Pro-Stitcher Designer Archives - Handi Quilter

Pro-Stitcher New Features

Attention: We interrupt the series on Free Motion Quilting for Beginners to bring our Pro-Stitcher robotic quilters some information on the latest Pro-Stitcher update. Free motion quilting will resume next week. Keep your 15 minutes a day going!

We are so excited to have an official (non-beta) new update for Pro-Stitcher. It has loads of new features that are fabulously useful. Don’t hesitate to download and update your PS tablet!

Downloading

Go to the Pro-Stitcher website. Hover your mouse pointer over the Pro-Stitcher tab and choose “Software” from the drop-down menu. Then choose 21.05.0535. We refer to this version as “535”. Save to your usb stick.

Pro Tip: Be sure to scroll down to read the Release Notes. It’s a complete list of all the new features. Also, read through the Known Issues and make note of the work around offered.  That way, if something goes wrong for you, you’ll have a head start on how to fix it. 

Updating

Hover over the Pro-Stitcher tab again and choose “Overview and Manuals“. Then click on “Installing PS Software” for complete, easy-to-follow instructions on how to update your PS tablet.

Pro Tip: Be sure to power down your entire machine after installing the update. Don’t simply re-boot your tablet. Safely shut down your Pro-Stitcher tablet, shut down your machine and unplug from the power outlet. Wait 3-5 minutes. Re-plug and power up machine, making sure the machine fully boots up before turning on your Pro-Stitcher tablet.

The features

I’m going to introduce you to some of the best of the latest update, my favorite new features, starting with the most exciting tool.

Three Skew Options

Skew

This is the skew we know and love. It works great for blocks and areas with 4 points. Takes a design and fits it into the blocks on the quilt you are quilting. Maybe those blocks were meant to be 12″ x 12″. But the piecer needs a little work on her quarter inch seam. 😉  So her blocks are really 11.6″ x 12.1″.  No problem! Using Skew we can make the design fit the block perfectly and we make the piecer look good.

Border Skew

We knew this as “Skew 2” on previous versions. It has a new name, Border Skew, but it works the same. It is the best choice for areas that use 4 or more points to define. You use this the most on borders, especially wonky borders. Hence the name. It can be used on other shapes as well, just like Skew 2.

It fits your design into that irregular border area and once again makes the piecer look good. When the design fits the space it is quilted in, it fools the eye into thinking the space is a regular smooth shape. Even when it’s not!

Here comes the exciting part!!!

Triangle Skew

With past versions we had to use our alignment tools to get triangle designs to fit properly into triangular areas on the quilt. It wasn’t too hard, but it wasn’t nearly as quick and easy as skew. Triangle skew is quick and easy, and works like a charm on 3 point areas!

Amazing! Once you try it, let me know if you agree in the comments!

New STOP Button

Sometimes we need to pause the stitching of the machine to change the bobbin or re-thread the needle. So we touch the pause button on the lower left of the screen. This is not an emergency, just an everyday occurrence.

pause button

Sometimes things can go haywire. For example, you forget to attach your Glide Foot when quilting an edge-to-edge design. There’s an open, unsewn seam on the quilt and the hopping foot goes under the top fabric and gets caught.

You need to stop the machine ASAP!  This is an emergency!

In this case you’ll want to touch the Stop button in the lower right of the screen.

If it’s not an emergency, you really don’t want to hit the Stop button. You run the risk of losing the positioning of the design.

But in an emergency, the Stop button stops the machine immediately and that is what you need.

Sometimes, quilters would get confused about Pause v.s. Stop and touch the Stop in a non-emergency situation. So the button now has a new look. It makes it more obvious which button to choose.

Stitch Stats

Ever wonder how long it might take to stitch out a design? Ever want to know how much thread you’ll need? You’re going to love this feature!

You can know the number of stitches, the time it will take to stitch, and how much thread is required for any design. Once you optimize the design for your quilt, Stitch Stats uses your machine settings (Speed and Acceleration and Stitch length) to calculate this information. Pro-Stitchers are so smart!

Quilting Space

We now have a visual on the screen that indicates the actual quilting space. It shows up as a black box. It is an insurance policy!

You will always be sure that the design you want to stitch is within the usable quilting space. No more hitting the poles if you accidentally position your design in the wrong place or stretch an edge to edge design and inadvertently make each row larger that your quilting space.

This image shows the black quilting space and a design that goes outside of the space. If you were to try to quilt this design you would fall off the right side of the quilt and hit the pole at the bottom. If you see the design outside of the quilting space, stop, and reposition to avoid disaster.

