Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Taking the stitch into the digital realm

The primary task of these early days of working on the project for the Jerome Grant is learning to use the TruEmbroidery software.  This image is not likely to be part of the project.  I chose it because I thought it would be an easy image for learning some skills. I started working on this image in early March! 
Success, at last!

It has taken weeks to get to this point.  Admittedly there was a church conference and a trip to New York thrown in...Nonetheless, this software is proving to be a bit opaque and the embroidery machine is typically random in its operation.

This image is a digitization of a drawing I did last year, titled SILENCED, a pastel/mixed media piece, hand stitched with waxed linen.
I scanned it into Photoshop and posterized it down to 4 colors.  When I imported it into TruEmbroidery, it suddenly had something like 27 colors!  I edited the heck out of it.  Transferred it to another part of the program to do some adjustment....even more colors!

Yesterday I got the software to cooperate.  I got the embroidery machine to accept the design.  I spent three hours stitching it out while the machine's on-board computer kept stopping and telling me I had run out of thread ( a lie! ), whole swathes of skipped stitches needed fixing, rats nests formed on the back, the red thread refused to stitch, you name it, and then the whole design suddenly got a full 1/4" out of registration after 2/3 of it was stitched!  The good news is that I really learned how to reset the starting place for the needle when portions of the design needed re-stitching.  A very good skill to have.

So, today, I reconsidered the embroidery machine.  I changed the needle, re-threaded everything, loosened the upper tension.  I hooped a new piece of muslin over 2 sheets of tear away stabilizer.  I skipped the background padding layer of stitching and all of the white fill. And got the image I had wanted all along.   In no way can I say I have gotten the  hang of this software, but I am learning a few things.

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