I’ve finally had some time to get back to playing with Generations. I needed one last pillowcase. This one had butterfly fabric for the body and I wanted a simple butterfly to add to the name on the cuff.

I started by drawing the a back wing with Create Freehand Shape. My object needed a little tweaking, so I used Adjust with an Arc repeatedly until I had a shape I liked. Then I drew the corresponding front wing the same way, being careful to overlap them slightly. I wanted a black outline to match the style of the fabric. Create Outline from Area Edges did the trick nicely (no wonky points on my original shapes this time), except that I needed to remove the outline where the front wing overlapped the back. I didn’t remove the outline next to the body because I wanted to make sure I didn’t have gaps in this area.

Wings with radial fill. The dot is the point from which the lines radiate.

Wings with radial fill. The dot is the point from which the lines radiate.

Finally, I changed the stitch type to Radial and moved the center to the edge of the wing where it joined the body. I originally had the density set to .40 (the default), but realized after I did a trial run that .60 would be a better choice. .70 also looked acceptable but there were areas near the edges of the wings where the fabric could show through. That could also be an interesting look, but not what I was going for at the time.




Once I had the right side of the body the way I wanted it, I grouped everything, copied and pasted, applied Mirror Vertical, and moved the left half into position, leaving a gap in the middle for the body.  I took a minute to adjust my in and out points, since I often forget this step, and color-sorted what I had so far.

Adjusting the tail.

Adjusting the tail.

I used Create Satin Side-to-Side to draw the body. Then I used Adjust with an Arc to make the tail end a bit more rounded. The trick is to set your adjustment points a little way up into the body. It doesn’t seem to work well if you start right on the corners. The line will look square at first but as soon as you start to drag it, it becomes a curve. If you start even further in, you can create a bulbous end, which is good for the head of the butterfly.

The antennae should be stitched before the body, but I wanted the body in place so I could see where to position them. In order to avoid jump stitches, I drew the first antenna and set it to a single run. I added a satin stitch end (although a spiral might have also been nice), then duplicated the antenna and set it to a double run. I did the same thing for the second antenna. Finally I added an outline around the body, just make sure there were no gaps and to give it a more defined look, arranged everything in a logical order and corrected all the ins and outs.

One nice thing about Generations is that you can resize your designs and Generations will automatically adjust the density, so I wasn’t too concerned about the size of my butterfly when I first started drawing. I ended up shrinking it about 50% to fit my space. I didn’t discover my rookie mistake until I started stitching it on the pillowcase. Ironically, in view of the fact that I’ve been watching the Dr. Who marathon all week, I neglected to (re)generate my design after I scaled it. The exported design still had all the original stitches in only 25% of the area. Thank goodness I had additional fabric.

Half a butterfly

Half a butterfly

While I was writing this, I had one of those aha moments. I didn’t take screen shots while I was designing, so I’ve been reverse engineering my butterfly. This is what was left after I removed the wings, so you get a bonus design. (I wish I’d thought of that when I was making the pillowcase. This little guy would have fit the space much better.




Here’s a link to the zip file containing pes format. Drop me a note if you need other formats and I’ll see what I can do. You are welcome to use these file to make objects for personal use or for sale. You may not resell or distribute the embroidery file. I strongly suggest you do a test stitchout first. Butterflies

Dropbox may ask you to create an account or sign in, but there’s a ‘no thanks’ link that will let you proceed to the download.



Categories: Insects

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