. As when I auto-stippled, I’ll start in the Embroidery module of the Luminaire. The first thing I want to do is set my embroidery area (8” x 12”) under the Settings screen. I like doing this because I like to see my boundaries on screen. Takes away the guesswork.

In the Settings screen, select the hoop size to display on screen as the boundary guide.

For this project, I’ll choose a Disney Princess. I’m partial to Ariel, the Little Mermaid because I look just like her (not). After selecting and setting her, I simply rotated her 90° clockwise and moved her to the bottom corner of my screen. Once she’s just where I want her (you’re doing this along with me, right?), save this design to the machine’s memory. And… perhaps the most important step of all: touch the Outline icon, which will save the outline – and its precise position – for retrieval in My Design Center. By the way, I reduced the outline spacing to -0.020” before touching the memory button. I did this because I want the background pattern I will be setting up, to stitch slightly behind Ariel, with no gapping. Touch OK on the where-to-retrieve message.

Set up and save the design exactly as I want it. Don’t forget to capture the outline, too!

Next, touch Home and open My Design Center. Touch the Shapes tool, where I’ll access two important options: Hoop Selection and Saved Outline. The last icon along the top is Hoop Selection; touch it and select the 8” x 12” hoop and OK it. Now go back into Shape and touch the Saved Outline tool – the one immediately to the left of the hoop icon. Choose the outline, and touch OK, and you’ll see Ariel’s outline shape placed just where I’d originally arranged it in the 8″ x 12″ hoop area. And yes, before you ask, this does have to be done in two separate steps.

A few easy steps set both the hoop boundary and the Ariel placeholder on screen.

Just like I did yesterday, to set a Decorative Pattern Fill, touch the Region Fill icon and then its Settings button to open the properties screen. Touch Pattern and then Select. Scroll down the pattern palette to the seashells (#23). What could be more perfect for Ariel, hmm? Choose a quilt pattern color  – I chose a light green – and then touch OK.

Easily set the pattern from a simple menu of fill options. The hardest part is choosing!

This was magical yesterday, and no less so today: touch the screen, within the hoop boundary but outside of Ariel’s outline. Look-ee there! Isn’t that the coolest? Thrills me every time! And here’s what I like best: done, I am in control (I like being in charge!). That means I’m not stuck with these computer-generated results; this is just an initial preview. I left it alone yesterday, but today I’ll play a bit. So, touch Next, and a prettier, cleaner preview is generated. Now I can choose from Size, Rotation, Border, Random Shift, and Offset. I will leave the size as is, rotate to 270°, leave the border on, and not touch the random shift (I don’t want distortion), but I will offset the design to the left 1½”, so the bottom row of shells sits along the same baseline Ariel is on…

Like magic, the initial background pattern is quickly generated. More choices, comin’ up!

I’m happy with it now, so I’ll save it to the machine’s memory and Set it, which brings me right into the Embroidery Edit screen. Ready to embroider? Nope – something’s missing! You got it – I want Ariel back in the picture. And that’s easy – just touch the Add button, navigate to the machine’s memory pocket and set in the Ariel design I saved earlier.

It’s a simple matter to combine the My Design Center background with the Ariel foreground…

Now I’m truly ready to stitch. I’ve hooped Polymesh stabilizer and topped it with fusible fleece, to which I’d ironed some cotton broadcloth. I turned on the basting function and stitched it all out. What do you think… isn’t the background perfect for Ariel?

A pattern background can turn even a plain design into one with more depth and interest…

What little girl wouldn’t love this adorable Ariel turned into a snack mat? Unless, of course, she’d prefer Belle, or Jasmine… whatever the choice, with the 30 built-in fill patterns, you can be sure there’s a perfect match for your princess. Or your flowers, or your puppy – or whatever embroidery design you choose to accent with a super-easy Decorative Pattern Fill.

Now, I chose a Disney design because I wanted to show something I couldn’t do with software (Disney designs can’t be exported off the machine). But… I have to drop in a shameless little plug for the PE Design software. Nope – still can’t export Disney into it, but there are even more background fill options built into PED, and… wait for it… there’s even a Fill Creator where I can design my own! It’s so nifty! Oops, distracted – who me?

So – what did you think of how easy it is to add a background fill to virtually any design using My Design Center? I’ll bet it was easier than you thought, right? Most of My Design Center is that easy, after all, it’s intended to bridge the gap between “stuck-with-whatcha-got” and “I’m-a-computer geek-and-can-digitize-anything”. I think it does pretty well, so far.

That said, please join me tomorrow, when I plan to use My Design Center on the Luminaire to recreate a memory. I hope you’ll pop back in to see another creative application of this innovative and inspiring module on the Brother Luminaire!

This is part 2 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 1: Creating textured fabric using the Luminaire My Design Center

Go to part 3: Brother Luminaire, My Design Center, and a candlewicking memory…

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MaryBeth Little October 2, 2019 - 8:44 am

Wish I could figure out how to do this on my Bernina. Your work is wonderful!

Liana Kirkey October 2, 2019 - 7:08 pm

Hi, MaryBeth… I don’t think the Bernina has this feature, though you can accomplish similar results using their software. In a perfect world, we’d each have one of every machine, wouldn’t we?

Thanks for your kind words on my “work”. Someone once said, “Find a job doing something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”. I think getting to play with these machine qualifies, doesn’t it?


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