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    Connectors between the objects and inside them in machine embroidery

    Original text by Marina Belova 
    A connecting stitch serves to join different objects or segments of one object in machine embroidery. 
    There are 3 types of connectors: 
    Walking stitch – joins the objects (segments) with a running stitch.  Jump – no visible connection between the objects.  Run – a thread runs between the end of one object and the beginning of another.  I'll tell you a bit about each of these types of connector stitches. 
    Walking (travel) stitch 
    A walking stitch can be inserted between separate objects of one color as well as inside the object of a simple or a complex branched shape. 
    In the picture below you can a walking stitch between the end of one object and the beginning of another – a classic travel stitch between the outlines. The objects are located at some distance. 

    Travel stitches are commonly used when it is possible to hide them under other objects that will be embroidered later. 
    Walking stitches between the objects of one color aim at minimizing the number of trims in the design and reduce the time spent on the embroidery. 
    Notice that this trick won't work if the travel stitch is of a dark color whereas the upper layer of stitches is light-colored because the dark thread will shine through the light-colored fill and you'll be forced to trim. If the distance between the objects is up to 1.5–2 mm, you can spare the trim and use a walking stitch instead. 
    Walking stitches between the segments on one object are shown below. 

    In our days, when the digitizer's work is largely done by embroidery editors a digitizer only enters the parameters of the walking stitches, such as stitch length, the location of the stitch inside the object or at its edge, the amount of overlap between the segments, and the software defines their path. 
    Walking stitches originated in manual punching times when there was no embroidery software. In those days one complex shape was divided into several simple ones depending on the stitch angle. And the simple shape was split into segments in accordance with the start and finish points in it. The puncher connected all the segments with the running stitches. This laid the foundations for today's walking stitches inside the outline. 
    The advantages of walking stitches before jumps and trims 
    the machine works at a higher speed  less thread breakage and thread slipping out of the eye  lesser time and higher productivity  Jumps 
    Jumps are used to connect objects that are located at a distance so that the walking stitch cannot be applied. You get jumps when the machine moves the hoop but does not stitch. Usually, an automatic trim is inserted before the jump if the machine has a trimmer. There are no threads between the objects when using this connector – they are cut. 

    As I stated in my article about embroidery navigation, it's better to minimize the number of trims in the design in order to avoid thread and needle breakage and thread slipping out of the needle. The economic factor should also be considered: every trim adds 7 seconds to the embroidery time and equals to approximately 65 stitches. That is, every trim slows the production. 
    Runs are almost the same thing as jumps. Just as jumps, they are used to connect the objects at a distance from each other. Only in this case, there is a thread between the exit point of one object and the enter point of another, though the machine doesn't stitch. You get this when the trim command has not been inserted. This is how it looks: 

    This way of connecting objects in a design is quick and convenient for a digitizer, for you don't even have to think whether a trim is needed.
    But, in my opinion, it adds the problem of cleaning after the embroidery is completed. Besides, some of the runs get under the objects that are embroidered later. And it is quite a task to clean the embroidery afterward, which is not at all economically efficient if you have line production. 

    Embroidery on handkerchiefs or My "discovery" of Filmoplast

    Original text by Marina Belova 
    I've long wanted to write about Filmoplast yet couldn't get to it: either there was no Filmoplast or a suitable project. Finally, I figured out what I can do: I'd embroider a monogram on a handkerchief and show you how to use this sticky paper and what purposes does it serve. This article is aimed at those unfamiliar the subject. And yet... 
    Although I've learned how to use this paper a long time ago (or so it would seem), I was somewhat surprised when I visited the manufacturer's website in order to see the first-hand instructions. When you are not swamped with work and stop approaching everything from a professional standpoint, you are suddenly left with the time on your hands for experimenting and education. This makes me infinitely happy. When the work piles around, you rarely get a change to stick your head out and see what's outside. Though I may be the only one who thinks so. 
    But let's call Filmoplast to the stage. 
    Filmoplast is a paper covered with adhesive. You don't need an iron to glue it to the fabric, just hoop it with the checkered side up, tear away the protective skin (the one in checkers) that covers the adhesive and stick everything you like to it. 
    This is how the Filmoplast looks: 

