Gear Threads

Gear Threads Is The Mr X Stitch Machine Embroidery Column - Presented By Urban Threads!

 So usually this column features nifty art in machine embroidered form. Today brings something a bit more behind-the-scenes, but if you’re as into shaking up the machine embroidery world as we are, this’ll be relevant to your interests.

Software developers Jonathan Greig and Josh Varga just launched a Kickstarter for Embroidermodder 2, a cross-platform program to create and edit embroidery designs. What makes this different from other machine embroidery programs on the market is that Embroidermodder is open source. For some users, this may not mean much — you’d use it for day-to-day tasks much like any other program (and part of the goal is to create a cost-effective option for this). But for those of a programming persuasion, open source software would allow anyone with the skills to tweak and dabble with the software, creating new features like a mad embroidery scientist.

Embroidermodder features

Click for a biggie to read about the program’s features.

Between them, Greig and Varga have experience with computer aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM), embroidery formats, and operating and programming for various computer numerical control (CNC) equipment. Grieg says he fell into machine embroidery when asked if he could use his technical skills to solve a stitchy problem. He found an early version of the program, modified it to suit his needs, shared it with Varga (one of the original creators of Embroidermodder), and next thing he knew he was part of the project. Now, if enough backers are on board, the two plan to take Embroidermodder from a side project to an accessible tool for working with machine embroidery.

3D rendering

3D rendering of a design helps users visualize what it will look like stitched.

In an industry that’s so proprietary, open-source software is a step in an exciting direction, laying the groundwork for machine embroiderers to get creatively involved on a new level and approach their craft not only as consumers of machines, software, and design files — but also, if they’re so inclined, as producers of whatever they’d like those things to become.

Possible future developments? Android and iOS versions, and maybe someday even an open source embroidery machine, like this amazing embroidery machine made of a sewing machine and Legos.

 

Check out Embroidermodder’s Kickstarter page to learn more about the project!

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Urban Threads - Unique and Awesome Machine Embroidery DesignsGear Threads is brought to you from the offbeat gals at Urban Threads. Created by illustrator Niamh O’Connor, Urban Threads is revolutionizing machine embroidery one edgy, elegant, innovative, and/or offbeat design at a time. Discover the future of digital stitchery at www.urbanthreads.com.

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Gear Threads Is The Mr X Stitch Machine Embroidery Column - Presented By Urban Threads!

Grace Garton is a full-time artist in Pontville, Tasmania, Australia. She works in many media, from painting to plush toys to embroidery, but the spirit of her work shines through in everything that comes out of her Little Black Crow Studio — little characters full of story and personality.

Grace uses freemotion machine embroidery and a hodgepodge of applique to create vivid, sweet images with a tactile dimension you can’t ignore.

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Textile Art by Grace Garton

These kitty brooches combine painting and stitching on canvas. The expressions on each feline face are just delightful!

Textile Art by Grace GartonTextile Art by Grace Garton

She also makes plush dolls and toys, including this primitive kitty — like one of the brooches come to life.

Textile Art by Grace Garton

The juxtaposition of Grace’s different types of work is intriguing — similar characters and themes, styled to showcase the unique strengths of each medium.

Art by Grace GartonArt by Grace Garton

See more in Grace’s Little Black Crow Etsy shop!

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Urban Threads - Unique and Awesome Machine Embroidery DesignsGear Threads is brought to you from the offbeat gals at Urban Threads. Created by illustrator Niamh O’Connor, Urban Threads is revolutionizing machine embroidery one edgy, elegant, innovative, and/or offbeat design at a time. Discover the future of digital stitchery at www.urbanthreads.com.

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Gear Threads Is The Mr X Stitch Machine Embroidery Column - Presented By Urban Threads!

Digital embroidery is often thought of as losing some of the finer traditions of hand embroidery techniques. Machines stitch in ways people can’t, but they also can’t always replicate the effects a hand-stitcher can create with a needle and long patient hours of work.

However, just like any technology, it can be used in some cases to preserve and showcase a technique of stitching that would otherwise become more and more rare in today’s modern world. The company Art of Silk is doing just that, by using modern digitizing techniques to bring to life traditional delicate silk embroidery.

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Buddha

The technique used in this case is a little bit different than many digitizing companies employ. Instead of just digitizing regular art, each piece starts as its own hand embroidered masterpiece, done by an artisan as it has been for ages.

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Once that piece is painstakingly embroidered using thousand of tiny silk stitches, the piece is scanned and digitizers spend a month recreating each handmade stitch on the computer.

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What that means is each piece becomes a beautiful recreation of an original embroidered work, so the original art, which is understandably very expensive and unavailable to most regular folk, can be reproduced in a way that keeps this exquisite technique available at a lower cost, but continues to support the original artisans of the embroidery as a key part of the process.

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If you’re more curious about the technique, they have a whole video about how their designs are made, which you can check out here. You have to admit, the results are exquisite!

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Urban Threads - Unique and Awesome Machine Embroidery DesignsGear Threads is brought to you from the offbeat gals at Urban Threads. Created by illustrator Niamh O’Connor, Urban Threads is revolutionizing machine embroidery one edgy, elegant, innovative, and/or offbeat design at a time. Discover the future of digital stitchery at www.urbanthreads.com.

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Gear Threads Is The Mr X Stitch Machine Embroidery Column - Presented By Urban Threads!

Most of the time here on Gear Threads we’re all “Look at this pretty thing made on a sewing machine!” Today’s post is a little different. It IS pretty, in a creepy crawly sort of way, but what’s really great here is the look at how it was made.

 

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Brocade Lion (whose awesome has appeared on Mr X Stitch before) wanted to make something special to wear to a fundraiser to bring an electric eel to the country’s oldest aquarium. (A fashion challenge we all encounter sooner or later, no?) So she digitized her own electric eel design for machine embroidery, and incorporated it into a LED-studded headband.

 

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In a detailed and entertaining blog post, she demonstrates step by step how she created the machine embroidery design, from initial concept, to preparing the art, to digitizing the embroidery, to glowy finished project.

 

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If you’re ever wondered how one might create a machine embroidery design, check this out! The process can vary depending on the tools and skills at a digitizer’s disposal, but this is an awesome overview of the technical and artistic considerations that go into making a design. Read the whole post here!

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Urban Threads - Unique and Awesome Machine Embroidery DesignsGear Threads is brought to you from the offbeat gals at Urban Threads. Created by illustrator Niamh O’Connor, Urban Threads is revolutionizing machine embroidery one edgy, elegant, innovative, and/or offbeat design at a time. Discover the future of digital stitchery at www.urbanthreads.com.

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