Making doll faces in Studio

Today while making a doll face in Embird Studio from an image that my daughter drew for me I used a command that may come in handy for you sometime.

I was creating the following face for a doll that my daughter wants to make for her baby girl who is due in February 2011.

I created the lips using the Column Tool. It was really easy to get the top lip and bottom lip created as one object.

Using the Column Tool, Edge Mode B, I selected the Sample Number 9 – the one with the stitch points running through the middle of the column stitch.

I just created the column in the normal manner and the division for the top and botom lip formed when I generated the stitches.

Lastly I used the Auto Outline feature to add an outline around the lips.

So that’s something for you to consider when you are creating mouths – or any column shape that needs a division in it. Check out the Sample patterns in the drop down box first to see if any of them suit the project that you are digitising.

At last…..a new Embird Club lesson


I have found the time to sit and write a small Embird Club lesson. I have uploaded it to Secrets of Embroidery and as soon as they have processed it they will notify my Embird Club members that it is ready to download.

The new lesson covers a new feature in Embird Editor for Embird 2010 Build 8.8. There are a lot of new features and if any of them are not covered in my Embird tutorial or even my Studio tutorial I will write about them as soon as I can. You know – Embird always has little surprises in every version they release. Quite often I have discovered a feature that takes me by surprise. I have been known to chatter to myself (I am such good company for myself :)) and you might hear me say “Now when did that feature appear” or “Ooops, I haven’t seen that function before” or “Oh, look at that”. I am sure you do the same at times….

Anyway – when I find something that I think that you must know about I will write about it.

One thing I know that has been added is the “Center Crosshairs” in Studio in the Transformations screen. That is a very new addition and even missed getting in my tutorial but I am going to do a small lesson covering it shortly anyway. It’s very easy to do. Just click on the Center icon and the crosshairs will be centered. It makes creating those designs so easy…..No more guesswork!

Well that’s enough for me today. I think that I have posted enough blogs for the last few days – of course, that’s really due to the fact that we have a new and exciting version of Embird and Studio – at last! It was worth waitng for , wasn’t it?

Embird Cross Stitch as promised…..

In my last blog I mentioned that I would show you some Embird Cross Stitch designs that I quickly created in the program. From time to time I hear negative comments about Cross Stitch and I just wanted to dispel any myths that Cross Stitch is either hard to do or not interesting. Years ago I probably thought along those lines, to be fair, but that was before I used Embird Cross Stitch. You see, I had never been a cross stitch fan particularly either – particularly the hand stitching variety.

That was until I used Embird’s Cross Stitch. I had tried some other brands of electronic cross stitch but was suitably un-impressed with the results. Probably the best many years ago was a program created by a gentleman called Uli for his mother – which was, for a long time, free to download on the internet for anyone who wanted the program. But as free things go (as we all know) they are likely to be abused and some unscrupulous people downloaded and on-sold Uli’s program. As all good things must, the free downloads ended. And the program – so I am told – was purchased by one of the big machine companies and re-branded.

However all was not lost and Embird eventually developed their own cross stitch program. That is when I decided to teach myself the program. I suddenly took an interest in Cross Stitch magazines and discovered that there was a wonderful world of patterns out there just begging to be stitched. That was the beginning of my Cross Stitch magazine and book collection. (otherwise known as addiction!!)

Here’s a little sample of a design I created yesterday – Pretty isn’t she?

Along the journey of my learning curve it was pointed out to me by a very close neighbour ( a lovely Australian lady) who happened to have a passion for all things Cross Stitch, that you could also do Blackwork in the program. So there became another branch to my learning – and more expense – as I started buying books on Blackwork as well. 🙂 I dont think that I have ever had so many magazines and books on my credit card!!

Anyway – just to demonstrate to you that you can do nice designs and photos and Blackwork in Cross Stitch I sat down at my computer and had a little relaxing play with Cross Stitch with no other purpose in mind but to show you how “cool” this program is. The designs that I created did not take me very long to make – in fact thay are actually quicker ,by far, than digitising in Studio (after you know what you are doing, of course – but you also need to know what you are doing in Studio in order to create a design as well. :))


All of the above designs have been created by myself in Embird Cross Stitch in my “leisure time” (what is leisure time – LOL!!) between yesterday and today. The designs were created in between looking after my two young grandsons while their mum was sick for the day. Now, as anyone knows, looking after two little boys between the age of 2 years and 4 years is no picnic on a wet day when you are confined indoors! I mention this only to demonstrate how easy it is to use Cross Stitch and do other things as well. Pick me up after a day with the 2 year old though! Goodness, I felt my age!!

Anyway – Embird Cross Stitch is a very impressive program. I highly recommend it, as I do all Embird programs. It’s not hard to learn and is very relaxing to use. By the way, the photo of Mishy (the dog) is auto-digtitised from her photo in Embird Cross Stitch.

What are your thoughts now? Impressed? I hope so!

Until next time! Carolyn

Font Engine is so much fun…

This week I have been working on updating my Font Engine tutorial so that the tutorial is current once more with the next Embird when it is finally  released.