    The checkers, as I take it, are necessary for precise hooping, and after you've removed the upper layer, the leftovers will help to align the item on Filmoplast. 
    This paper is meant to enable the embroidery machine users to embroider on delicate fabrics and other materials, for which hooping might not be a very good idea: velvet, leather, dense corduroy, paper, and so on. That is, the materials prone to the hoop burn or those impossible to hoop simply because of their volume, such as thick terry cloth (the frames on home embroidery machines are too thin and ineffective for this fabric). Additionally, Filmoplast was intended for highly stretchy fabrics that list elastane among their components. Another purpose of using
    Filmoplast is to hold various small size items inside the hoop without any special devices. For instance, cuffs, collars, ribbons, etc. Gunold even suggested embroidering caps with the help of Filmoplast. I didn't try it and, therefore, can't offer any comment. 
    In my opinion, Filmoplast is nothing more than a costlier analog of the good old tear-away stabilizer + temporary spray adhesive combination. I myself prefer the stabilizer + adhesive combo simply because no matter how the German manufacturer praises Filmoplast as a stabilizer, it doesn't really stabilize anything, making it necessary to place something under the hoop so that to avoid embroidery defects. 
    Besides, I utterly dislike the way Filmoplast comes off the wrong side. It either sticks sure as death and then tears off in tiny bits with fibers in them (velvet pile, for example) or it doesn't hold to the fabric and peels off during the embroidery so that you have to reattach it, which causes various mishaps with the outer look of the embroidery. Hence, not every fabric can be embroidered on this paper. 
    So what did surprise me in the instructions on the German website? The way you can save on this rather costly material – it turned out that you only have to hoop a big piece of it once. They show it in great detail with pictures. 
    And I'll show you how I embroidered handkerchiefs on Filmoplast. 
    So I hoop a piece of Filmoplast: 

    Make a cut in the protective skin: 

    Attach my handkerchief to the adhesive, aligning it with the checkers that were left over after I cut out a hole: 

    Embroider the design: 

    Carefully remove the handkerchief so that not to tear the Filmoplast: 

    Cover the hole in the paper with a small piece of Filmoplast which I press to the exposed adhesive: 

    Attach a new handkerchief and resume the embroidery: 

    This process goes on and on, until you've completed all the handkerchiefs. 
    Here are the two of mine: 

    Simple as that. It's never too late to learn. The thought wouldn't probably even cross my mind – I've always hooped a new piece of Filmoplast for every item. 
    To think of it, I've already described a similar technique, which can be regarded as an alternative to using Filmoplast – hooping a double-sided adhesive tape. In this case, I could put it under the hoop instead of sticking another, small piece of Filmoplast. 

    Thread expenditure in machine embroidery 

    Original text by Marina Belova 
    Every embroiderer ask himself or herself this question before beginning a new project: just how much threads will I need for it? 
    If you have a single-head embroidery machine, the answer is simple – you buy one or maybe two spools of each color, depending on the project size. Overall not too expensive. But when you need to buy threads for a multi-head embroidery machine, the price increases proportionately with the number of heads. Whereas the real thread expenditure for a whole batch of products is ludicrously small. You're lucky if the colors bought are in demand, and you'll be able to use them for your other projects. 
    Traditionally, the approximate amount of thread is calculated in the embroidery software. The process is very simple: open the file, read the design data and voila. The approximate upper thread to lower thread expenditure ratio is 3:1, at least, this what the embroidery software considers it to be. 
    I've never yet seen that thread expenditure estimated in an embroidery editor was correct. You always have to adjust it. I usually multiply it to 1.5–2. 
    There can be cases where it is impossible to open the file and to see the estimated thread expenditure. In a situation like this, you can turn to the manufacturers. Embroidery thread manufacturers also give you approximate algorithms for calculation. 
    For instance, Gunold suggests this formula for thread expenditure calculation: every 1000 stitches require about 5 m of the upper and 5 m of the lower (!) threads (1:1 ratio). This manufacturer also states that the higher the machine's speed, the more thread is used. Madeira equals every 1000 stitches to 3 m or the lower thread. 
    Gunold offers these thread expenditure figures in relation to the speed of the machine:
      Embroidery machine speed, rpm




