Embird and Cut files and my nine lives

May 3rd, 2015

A month or so ago Embird released its latest version (a free update for Embird 2015 users) that now creates cut files for the Cameo Silhouette (svg files) and the Brother Scan and Cut so that you can send those files to your machine and have them cut the files. I haven’t had a chance to play with this new command yet but I have heard that there are still little glitches with it. Like anything it takes time for something new to run smoothly. As soon as I can I will have a play and see how I get on with it. However for those interested I do have a lesson available at Secrets of Embroidery that shows you how to use the Silhouette Cameo in both Embird Editor and Embird Studio that will create the correct files for you. I wrote this lesson last year before the latest release of Embird and this method still applies.

Now, here is the reason that I have not had time to play with the latest version of Embird. On April 1st (Aprils Fools Day) 2015 I suffered a stroke. I will not forget Aprils Fools Day ever. It certainly was no joke! I had been out to dinner with my hubby and we walked home – about 500 meters – and when I reached home I didn’t feel well at all. I thought I’d got food poisoning as I had a stinking headache and felt really sick. My neck was aching and I couldn’t stand the lights on in the house nor any noise. I went to bed but got up again and started vomiting. This happened again during the night and the next morning, when my headache hadn’t gone away (I don’t generally suffer from headaches) I decided to check it out with my doctor as we were about to go away for two weeks holiday. I walked to the doctors surgery and didn’t come home for two weeks. The doctor checked me over and called an ambulance. I was rushed to hospital, had an MRI and then operated on the next day. It was a subarachnoid haemorrhage. The surgeon told us that approximately 50% of people do not survive. I had a lot of people praying for me and I am sure that’s why I made it through.  And of course, the surgeons skills.

I remained in hospital for two weeks while they waited for the danger period to pass. It was so nice to go home after I was released. But I was told not to drive my car for six months and I have to have another MRI after six months as well. My mother, her cousin and her cousins mother also had the same condition so it is apparently hereditary and now my children need to be screened as well to see if they have the same condition. Genetics, eh?

Anyway I was very fortunate as I had no signs of  any long lasting effect. No speech problems or any paralysis at all. Very lucky. I have 23cm of coils in my head to clip off the blood vessels to prevent any further bleeding from that area and I’ve also got to have a 30 minute nap every day to refresh my brain. I think I escaped very lightly and now that I’m in “the system” I will be checked regularly for further problems. Its taking me a while to get going and working on the computer is a bit tiring but I’m doing my best.

Keep me in your prayers please. I really appreciate your prayers and kind wishes.

On a lighter note I’m down to seven lives now as I’ve lost two of my nine lives so far. After escaping that rock fall last year while walking and now the stroke this year I’m down two lives. But I figured that two down after 65 years I should make it through okay. :)

 

Take care everyone –

 

I cannot believe that a whole year has gone by…..

February 16th, 2015

Dearie me,

The older I get the faster the time goes by! Anyone else notice that?? I cannot believe that’s its been a whole year since I last wrote a post. So much has happened!

My grand-daughter who turned three in my last post is now four years old and will be starting school at the beginning of the year 2016. Here is what my grand-children look like now. How they have grown! Ben has the green shirt on. he is nine years old now! Jack – 3 years – (blue shirt)and Daisy- 1 year -(red dress – which I made) are brother and sister and are the children of my son. And Ben-9-, Henry -7-(grey shirt) and Casey -almost 4 – (blue and white dress- which I also made) are my oldest daughter’s children. And lastly is Ruben -14- at the back in the white shirt – is my youngest daughters stepson – my lovely oldest grandson. I’m so proud of them all. Christmas

But if you’re reading this to just find out about Embird then I will disappoint you once again because, even though there have been updates to Embird and small additions and alterations, none of the eagerly anticipated BIG changes have yet taken place. We are still waiting for Mac integration. But all good things take time and I’m sure that the Embird “boys” are working very hard on making the Mac thing happen. Just like those eagerly anticipated presents at Christmas, we’ll just have to wait. But knowing my past predictions, I’ll only have to say this and lo and behold in a few days the new versions will most likely be released. Just when we weren’t expecting it. That’ll be my luck! But rest assure we haven’t even had a beta version to test yet so I don’t think my theory will hold much water. :) I think it will be a while longer before we get out hands on a Mac version!

