How to Digitize an Embossed Monogram in Embrilliance StitchArtist
Digitizing an embossed monogram is so easy in Embrilliance StitchArtist. You can truly whip one up in minutes with these simple steps.
Whether you prefer to watch a YouTube video or read a blog post, I've got you covered here! Watch here or continue reading.
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To follow along, you'll need Embrilliance StitchArtist Level 1. I do have all the modules installed so if your version looks different, that's probably why.
This is version 1.48, which at this time is a preview version. I like living on the edge! You won't need any artwork for this because we're going to use a shape that comes built in and we'll pick a font using the Add TT font art feature.
Perfect for Personalizing!
Embossed monograms are great on towels or other thick fluffy kinds of fabric like fleece or maybe some faux sherpa. Monograms are the perfect way to customize an item and this technique is perfect for quick, last minute gifts.
Embossing works by stitching a mesh grid of stitches around the letter and leaving the letter open. You want to select a font that is bold or has thick strokes.
The letter itself won't be stitched, instead a mesh of stitches will be placed around it to mat down the fabric allow the fabric to puff up within the letter. Skinny letters, like skinny people, just aren't very fluffy!
The font I've chosen for this sample works best when the letter is quite large because its stroke goes from thick to very thin, so it may not be the best choice for this technique.
In Embrilliance StitchArtist
So lets get started and see how to reproduce this design with a more suitable font. Open Embrilliance and set your hoop to 100 x 100. I like to work with a hoop image because it gives me perspective.
Click on the Create button to go into StitchArtist mode. I have Levels 1 and 2 installed and you can do this is Level 1.
Create the Artwork
Most digitizing is done over artwork so we need to make some. We'll start by going to the Library and selecting a frame for our monogram.
I found one I likes in the Shields group, number 19. Select it and click OK. Let's enlarge it a bit. By holding down the Shift key while dragging on a resize node, the shape maintain the proportions and size from the center out.
Now I need to add a letter for my monogram. Click on the Add TrueType art button and you'll get a list of the TrueType fonts installed on your system.
I'm a font junkie so I have a bunch. Fonts like Calamity Jane look fun but they're just too thin for this technique. I'll pick Bookman Old Style for this sample.
Notice that for this font, I have options for styles. Not all fonts will have options. Select the text, type in your letter, select Bold, and click OK.
The letter comes in at about an inch high so we'll need to enlarge it. Hold down the shift key and drag a corner to resize. Just eyeball it.
Cut the Letter out of the Frame to Make a Void (Hole)
On the Objects pane, there are two objects: our frame and the letter. We need to combine these so that when we add stitches, the letter will create a hole or void in the middle.
Select the two objects, I'll just do Cmd-A to select all since I don't have any other items on my screen. From the Create menu, choose Outline > Combine Holes. Notice on the Objects Pane, our art has been combined into one piece.
Add the Stitches!
Now we have our art prepared and we're ready to add stitches!
With the object selected, click on the Freestanding Lace or Quilted Fill button. Voila! Our background fill is created!
You do want to make sure the stitch properties are set to Single and not Double. It won't hurt anything if you have double selected but it will double your stitch count because it will do two passes.
This would be the setting for making a mesh background fill for free-standing lace of the kind I call "instant lace" as opposed to the more traditional style of lace.
Add Some Satin Borders
Now lets add a satin border on the frame. With your design selected, copy and paste. It may look like nothing's happened but if we check the Object Pane, we'll see a second copy. While it's still selected, we want to remove the stitches and separate the pieces.
To remove stitches, click on the Artwork with no stitches (see the toolbar image above). which will convert the object back to plain artwork. Then, with the artwork selected go to the Create menu and choose Outline > Separate Holes.
To make sure they're now two objects, click on the arrow (technically known as the disclosure icon) on the Objects Pane and notice there are once again two pieces.
Select the border artwork, and then click on Satin Border on the Create toolbar. On the Properties Pane, set the width to 2.5. When sewing on terrycloth, it's often good to have extra underlay to keep the loops from coming up through the stitches.
Let's tick the Parallel box. Free-standing is for lace and would just be too much stitching. With this amount of underlay, I often back off the upper density a bit so lets do that now. I'll set it to 4.5.
Our design is looking pretty good. Let's add a second border.
With the satin border selected, copy and paste and then resize while holding down the shift key. This new border will have all the same properties as the first one.
Add a Finishing Touch
Our letter is nice and bold so maybe we'd like to add a border there too. Select the letter in the Objects Pane, then click Satin Border.
I'm going to change that border width down to 2..0 and leave the underlay at just edge and zigzag since it's narrower. The narrower border looks better than the wider one and varying border widths adds more interest to the design.
If you like, you could change one of the frame border widths as well. I wouldn't go below 2.0 for a towel, especially on the outer border because it would just get lost in the loops.
So there's our embossed monogram! Walk through the steps yourself and you'll see that after a few, you can do these very quickly. In fact, you'll probably spend more time choosing the font than creating the stitches!
Be sure to test your design before sewing it on your project. And when you test, watch it sew from start to finish. The Stitch Simulator in Embrilliance gives you a good preview but you really need to see it sew to make sure.
Once you've mastered the basics, you can try your hand at multiple letters or letters that have voids within them, such as the "B" shown below. I'll challenge you to work this one out or just watch the sequel to the first video:
About the Author
Lindee Goodall is a veteran master digitizer who's won awards for her beautiful designs, been a guest on numerous PBS sewing shows, written articles for a variety of home and industry related magazines, and is a Craftsy instructor.
Lindee G Embroidery is her second company, following Cactus Punch, which was founded in 1994.