Monday, March 30, 2015

Stitching Monograms with Embrilliance Essentials

I have loved having Embrilliance Essentials but I have been so surprised by the lack of great tutorials on the features of this program!  (I am used to papercrafting where there are so many bloggers and vloggers that every single function has multiple tutorials by the hoards of crafters eager to share!!)  I will say that the Embrilliance Essentials program has been fairly intuitive and, either because I have used Cricut Design Space and Adobe Illustrator or because it is just really easy to learn, the program has been a joy to use!  It has allowed me to use my one-needle machine, a Brother PE770, as a simple vehicle for stitch out while the software does all the heavy lifting (combining, spacing, previewing) for me!  I have had the machine and software for less than a month, and I have loved the ease of use!

One exception has been monograms!

One of the biggest benefits of using software with an embroidery machine is that I can place my design on a virtual hoop and combine multiple files, editing to add or remove elements.  With Embrilliance and bx file fonts, I can also type out text just like I do in Word or Excel programs in my office.  This means that spacing and alignment are done for me (and I still have the option to change and edit those elements).

For some reason (come to find out: many reasons), I was unable to get my monograms to look the way they were designed to look without using the pes files and importing them one letter at a time.  My 3-letter monograms were all center format and my 2-letter monograms were left format when I used the bx files.  I knew that was NOT how it was supposed to work!

So here are the secrets (well... probably not so-secret but I couldn't figure it out easily);  I wanted to share what I learned with you.  Paying it forward now since I have learned so much from my papercrafting-friends-turned-embroiderers I thought I would share what I have figured out in that same spirit in the event that it is helpful to someone else!

Step one and SUPER IMPORTANT:  After hitting the key to insert text, click the single line/monogram button to let the program know that this is a monogram!  Not doing this was my first mistake but no more!  This is actually in the manual so I should have known this!  (For a link to the Embrilliance manual, scroll down to the bottom of this post under Quick Links!)

I type in my letters as I want them to show up.  Now notice the drop down next to "Quick Style". I will use this to make my monogram automatically format, size, and space itself.  This works great for all kinds of monograms! I had been manually formatting my stacked monograms but no more!  This stacked monogram is from Rivermill.

I love how easy it is to make perfectly and automatically sized scrolly monograms like this one from Jolsons.  I can still scoot these letters closer so they overlap if I wish using the space lever.

Or this one from Lynnie Pinnie...

And this one from Stitchtopia that changes using the Quick Style button...

For two-letter monograms with different orientations, I have found that I need to use an uppercase letter with a lower case letter to let the program know which orientation goes where!  (Both of mine are from the same vendor, so results could vary with different designers!) In this case typing Ab will create the correct left and right formatting for this monogram from Designs by JuJu.  I must have seen this someplace, though I am not sure where!  This is one where I might want to scoot these letters closer together, again, using the space lever.

For this one by the same vendor, I used the same uppercase-lowercase format to enter the text in this way: Pm.

I had to reduce the space between them so they would fit together, but that was easily done with the space lever or by grabbing the green square for that letter (which isolates just that letter) and dragging it over to fit!

When using a regular font and just making it look like a two-letter monogram, I found that I didn't have to do anything special; just type in the uppercase letters, like this font called The Frog.  I picked a Quick Style to make the letters "Bridge Up."

I found this all worked well unless I was doing a circle monogram!!!  There is no Quick Syle for a circle.  If you do what I have described above (for most of the circle fonts in my collection), the closest you would get using your bx file would be this shape even though this is designed to be a CIRCLE monogram:

In order to use my bx font and have it format in the circular shape, I find that I need to enter my letters in this way:
lowercase left letter--uppercase middle format--number or symbol right letter
(for these particular letters, that would be aB3)

To know which numbers or symbols to use for the right format letter, I use this key:

Circle Monogram Key for Letter on the right
      A 1 N @
B 2 O #
C 3 P $
D 4 Q %
E 5 R ^
F 6 S &
G 7 T *
H 8 U (
I 9 V )
J 0 W _
K  -  X  + 
L  =  Y [
M ! Z ]

For another example, to do this one, I would enter aB* in the Text field to make this monogram from Rivermill:

This solution worked on most of my circle monograms.  I am not sure why I even tried numbers in the first place.  Must have seen that somewhere?  To find the symbols past number 9, I just started trying out all the keys on the top row and shift and then moved to other keys once those ran out until I found them to Z.

And to throw a wrench in.... this monogram from Embroidery Boutique worked the first time, in a circular shape, when I entered all caps, just as I wished they all did!!  In fact, when I put in my numeric "fix" for the right letter, it would only show the left and middle letters!  This means that not all circle monograms are the same!!  When I asked the folks at Embrilliance about this, they suggested contacting each font vendor and asking them!  (Yikes!)  Apparently, they are all supposed to do this!

So this isn't an exact science!  And I have found variance from vendor to vendor when it comes to circle monograms!

I hope this helps you!  I decided to blog about this because it was JUST EXACTLY what I was hoping to find when I was trying to figure this out and googling like crazy for answers!  If you have any great monogram tips using bx fonts in Embrilliance, please comment to share!  

List of Links Shared in This Post:
  • Embrilliance Manual- click here
  • Rivermill Textured Circle 3-letter Monogram:  click here.
  • Rivermill Mini Thin Circle Monogram:  click here.
  • Designs by JuJu Elegant Swirls Diamond Monogram:  click here.
  • Rivermill Boys Stacked Monogram:  click here.
  • Rivermill 4" Circle monogram (shown above with a diamond quick style in Embrilliance):  click here.
  • Embroidery Boutique Chevron Circle Monogram:  click here.
  • Jolsons Interlocking Floss Stitch:  click here.
  • Lynnie Pinnie Swirly Monogram Font:  click here.
  • Stitchtopia Bailey:  click here.
  • Embroidery First The Frog:  click here.
  • Designs by JuJu Adorn Duo:  click here.


Susan from SC said...

Fantastic information, Nadia! You go, girl!!

danita K said...

Thanks for this information. It is much needed. I had no idea about this option. That's what I get for not reading but now I don't have too. I love your picture tutorials also.

SMB said...

Thumbs up!! I'm fairly new too & this info is a huge help for me. I wish I could find someone in my home area to teach me classes on how to use Embrilliance software. Thanks!!!

Gina piazza said...

So thankful for you and this post! You are always an inspiration!

Jenifer Blausey said...

I am so glad I stumbled upon you =) I am so very interested in learning, and you teach just like me!!! Get to the point, straight away! I shall be following you, as I just received my 770 yesterday and bought Embrillance last nite!!! I also own the ScanNCut and have a FB group and YT channel, so this will be an adventure =D YAYYY!!!! =)

Laura Doss said...

I have been scouring the internet for information on how to align the Adorn Duo monogram. Thank you so much for your clear, articulate and helpful comments!

Sherrie Fry said...

Wow! Can't get much clearer than your wonderful tutorial. Just starting out and have decided to purchase embrilliance essentials. You really know how to simplify it! Thank you a million times!

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