    Estimated upper thread expenditure

    1092 m

    1428 m

    1680 m

    Estimated lower thread expenditure

    765 m

    1000 m

    1175 m

    It is not clear what stitch length people making all these calculations had in mind. The longer is the stitch, the more thread it will take. Chances are that an average value of 3–4 mm was used as a basis. Besides, nobody in the real world takes into account the thread tension on every head of a particular machine. If the upper thread is loose, the expenditure will be higher. More than likely, the manufacturers made their calculations for an ideal situation: 2/3 of the upper and 1/3 of the lower threads. Unfortunately, there are no algorithms that include the fabric thickness for better precision. 
    Therefore, one should approach all those figures with caution. Trusting the figures given by a manufacturer used to lead me into traps. The real thread expenditure is much higher than the estimate. In all appearance, it's due to the reasons listed above. 
    For example, Madeira and Amann write that one spool containing 5 km of #40 threads is enough for 1 million stitches. Respectively, a spool containing 1 km of threads should be enough for ~200 thousand stitches. 
    In other words, Madeira and Amann suggest that it takes 4.6 m of the upper and 2.3 of the lower thread for every 1000 stitches. That is, the ratio here is 2:1. 
    There are great discrepancies, as you can see. But using even those unreliable figures is better than buying threads in a hit-and-miss fashion. 
    By the way, there is a website with an online calculator for those who are too lazy to calculate the thread expenditure themselves. 

    Adding volume to the embroidery with the help of the underlay

    Original text by Marina Belova 
    The August issue of the Impressions magazine contained an interesting article called Puffy Letters: Foam vs. Faux Foam by Lee Caroselli-Barners, in which a method of adding volume to the embroidery without using the 3D Puff was described. The method in question is quite similar to the traditional way of adding volume using multiple layers of understitching. Though it is unlike everything I've seen before due to the very low density in the upper layer of the embroidery and also due to the same stitch angle in the underlay and the finishing layer of satins. The author has a view that the low density in the finishing layer of stitches contributes to the effect of volume because of the dancing shadows created by it. She even invented a name for this method of adding volume to the embroidery – the Faux Foam. 
    So why does Lee think of it as an alternative to 3D Foam? The answer is simple. It's all about automation and speed so you don't have to rack your brain over the following factors: 
    You don't need to decide where to insert the walking stitches between the segments and the objects so as not to flatten the Puff.  You neither need to cover the open ends with caps that will perforate 3D Puff nor choose the right stitch angle for that same purpose.  You also don't need to avoid shortening.  The size of the design and its elements does not matter, you can make it the way you like.  No need to remove the 3D Puff leftovers using a variety of methods – the embroidery is clean.  Also, no need to buy 3D Puff.  Digitizing goes pretty much the same way as usual if you don't count the fact that you'll need to create 2 very dense layers of underlay for the wide elements and 1 layer for the narrow ones.
    Under narrow elements, put double zig-zags 0.4 mm dense, their width being ~75% of the width of the finishing satin columns. Under wide elements, 2 layers of double zig-zags 0.3 mm dense. The width of the first layer should be ~60% and the second one ~80% of the width of the finishing satin column. The density in the finishing layer of stitches should be almost halved: from 0.6 to 0.75 mm. Such are the secrets of this technique, in a nutshell.
    This is how the digitizing process should look: 

    Claims to the simplicity of creation of a puffy design sound very enticing, therefore, I decided to give the method a try so as to see the result and to decide whether the volume created in that way it is any different from the one created by other methods. So I created 2 variants of a simple CD monogram – for 3D Puff (on the left) and for the new technique: 

    The first impediment on my way was that not all machine embroidery editors allow the user to add as many layers of understitching as they please. As far as I know, only Wilcom has an automatic option of that kind (Wilcom is the software in which Lee, to whom have I have a lot of respect, creates all of her highly artistic designs). 
    Those who own other embroidery editors will have to invest a lot of effort into the process that cannot be fully automated. I myself spend quite a lot of time manually drawing one of the two layers of understitching under the big elements. One should point out that the geometry of the upper layer is the same in both cases, apart from the slight difference in pull compensation values. The thinnest outline in my design is 3.5 mm; that includes 0.6 mm pull compensation on each side. 
    Another surprise was the stitch count – it equaled 11700 with the Puff and 12455 without it. 
    This is me embroidering with 3D Puff: 

    Here the embroidery without the Puff is almost done: 

    Below is the result with the Puff leftovers removed: 

    You can detect the difference in volume right away: the embroidery is much less puffy without the Foam (mine was soft) but puffy nevertheless. To my chagrin, it's hard to capture with my camera.  The 0.75 mm in the thin outline of the upper layer seems far from enough. The edge looks jagged. In my opinion, the play of light and shadow created by the difference in density between the underlay and the finishing layer doesn't result in the promised volume effect.  But the 0.6 mm works splendidly.  My vote goes for the Puff. But I admit that the Puff will be hard to cope with in 1.5–2 mm outlines. No matter how hard I try to find a replacement for this rather costly consumable material, it has few really good alternatives. 

