Did you know embroidery is not limited to just fabric? This fun and creative project uses vinyl window screen as a base and combines the new long-stitch designs on the Baby Lock Solaris Vision with IQ Designer to create a project that is sure to wow all your friends. Learning how to use unexpected or unusual materials in your embroidery opens up a whole new level of creativity!
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Window screen, or nylon mesh, can be found in a wide variety of colors and scales. Generally, the standard mesh size is most appropriate for embroidery projects but don’t be afraid to experiment with other size mesh. Heavy tulles can also be used for this project. Various types and weights of thread can also be used in this project to create different looks. When experimenting with thread weight, be sure to match the needle size to the weight of the thread to ensure the best results.
This project takes advantage of IQ Designer to embellish the long-stitch embroidery designs that are programed in the Baby Lock Solaris Vision (or fully upgraded Baby Lock Solaris 1 or 2). There are a few things that are good to know before getting started. Long-stitch designs cannot be combined with other designs once selected, so even though this project has four different instances of the long-stitch floral designs, each flower must be stitched one at a time. The leaves, which are used to embellish the long-stitch flower designs, will be created in IQ Designer and to know where each of these leaves should be placed, we will be taking advantage of the “Create Outline” Feature on the Embroidery Edit screen of the machine to create an outline of the flower designs that can then be used in IQ Designer.
Creating the Outlines
- From the Home Screen, select Embroidery.
- Select Category 8.
- Select Design 001 and select the Set icon in the lower right corner of the screen.
- Select the Edit icon on the upper right side of the screen to open the edit menu. Most of the editing features are disabled and cannot be used on long-stitch items; however, the Outline or Shape Creation icon is still available:
- Select the Outline/Shape Creation icon. This will open a new screen. The flower design will be lightened, and a heavy black outline will trace the outer edge of the design. The distance this outline is from the original design can be adjusted using the Distance plus and minus icons on the right side of the screen. Adjust the distance to be slightly larger than the actual design. The Inside icon should remain set to Off. Once the desired distance is set, select the Memory icon from the lower right corner of the screen.
- A message will appear on screen stating, “Recall from IQ Designer stamp pattern list”. This tells us where the outline is being saved. Select the OK icon. The Embroidery Edit screen will return. Select the Home icon in the upper right corner of the screen.
- Repeat Steps 1-6 with the second flower design (Design 005). Once complete, select the Home icon in the upper right corner of the screen.
Working in IQ Designer
- From the Home Screen, select IQ Designer.
- First, the outlines created earlier will be recalled and added to the workspace. Select the Stamp, or Shapes, icon.
- A new window will open with a series of five (5) tabs located across the top. The fourth tab should look familiar. This tab is the Saved Outlines tab and is the location of the outlines created when using the Outline/Shape Creation icon on the Embroidery Edit screen.
- Select one of the Saved Outlines created in the previous steps and select the OK icon. This will move the saved outline to the workspace in IQ Designer. Saved outlines come into IQ Designer with no stitch information assigned.
- Using the stylus, mouse, or your finger, move drag the flower outline into the area where you would like the long-stitch design to be stitched. If you would prefer to use Move Keys, they can be found under the Size icon or Rotate icon. If you have accidentally deselected the outline, you can use the Magic Wand icon under the Selection Tools to reselect the outline.
- Repeat Steps 1-4 to bring in the number of saved outlines desired, making sure to arrange each outline into the desired design.
- Once all desired outlines have been brought into the workspace and arranged, line stitch information needs to be applied to outlines. By assigning a run stitch to the outlines and allowing them to stitch, the long-stitch designs can be aligned with the outline and stitched into the design with perfect placement. The next few steps will walk you through selecting and assigning stitch information to shapes.
- Select the Line Properties icon on the right side of the workspace screen. Select the Double Run Stitch icon and the color of your choice. Select the OK icon to return to the IQ Workspace.
- To apply to newly selected stitch type to the outlines, select the Application, or Bucket, icon. Once the icon is selected, touch each of the outlines to apply the stitch properties. A single “ding” will sound to let you know when the stitch types have been assigned. If a double “knock” is heard, the machine is not able to apply the properties. This is usually due to one of two reasons: either the properties have already been applied, or you aren’t touching the shape (you must touch directly on the outline). Assign the stitch information for all outlines.
- Next, the decorative leaves will be created. These can be created using the shapes built-in to IQ Designer or can be hand-drawn and can be as simple or complex as desired. The following steps will walk you through creating a basic leaf using the built-in shapes. Don’t be afraid to experiment and create your own twist of this project! In the sample, the basic shape was used but edited to create leaves that conform to the outline of the flowers to create an illusion of depth. A total of five leaves were used for the four flowers in the sample.
- Select the Stamp/Outlines Icon. The basic leaf shape can be found in the very first tab, which is often referred to as the “Basic Shapes”. More vine-like leaves can be found under the third tab, or “Open Shapes”. For the sample, the basic leaf shape is used. Select the shape and select the OK icon.
- The leaf shape will be added to the workspace. Since the double-run stitch was the last line type used, this same stitch will be assigned to the outline of the leaf. You may choose any of the other line stitch types listed in the Line Property screen, if desired. The leaf can be repositioned and can be resized by selecting the Size icon.
