CNC Embroidery: Line Drawings

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For my second session with the CNC Embroiderer, I decided to focus on line drawings. I thought maybe I could trace some complicated drawings and have the CNC Embroiderer do them in a simple running stitch. So that’s what I did. First up: a blicket. In the same vein, I thought digitizing one of my blind contour portraits would be another really fun thing to stitch. I tried tracing a pic in Illustrator with much frustration, then did a bunch of google searching and figured out how turn my pic into a vector image at the touch of a button. (Actually, I think I could have fed my original image into the embroidery software with no problems, but hey, I learned something new and useful.) Armed with these images and a few others, I loaded them into the software and let it do its thing.


Oops! Lesson number 1: apparently, thin line drawings do not easily convert. My portrait became a thick satin stitched line but only some of my blicket outline translated. Not what I was going for, but I’m actually kind of in love with the way it turned out. The thick lines look awesome.

Needless to say, the rest of my drawings didn’t work. No matter! I had the original files, so I could plug them into Illustrator, up the line thickness, and print again. Lesson number 2: CS6 is not backwards compatible with CS5. Noooooooo. What now? Luckily, I had my laptop on me, so I quickly searched through my Picasa looking for pictures that were easily convertible. My blicket screenprint was a quick choice, and so I made a few of those, testing out different fills. (Results above — love them!)

Last idea, still thinking about outlines. I love the megaslab wall at PG. It’s my favorite climbing wall. Climbing walls are also super fascinating because they are so geometric and multi-faceted. I’ve been thinking about converting the megaslab wall into outlines and then screenprinting it onto a shirt… but then my blicket shirt took precedence, and the megaslab got pushed aside. Until now. Original pic, and my conversion:



Why so many colors? It makes the embroidery machine stop after each block is filled in because it thinks you have to change the thread color. I wish I could have made a rainbow megaslab, but I only have so many colors of thread, so I determined the colors on the fly as it printed. I did one line drawing, and one block drawing. These are my favorite things so far that I’ve printed (see above).

I especially love the line one. Gorgeous! I am converting that into a true patch, for sure, once my stabilizer arrives. I like the color block one as well, although next time I will pre-plan the colors, and I will also make sure the fill pattern is the same for all blocks (you can see the larger ones are a “weave” and the smaller ones are a “satin”).

These make me super excited. I think I’m going to work on a few designs for merit badges, and they will also be line drawings because I like that style. I also need to get cracking on laser cutting some awesome things before my times runs out!

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