    Mastering knitwear piqué

    Original text by Marina Belova 
    I've long wanted to focus on knitwear, and finally, I got around to it. The first thing I saw was piqué. I've heard numerous horror stories about this fabric and even embroidered some pretty awful designs on it, and now it's time to straighten it all out. 
    The key difference of piqué from an ordinary T-shirt is that it doesn't have a smooth surface. The texture of pique resembles honeycombs or a waffle. The fact that this type of knitwear is more vapory is what distinguishes it from the others and requires a special treatment. 
    My own (unsuccessful) attempt at the embroidery on this fabric proved that the most important task of a digitizer is to avoid puckering so that the embroidery is soft and pleasant in wear. 
    Embroidery on piqué – recommendations: 
    Use light ball point (SES) needles. The needle size should not be over #75; #70 is optimal. The rule is simple: a thinner needle will damage the fabric less.  It's better to use #40 or #60 soft threads, for example, rayon or cotton, for small details. You can use polyester as well, but it is generally regarded as being tricky.  Piqué should be hooped. Together with a stabilizer.  The hoop should be as small as possible for a particular design.  Stabilizers. On this subject, opinions vary greatly. Tradition says to use 2 layers of a cut-away middle-weight stabilizer under the dark knitwear, with strands running in different directions. Under the light knitwear, use one layer of spunbond (a non-show mesh) because the cut-away will show through, and besides, it is not pleasant in wear. Additionally, you may use a temporary spray adhesive.  Piqué may be covered with a water-soluble film. I think it would come in handy for small letters and small elements of the design so that they don't sink into the fabric.  When creating a design, it's better to avoid large areas, filled with stitches. Large details better to be replaced with appliques.  Standard density values are 0.4–0.45 mm. But openwork designs are considered best of all for piqué.  You should avoid long stitches in the design. 3–4 mm is an optimal stitch length.  Pull compensation should be no less than 0.4 mm.  Understitching – single and double zig-zags. They may be combined with the edge run. A full grid should be put under the fills (in case the filled areas are present in the design, after all). Underlay should be moved further away from the edges than on an ordinary fabric.  The embroidery should be sequenced from the center outwards.  Try to plan your embroidery sequence in such a way that complex objects are embroidered in one direction in order to avoid gaps.  Segment overlap: no less than 2 rows in the fills and no less than 2 stitches in the satins.  Frankly speaking, you'll never understand how a particular design should be embroidered until you actually embroider no matter how profound is your knowledge of theory. That's what all of the above is: a basic theory of embroidery on piqué, nothing more. I began fiddling with piqué with the basic settings that I use for simple fabrics, positioned my design on one layer of tear-away sprinkled with a temporary spray adhesive for additional stability and only then hooped the whole thing and hit the start button. I used this stabilizer because I didn't have any non-show mesh for knitwear and I was trying to use what was available. 
    The result was highly unsatisfactory – there were gaps between the neighboring outlines and there was also distortion. The fabric lost its shape while still in the hoop, which means that the stabilizer was ineffective: 

    This how the fabric looked after unhooping: 

    To get the whole thing right, I modified my design by increasing pull compensation both manually and automatically and also deliberately distorted the outlines in the direction I needed. Additionally, I put an underlay under the entire design, matching my fabric in color, that was meant to hold the design in place: After that, I placed my design on 2 layers of tear-away stabilizer and hit the start button. This is what I got: 

    The distortion was still there but it had been visibly reduced, which meant that I was going in the right direction. The only thing left was to get rid of such defects as the gaps between the stitches in the white area and in the green core. Having solved that problem, I stuck my piqué on a middle-weight cut-away adhesive stabilizer and embroidered my third piece. This one came out best: practically no puckering. 

    The resulting embroidery was rather dense. It appears that one can embroider a dense design on piqué if one chooses a right kind of stabilizer and modifies the design after doing some tests. In digitizing, guesswork will get you nowhere; you need to see the embroidered design to get a high-quality result. After having conquered this design, digitizing a twig from my article on contrasting colors for embroidery on piqué was kid's stuff: 

    It was an openwork design and the result was very soft and nice to the touch, which is a big advantage for a T-shirt. Even an openwork design didn't get puckered. 

    Objects to digitize in machine embroidery

    Original text by Marina Belova 
    It sometimes seems so strange to me when I hear questions the answers to which lie on the very surface. But then I realize that some newcomers might not be familiar it. 
    For instance, it always surprised me that every machine embroidery course teaches you to draw from scratch, explaining what exactly do you draw and how. Not everybody learns how to use graphics editing software before embarking upon creation of the machine embroidery designs. 
    So I won't discuss in a great detail precisely how and in what way the objects are created because it depends on the embroidery editor. Today I'll simply tell you what objects a user can draw. There only two types of such objects: 
    1. A line. A line can be open or closed. 

