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Brother Luminaire, My Design Center, and a candlewicking memory…

Brother Luminaire, My Design Center, and a candlewicking memory…

by Liana Kirkey

Hi, Folks – today is the day! I have to tell you; I was a little trepidatious this morning as I began to explore a new (for me) application for My Design Center on the Brother Luminaire. The unfamiliar can be a little intimidating, yes?

Brother Luminaire XP1 – sewing, embroidery and quilting machine

I mean, I was really excited yesterday and the day before to show you my favorite way of using My Design Center – but I’d done those before! They were easy! Can you see why I like almost making your own fabric? And how about adding those gorgeous decorative patterns fills around an embroidery design? Such a perfect way to complete a look!

But today… oh, today! I poked buttons, hit undo, and started over (again and again) as I explored and tested, made my mistakes – and my discoveries. I even referred to the manual (more than once, sigh). And it’s not that any of it was difficult – it wasn’t. It was just… unknown. But I’m really pleased with what I learned, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you.

I wanted to take a quilt stencil pattern and turn it into a simple candlewicked design. So of course I turned to a Google search, figuring I’d know which stencil design I wanted when I saw it. A few distractions later, I still hadn’t found the perfect one, so I used the Brother Canvas Workspace for ScanNCut to kinda compile a few ideas into one design. (The how-to on that is a whole ‘nother story). This is what I ended up with:

I ended up creating my own ‘quilt stencil pattern’ to share; click on it to download a copy.

I zoomed in large (big, bold, and clear will yield better results) and took a screen snip of it and saved it as a JPG; if you click on the picture above, you can download it to a USB stick and keep pace with me as I meander through this adventure…

Power up the Luminaire, plug the memory stick containing the design into the top USB port, and open up My Design Center. On screen, near the top right, there is a leaf icon; touch it, and then down near the bottom, choose Line Image.

Since I have a digital image, I don’t even have to go to the effort of scanning a printout, I can load the file directly. So easy! Select the appropriate USB port, and then choose and Set the design you want to convert, in this case, my quilt stencil outline.jpg.

Quick-view of the steps to selecting the image I wish to play with…

Let’s keep the first try simple: OK the Framing Changes screen without making any changes, and then Set the result view. Unlike yesterday when I played with fills, This time I want to tackle lines, so touch the line bucket, and then its Properties button, directly below it.

When starting with a clean image, little or no fixing is needed…

From the Line choices, touch the triple stitch icon and any light color before hitting OK. Now, simply touch the shapes I wish to assign these properties. See the picture below – I’ve shown these ones in red. The changes are subtle, but if you look closely, you’ll see the lines I’ve touched change color (the light colors make it a bit easier to see what I’ve done). And if I touch the wrong shape by mistake, just keep going – I can fix oopsies easily enough later.

Selecting my stitch choices and then telling My Design Center where I want ’em…

Once I’ve got the red ones done, touch the Properties icon again and choose the candlewicking stitch and a different light color, and then touch all the blue shapes shown in the above picture. Don’t forget the circle in the middle! Once they’re all assigned, touch Next.

Notice the new line settings show in the ‘cheat sheet’ right above the line tools…

The Luminaire should now have done its magic and inserted all the stitches as I assigned them. If I assigned one incorrectly, like in my intentional oops below (honestly, it was on purpose – this time! How do you think I learned how to correct it, LOL), it’s easy to fix: touch the arrow keys to cycle though the shapes until the wrong one is highlighted. Touch the stitch display up top and choose what it should be. OK out of this screen and let it process. In this manner, I can correct as many as I wish.

Re-assigning an incorrectly set stitch is quite easy.

Now – once they all show the correct assignments, I’ll change the candlwicking size. Arrow to any one of the candlewicked shapes, and then press the link icon beside the arrows – all the same-property candlewicking shapes should highlight. Touch the size button, adjust it to 0.120” and OK that. Let it process and… time to stitch!

The link button globally changes the settings for all like stitches – a great shortcut!

Touch the Set button to send this new design directly to the Embroidery Edit area of the machine. I used the Size tool to scale it up to fill the 9½” square quilting hoop, and then threaded up. I stitched it on a piece of linen backed with heavy tearaway, and am thrilled with it! What do you think?

A pretty candlewicked panel that just begs to be turned into a pretty pillow cover!

So why was this a memory? When I was a little girl and we’d visit my grandparents’ home, when bedtime rolled around, my mom would settle my little brother and I down to sleep in my grandparents’ bed. I remember the knubbly, patterned bedspread. Of course, back then I couldn’t have told you what it was called, but I’ve since learned that it was candlewicking. Every time I see it, it brings back a little piece of my childhood. While this machine version isn’t truly authentic, it’s close enough to still evoke some nostalgia!

I hope you liked this little taste of design creation. It’s amazing how easy it can be, and I find – no surprise here – that the more I play with My Design Center, the more I am inspired to see what else it can do. Good thing, too, because I’ll be back tomorrow to experiment some more. I’m thinking of another marriage between old and new… Intrigued? Then you’ll just have to visit me again to see what My Design Center on the Brother Luminaire can do with a page out of Brother history…

This is part 3 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 2: Adding a Decorative Fill Pattern around an embroidery design

Go to part 4: A page of machine embroidery history comes alive in My Design Center

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Nicole Sender October 7, 2019 - 8:55 pm

I love candlewicking and have made a number of pillows by hand. Never thought you could use a machine to achieve this lovely effect.

Liana Kirkey October 8, 2019 - 9:14 pm

Hey, Nicole… if there’s way to do a hand technique by machine, I’m in! I’m one of those people with too many projects on the go, so I need the expediency of doing it by machine. And, as I mentioned on a previous comment, while not quite authentic and nowhere near the heirloom handwork offers, the flavor is there and it sure is pretty… and complete. One more check mark on my to-do list!

Brenda West October 6, 2019 - 10:12 am

This is just so cool. Love your stencil design. Someday, I hope to have a machine that does this. Just fascinates me how you come up with these things.

Liana Kirkey October 6, 2019 - 2:06 pm

Hi, Brenda – it really is cool, isn’t it! As to how I come up with these things – mostly quirky observation skills, luck, and curiosity. I see something and think “there’s no way I’ll get that done by hand – I wonder if i can do it on my machine?” Add stubbornness to the mix and I usually get a result I like, even if its not what I originally envisioned. Lots of detours!

Linda Webster October 2, 2019 - 7:49 pm

What a fun way to do candlewicking! Thanks for the tutorial.

Liana Kirkey October 2, 2019 - 9:04 pm

Thanks, Linda- it was fun! And a whole lot faster than the traditional method, LOL. In reality, it’s not quite authentic-looking, but it’s still gorgeous. And it’s stitched, complete, done! While I can admire and appreciate hand-work, I have to admit that I haven’t the patience or the time. There are too many other projects to explore. This is my perfect compromise between effect and accomplishment!

Sharon Aurora October 2, 2019 - 5:08 pm

My brother made me a candlewick cushion years ago. I loved that cushion but unfortunately I lost it. He has since passed away but I will always treasure the memory of him making that for me. Every time I see any candlewick I remember that.

Liana Kirkey October 2, 2019 - 7:18 pm

It’s amazing how a glimpse of something like that evoke such emotion, isn’t it?


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