The Ins and Outs of Digitizing

You may have noticed that I took down the Getting Old files because the 4×4 didn’t stitch out well at all. I didn’t expect it to, since all I had done was scale the 5×7 and it really needed to be simplified for the smaller hoop.

I started over with the original artwork and removed some of the lines in the tombstone. The tombstone had actually stitched okay in the 4×4, but the lines on the right were so close together that it looked like I was trying to make it solid black and had done a bad job. Then I tackled the lettering.

OLD and HELL were big enough to do in satin stitch, but for the rest I generated them with the text tool, then created line from area to change them to a triple run. after which I deleted the satin letters. Interestingly, Generations still recognized the triple run as text and I could edit it just like before. However, if I changed a letter in the update text box and generated, everything on that line reverted to the satin stitch. Generating after moving a letter or changing the in or out didn’t revert to satin.

I learned a lot about jump stitches in this project. Jump stitches are a pain. The allure of a machine that would cut jump stitches (although it won’t cut the tiny ones in this design) was the main reason I upgraded from my PE 770. Okay, yes, the bigger hoop was also important.

Each object in an embroidery file has an ‘in’ and an ‘out’. These are exactly what you would expect. The ‘in’ is the place the stitching starts. The ‘out’ is the place where it ends. When you hand draw an object, Generations sets the in and out according to some magical algorithm and it generally does a pretty good job. However, sometimes the ins and outs need to be adjusted to optimize the jump stitches, and also to eliminate that funny line you occasionally see in designs.

I’ve decided that jump stitches are partially a judgement call and you won’t make everyone happy. Some people want to remove all of them, so they would prefer a longer jump stitch. Some people want the tiniest jump stitches possible so they can leave them in. I can understand both points of view. If you’re trying to make a living from your embroidery, it may not be cost-effective to spend time cutting a bunch of jump stitches.

Then there are the physical limitations of working with thread. I spent about an hour moving the ins and outs to try to improve the jump stitches. On some letters, it was no problem. On others, the jump stitch refused to move no matter what I did, probably because these letters are so small that the ties are interfering.

I got some good advice from one of the teachers at You Can Digitize (thanks, Maria!). If I had more time (or if I were selling these files), I’d manually move the stitches until I got things the way I wanted them.  For now, here’s the corrected file. The 5x7s are about the same as the original ones, but I moved some of the jumps. The 4×4 should stitch better. I know the jumps aren’t ideal, but … it could be worse!


Getting Older 4x4

Getting Older 4×4 showing jump stitches

Many thanks to Liz Szabo and Brinda Tillery for testing these files for me.

I’ve cleaned up some of the jump stitches shown in the photo, but there are still quite a few. (I just realized I also took that photo at an angle. The design doesn’t taper like the picture.) If your machine doesn’t cut jumps, there will be long ones between each of the rows.

Here is a link to the files in exp, jef, pes, xxx and vp3. 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 files. I strongly suggest you do a test stitch out first.

Getting Old

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.

If you are having trouble downloading from the Facebook app, please see Downloading Files.

Please leave a comment if you find a problem with any of the files so I can make corrections.

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Categories: Digitizing, Text

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  1. Getting Older – My Digitizing Journey

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