    The basic types of stitches that can be applied to the line: 
    Running stitch  Satin column  Cross stitch  E-stitch  Motif stitch (macros)  Manual stitch  An area. An area is usually a closed object of a varying shape. Why usually? Because some editors permit filling the areas within the open outlines. 

    The basic types of stitches that can be applied to the area: 
    Satin  Fill  Contour fill  Spiral fill  Radial fill  Applique  Cross fill  To know more about stitch types, click here. 
    What stitch type to choose for any object in particular, depends on its size, shape, outlines, its intended purposes, the desired decorative effect, and, of course, a digitizer's experience. All of this should be taken into account before digitizing has even started. 

    Mastering the waffle cloth

    Original text by Marina Belova 
    Several days ago I bought waffle weave towels and came up with the idea of attaching the embroidered eyelets to them (you can download the design here). Observing the textured surface I like so much, a question popped up in my head: are there any special rules for embroidery on this fabric? 
    It's not that I've never before embroidered on this cloth. I actually had more than once. It's that I've never thought what one could do to with it to get the embroidery of a high quality. It turned out that waffle cloth is not at all scary, on the contrary, it's rather stable. That is, if you don't count the cheap and loosely-woven waffle cloth that has a very low density and needs to be approached from a different angle as a consequence. Read more about loosely woven fabrics here. 

    The technique is actually simple and not really different from a standard procedure: 
    Hoop the fabric together with a backing (a middle-weight tear-away stabilizer will be just fine) and a water-soluble film on top. If you're trying to cut down expenses, I'm sure that you can do without the topping or simply put on top of the design a piece of a corresponding size. A tear-away stabilizer can be additionally secured with a temporary spray adhesive.  You can use threads of any thickness and structure.  Choose the needles with SES points, their thickness matching the thread thickness.  Digitizing a machine embroidery design for the waffle cloth 
    The process of creating a design or choosing a ready one for this fabric will be defined by its texture: 
    Avoid light-weighted designs executed in running stitches or containing a low-dense fill. (Though, in my opinion, this is a moot point.)  Do not embroider small letters directly on the fabric but on an underlay.  Standard density values are best: 0.4–0.45 mm will be sufficient to thoroughly cover the fabric. Density could be reduced due to the use of understitching.  Use stitches under 7 mm long, as usual. Anything longer than that should be split. For the fills, I'd recommend using stitches no longer than 4–4.5 mm. At any rate, the designs I'd embroidered looked better that way.  When working with a textured fabric, the most important thing is not to forget the underlay that will even the surface and maintain the edges.  Under thin satins – an edge run.  Under the satins from 2.5 to 7 mm – a zig-zag + an edge run.  Under the fills – a grid at 90° or a full grid at 45° and 135°, 3 mm stitch length + an edge run.  Compensation should be kept at a standard level of 0.4 mm.  It is beyond dispute that the fabrics differ in texture, density, and stability. For that reason, all of the above figures should only be regarded as a benchmark that may and should be modified for every particular design. 
    P.S. Some interesting information from Deborah Jones concerning waffle cloth. She strongly encourages to wash the towels prior to the embroidery. The reason for this is a very high level of shrinkage (about 10%). In her video, she proves that washing before the embroidery is necessary for the light-weight designs like redwork but not so crucial for the ordinary dense ones.

    The difference between the manual and running stitches

    Original text by Marina Belova 
    I've long been asking myself: why does every machine embroidery editor list a manual stitch among its types? When, where and how one should use it? In theory, this knowledge is the bedrock of machine embroidery design digitizing, but I, for some reason, am only familiar with the most general concepts. 
    Come to think of it, if this type of stitch is omnipresent and not one manufacturer has discarded it, then there must be a reason for keeping it.
    Then why are the clear instructions are so hard to find? 
    A manual stitch is at first sight very similar to a running stitch. Where it differs it that when you digitize it, every click of a mouse creates a reference point, which is also a puncture point. There will be no other puncture points except these ones. Therefore, a digitizer gets complete control over the number of stitches. At the same time, when you digitize a running stitch, the software generates additional puncture points between the reference points. The number of these puncture points will depend on the set stitch length value and several other parameters like chord gap length, stitch length variations, etc., and on the software itself. 
    In the picture below you can see a circle digitized in manual stitches: 