Pro-Stitcher Designer button

Under the Tools tab there is now a Pro-Stitcher Designer button on the ribbon.

It let’s you easily transfer your design and area over to PS Designer. If you have PS Designer activated on your tablet, you can then manipulate or alter your design as desired using the great tools within Designer.

Once you have the design looking the way you want, simply touch the Send button in Designer to transfer the new, altered design back to Pro-Stitcher.

This is a wonderful feature. When your design needs just a little tweak to make it perfect for your quilt, it works wonders.

That’s what Pro-Stitcher is all about….. easy peasy perfection!

More New Features

I have described the new features I think are the most exciting and the most useful. There are more new features that you can read about in the Release Notes. I know you’ll be amazed!

by Mary Beth Krapil

P.S. There are more new designs too! Be sure to check them out. Let me know which one is your fave!

Oh! and one more that is just awesome….  I LOVE the Baste button that we got in the last update, but I tend to forget to turn Baste off before starting to stitch the design. We now have a Baste pop-up warning that appears when you start the design and you are still in Baste mode. I cannot tell you how many times it has saved me! Even though basting stitches are easy to pick out, it is still no fun to have to pause, pick, and change the start point to start again with normal size stitches.

Thank you PS programmers and engineers!

 

 

 

 

 

Quilting a Vintage Quilt Top

In last week’s blog post I explained how I prepared a not-so-flat vintage quilt top for finishing. If you didn’t catch it, be sure to read it first. No worries, I’ll wait.

detail of vintage quilt top quilted

 

Basic plan

Now that I had a nice flat quilt top, I could start thinking about the quilting. I wanted to ignore the seam lines in an effort to hide all the added sashing. This would make the tulips come forward and float on the background.

I planned to stitch-in-the-ditch around each set of tulips and do minimal quilting within the tulips so that they would puff forward. To accomplish the puff, there had to be some tighter background quilting behind them. And using two layers of batting, 80/20 on the bottom and wool on top is essential.

Design ideas

Drawing design ideas on Quilter’s Preview Paper  over the quilt top with a dry erase marker is a good way to start letting the ideas become real.

preview paper over vintage quilt top

Creating designs

Using Pro-Stitcher Designer, my digitizing software, I created some designs that would go over the seams and hopefully distract from them.
I start the design process by tracing the major elements of the top on Golden Threads Quilting Paper. Then I can place a 2nd piece of Golden Threads paper over that and start sketching. If I don’t like what I have drawn, I discard the paper and take fresh piece on top. I still have my major elements underneath.


After I settle on the designs, I transfer them to my Pro-Stitcher Designer software to create the digital designs for my Pro-Stitcher robotic system on my HQ Infinity.

vintage quilt top digital design

This design will be available for purchase on Quiltable.com soon!

Quilting!

Next comes the fun of quilting and seeing the quilt top come to life. I employed a combination of Pro-Stitcher robotics, ruler-work and free-motion quilting.  I wonder what Mrs. Gibson and Ora Tyler would think of their quilt today?

detail of vintage quilt top quilted

Of course a quilt is not finished until there’s a label. I chose to use one of the spare blocks as the label. Turning the corner of the block back so that the penciled name and hand stitching is visible. I think that is such a charming aspect of this vintage top.

You can also see how the block does not lay flat.

I printed the list of names of all the contributors to the quilt, along with the quilter’s name (me) and date it was finished. Now I proudly consider myself part of this group of ladies. I have 13 new friends! And I wonder if I’m young enough to go by just Mary Beth? I know I’m not old enough to be known as Mrs. Krapil! Mary Beth Krapil will do I guess. 🙂

Have you ever quilted a vintage quilt top? Please share your experience in the comments. We’d love to see pictures!

 

by Mary Beth Krapil

 

 

Paper-pieced Valentine

Here’s a little Valentine treat for you, because we love you! A quick, last minute project for your favorite Valentine. It’s a paper-pieced Valentine heart that you can make into pillow, a tote bag. Or make several and make a small quilt or wall hanging, or just one for a mini. You’ll probably come up with some more ideas. Be sure to share in the comments!

Kim Sandberg, studio educator, created this cute design using Pro-Stitcher Designer. Pro-Stitcher Designer is a full-featured design software for creating paper or digital quilting motifs. It gives you the ability to quickly design, edit, or customize any quilting motif you can imagine. Besides all that, you can create paper-piecing designs as well!

Kim tells about it in this video:

Download the pattern here.

Then let us know how you used your paper-pieced Valentine.

You’re welcome!

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