Sunday, September 9, 2012

Whooooooo loves perfectly placed designs?


This is part two of my recent applique owl extravaganza. You can see all the cute pictures of my daughter in her new items as well as all the Lynnie Pinnie design info in part one: Whooooooo loves owls?
These designs feature either an owl or a trio of owls sitting on a branch, which extends farther to the right than the left. Asymmetrical designs like this require extra care when placing the design on your project. To quote my friend Kaycee, "Scrolls, swirls and tails generally should be mostly ignored. Center the "BULK" of the design or font. That's my rule of thumb anyway :)" It's MY rule of thumb, too! As much as it pains this mathematician to say it, often the technical center of a design is not the most visually pleasing. Even if you measure and mark the exact center of your shirt and perfectly center the embroidery design file, it may look off when you are all done. 

Before proceeding, I have some required reading for you. Please follow this link to read "Centering those Off-Center Appliques" by Rosemary of Applique Cafe. She does a great job explaining the situation with several visuals, showing how she accounts for off-center designs within her software before heading to the embroidery machine. Most of the time I use a similar technique. Go read and come right back. :)

In the case of this design however, the design completely filled the width of my hoop and I couldn't shift it left or right.  The black line represents the center of the design. But the blue line shows where the center should fall to be the most visually pleasing.  It's about 15mm off. And it's amazing what a difference 15mm can make!
One of the easiest solutions is to print a template, trim around the design, lay it on the shirt where it looks *just* right, draw in your axes and hoop the shirt. (You can see an example of that here.) But I'm pretty cheap when it comes to using our printer and I don't want to waste the precious ink. :) Instead I look at the design in Embird and use my hoop templates to help me get my design placement perfect.
For this pink shirt I folded it in half vertically and made a little mark with my water soluble pen where the center of the shirt was. I knew I wanted to shift my design 15mm to the right so the center of the owl lined up with the center of the shirt.I laid my hoop down in the appropriate spot and then marked my design placement. I'm sorry this is a terrible picture. I started composing this blog post in my head too late to get good pictures so I just grabbed my phone. Can you see the little mark on my shirt 15mm to the left of the center of my template?
When I was done, my shirt looked like this. The owl looks centered, yay! The branch extends farther off to the right, but that's ok.
After doing this design I decided to take better pictures in the process of my second shirt. Again, the leaves on the branch make the overall design appear off-center. The black line is the axis of my hoop, but the blue line is what looks like the center to me:
I folded my shirt in half, pressing the center line:
Then since I wanted to shift my design 10mm to the right, I laid my hoop with the center axis 10mm to the right of my fold (kind of hard to see...) I marked the center and axes, drew my lines and hooped it!
Hope that helps save you from stitching a flawless embroidery design, removing it from the hoop and thinking, MAN, that does NOT look right!! :)

1 comments on "Whooooooo loves perfectly placed designs?"

jazzo on September 9, 2012 at 4:58 PM said...

Janay, The shirt and the new owl design are adorable. Thanks for sharing the centering tips.

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