One-Upping Myself.

I recently created a new computerized quilting design that took me FOR FREAKING EVER. As I was digitizing it, I realized that this might be a good opportunity to help people understand exactly what goes into the digitizing process for computerized quilting designs.

So, first off, here is the design in all its glory:

Now, I have created designs similar to this in the past, but nothing this intricate. While I do have other Graffiti Quilting designs that have the same layout: starting in the center and working towards the edges, like this one:

And this one:

And this one:

These previously created designs were all with the intent of stitching them from start to finish without having to advance the fabric, meaning they would never be stitched larger than about 20″.

First of all, technology is so stinkin’ amazing and being able to stitch something out that totally looks like it was free-motion quilted by a professional is so dang cool! The downside to these designs is that the quilter is limited to what their machine’s throat space can handle. So, some people can stitch these designs out at about 20″ while others may only be able to stitch them between 8″-13″. This can get a little tricky because the designs are so dense, especially the smaller they are quilted.

Having a smaller throat space is something that I, as the designer, can only do so much to help with. But, after I released these designs, time and time again I keep getting asking if the design could be broken apart and stitched in pieces, so that there were designated points where you could pause your machine, and advance the fabric while dragging and dropping the design along with it.

Well, that option now exists!!! This new design was created with the capability of just that! You can stitch it anywhere between 10″ and about 110″! So you can stitch it small to serve as a wall-hanging, or stitch it large onto a functional quilt! You can see exactly where each puzzle piece is in this image below:

This design collection is super versatile in terms of the size variations, AND this is also why the design took so long to create. Which brings me to my next point that I wanted to share on why this design took me so long to create.

The previous designs would never be stitched larger than about 25″ so the sketchy-freemotion look was totally fine. When I am able to digitize in the form of drawing the design, the digitizing process goes fairly quick. (I would say those previous designs took on average about 15 hours each to digitize.) However, as a design gets larger and larger (or more zoomed in) those points sometimes get further and further apart and become noticeable to the human eye when they weren’t before.

On the right is the hand-drawn design and on the left is the POINT PERFECT digitized design.

So from this far zoomed out, they look basically identical, right? Well, lets take a closer look and zoom in quite a bit further. You’ll see that the points in the design on the right do not meet together EXACTLY whereas the points in the design on the left do fit quite nicely.

Now, this doesn’t mean that the drawn digital design on the right is “less quality” than the bezier curve digitized design. It just means that this new design took much much longer to digitize because clicking and dragging a mouse and then endlessly adjusting and re-adjusting curves takes so much longer than simply drawing a curve with a pencil in your hand. This gif below is just a small sample of the tedium that went into the adjustments of every single curve in this design.

This design collection contains more than 25 puzzle pieces and the project took close to 60 hours to complete the digitizing and, believe me, WORTH EVERY SECOND. It blows my mind how you can digitize something once and then stitch it out LITERALLY an infinite number of times. SO diddly dang cool.

And…… It. Stitched. Out. Beautifully.

Here it is stitched out at minimal capacity of 10″…

Here it is stitched out at my machine’s maximum throat space of 19″, with each section stitched a different color…

And here it is stitched out at 70″ wide, almost maximizing my throat space with the largest section having a height of 17.6 inches…

(with this one I also quilted pebbles around the edge to square it off.)

I know this design is pretty insane and takes a lot of care to stitch it out nicely, but it really is so worth the extra attention to detail to get such a beautiful allover design at ANY SCALE.

Lastly, I wanted to address the price of this collection and why I decided to price it at $100. My logic was this: I would consider each section of this design to be more intricate than a block design, but it doesn’t serve as an edge to edge. So, if I were to sell each section on it’s own (which I am not because their shape doesn’t really work outside of the collection) then each one would be $5, just like the rest of my block designs (even though these took about 4x longer to digitize than a traditional block design). So, since there are 29 sections to the collection, that would make the entire collection $145. However, because I ALWAYS discount my collections to be cheaper than the sum of their parts, I have priced this collection at a convenient $100 even. I hope that now that you have gotten a better understanding and hindsight into what it takes to make a design like this, you’ll agree that $100 is fair.

If you’d like to get a better understanding of the logistics, check out this page that is also included in the downloads folder when you purchase the design. It will help you on your way to using this design to its fun potential. Also, if you like the color recommendations in that document, I would really love it if you used my affiliate link should you choose to purchase some thread from Sulky’s website. It doesn’t cost you anything more, and it gives me a little kickback which is helpful as a full-time business owner.

Be great to each other!


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