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Customizing a cottagecore tea towel with decorative embroidery

by Shaelagh Kirkey

Hey all! Hopefully you enjoyed yesterday’s preserve jar cover project and followed along in making your very own jar skirt. Today I’m making a super-simple project using another one of the Brother Luminaire XP built-in designs! And, of course, playing with some features that I haven’t really explored yet. Hope you’ll follow along with me!

Brother Luminaire XP

The Brother Luminaire XP

The Luminaire has a couple of gorgeous lemon embroidery designs built in. I picked the round cluster on Tab 15 (that’s hard to miss – the tab pic is the very same design!) to put on a pretty but plain, old-fashioned yellow-striped tea towel.

Now, the design I chose was too large for the hoop I want to use. It’s over 5” high, and I want to use the 4” hoop. Too, I had a smallish tea-towel, so a smaller design was more proportionate. I tried using the Resizing tool, but because that only condenses or enlarges what’s there, its sizing capability is limited. The original design has 16546 stitches (and a 28 minutes stitch-time), and I was concerned that shrinking it would cram those stitches too close together and make my towel ‘bulletproof’! Plus, the resizing-down limit on this design was 4.62”, which was still too big for this hoop and my towel.

Screenshots showing the results of resizing on the Brother Luminaire XP

Resizing shrinks the design with virtually no change in stitch count

So I swapped to Rescaling and then easily shrunk the design down to 3½”. The Luminaire allows me to reduce it further, but this was what I wanted. And remember, the original design was 16546 stitches; rescaling it reduced the stitch count to 10362 stitches and a stitching time of 17 minutes! Wow!

Screenshots showing the process and stats of rescaling; Brother Luminaire XP

Rescaling returned far more satisfactory numbers

But will that stitch be okay with so much adjustment? If only I could test-stitch it to see, but I only have the one towel.

Well! I found another incredibly cool feature! If you have a Luminaire, you just have to try this for yourself! First go into the embroidery Preview menu, magnify the design, and then select the button near the bottom left corner that looks like a needle with a play arrow.

Screenshots showing the steps to previewing design stitchout on the Brother Luminaire XP

Better than Live Replay, this is Live Pre-Play! Is that a thing?

Pressing the play button shows you the Stitch Simulator, and you can watch your design stitch out on screen before you embroider it yourself! It’s so cool, just a picture won’t do, so I’ve captured a video of this.

How cool is that? You can speed up and slow down the playback as needed, or you can even pause it. It’s not quite the same as a real trial run, but all looked just fine on screen, so cross your fingers for me! And now, on to the Embroidery screen.

I figured that the tea towel would be fairly simple from here on in, but I struggled hooping it. It was one of those things where I just couldn’t seem to get it in straight!

White fabric with the center marked in blue ink, hooped crooked; Brother Luminaire XP

AARGH! One day I’ll get the hang of this hooping thing!

I know, I know—who would know if the cluster was a little crooked? I mean, it’s not like it’s lettering, right? But by now it was a matter of principle. And yet… did you know that the Luminaire has a handy helper for the hooping-challenged? It’s a snowman! I bet you’re saying, what the heck—a snowman? In August? I wondered that myself, seeing the little snowman sticker sheet nearby. But here’s the deal – the snowman helps the Luminaire to see the correct orientation of the design. I just lined a snowman sticker up with my positioning markers like this…

 A snowman-shaped embroidery positioning sticker in place on white fabric; Brother Luminaire XP!

I don’t think Frosty is as helpful as this little snowman!

… and the Luminaire scanned it and precisely adjusted the design position and rotation to match my marks! So cool! You just have to try it to see for yourself!

From here on in, it really was clear sailing, er, sewing. Embroidering. And I’m getting pretty good at changing out the threads, LOL. After my pillow mishaps the other day, I sure know what to look for! Anyhow, isn’t this a fresh and pretty, um, kitchen-y design, perfect for a tea towel? Suddenly, though, I understand the ‘it’s too pretty to use’ sentiment. So I guess it remains to be seen… will I use it or is it just for show?

A picture of a folded tea towel, embroidered with a cluster of lemons and leaves; Brother Luminaire XP

My embroidered tea towel

Speaking of ‘just for show’, tomorrow’s project is one of those. Unlike my tea towel, it’s actually meant to be. It has no real practical function, it’s just a whimsical little ornament easy enough to make that you might be tempted to make several to switch out as the mood strikes. And of course, we’ll just have to throw in some little tidbits to show off some more nifty features of the Brother Luminaire XP… Will you join me tomorrow?

This is part 3 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 2: Embroidering preserve jar covers with the Brother Luminaire XP

Go to part 4: Get into ‘cottagecore’ with hoop-framed faux embroidery decor


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