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Monday, October 20, 2014

EQStitch Tutorial - Part Two -- Seasonal Design - Halloween Theme: Witches Hat and Text

Today I'm sharing an EQStitch Tutorial for those that have EQStitch, an add-on software program for EQ7 users.  This is also the 2nd part to the previous tutorial where we created a witches hat that will be combined with text in this tutorial. 

First, I want to ask if you complete this tutorial and have any feedback I hope you will email me email address copyor leave a comment.  I will happily incorporate feedback into this tutorial, hoping to make it clearer in content and easier to follow.  But please let me know specifically which steps you have problems with and any particulars that can help me make appropriate changes.  

EQStitch is easy to use and you can use most fonts that you have on your computer (but not all make for good machine embroidery designs and some can't be digitized within various embroidery software packages).  The functionality in EQStitch is quite robust, so I want to encourage all EQ users that enjoy machine embroidery to play and create.  Possibilities are endless.

EQStitch comes with an online Help, Lessons and Video Tutorials that I highly recommend you take advantage of.  For text, here are a few resources that help you learn how to digitized text for machine embroidery:

Help Page  "5 Tips on using the Text Tool
Help Page "How do I use text in my design"
Lesson 5, for EQStitch, Using the Text Tool
Tutorial video, for EQStitch, 14 Use the Text Tool

For purposes of the tutorial, which I'm sharing with you today, we will focus on learning the "basics" of creating text, as well as how to combine a text design with the witches hat design, created in part 1 of this seasonal tutorial.  We'll also learn a few tips on sizing your design for a particular project.

There are endless possibilities for how you can layout text in machine embroidery using EQStitch:

More advanced EQStitch users can use the Text Tool (and other tools) to create text on curved lines, vertical text, straight line, monograms and more.

In addition to being quite flexible for how you want to layout your text in EQStitch, there are also many other ways you can use text to create a unique design:
-         different size text and different fonts
-         different colors
-         designs based on wingdings
-         freehand drawing of text
-         trace an image of a signature, or other handwriting
-         shaded fonts

The possibilities are endless and can be great fun to add text to your designs, create quilt labels, WordArt, Inspirational Quotes, Monograms, Names, Machine Applique’ Text, Banners, and so much more.

While not every font can be digitized (e.g. not all wingdings work), or work for a specific project.  For example, a fine line font may look cute when designing, but gets lost when stitched on terry cloth or some knits.  Thus, I encourage you to do a test stitch out first of the font you are considering and next your actual project.  Overtime, you’ll form your own opinion on your favorite fonts for machine embroidery and what type of materials each font works best with.

Machine embroidery digitizing software will allow you to edit your text message, during the design process, but each software package can have a different approach when designing text.  EQStitch treats the font as a patch, which can be filled with stitching, or even applique’ and once you convert your text to a patch, you can not edit your text message, but you can edit the shape of each letter, Edge and Fill Settings, Color and more.  Plus, the ability to save your designs to a custom library makes EQStitch very easy for using previously created designs, as well as combining designs.

Once you have your text message ready, EQStitch is quite easy to use to edit the shape as you digitize ( (e.g move the nodes of a patch to alter the the shape, the angle, etc.). 

I hope you’ll follow along with me, and use this tutorial to ultimately add text to the witches hat we previously created in part one of this tutorial.  While, we are going to do some basic text digitizing, we’ll build on this exercise with future tutorials that I plan to share.  Of course, as always, I’d appreciate your feedback on this tutorial as I’d be happy to make changes to make it easier to use, as well as feedback on how you would like help with text that I will try to incorporate into future tutorials.  As such, feel free to leave a comment on this blog post or email me directly.
I also hope this tutorial will inspire you to have fun and create with EQStitch, as the possibilities are endless.  Now, let’s begin with part 2 of this seasonal tutorial for the Witches Hat with text.

STEP 1: Restore Default Settings
Open EQStitch

Reset your EQStitch settings to default settings, to ensure we are using the same settings in our software:

Cancel any prompts that may ask you to create a new file, or open an existing file.

Click FILE > PREFERENCES>RESTORE and click the RESTORE DEFAULT SETTINGS button.  This will result in prompting you to close and restart EQStitch.  Click OK to confirm.

STEP 2: Open Project File for the Witches Hat with Text Tutorial

Open EQStitch:  Double click the EQStitch icon on your desktop.  The Tip of the Day box will appear, but click CLOSE, as appropriate.

In the Project Helper box, click OPEN AN EXISTING PROJECT and click the name of the project for Part 1 of this tutorial (LESSON WITCHES HAT).  Click OK.

STEP 3: Define your Drawing Board and Hoop parameters
On the top toolbar, click the WORK ON STITCHING button.  

Click STITCHING>NEW DESIGN>EMBROIDERY.  You will see three tabs along the bottom of the screen:  Tracing Image tab is for creating designs traced from an image (e.g. clipart, photo, scan of your drawing, etc).  The Artwork tab is where the drawing of your design will occur. You will select thread color and stitch properties on the Stitch tab. 