As always I cannot resist playing around with Font Engine and making embroidered objects that aren’t lettering objects. It all started when I downloaded some fonts from They have a lot of free fonts – and especially Ding Bat fonts.

Ding Bat fonts can be used for making little  designs. Most of the time I need to manipulate the design a little but it is not hard to do. So I made myself a Bookmark.

The bookmark – shown above – was created in Embird Editor using Font Engine.

I downloaded a font to my fonts folder called Ornamenter 3.

In Font Engine I directed Embird to this folder and then selected the above Ding Bat. Once selected I chose the size and stitch type (Auto Column with Pattern in Parameters/No Outline) in the Properties TAB and clicked OK.

The stitches generated and I had a plain object on my Design Page.

Next I returned to Font Engine once more and, using the same Ding Bat, I created the same object once again but with the Negative shortcut selected on the Insert screen of Font Engine.

 I used Plain Fill, No Outline and then changed the Parameters to Wave -35 and -35, 90 degree fill, density 15 and deselected any underlay.

 I clicked OK to place the object onto the Design Page. This was the result after I split away the outside border and changed the color of the object to pink. It doesnt look up to much does it? But wait…….

Next I used the Free Hand selection tool and split apart the pink objects and changed their colors to those shown in the first image. I changed the Sewing Order so that the inner objects stitched first.

Then I opened Font Engine once more and choose a Font that would work for a satin border. I deselected the Negative option im the Insert screen. Join all the objects, save and stitch! This is the final result. A quick and instant bookmark.

This design took such a short time to make. It took me far longer to decide on the Font than it took to actually make the design.

If you own Font Engine don’t just think of it for creating lettering. Font Engine is so much more than that. You can make some great little designs for yourself very quickly and easily.

I highly recommend Font Engine, if you do not already own it  – as I do all of Embird’s fabulous programs.

Some time soon I will show you some great stuff from Embird Cross Stitch as well – as soon as I have the time!

Now I had better get back to my work…..

Anyone would think that I was back in Amsterdam….

Last year Philip, and I along with our good friends, had a wonderful holiday in the Netherlands for two weeks. We did an organized bicycle trip on Dutch bikes around Northern Holland.

We had a fabulous time and were really impressed with how “bicycle friendly” the Netherlands were. Now, I am a reasonable recent convert to bicycling (being a somewhat retired jogger -although I never say never again) and I really love it. Cycling is much easier on the limbs than jogging and you get to see so much – especially on the sort of bike that I like to ride – the upright type. You know – the sort of bike that we rode when we were kids. Sigh…

By the time we came home I was hooked on cycling. Philip has always ridden a bike so he was already keen on biking but I was a relative newbie – although I had ridden a bike when I was much younger. Now I started to look at bikes and places to ride and felt that New Zealand was a long way behind certain European countries. However, time changes everything and now cycling seems to be taking off in our country. There is much more awareness of this mode of Lose Weight Exercise/transport. After taking a greater interest in cycle paths and cycle ways I discovered that in New Zealand – and particularly Auckland – there are far more safe places to ride than I had realized. I am now taking advantage of the great cycle paths that have been created for us to use and would love to see loads more people – especially those my age – take up this lovely gentle way of riding. No lycra please. 🙂

Anyway – I digress!! Last weekend one of our major highways was due to open a new multi million dollar bridge. But before it was officially opened to “CARS” anyone walking or cycling was allowed to ride on it for a few hours. So Philip and I rode our bikes down the side of the South Western Motorway and along to the new bridge.

I have the camera – Philip rides!!!

We had a lovely time riding over the new Mangere bridge.

There were cyclist of all shapes and sizes -and bikes – out in force – even a uni-cyclist!.

This will be the first and last time that we will ever be able to cross it on a bike and we took the opportunity to cross the bridge on our bikes. It was a wonderful day and there were so many cyclists out enjoying this unique opportunity that at one stage I could almost believe that we were back in Amsterdam!

Anyway – now I am sure that you would like an update on Embird etc. This morning we received another notification to download the latest beta version. Hopefully they are getting close to releasing the next wonderful update to Studio and Embird. The majority of the changes are to Studio and, as I have mentioned a number of times already, there are some wonderful new additions to come.

Also – anyone who has purchased and downloaded my latest Studio tutorial – if you do not like the Copyright image on the 45 degree angle in your tutorial you are welcome to download the tutorial again. I have had the watermark replaced so that it only shows at the bottom of the tutorial now – much smaller and also lighter in color. The larger watermark was an over-sight and it was not noticed in the first few downloads. My apologies – but anyone affected can log into Secrets of Embroidery under My Secrets and get another copy with the smaller and lighter watermark. Sadly, watermarks are a sign of the times – but the replaced one is much better.

Now that I have finished my Studio tutorial my next task will be to update my Font Engine tutorial so that it is current with the latest Font Engine version. And of course – to ride my bike. Now that the weather in New Zealand is climbing out of Winter I might have more time to ride my bike. Yahoo!!

Till next time…..