However if you are an Embird Cross Stitch user I can tell you that there is currently a glitch in the Program which will be fixed in the next update. Cross Stitch is currently not allowing you to open your saved Cross Stitch designs – ECF – in the program to make any changes. Ladislav is aware of this and will fix the issue.

Here’s a little sewing/embroidery project that I completed before Christmas for my last grandchild – Daisy. I have made Santa bags for all my grandchildren and as Daisy wasn’t yet born the previous Christmas I had to make her Santa Sack for this Christmas. I used Embird to create the DAISY applique. Using Embird to create the applique makes it so much easier. there are two options – if you have a Silhouette Cameo you can create the lettering in Embird and then send the design to the Cameo to cut the fabric – or you can use the manual method and create the applique in Embird Studio and then use the stitch, trim and stitch method that we’ve used for years. For those new to the Silhouette Cameo and Embird Studio I do have a step by step lesson which is available at Secrets of Embroidery FullSizeRender

The rest of the design was a Christmas panel that I used Vlisofix on the back of, trimmed and ironed onto the red fabric. ThenI used my Bernina to do a manual applique stitch around the tree, Santa, reindeer and presents. The bag is lined in white satin with a white fur around the top. Its very cute and fits loads of presents. It would probably even fit a small sewing machine! Now isn’t that an idea?

On the sewing/embroidery front I have taken up teaching ladies how to sew. I have wanted to teach sewing for years and even thought about going back to Teachers training college just so that I could get a degree to teach. But I figured that I was too old for that lark – attending lectures when all I want to do is teach sewing – and having to learn amongst school leavers. And most people seemed to be of the opinion that I wouldn’t enjoy the teaching of school students much anyway as most don’t really want to learn.  I wanted to teach people who WANT to learn to sew. Anyway, I did come across some younger women with children who wanted to learn to sew – so that they could make garments and accessories for their children. Fun stuff!

I told these ladies that I was happy to help them-  and so my little group was born. The ladies now come to me twice a week for their sewing sessions. It’s so much fun. They are so adventurous. They just turn up with a picture of what they want to sew and we go from there. They learn how to draft their patterns or adjust existing ones and “off they go”. Nothing is daunting to them. They’ll have a go at anything. I am amazed.  Here’s a Ballet and Ballet shoe bag that one of the ladies completed in an evening

Jodis daughter 2

And here is a little jumpsuit that one of the ladies completed in another session. Pin tucking in an inset yoke. Beautifully sewn.

Jodis daughter

It’s so much fun hanging around with people in the 20’s and 30’s who actually want to sew. If you know me, then you’ll know that I LOVE to sew and I really enjoy passing on some of what I have learnt over the many years that I have been sewing..

Now – on a slightly different note – Casey, my grand-daughter decided at Christmas time that she would like to sew on Gran’s machines. I thought “why not” and set up my Pfaff machine for her.

Sewing

I had to lower the chair right down so that she could reach the foot pedal.  She had a ball of a time. Hopefully she will continue to want to sew. if she does then I’ll be there!

 

Well, I think that’s enough from me at the moment. I have yabbered on enough! Next time I should tell you about my trip to Europe last year and about our cycle ride down the Danube – with some photos!

Take care

My little grand daughter is three….how time flys

February 10th, 2014

Can you believe it? My grand daughter is three years old. And she loves dressing up. She is always trying her clothes on and then pretending to be someone else. And what better thing for me than to make her a new outfit for dressing up in.

A Snow White costume. Casey and Gran. (me)

I know that you can probably buy something like this online as “cheap as chips” but I love making clothes for my grandchildren. Come the day and they wont want me to anymore, I’m sure. So I am enjoying it while they want things from me.

