For the past couple of years I have been learning how to digitize my drawings using the Bernina Embroidery software for a Bernina artista 730 with embroidery module. The software is often used for embroidering logos, teddybears, or exotic embroidery from times past. I have thought there were untapped possibilities for using digitzed embroidery on my stitched digital art quilts.
I start with a photo that has simple lines, as in the tree branch shown below. I turn it into a black and white drawing using one of the sketch filters in Photoshop Elements. I edit it, mostly erasing unwanted lines an details, in the Corel drawing software that is included with the Bernina software.
Then I start the software’s automatic digitizing process. When I take this digitized instruction to the sewing machine (or as Bernina calls it, the sewing computer), the embroidery module can now automaticly stitch this tree design. I can make lots of changes–like lengthening or shortening, mirror imaging and rotating, as well as changing charateristics of the stitching.
This embroidered tree appears in two of the Autumnal Equinox Series quilts discussed in previous posts (January 18th, Lime Trees) as well as some smaller quilts.
Shown below is the “test” quilt called Lost in the Forest, which I did to see how much I could embroider over the top of previously embroidered trees–as well as pushing the limits in size changes. The Bernina guidelines say not to reduce or enlarge designs over specified amounts.
Much of this embroidery was done on the finished quilt sandwich put into the hoop that is actually the moving part of the embroidery module. I was able to layer several trees overlapping each other without causing the machine any trouble–no broken needles or anything–only occasional thread breaks. In the detail you can see several black trees, some white ones and the little red one showing a range of sizes. This particular embroidery design did not suffer from dramatic size changes.