- In addition to the line type, a region type (or fill type) stitch can also be assigned to the leaf. To do this, select the Region/Fill Properties Icon. This will open the Region Property screen. The second grouping of icons display the various Region/Fill Types that are available. They are, from left to right - standard fill, stipple fill, decorative fill. If you select the decorative fill, a new Select icon will appear. This icon will open a new window displaying the forty-eight decorative fills, any of which can be selected and used in the leaf. Select the desired Region/Fill type and color. Select OK icon to return to the workspace.
- Once you have the desired Region/Fill selected and are back on the main workspace, to apply the fill to the leaf shape, select the Application (Bucket) icon and then touch inside the leaf shape/s. Again, a single “ding” will sound to let you know when the stitch types have been assigned. If a double “knock” is heard, the machine is not able to apply the properties. This is usually due to one of two reasons: either the properties have already been applied, or you aren’t touching within the shape (you must touch directly within the shape). Assign the fill information for all leaves.
- With the leaves and outlines completed, it’s time to adjust stitch settings. Select the Next icon located in the lower right corner of the screen.
- A new screen will open showing the design elements created in IQ Designer. A red selection box will appear around the shape that is currently selected. On the upper right-hand side of the screen, you will see the stitch information displayed for the currently selected object. It will show the color and the stitch type. If a shape has both a line type and a fill type assigned, they will be shown at two separate time. Directly below the stitch information is a left and right arrow that will allow you to scroll through the various parts of the design. Next to the arrows is an icon that looks like two links of a chain. If you have several items in a design using the same stitch type, you can select this icon, the Link icon, to apply any changes made to all like stitch types (in other words, if you have several double line types in a design and want to adjust the stitch length for those stitches to a single length, you can select the Link icon).
- For both region/fill types and line types, various properties can be adjusted. For a double running stitch, the Run Pitch, or Stitch Length, can be adjusted. For Region Types, properties such as Direction, Density, Pull Compensation, Under Sewing, Size, and Direction (just to name a few) can be adjusted. Once you have adjusted the Line and Region/Fill type properties of the design to your liking, it is recommended that the design be saved. To save, select the Memory icon located in the lower right corner and select the location where the design should be saved.
- After saving, the design needs to be moved over to the Embroidery Edit screen. To do this, select the Set icon. A message will appear that says “Converted to the embroidery pattern, and IQ Designer will be exited. OK to continue to embroidery edit screen?”. Select the OK icon. The design will now appear in the Embroidery Edit screen and IQ Designer is closed.
- The design should not be edited any further, so select the Embroidery icon in the lower right corner of the screen to advance to the Embroidery Layout screen. The design is ready to be stitched out. Hoop two layers of water-soluble stabilizer and the mesh screen in a hoop of the appropriate size and load it into the machine. Stitch the design. Once the stitch-out is completed, select the Home key to return to the start screen.
Adding in the Long-Stitch Design
- Once the design that was created in IQ Designer has been stitched, the long-stitch designs are ready to be stitched. From the Home Screen, select Embroidery. From Category Eight (8), select the design used to create the outlines (the Sample used Designs 001 and 005) and select the Set icon in the bottom right corner.
- No edits need to be made, so select the Embroidery icon from the bottom right corner. Anytime a long-stitch design is selected and moved to the Embroidery Layout screen, a message will appear stating “Ensure there is enough upper and bobbin thread to completely stitch the design, as it is impossible to get satisfactory results if either runs out.). If you are comfortable with bobbin and upper thread levels, select OK.
- There are several options available to align the design to the outline stitched in the previous steps. Here are two options:
a. Use the built-in Camera to scan the hooped project. This will take a picture of everything in the hoop which will show on the LDC screen. Once the image is on the screen, the long-stitch design can be moved into position and stitched. To activate the built-in camera, select the Camera icon located above the Layout icon. The camera options will open on the right side of the screen. Select the Scan icon. A message warning you that the hoop will move appears. Select OK. The hoop will move, and the image is captured. Select the Close icon to shut the camera options window. Select the Layout icon. Select the Move icon and reposition the design as needed. Stitch the design.
b. Use the Projector to align the design. This will project your design down on the surface of the hooped project allowing long-stitch design to moved into position. To use this feature, select the Projector icon located above the Layout icon. The projector window will appear, and the hoop will move slightly to the side as the projector activate. The projected image is 3”x5” and this is represented on the screen by a red rectangle. The projector can be moved to various areas within the hoop by moving the red rectangle on the screen. Use the stylus, your finger, or a mouse to drag the red rectangle on the screen until it is in the desired position. The embroidery design can be moved using the Move keys located on the lower right side of the screen. The design can also be rotated by using the Rotation keys on the upper right of the screen. At the bottom of the projector screen is a Background Color selection key. If you are having trouble seeing the design, select a different background color. Once the long-stitch design is in the correct position, select the OK icon to close the projector. Embroider the design.
- Once the first long-stitch design is completed, repeat Steps 1-3 to complete align and stitch the remaining long-stitch designs.
Completing the Project
With all embroidery completed, the last step is to mount the screen on the frame. Remove the hoop from the machine and trim away as much of the excess water-soluble stabilizer as possible, being sure not to cut the vinyl mesh. Run the finished project under warm water to remove any remaining water-soluble stabilizer. Be sure to let the water run until clear (or soak in a bowl). Allow the project to dry. Remove everything from the frame except the glass or plastic sheet (if included). Stretch the vinyl mesh over the back of the frame with the right side of the project toward the front of the frame. Use a staple gun to secure mesh in place. Trim away any excess vinyl mesh. Enjoy!