I have to say that the costume took hours to make. It has an embroidery on the front with crystals attached and sleeves that had the wee red shapes stitched on – reverse applique – and then cut out (carefully) and then an applique stitch used to stitch the edges down. Embird is great for doing this sort of thing. Aren’t we lucky to have such a fabulous program to use for our sewing and embroidery. All it takes is a little imagination and patience.

Now, I really should mention that I now have two grand-daughters. My newest grand-daughter was born last month. She is my son’s second child. Her name is Daisy Ruby and she is named after both her great great grandmother and her great grandmother. I’ll post some photos later!

Fantastic news for Embird on the way..

February 2nd, 2014

The latest news from the Embird camp is that there is to be quite a revamp of Embird. The news that a lot of you have been waiting for forever is that the Embird people are now intending Embird to also work on the Mac platform as well as tablets and Android devices! Do I hear collective cheering???

I am one of those folk who have installed Embird on my Mac but I also have Fusions as well in order to run Embird. As you know you have to also then install Windows in Fusions or Bootcamp just so that you can use Embird. To be honest, I’ve always thought that this was an enormous pain in the neck. I am an impatient person and I hated waiting around for both Fusion and then Windows to load on my Mac and then going through the rigmarole of using Embird. So in the end I bought a cheap Windows laptop just for my embroidery and Embird and removed Fusion, Windows and Embird from my Mac. Extreme probably, but I just couldn’t be bothered. I’m now a happy camper!

But even more happy to think that I will soon be able to run Embird on my Mac without having to “jump through hoops”.

Happy with that news????

Yay, I am!    

A fantastic use of Embird

November 5th, 2013

If you’ve read my last blog post you will see that I entered the Australasian Sewing Guild competition a month ago. As well as my entries there were some fabulous other entries.. In fact all the entries in the sewing competition were fabulous. It was hard to decide which was the best. But the photos I’m including here are of a very special dress. This dress won the Daywear section. I thought that you’d like to see it as the ferns on the dress were created in Embird Studio.

And here is a close up photo of the ferns.

Aren’t they awesome? Louise Sparrow from Australia created these ferns in her Embird studio software. Silver ferns are a very New Zealand “thing” and as our brief for the competition was Natural with a Kiwi twist I think that she made a fantastic job of her dress. Not only was her dress really classy, and beautifully made but she made great use of Embird to create her version of a Kiwi Twist.

Just think what you can do with Embird when you think outside the square. Not only can you create regular embroidery designs but you can make really classy garments and embellish them like Louise did without making them look like they came out of a tourist shop. There really is no limit to what you can do……

Well done Louise. And thank you for providing me with the photos and allowing me to write about your beautiful dress.

I’m back again…blogging….

October 10th, 2013

It’s been such a long time since I have written on my blog. I cannot believe that its been five months. So much has happened since then.
Embird has released a newer version than when I last blogged back in May which has given us more options and some great new features. One of the really good new features will be great if you do a lot of lettering for embroidery. If you own great embroidered lettering you have in the past only been able to use that lettering if you treated it just like a regular embroidery designs. You had to merge every letter and rearrange them in your hoop in order to be able to use them. But now, if you own Font Engine as well, you can use those embroidery lettering files. All you need to do is go to Insert in Editor and select the command Insert Ready Made Alphabet text. Select the folder to add from where your alphabets are kept and start typing……so much fun…..You can do all the usual things in the Layout screen, like changing the Baseline to a circle etc. But the only catch is that you need to own Font Engine! Now, can you think of a better reason not to purchase Font Engine?

