For this weeks lesson, we explored both the CAD Embroidery Lab and learned about stitch on the sewing machine.

Here are my CAD notes I quickly typed out while Hannah taught us the secrets of the CAD Lab:

  • Stitch in layers! (If you knows where colour of the thread needs to change you can choose it manually)
  • Use password on computer to log in; don’t log in with own details
  • Use Illustrator to tweak designs
    • Learn how to use Illustrator-copy basic blocky posters on Pinterest to start
  • Can have an outline stitch which is either running or single stitch
  • Fits into the 3 embroidery hoops within the dimensions of the hoops
  • All threads are free! Viscose thread is more silky goes through machine easier
  • Cotton thread  tends to snap a bit more more fragile
  • Record down: What fabric size your using, what colours, what kind of fabric on the system
  • Set up to choose fabric
  • Box will tell you what to use as stabilizer
  • Thread colors in set up

When Setting up the Program

  • Click the spool to view color palette
  • Click pencil fo switch to graphics mode 
  • Import design-picture with green arrow 
  • Little computer to flip back and forth between the two 
  • When you save file in illustrator save it as Adobe Illustrator file 
  • Illustrator options save as illustrator cs4
  • Click it so that all the black boxes appear around it then convert into embroidery mode
  • Click on bunch of patches with arrow
  • Converts graphics into embroidery once converted into stitch cannot go back into graphics mode
  • Control z to undo what you’ve done
  • Double click on an area to change what kind of stitch you want
  • Click on removable disk and then click on design press right to replace it –
  • Press the folder on Janome so that it comes up then press circle next to usb logo
  • Should bring up the embroidery folder
  • Want the arrow to be on lower left hand corner to bottom hoop a
  • Make sure both are securely in place 
  • Keep the bottom bobbin flat down at all times so we can see the thread and needle going in and out
  • You press the start twice
  • Something complex 400, 500 is normal 600 is only for basic out line stitches any faster it starts to break

Use BookIt for a slot of 9:30-12 or 1:30-4.

We then were ran through the process of machine embroidery by Nikkita Morgan. The piece I made that day was a raw, unedited stream of my thoughts from thread to fabric. Seeing that I now have to upload everything online due to COVID-19 made me uncomfortable when I looked back at the stitched piece (it felt too personal) so I hand stitched over it.

The finished embroidered hoop. I used this more as an art therapy kind of embroidery piece. Due to not having my sewing machine available, I hand stitched a big scream over top of my past stitched diary entry to hide it, and also to let out any pent up emotions.

I also stitched some exclamation points to create more energy. It was seeming a bit bare, so I added in some seed stitches to make it busier and a bit more colorful.

Lorina Bulwer is a stitch artist who throughout the course I keep coming back to and have been very inspired by. This connects into her work with the layering of stitches, as well as using donated materials such as the wool yarns I stitched with. I explored her in depth here!

Example of Lorina Bulwer’s stitch work.

What inspired me the most with this piece, even though I ended up stitching back over it with hand stitch, was Ruth Rae’s Red Thread Poetry Dress:


After creating a free hand pattern for the dress, almost every inch was free hand embroidered on a machine with her own diary entries as well as poems.

There is even hidden embroidery in the pockets of the dress.

She even has created a video slide show showing her process:


Jona, R., 2016. Mark My Words: The Subversive History Of Women Using Thread As Ink. [online] Vice. Available at: <https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/8qwpzb/mark-my-words-the-subversive-history-of-women-using-thread-as-ink> [Accessed 18 April 2020]

Rae, R., 2012. Red Thread Journal Dress. [online] Ruthrae.blogspot.com. Available at: <http://ruthrae.blogspot.com/2012/04/red-thread-journal-dress.html> [Accessed 18 April 2020].

Rae, R., 2012. Red Thread Poetry Dress. [online] Flickr. Available at: <https://www.flickr.com/photos/ruthrae/7059811639/in/photostream/> [Accessed 18 April 2020].



  1. The intensity of your hand stitching in layers is very effective here. It was a little confusing at first having the hand stitched imagery embedded in the post when it is entitled technologies for stitch. You do go on to explain why, but it would be useful to drop in a photo of the CAD machine or a link to the facility somehow before you introduce your overstitched piece.
    I think Lorina Bulwer deserves a mention in this post!

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