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Sunday, December 30, 2012

It's All Greek To Me- Floriani Total Control Software

Hey y'all, Karin here again.  Kelly's kinda busy right now, so I've hijacked her blog for the moment.

Once in a while, I get a design challenge opportunity.  That's a request where I have to step outside my comfort zone and think outside the box to come up with a solution.  I got one such request a couple days ago.  A lady wanted a luggage handle wrap embroidered with a Greek letter D.  OK, I know that'd be a Delta, but did I have that on my Babylock?  I wasn't sure, so off I went, right away, to check it out.  I'd always thought I had to have the embroidery  module attached before I could edit or create a design directly on the machine, but surprise!  Nope, not with my Ellegante anyway.

Lesson #1 - when faced with something new, TRY something new.  Instead of hauling out the embroidery module and turning on the machine, I decided to just turn it on and see if I could get to the embroidery edit was about midnight, so I really didn't want to go to a lot of trouble just to see if it could be done.

Surprise!  I did NOT have to load the embroidery module, I could get to the letters screen easily enough just by turning the machine on and pressing the Embroidery Edit button.  But nowhere could I find the Greek letters I was hoping for.  However, I did find some other symbols and characters I didn't know I had!

Lesson #2 - don't be afraid to go into uncharted territory.  Ya know, the options & characters were always there, I had just never clicked over to page 3 to see any of them!  (sad, but true, and yes, I've had this machine for well over 2 years now)

Lesson #3 - just because you can't get there from here doesn't mean you can't get there at all!  Enter Floriani Total Control!  I knew that Floriani TCP had many different font options - way more than the 8-10 that came with my machine.  One of them was bound to have Greek letters, right?  Oh yeah, baby, that they do!  And armed with that knowledge, I confidently answered the request with, "Sure, I can do that, just not until after Christmas."  The lady was in no big hurry, so I got the order, and we were both confident that I could get 'er done.

A couple days went by, Christmas came & went, and eventually I was ready to stitch out the luggage handle wrap.

And just how was I going to get the Greek letter to be the size I wanted?  Heck, even before that, how did I even know what size lettering I even wanted?  Well, I was going to put this lettering on one of my luggage handle wraps, and space is pretty limited on those puppies, both horizontally & vertically.  The embroiderable area is only about 3 1/2 inches by 4, total, and there's binding on both sides and Velcro on the top & bottom, so there's no allowance for fudge-factor or error.

So the first thing I did was to program the K, drop down a line & program the last name, Tayler.  Then I re-sized the last name to fit within the allowable area.  That gave me a good idea of how thick & wide I could make the K.  Once I got the last name shrunk down to size, I could shrink the K to be a comparable size.  But how was I gonna get that Greek Delta in there?  That's where Floriani Total Control software comes into play.

I launched the program, and opened a new project.  I selected the Text tool button on my toolbar (that's the big T in the very left, upper corner) and clicked once in the project window.  That brought up the Text Properties box and all I had to do next was select the Greek font from the drop-down list:

and type a D in the text box & click Apply:

Only one problem - it wasn't the right size!  Yeah, go figure - I wasn't surprised either.  Some people are lucky and it would be just right, but not me...if it can happen or be wrong, it usually does or is, and this time was no exception.  So now I had to figure out how to shrink it down to be compatible with all the other letters.  No problem, Floriani's got that figured out too!  

I just clicked the Transform tab (still in the Text Properties box), and set my desired size (when I programmed the K, I wrote down what its size was, based on the info from the embroidery machine sceen). I also UNchecked the Maintain Aspect Ratio Size box.  Bet you're wondering why, huh?  Glad you asked!  When I left it checked, as is the default, I couldn't make it skinnier without making it shorter, too.  So, since I wanted it kind of tall and skinny, to match the K and T, I had to uncheck the box that kept it all in proportion.  Surprisingly enough, sometimes the machine doesn't know better.

Once I had the D sized right, I just saved the file in PES format, on my thumbdrive.  I put the thumbdrive into my sewing machine and added that file into the design window:

I adjusted the spacing just a bit & I was ready to sew!  Couldn't have been much easier!  I was a wee bit worried about how it would look with the other letters, but I am plenty pleased with the results:

The underlay stitches were nice and plentiful, so there's no worrying about that letter coming undone or anything, and I'm happy with the way it sized out as compared to all the other letters.  I forgot to take a picture of the finished product, so you'll just have to take my word for it - it turned out fine and I got the wrap out just in time for mail pickup!

That's a wrap (no pun intended!) for today - I hope I encouraged you to try something new or do something different!  In the meantime, sunny stitches to you all!


THANK YOU Karin!  You so totally Rock :)


  1. Karin -- great job! Soon you'll be embroidering Kappa Delta stuff for Tayler's whole chapter... LOL!

    Kelly, I'm fixing to pull the trigger on an embroidery machine. Looking at an Innovis 5000. Waiting to get my quote from the local dealer.

  2. Missing my embroidery machine, needs a check up, hope I will be embroidering before winter ends. Great job on the wrap.

  3. Thanks, Jeanie, I really didn't understand the meaning of the request - I thought K was someone's initial. Your explanation makes a whole lot more sense!


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