I’m not sure if I mentioned this before or not but this year I joined the Australasian Sewing Guild Auckland Group. I have met such a lovely bunch of ladies – as well as one gentleman – who all sew. We meet once a month and sometimes take our machines and sometimes we do something else. Its been such fun. As luck would have it I managed to join them the year when the Annual Convention was being held here in Auckland. I decided very early on to attend the convention ( October 2013) as they had such a great list of classes to attend. There was a lot of work involved in organising and hosting the convention here in Auckland but the folk in our Guild did a tremendous amount of work and a wonderful time was had by all. I loved the Fabric Tour that we did mid week. I came back with bags of fabric and sewing needs. I needed them all…. :) I also loved my classes – both of them on creating pattern blocks – one a trouser block and the other a bodice block. The classes covered four days from 8.30 am to 5 pm. Being back in class after 45 years made the brain work harder but I thoroughly enjoyed it all. I came away with a trouser block which fits perfectly and also a bodice top that fits my post menopausal figure….I was very happy with the outcome. I must say that we were also feed magnificently and the organisation was fantastic. Our sponsors for the event were Bernina and they did a magnificent job as well. All the machines that we hired for the convention were Bernina’s. How good is that?

Earlier in the year I made my grandsons some winter coats and I showed them to Carol, who works at my local Bernina store. She said to me that I should enter the Guilds Convention Sewing Challenge. I was rather dubious as (like us all) I didn’t think I sewed well enough to enter a competition. However Carol encouraged me to give it a go so I decided that I would. I entered two categories – the Daywear Challenge and the Convention Collection. For Daywear I had to enter 1-2 garments and for the Collection I had to enter 5-8 garments, all co-ordinating. All garments had to be made of natural fibres and had to have a “Kiwi twist”….That’s challenge enough for anyone in my humble opinion! :)
Anyway I set to and decided what I would make and entered the competition. It was worth entering as there were three Bernina machines up for prizes and a Horn sewing cabinet – for a first time entrant.

I made a lovely bright pink wool coat lined with multi coloured pinks and grey silk lining for my daughter with a brown wool dress lined with orange silk for the Daywear Challenge. The coat and dress represented the beautiful rhododendrons at Pukekura Park in New Plymouth where Julie ran her first marathon this year. The outfit looked lovely on her. Sadly I don’t have a photo of them on her yet! But here’s the next best thing –

Then I made a wool pinafore lined in pale green silk, a green coat lined with pale green silk, a merino long sleeved T’shirt, a wool skirt lined in the same green silk, and a merino cardigan for my grand-daughter, aged 2 1/2. They represented my view of Auckland. The city skyscape, grey and moody at times, the beaches with paua shell and the green of the Titirangi hills where I live. Once again, no photos with them wearing them but I do have photos of the garments.

The coat has pale green silk lining and I cut all the paua shells to the size of sequins and hand stitched them on the coat.

I created the skyline of Auckland City in my Embird Studio software and then appliqued it on using my Bernina 830 and the jumbo hoop. two hoopings.

This was an Ottobre pattern which I hand sewed on the pearls and the jade, including the jade for mock buttons.

Also an Ottobre pattern made in pale green 100% merino
And lastly, the skirt

Again, its an Ottobre pattern (love those patterns) which I lined with the same pale green silk fabric.

I was pretty happy with the clothes that I had made but having them judged in a competition was an entirely different matter. On the Fashion Parade evening my daughter Julie and my wee grand-daughter Casey came along to model the clothes. I was dubious about Casey walking across a stage in front of an audience and was worried that she might cry, as it was way past her bed time. However, she loved the attention and I think she stole the show. She not only walked across the stage once but asked if she could go again. I think she liked all the clapping from the audience! The compere told her to come across again but when she asked for a third time I told her that she had had enough. After all there were other people waiting to parade their creations as well. :)

Then all the entrants had to come up on stage for prize giving….How nerve wracking is that??? Well, to cut a very long story short- I was Runner up in the Daywear section for Julie’s outfit, winner of the Convention Collection for Casey’s garments and the winner of the First Time Entrant category. I came away with a beautiful Bernina sewing machine AND a Horn Sewing Cabinet! I was so happy I couldn’t sleep that night…..