What do you think so far?
The PREMIER+ ECQ software is pretty amazing. I can’t believe how easy it is to use the software and how easy it is to create a design or to modify existing designs.
Yesterday I went over the PREMIER+ ECQ Drawing Tools. Today, I’m exporting a design into the various file formats.
The ladybug is a design from the Design Gallery included in the PREMIER+ ECQ software. I’ve enlarged the ladybug to better fit the canvas size (200mm x 200mm) I’m using. I’ve had to make a few other tweaks to the design to enable it to be exported to the appropriate format. I’ll share those changes as I work through the export process.
Export as a picture
The first format for exporting a file is a picture. I can save the design in a variety of photo formats (*.jpg, *.png are two of the file extensions). When I save the file, I have the option of choosing from various resolutions and quality settings.
So let’s say I created a design and then wanted to include it in some artwork on a website or in a document, exporting the design as a photo would allow me to use it for those purposes.
Embroidery with Fills
The picture below shows what the design will look like when stitched out. There are various file formats for the embroidery file. I’ll be saving mine in the .vp3 format so I can stitch it out on the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2.
There are options when saving the Embroidery with Fill designs. I can select the type of fabric I’m stitching the design on which is important to ensure the stitches are properly digitized. I can also modify the line used to stitch around the shapes.
I chose a quadruple stitching line around the outside of the shapes. The other options include a double line or a satin stitch.
I can’t wait to see how the ladybug stitches out in the various embroidery formats. I used the Imperial Hoop (260mm x 360mm) so I could stitch all three styles of the ladybug design without having to rehoop the fabric.
Bringing the three different embroidery designs into the large interactive touch screen on the Designer EPIC 2 was an easy task.
The ladybug is gorgeous. And it’s big. It measures about 5″ square. The fill pattern looks awesome. I love it.
The second embroidery file I loaded into the hoop on the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2 was the Embroidery Applique file. If you look at the designs on the touch screen on the Designer EPIC 2 above, the middle and bottom designs look the same. But they are not and you’ll soon see why.
The middle design is the Embroidery Applique file and all the stop commands needed to tack down and trim the fabric pieces were inserted into the embroidery file during the export process.
Again, I have several options when creating the export file. I can choose to use precut shapes or I can use the tack down and trim. I can also choose the line style and what kind of fabric I’m embroidering the design on.
I chose the tack down and trim method. In the photo below, the red piece of fabric for the ladybug is being tacked in place. The stop command inserted into the embroidery design will stop the embroidery process and allow me to trim the fabric to the correct shape.
This time, I changed the line surrounding all the shapes to a satin stitch 2.5mm wide. So once all the shapes were tacked and trimmed, the final step was to let the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2 stitch around all the shapes with the satin stitch.
Isn’t this version of the ladybug just adorable? I love it. All it took was a few clicks with the drawing tablet. Super simple and adorable!
The next file format is Embroidered Outlines. WAIT A MINUTE! The page is blank.
Yes, it is. That’s because the ladybug was created with shapes with no lines attached to the shapes. PREMIER+ ECQ is unable to detect the lines surround a shape to create the file. The same thing will happen if I tried to export the ladybug as an Automated Quilting file.
It was a easy to fix the problem. Back to the DRAW tab where I selected all the components of the ladybug and added a line to the shapes. Now when the file is exported as an Embroidery Outline, I get the outline of all the shapes.
As in the previous two examples, I have the option of what kind of line I want to stitch out. I choose a satin stitch in 2.5mm width.
This format would be used on a computerized quilting machine. You may not be familiar with the format, but I can tell by looking at this file that it’s not going to work. Can you see why?
There are several reasons why this wouldn’t work. The stitching lines need to be continuous and the ends of the legs and the antennae are visible inside the body.
I did go back to the Draw tab and easily removed the portion of the legs and antennae that were beneath the red body. However, even doing that, this design will not stitch out properly as the lines are not continuous.
There’s a chart on the ECQ website showing what type of files can be exported to which kind of file format. But as you can see, ECQ is sophisticated enough to allow me to make changes to get around some of the issues.
If I wanted this ladybug design to become a quilting design, I could change the way the circles on the back are positioned so the line becomes continuous. I’m letting this one go and not trying to create a file for automated quilting.
I have to confess my weak area in all this is the digital cutter. I have one, but I’m very inexperienced with it. OK — so I’ve never used it before! I’ll attempt to give it a whirl and see what I come up with. Please note there are probably better ways to make some of this happen, but I just dove in and made it work…. my way.
This is what the file format looks like for the digital cutter file. I have options here as well and can choose lines, fills, or lines and fills. In this case, I chose lines only.
This is the first attempt at using the digital cutter. The cutter cut what it saw. So while technically, this worked, this is not really what I want. However, I could have used the drawing pen on the digital cutter and had the digital cutter draw the ladybug on the paper.
I went back to PREMIER+ ECQ and pulled the shapes of the ladybug apart and separated the black shapes from the red shapes.
Then I cheated since I didn’t want to create two files and I used two different colors of cardstock and loaded them both onto the mat.
Was this the best way? It was the way I could get it to work quickly. I see I have some learning ahead of me for working with the .svg file format for the digital cutter.
It doesn’t matter – I made it work and that made me very happy! Not bad for the first time at using a digital cutter.
Then I took all the shapes and glued them onto a piece of green cardstock! Voilà! I got my ladybug.
And it looks awesome! The paper version is the same size as the embroidery stitch-outs.
I could have combined some of the shapes so they were cut as one unit (like the two red parts and the big black spot on the back). That’s for the next learning session.
Here are my four different designs. Don’t they look amazing?
Isn’t that impressive? I’m thrilled with my results, especially considering I’ve never used a digital cutter before.
What I especially love about the PREMIER+ ECQ software is it’s pretty darn easy to learn, it’s a snap to export to the various file formats, there are loads of options for each format and the results are super impressive!
I can’t wait to try more stuff. Come back tomorrow where I’ll be playing with one more of my files to see what the results will be.
Have a super day!