Are you using your EQStitch to design Christmas gifts?  Adding that special touch to a design with a monogram, custom design, or unique message makes the gifts we give mean more.  It shows we thought about the receiver of the gift while designing and stitching their gift.

Using the features of EQStitch, you can double check your digitizing work before you go  to the machine.  This is especially important when time is limited.  Catch your errors and correct them before spending precious time stitching away only to find you are less than happy with the results.  You can rely on EQStitch to help you immensely in the digitizing process.

Open your EQStitch program.

Click on the stitch worktable icon and then select embroidery as the new design type from the drop down menu.

Click on the oval tool from the toolbar and select the heart shape.

Move the cursor over to the drawing board and click/hold/drag/release to place a heart on the design page.

The default for the program is to show the heart as a closed patch.  Since this is a closed shape we can fill it with stitches and edge stitches.

Click on the stitch tab at the bottom of the screen.

On the stitch tab, we can edit and preview our stitch design.  This is where you should ask yourself a series of questions about how you want the finished stitched design to look.  It is on the stitch tab that we make our decisions about what would work best for our design.

Click on the set fill stitch icon on the toolbar.  Choose any decorative pattern by clicking on it and then click once inside the heart shape to apply the stitch type.

Now you need to consider what will happen at the machine.  What type of fabric are you stitching on?  What type of thread are you planning on using?  Will a decorative fill stitch look better than a flat filled stitch?  Will the design stitches change the drape of the fabric I am using?  All of these types of questions will change the way you use the stitch properties to create your design.

If I decide I want to use metallic thread, I would most likely have a less dense design if I use it as a fill.  I may decide to have metallic thread on the edge stitch and fill the center with another type of thread.  Which thread I choose makes a difference as to how I would digitize it.  I chose to have a textured fill stitch with standard 50 weight embroidery thread (high sheen polyester) and a metallic edge stitch.  Since I have a textured stitch I will use a light colored thread as the light color shows the texture better than a dark colored thread.  My metallic thread is thicker so I will make my edge stitch properties on the properties bar a the top of the screen set to  a less dense stitch line.

By making decisions at this stage, I can use my EQStitch program to edit my design to reflect the type of finished design I want to stitch.

Lets say I want to stitch this onto a card stock paper to send as a greeting in the mail.  I would need to decide if I can stitch this directly onto the card stock or if I need to stitch it onto stabililizer first and then glue it to the card paper.  If I choose to stitch it onto stabilizer, I may want to change the stitches yet again for the best result.  Using tear away stabilizer would make it easy to remove, but the density of the design may just punch holes in the stabilizer and it will fall out of the hoop while stitching.  I could decide to leave the design as it is and stitch it on cut away stabilizer.  In that case I would use pinking shears and trim closely to the design yet leave the pinked edge to show as a second layer of  the design.  If I truly want it to be a clean edge and keep the same design properties, I may choose to hoop two layers of tear away stabilizer with a layer of bridal tulle between the layers to help stabilize the stitches so they don’t fall out of the hoop while stitching.  After stitching I would tear away the stabilizer and trim the bridal tulle.  You could use a burning tool to melt the bridal tulle away and it would also help to seal in the edge stitches.  All of this decision making with one simple design!!

My point is this–think ahead to your finished project and what the properties of that project will be.  Now rely on your EQStitch properties settings to reflect your decision making.  Editing on screen is so much more time efficient than re-stitching when something does not turn out the way you thought.  I use this same thought process on every design I digitize.  There is no such thing as one correct way of doing something.  We are creative people and we need our programs to be flexible to meet our creativity challenges.  EQStitch does this for us.