Resizing Designs

Updated: Aug 4

This is a road on Hwy 71 outside of Austin.
Gotta love Texas!!!


I thought I’d go into some detail on resizing this month. I know it’s always tempting to reduce or enlarge a design. It may help to really understand what happens so that you can make informed decisions.

You’ve probably noticed that every digitizing site says “Do NOT resize designs”. The reason for this is that if you resize, the design is fundamentally changed and will not necessarily stitch out as the digitizer intended.

In the most simple terms, when you resize on your computer or on your machine, the stitch points are simply moved either closer (reducing) or farther apart (enlarging)

Here is a simple example of 1.5 mm wide satin stitch. It is designed so that the stitch points are close together to create a smooth fully filled satin line.

When enlarged 50%, the stitches are separated and the wider satin line is sparse.

When reduced 50%, the thread is so dense that a birds nest will likely occur. In addition, it may violate the machine’s smallest allowable stitch length.

So, lets look at this month’s free design. The designs on the top are the original designs. On the left is the 5x7 and on the right is the 4x4.

On the bottom left, I’ve resized the 5x7 to the 4x4 size and on the bottom right, I’ve resized the 4x4 to the 5x7 size. They look fine, but let’s look deeper.

Here is a density image of the original and resized designs. Notice that the resized designs look significantly different than the originals.

The reduced version of the 5x7 is the most problematic. The density is too high and it will likely cause binding in the stitch-out. The enlarged design will be sparse.

They are very different than the original designs and will sew out very differently.

When asked, I generally tell people, if you must change the size, don’t reduce or enlarge more than 10-15%. This will obviously change the design but usually will not cause noticeable differences. However, if you are reducing a really small design, or a design with really small elements, even that may cause issues.

So, if you change the size, always, always sew it out on a scrap first to see if the integrity of the design is maintained.

I hope this helps to see what’s really going on with resizing.

Garden News

We’ve been eating fresh radishes, kale, lettuce and kohlrabi from the greenhouse. I even have basil. I do have beets, carrots and cabbage in the garden but the most exciting thing I’m doing now is starting seeds in preparation for spring.

I live in a very rural area but we have a neighborhood feel. A big ranch was broken up into smaller parcels and so most of us have been here just a couple of years. There’s a winery down the road and neighbors meet every Thursday for a potluck and wine. We also have a very active neighborhood Facebook group. We’ve made many friends and there are lots of neighbors that plan to start their first garden this spring. So this year, I’ve planted about 4 times the seeds that I need so that I can share seedlings.

I’m using soil blocks this year. The little press was a Christmas present from my sweet husband. So, I have about 500 seedlings going. Once we get past the first frost and I plant my garden, I’ll just post on our neighborhood Facebook page what I have to give away.

I can’t believe we’re only about 6 weeks out from spring planting. We’re working on getting more beds in the big garden. I’ll have at least 50 tomato plants this year. I really want 100. We ran out of our home canned tomato sauce way too fast last year.

I’ve planted many of the seeds I saved last fall and summer and I'm thrilled that they are sprouting. It was so easy to save seeds.

We’ve also been doing projects around the place. We got the big garden fenced in about a ½ acre area. We’ll put a small orchard on opposite side from the garden. We also had an awning added to our barn and yesterday we made a holder for our tools.

And, yes, we have a tractor!

I have been weaving this winter. Not prolific but I did make some kitchen towels using a draft that I’ve been wanting to try.

Pete has been working on clearing brush and creating wildlife habitat on the property most of the winter. We’ve spread another few pounds of native wildflower seeds and expect to have a colorful spring. It gets prettier each year. I truly feel lucky to live here.

Have a wonderful February and Happy Valentines,

This month’s design is for Valentines. 4x4 and 5x7.

#embroiderydesigns #fabricmodern #Blog

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