Hey, everyone – welcome back! I hope you’re ready to put on your explorer hat and venture off into the unknown with me. I really mean that, too! When I was here in July, I introduced the foundation embroidery features of the Brother Luminaire Innov-is XP1 (aka the Luminaire). Then in August, I delved in a little deeper with some exciting applications of the camera and scanning functions. That was all stuff I’d played with before and couldn’t wait to share…
This month, however, I wanted to challenge myself with a module of the Luminaire I am less familiar with. I say challenge because I seldom play in the My Design Center playground. Why? Because I’m a geek, of course – I love my computer and am a diehard fan of digitizing software like the Brother PE-DESIGN. I’ve been using this since Version 1 was released way back when, and when I was new, I struggled through the ups and downs of grasping its intricacies. But I’m persistent (my family says stubborn, can you imagine?), and I now love the creative control digitizing software empowers me with. Having said that, I want to see what My Design Center can offer embroiderers who, perhaps, don’t want to tackle computer software.
So… let’s start with the basics: what is My Design Center? It’s a module on top-of-the-line Brother machines where I can automagically create my own designs. I can start with existing designs, scanned or downloaded images, or even draw my own directly on the machine’s screen. Sounds complicated? It doesn’t have to be (and if you’re they type of person who likes to make it complicated, have I got computer software for you!). The purpose of My Design Center is to offer design creation convenience and simplicity without resorting to digitizing software.
While I haven’t (yet) explored all of what My Design Center can do, I have turned to it for a couple of super-easy applications I am hoping you’ll love as much as I do, so one of those is what I want to start with: Decorative Fill Patterns.
So how can I almost create my own fabric? It’s easy: start with a piece of fabric and texturize it with these oh-so-easy steps on the Brother Luminaire. I love having the creative control to add an all-over stitch pattern to material; in fact, I textured a photo mat using the Luminaires Border function a few weeks back. That was easy, but compared to what I’ll show you today, it was hard work! So without further ado, let me show you something terrific.
If you’re following along with me, and I hope you are, power up the Luminaireand touch My Design Center on the Home screen. Oooh, look: toys! Buttons and icons and choices, oh, my! But… let’s keep it beginner-easy. Let’s just fill the hoop with a pretty, all-over fill.
Touch the Region Fill icon (the second paint bucket, about halfway down the right side of the screen), and then its Settings button, (directly below) to open the option screen. Choose the Pattern fill icon, and then go ahead and select your favorite. I will stick with the first one, because I haven’t used that one yet. Once I’ve ok’d my selection, okay out of the Region Properties screen and touch anywhere in the big, blank embroidery area. Abracadabra!
I love this part – it truly is like magic! The whole area fills with the chosen pattern, and I will stitch it just like that – no changes at all. Touch Next (ignore all the new choices, I’ll play with them tomorrow), then touch Set. hoop up, thread up and go. It really couldn’t be easier, could it? Look what My Design Center turned out in seconds, and the Luminaire stitched it out for me while I went and had lunch:
Now I just have to decide what I want to do with it. I’m thinking something along the lines of a wallet or maybe a notebook cover. But I have a bunch of other ideas too… try stitching patterns like this on card stock to make greeting card fronts. TIP Use a small needle to minimize the needle puncture holes; I learned that on the yellow one:
And – this was a fun one – I pieced these into panels to turn into little pyramid bags. If these look familiar, you’ve either attended one of my classes or you’ve seen them as a feature project in A Needle Pulling Thread magazine (Issue 49). Another fun thing to do is to stitch the Decorative Pattern Fill on a light background – it provides a great color-your-own project, either with washable or permanent fabric markers, as shown here:
There are so many ways to use Decorative Pattern Fills – what are some ways you can think of to apply them in your projects? Please feel free to comment below with how this inspires you.
Even though I wouldn’t call myself a quilter (which, to me is defined as one who quilts for the sake of making a quilt, LOL) a lot of my projects heavily involve quilting – embroidery style. So my natural next question is this: can I make Decorative Fill Patterns surround embroidery designs? Well, if you were observant earlier when I showed a sampling of some of the available fills, you will have noticed the leaf in the bottom right corner of one sampler. So of course, the answer is yes. How? Tune in tomorrow, as I take the next step in playing with Decorative Pattern Surrounds in My Design Center on the Brother Luminaire.