On the top menu bar, click on STITCHING=>DRAWINGBOARD AND HOOP SETUP.  Or on the Precision Bar,  click the last button on the right, which is for More Drawing Board Options.  

In the General options, the Hoop Size box will allow you to select the brand of embroidery machine and hoop size you will use for your machine and hoops.  If your hoop size is not included in one of the Standard Hoop Size options, you can define your hoop size using the Custom Hoop Size option.  For oval hoops, you’ll simply need to define an area that can be stitched within your hoop size.  To verify, you can print the design and then place the printout inside of your actual hoop that you plan to use.  

Note:  The hoop size you select will become the area you can use to draw your design in using EQStitch.  It helps you to size your design to the actual hoop size you may wish to stitch it out in. But as you save files to a Custom Library, for future use, you will once again be able to quickly adjust the size of your design for your hoop size.  Just remember that it is always best to set  your hoop size at the beginning of any project vs after digitizing it, as changing a hoop size can change the size of your design (and may need to manually make changes to the size again).

After you make your selection, click OK.  While these selections vary, based on your machine and hoops that you may have, for this exercise, here are my settings that which I will use to start this exercise (I'll intentionally change them later, as part of this exercise so you can also learn the implications of making a change during your design process).

WARNING:  Changing your hoop size after you have created your design can change the size of your design.   Also, items that may be copied to your clipboard are erased when you change your hoop size, so it is best to make these changes at the start of your project. There are steps you can take to ensure this does not cause a problem with how you may wish to stitch out a design, but it is best to initially setup your Drawing Board and Hoop Setup options before you begin creating your design in EQStitch.

While on the Drawing Board and Hoop Setup, click on EMBROIDERY EDGE SETTINGS and select RUN STITCH for the Edge Style.  Set Edge Length to 2.5 vs the 3.0 default.         

While still on the Drawing Board and Hoop Setup, click on the EMBROIDERY FILL SETTINGS and select BRICK WALL for the Fill Settings.

Click OK.        

STEP 4: Prepare for Text

Click on the Artwork Tab on the bottom.

First, we will need to enable the Text tool

on the Drawing Tools menu, as our software has been restored to default settings, which do not include certain tools.

Click the CUSTOMIZE button
at the bottom of the Drawing Tools menu and then click ADD/REMOVE and a menu box will appear.

Click the TEXT tool, to check it.  Click anywhere on the ARTWORK tab to close the menu box.  You now have the text tool on your Drawing tool menu.

STEP 5 Create Text

On the Artwork Tab

Click on the Text tool 

Click in the upper left area of your Artwork table and using the click, hold, drag and release with your left mouse draw a box.

Use your mouse to grab the nodes of this box to enlarge, as appropriate.  Click, hold and drag various nodes, until your text box covers the majority of the area that will fit within your hoop.  This creates the canvas for typing text in EQStitch.  You can create a unique box for each font that you may want to use, but in this tutorial we will use the same font for the entire text.

Click twice inside the box to get into typing mode.  A flashing vertical line indicates you are in typing mode.  If this vertical line should disappear, click inside the typing box again.

While inside of this box you can change any of the text options that you wish (e.g. font, size, etc.).    If you exit the edit mode, by being active inside of this box, simply click the text tool bar and double click inside of the box to get back to the mode to edit your text.  You can also edit this mode and change the size of the box by clicking outside of the box, then clicking the pick tool and then clicking on the box.  You can now grab the box and drag corners or sides to change the size, as appropriate.

The text menu bar will appear:

Select the Arial Font and set the size to 18.0mms.

Type the words “I will trick-o-treat for fabric” or “Happy Halloween” or any text you wish to use or your Witches Hat project.

As long as you are in text mode, you will continue to see a flashing bar where ever your mouse is, inside of the  text box.

STEP 6 Convert Text to Patch

Once you have completed typing and formatting your text, you need to return to “select” mode so that you can “convert to patches”.  Click the outline of the text box to get into “select mode”.  The flashing bar inside of the text box will no longer be visible.

Click the convert to patch button

Now you can edit each letter individually or drag a box around a word and edit it.  The text box will now disappear.

STEP 7 Format Text for Stitching

Click on the STITCH  tab.

The text is now ready to set the color.

Click the Set Thread tool
along the right of the screen. The Thread Color palette will display. 

Click on a black thread in the Thread Color palette.

Click the Spray Can Tool

Use your mouse to set the color for the text fill and text outline for your entire text, changing everything to stitch in black.

You may need to use the zoom tools
to zoom in, zoom out, refresh and/or fit to screen as you set the thread color.

STEP 8 Simulate Stitching and make Final Edits

Click the Simulate Stitching tool
Click the play sewing forward button (arrow point righted) to watch your text stitch out online.

This is a good time to make any changes you feel appropriate.
save to sketchbook button
STEP 9 – Save to Library


Click on the text and click the SAVE button, located at the bottom of the Stitching Libraries menu box.

Click on the MY LIBRARY button.  Scroll down to the library you created in Part 1 of this Tutorial, the “Tutorials” and click on the SEASONAL – FALL library to open it. 

Click PASTE to add your text to this library.

