Waggons West Etsy Shop

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Today's Stuff: Tools, Trials and Tests.

I've been working out details today. We are trying to optimize the number of bags that can be cut from one pair of pants. The Mr is very good at figuring and cutting to I frequently ask him to do the cutting. I have to admit that since I bought my Fiskars Rotary cutter and ruler combo I've been able to do a pretty good job of cutting straight lines. I was going to post a link, but a quick search says that Fiskars has discontinued making them. That is really too bad. I really love mine.

I made another small bag. I tried to get a pocket on the flap, but that was a disaster. I will have to turn it into a pocket on a pocket on something else. One of the spuds was pretty impressed with it so I'm sure it will work out somewhere.

I have been looking for a free embroidery editing program that I can figure out how to use. Free and user friendly are not two things that seem to go together in the digitizing world. I downloaded Stitch Era Universal just after I got my machine. I can't really seem to make it do anything much other than convert files from one format to another. That came in handy when I needed to give our logo to another stitcher. I paid some one to digitize it for me but I only got my format. I was able to use the Stitch Era software to change the file format so my friend could do some things for the organization. The other thing I use it for is to see my files. They all have stupid numbers. Very few have a descriptive name. I've accumulated enough files that going back and changing the names from the order history is daunting. Fortunately, the Stitch Era software enables me to see both the stupid name and the image. That makes it much easier to load the right file.

During my lovely episode of trying to figure out why my newly cleaned and tuned machine wouldn't sew (it was the replacement bobbin case) I learned that my machine has to have a very small USB stick. It is too slow if I put all the files on to one giant stick. So the Mr dug out a very old 256K stick for me to use for transfer. That means I have to find the files I want and load them onto the stick. Seeing the images makes that process much easier.

But, I couldn't ever figure out how to do anything useful like re-size or import text or edit stitches. I am sure it is a truly lovely program for those in on its secrets, but I haven't the patience to work at it any more. Yesterday I came across a reference to a new product call My Editor. It too is free. We downloaded and installed it this morning (I don't put anything on my computer without checking with the IT boss around here. He's happier that way and my computers mostly run on time!

As soon My Editor was installed, I loaded a file, made it ginormous, filled in the stitches and saved it in a useful format. A little bit more prodding and I was able to open up a file that had an element I wanted, delete the stuff I didn't need, re-size the resulting product and stitch it out. A couple of boofs along the way, but it turned out to be a reasonable product. The only problem is that it can't or I can't figure out how to have it show me the image of the file from the list. Sooo.... back to Stitch Era for a quick look and I'm off.

Two freebies to make one useful product for me. Not bad at twice the price!
\ You may be able to see that the books on the badge are the same design as the books on this tablecloth. It is one of many I made for my mom's birthday party last year. I'll keep messing with it!

Oh, and that picture at the top of the page? It is my second Spoonflower sample. It is orange instead of red and the curly giraffes are about 4 inches long instead of 1 inch but I love it never the less. I am going to have to figure out how to understand what the sizes are in the future. Oh well. It is fun and it matches my new crazy orange tennies.

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