I have thoroughly enjoyed learning the basics of Digital Stitch and look forward to what the future holds for my designs and how they can be translated through this incredible digital process.
Learning to scan, upload and manipulate an image to create a digital blueprint has been an eyeopener. I didn’t quite realise the mathematics behind trying to create a like for like image of the image to be digitally stitched. The point-mapping of the uploaded image can dictate the grain, thickness, quality, and structure of the stitch.
The 3 Day Workshop allowed me to get to grips with the basics; one of my simple linear Rose observational studies was uploaded to a memory stick ready to be translated digitally. The digital software used was Digitizer MBX, specifically using the Easy Design programme. Once my image had been uploaded into the Easy Design programme I shrank the image to fit within the digital ‘hoop’ (red outline) and began by choosing a Triple Line Stitch. Painstakingly, I had to fix points around the whole image; a left click of the mouse for a straight line and a right click to create curves between each point (especially useful for the organic structure of the Rose). Pressing Enter after mapping a certain area allowed me to see how the stitch would eventually look.
Throughout the mapping process, I removed the background image to give an oversight of what areas to improve on or remove. Once the point mapping was complete I was ready to save my design, which initially was a .jan file. Secondly, I then had to eject my USB from my computer and insert it into the digital sewing machine, using a Janome MC200e, making sure the USB is inserted into the port before turning on the power. Next, I made sure to select the USB symbol on the interactive screen and then selecting a folder called EMB and then another named EMBF. The machine was then switched off, USB ejected and reinserted into my computer and the .jan file opened. The design was then saved as a.jef file. I was now ready to place the USB back into the Janome and begin my first foray into Digital Stitch.
Before attempting any stitch work I was given a sample of fabric and some adhesive backing paper which was ironed to bond. Once fabric and the backing paper had cooled I fixed them between a digital embroidery hoop, and thread the thread (chosen colour) through the machine.
This design was taken from my linear Rose drawing. I utilised, on Maggie’s recommendation, a Triple Line Stitch. Maggie did warn me prior not to map the points too close together otherwise the stitch would become too tightly bound, which unfortunately is what happened with my first sample. The Rose took 21 minutes to create. I really love the sample but learnt that to create a far more fluid and even stitch I would have to become super aware of how frequently I map the lines.
On my second attempt, I decided to use a Single Line Stitch. Maggie informed me that the line would be a lot thinner but hopefully should resolve the issue of being too tightly bound (no unsightly white thread this time from the bobbin). I even decided to change the colour to a wondrous Teal, a colour in which I readily use within my collection.
Wow!!! The Single Line Stitch looks fantastic, and the colour is incredible too. There was something so mesmeric about watching a machine copy something that I had created by my own hand. This sample only took 8minutes to create.
As I had around 20minutes left I decided to create a couple of extra samples choosing specifically a multi-tonal blue thread, which Maggie explained to me would offer a varied and dimensional effect, no two ever being the same.
The end result was beautiful, reminding me of liquid ink. I have always loved the interplay between Blue and White but the subtle impact of thread and design together allows me to think of the incredible possibilities that could be created from such a simple process, idea, and concept.