Click the SAVE LIBRARY button and CLOSE.

Click your SAVE button 
your design file, as a backup step.  Your text is now in your Custom Library, where you can later use it on future projects, as you wish.

STEP 10 – Combine Witches Hat and Text


and the Project Sketchbook will appear.

Click on the STITCHINGS and the text for the witches hat.  Click EDIT

The text will now appear on your ARTWORK tab.

Use the Pick Tool
to draw a box around all of your text (left mouse, click, hold, drag and release).

Click EDIT, COPY to copy the text. 

view sketchbook edit the withes hat paste

format, as appropriate.

 Click COPY and click CLOSE.

On the Artwork Tab, use the Pick tool to click, hold, drag a box around all of the text.

Use your Pick Tool to draw a box around parts of the text to move them around to how you want them to appear.

Click your SAVE button 
 to backup you design.

Click on the STITCH tab.

Click the SORT THREADS button. 

Use your Simulate Stitching to verify how your design will stitch out, before you send it to your machine.  You may need to reset your thread colors, to ensure you used the same black in both of the designs that you combined.

Click Simulate Stitching > play sewing forward and watch how your design stitches out. If the Simulate Stitching does not stitch out the way you want, you can go back and edit, or repeat this tutorial from the beginning, but it should reflect a good sample stitch out that simply needs to be tested on your project.  Depending on the material you are stitching it out on, you may need to make changes to the underlay, or you may personally want to tweak the design to make it your own.

Step 11 – Finalize the Size of your Design for your project

This is a step that can be applied to any EQStitch project, before you format your design to stitch out on your machine.  As design sizes can change when you change hoop sizes, when you pull a copy of a design from a Library, or combine designs, it can be worthwhile to confirm what overall size your design will stitch out, as well as what the text size of a given letter will stitch out (to ensure it is legible on your project).

For the current Witches Hat and Text, I want to stitch out an overall design that is approximately  4.5x4.5 and text to be approximately 1”. 

Using the ruler, I realized that I should be using a larger hoop for my design, as it was filling the 100mm hoop and would only provide me a 3.75” x  3.75” stitch out.  I went back to my Artwork Tab >Stitching>Drawing Board and Hoop Setup

The hoop options for my machine are:
small hoop:  72x50mm  (2.8”x 1.9”)
medium hoop:  100x130mm (3.9”x5.1”)
large hoop:  145x255 (5.7”x 9.6”)
mega hoop: 150 x 400mm (5.9” x 15.74”)
Jumbo hoop:  260x400 (10.2” x  15.74”

As the project that I want to create, using this design, will best be suited for my Large hoop,  I change my custom hoop settings accordingly.  I now need to use the Ruler tool and Pick tool to change the size of my design to meet my project objectives of stitching out a design approximately  4.5” x 4.5”

And I want each text letter to be at least .50”, or more.

To check your text size, click the RULER tool
and using your mouse (click, hold, drag) you can measure the size of any letter, the overall width and height of your text, etc.  And, you can do this for your overall design. 

If you want to make changes to the size of your text or overall design, you would then use your PICK tool 

 to draw a box around the item you want to change.  You can then click on the nodes of that box to reduce or enlarge your design as you wish.

Using the Ruler Tool, Pick Tool and Zoom tools I was able to fit my design into a hoop that would support my project size, getting a design that will stitch out ~4.5”x4.5” and letters will be about .6”. 

Step 12 – Create Design File for Your Embroidery Machine

To send to your machine:


A box will appear prompting you for information as to where you may want to write this design file, as well as the name and machine file format.  If you are not sure, this is where you may need to pull out your embroidery machine manual.  My personal steps are to save this design file in two places:
1)      first copy I place in the same workgroup that I have for this project on my computer, should I want to make further design changes in the future, incorporate it with other designs, or to simply use it again.  My file path is:  c:\documents\My EQStitch\Tutorial Exercises\

2)      USB which I can insert into my embroidery machine.

Once the export of your file has been completed, an EQStitch pop menu will appear and you simply need to click OK.

Of course, remember to SAVE your EQStitch project file before you exit. 

Again, you need to provide the SAVE IN option the file path where you want to write your file, the FILE NAME, as well as the SAVE AS TYPE that your embroidery machine will need to stitch out the design.  Then click the SAVE option.

The default path for saving projects in EQStitch and EQ7 is the same. It should be \My EQ7\PJ7 \ Witches Hat and Text.

You could stitch this design out for a variety of projects, but I’m thinking of using it on a bag, shirt, and maybe a mugrug.  If you go thru this tutorial and have feedback, please email me or leave a comment.  Of course, I’d also enjoy seeing photos if you stitch this out on your machine.

Happy Digitizing with EQStitch!

You may also want to check out my list of favorite tutorials for EQ software, as there many sources for excellent tutorials that are a great way to plan and learn.

If you are an EQStitch user,   I hope you will follow along with my new series of EQStitch tutorials and have fun,  Feel free to leave a comment or email me   
email address copyif you have any questions or feedback.

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1 comment:

QuiltLaughLove said...

Thanks for doing these tutorials! Will you please add a pic of your stitch out?