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Combining embroidery designs on a canvas tote using the Luminaire XP: easy

by Shaelagh Kirkey

Hey everybody, welcome back! Yesterday, on the Brother Luminaire XP, I embroidered my new favorite hoodie with the most adorable autumn leaf! Today I want to show you how easy customizing is in Embroidery Edit. You see, I loved yesterday’s leaf design so much that I wanted to use it again, so I decided I needed a matching tote to go along with my hoodie. While searching for those designs yesterday I found a bunch of leaves I absolutely loved but only chose the one to meet my vision. For today’s project, I want to use some of the other designs and add them to the first. Did you know you can combine designs on the Luminaire? I’ll tell you about that in a minute…

Brother Luminaire XP

The Brother Luminaire XP

Tote bags are super ‘in’ right now, and nothing could be trendier than being kind to the environment with your own personalized reusable tote! I made mine to take camping with me but if you want to, you can pick out some ocean-themed designs and make a beach bag, or a fruit theme for a grocery bag. Go nuts! It never hurts to have a bunch of tote bags around. You know you’re going to use them, and they make great gifts! So now, lemme tell you all about the playing I did with this project.

I went back to Brother website for another freebie, and I chose my third design from an old Brother embroidery card in my mom’s collection (and when I say old, well… let’s just say it’s older than I am!). I was able to use it on the Luminaire thanks to the Brother Embroidery Card Reader my mom has in her stash. Been with Brother for a long time? Got cards? Brother card readers are still available, so you can still use your old design cards in new machines like the Luminaire!

A stack of Brother embroidery cards and a card reader. Brother Luminaire XP

Old cutting-edge technology: still usable!

I brought the leafy branch design in from the card (it was really easy, ‘cause the machine treated the card reader like just another USB device) and then I used the Add button to retrieve the other two leaves from my USB stick. I arranged them on either side of my first design. To do that, I just dragged them around on the screen until they were mostly where I wanted them, and then played with the Move and Rotate options on the Edit menu to tweak ‘em to exactly how I wanted them placed. Oh, yeah, and then I re-colored them, like I did yesterday. The sky really is the limit when using the Edit menu, and you can easily make so many fun combinations with different designs. So…all done arranging and I’m good-to-go.

Two screenshots that show three sequential leaf designs. Brother Luminaire XP

Arranging my leaf designs

To hoop my ready-made tote, I used Brother’s Continuous Border Embroidery Frame because the stiff, heavy canvas fabric and shape of the bag was incredibly difficult to hoop, especially for a beginner. The border frame made things so much easier and saved me a lot of time I would have otherwise spent fighting with hooping. When putting fabric into the border hoop, you simply secure the fabric into place by pushing down on the white levers as you can see at each end of the hoop in the pic below. How easy is that? I can see how it would make embroidering borders a breeze!

A tote bag snapped into the Brother border frame, ready to embroider. Brother Luminaire XP

My tote bag snapped into the border frame

When I slid the hoop onto the machine, I discovered my first uh-oh! I had hooped my tote bag sideways to better fit my frame, but then found that now the designs were oriented all wrong. But! No worries! The group function was a big help here, because I didn’t want to spend another ten minutes perfecting the positioning of my leaves with the move arrows again. Instead, I grouped them as one object and simply rotated them all in one go.

To group all designs, use the Multiple Select menu. That’s located beside the Select arrows near the bottom of the screen, and looks like shapes in boxes. Once you enter that menu, press the Select All button (which looks like red highlighted shapes), then OK, Edit, and the Group icon (the circle-square with the red box around it). Now you can move all your items at once!

Three screenshots showing three leaves in a design grouping. Brother Luminaire XP

Grouping my designs together

I rotated my design, and then I used that handy scan function I mentioned yesterday to line up my design with the placement guides I had drawn on my fabric. I can already tell which toys I’m going to come back to again and again! I think the scanning is so cool I had to share a quick video of it:

After all that, my mom told me that I didn’t really have to group them for this particular application, because advancing to the embroidery screen automatically groups them. But hey – I’m a gadget girl and was having fun exploring all the toys!

Anyhow, from there, it was just a matter of hittin’ Go and swappin’ threads. And look! It stitched out so beautifully! I now have my very own tote to hold all my camping goods, groceries, books, or whatever else! Just look at how pretty these leaves are!

Display of completed cream colored canvas tote bag with three embroidered leaves. Brother Luminaire XP

The finished product!

The Luminaire is so easy to use with its great selection of features—and having free rein on mom’s embroidery toybox sure adds to the fun! I already have big plans for more projects, so I hope you’ll join me tomorrow, where I’ll continue my theme by playing with yet another cool feature on the Brother Luminaire XP! Again, though, you’ll have to come back tomorrow to find out just what it is.

This is part 2 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 1: Getting to know the Luminaire: a beginner’s approach to machine embroidery!

Go to part 3: Designing personalized badges with the Brother Luminaire XP


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