    No matter how I try, I cannot create a circle in 5 clicks. But I can create a perfect circle in 5 clicks using a running stitch with 3 mm stitch length and controlling the reference point type: 

    What purposes does the manual stitch serve in machine embroidery? 
    You can use it to handle tie-offs manually, at the beginning of an object as well at its end.  You can draw create a strengthening layer under the small letters.  Or even digitize the very same letters with it.  You can render the details that don't come out good in the automatic mode.  Judging by these scarce findings, a manual stitch is the domain of the professionals. In order to successfully apply it, you need to have a hawk's eye and a vast experience, for you have to have a clear understanding of where exactly do you need a puncture point and why. After all, the editor does very little to participate in digitizing: every stitch is drawn by hand and does not automatically comply when you change the design size or aspect ratio. 
    And for what purposes do you use this type of stitches? I myself do not use it at all. 

    Working with thick knitwear

    Original text by Marina Belova 
    I found an old sweater and decided to practice digitizing and embroidery on thick and textured knits. It's out of season now, of course, but you use your old garments to explore new techniques. 
    Basically, one look at this fabric makes clear what you'll have to face: 
    A textured, very uneven embroidery surface.  Puckering.  Difficulty in matching the outlines and objects to each other.  Sinking of the stitches and small elements.  The pliability of the fabric should not be damaged. This "bullet-proof vest" is the result of my first attempt: 

    To make up for the extra density, nothing was displaced. 
    When you've defined your goal, it becomes apparent exactly what you'll need to do during digitizing and embroidery. 
    Here's the embroidery technique: 
    Everyone I read recommends to hoop thick knits instead of gluing them. But the hooping process should be slightly different from the usual, and you need to be very careful so as not to screw the hoop too tight, otherwise the hoop marks will appear.  Knits should be hooped only slightly, the rings of the hoop should not fit tight, they should not be fixed.  Hoop the knitwear together with the stabilizer. As the custom goes, a heavy-weight tear-away stabilizer or a spunbond (non-show mesh) is suggested for knits. But you can use an organza of a matching color if the knitwear has many openings and there is a possibility that the stabilizer will show through. You can additionally sprinkle it with a temporary spray adhesive.  In order to prevent hoop burn, you should either wrap the hoop as I showed here or use cigarette paper/soft thin cloth between the fabric and the outer ring of the hoop.  Only after that, you can tighten the screw.  Put a water-soluble on top and, preferably, hoop it.  Embroider the design.  Loosen the hoop screw and take your item out.  Whether you need to stretch the knitwear, depends on the circumstances. If it will be stretched in wear, you need to stretch it in the hoop as well, and if not, leave it as it is.  The choice of a point type is defined by the thickness of the knitwear but in any case, a point should be rounded, ranging from the light ball point to the heavy ball point type. Use #70/10 – 75/11 needle (for #40 threads).  Soft threads (rayon, cotton) are preferable. Digitizing a design from scratch or modifying an existing one is very similar to digitizing for loop fabrics and is based on the following principles: 
    For thick knitwear, choose designs of the openwork variety that don't contain big objects, and on a more loosely knit one, heavier designs may come out good.  Sequence your embroidery from the center outwards.  The objects should not contain the elements that are too thin. Satins should not be wider than 7–8 mm and narrower than 1.8 mm. Simple, bold letters without hair-strokes are preferable.  When the stitches are over 8 mm it is necessary to compulsorily split them or apply short filling stitches to this object.  Consider increasing pull compensation up to 20–30% of the stitch length.  Better to manually digitize your underlays and not use the automatic option:  Put an edge run under the satins.  Put an edge run + double zig-zags under thick satin columns.  Put an edge run + a full grid at a different stitch angle from the one in the main layer under the fills.  Density should be set at 0.35–0.45 mm.  To prevent the stitches in the small letters from sinking into the fabric, you may put a low-dense fill under them (analogous to a full grid).  You should increase the amount of overlap between the segments to 2 or 3 rows at least in order to avoid gaps between the stitches. You also need to make certain that the fills are embroidered in one direction. Read more about it here.  In my opinion, one should not cut down on color changes, for it is better to finish one object before embarking on another instead of embroidering all the objects of the first color, then all the objects of the second color, and so on, like I did and got my dark green outlines displaced as a result: 

    But for the first time, the embroidery looks quite decent. 
    I came to a conclusion that you can do anything after a few test pieces, and all of the mistakes I made could be corrected without difficulty. 
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