Meet the unsuspected embroiderer and see his beautiful designs
I really wanted to share the story of an unexpected embroiderer and thread junky named Wayne from Arizona, USA.
It all started with an embroidery design that Wayne created and posted on Facebook. Together with the comments that followed, it grabbed my attention, so I decided to send him a message and find out a little more about his embroidery story.
Please note, all the embroidery designs featured throughout this article were created using Hatch Embroidery Digitizer and they demonstrate the great work Wayne has achieved using the software.
This is the entertaining conversation that followed…
Have you always been into embroidery?
Surprisingly not at all. I’m a 59-year-old guy born in Glendale, AZ. I grew up a navy brat, moving from place to place without an ounce of the artistic ability that my mother had. I was more into motorcycles, boats and cars. After serving 4 years in the USAF, I decided it wasn’t my thing, and ended up building military ships for 15 years. Bored of that, I found my current profession, driving long-haul trucks across the US.
That is not your typical start to embroidery! How did you find each other?
Actually, my wife and I found each other, had 2 great kids, and then looked for a hobby to occupy our limited free time. Mindy (my wife of 35 years) had talked about wanting an embroidery machine for years, and we finally decided to take the plunge. We bought a machine, a table to put it on and some thread. The lady at the store then showed me a rack of CD’s with patterns, so we grabbed some, and headed for the car, already feeling hooked on this embroidery thing.
Sounds like you dived in head first and ready for action!
That’s what I thought. I spent all night putting the table together and setting up the machine. Now what? She didn’t tell us how to use the machine. So I read, read, read!! No YouTube back in the day.
The machine sat on the table for a month before we were brave enough to try something. Okay… put the fabric in the hoop thing, put that into the machine and close the latch. Transfer the design from CD to USB and there is the picture. Find some random thread colors, and see what happens. Push the green button and we’re off! 2½ minutes later we hear a noise, and the needle breaks.
That sounds like a nightmare!
Not really… now this is right up my alley! Take the machine apart, grab a 30-gallon shop vac and a magnet, and take the needle plate off in search of the needle point. Vacuum hose is too big, so off to the hardware store for a smaller one and then to the fabric store where we bought the machine for a mini vacuum hose kit. Sign up for a class to learn how to use the machine, then head home and fix it.
Oh, the joys of a new hobby… at least you now had some knowledge
A year later Mindy decides she wants to personalize things. So went back to the same store, and I purchased Brother’s PE Design Next, the first of many digitizing programs. I loaded the software and tried figuring it out. Struggling through a couple of patterns, I threw in the towel. My theory at this point was that if I spent $$$$ on something, I really should get training. Problem was that the shop didn’t have a clue what it did.
Sounds pretty frustrating and a story we hear very often. So what happened then?
2016 rolls around, and Mindy’s friend invited her to an event where they were selling a catalogue of patterns with books on how to use them. “Yes baby, whatever you think.” I’m driving my truck now and trying to earn enough money to pay for our hobby.
Fast forward to June and Mindy suggests we take some time off and head to a convention in Atlanta, GA. Okay, I need a break, so we head down and take some of the seminars. One of them was hosted by Floriani, and after 2 hours of watching and listening to this guy from Canada I had to have the software. We got software number 3 and this time it included classes on a DVD that taught me how to use it.
Once home, I loaded the new software and vegetated on the lessons. When I was done with the first 12, I actually created my first design instead of a pattern. I was having a lot of fun, but something was missing. The designs were good, but the stitch outs were not what I expected.
I’m sure you just needed a little more time to practice using the software to get them right on the machine.
My main problem is that with my day job behind the wheel of a semi-truck, I create these designs at night and then finally get home with 10 to 15 designs to stitch out, all with issues to fix. I have to deal with the illusive push and his buddy pull, and lettering…. we don’t even want to talk about trying to do our own lettering… nothing lined up.
Unlike in this logo I did with Hatch, that came out really well.
Sounds like all the embroidery fun was being sucked out of your hobby.
It’s not all bad news. Towards the end of 2017, I started getting emails about something called Hatch Embroidery. They always had links to YouTube videos and blog articles. The more emails I got, the more I liked what I saw. Unfortunately I wasn’t in a position at that time to spend more on my hobby.
I changed jobs, and in May 2018 things improved, and I found myself walking the floor at a convention in Biloxi, MS. I didn’t take any classes (they all wanted you to pay), but I ran into a guy I met 2 years before. He was selling his designs, and we got talking for at least an hour. That man was John Deer. Well, he didn’t try to sell me anything, but answered all my questions. When I left, I had a copy of Hatch and his lessons in my shopping bag.
After all this time you seem to be on the right track. How have you found the experience with Hatch Embroidery so far?
It’s been just 3 months, and I am overjoyed with the results. All the tools are laid out well, and it has the best workflow I’ve experienced. Did I tell you I have a total of 4 other embroidery software packages? With the ESA lettering fonts, it’s just so easy. It even sets the density push and pull values for the fabric you choose, so it makes digitizing so easy.
What are your favorite features or tools in Hatch Embroidery?
Probably the Block tool and then the Cross Stitch and Motif fills, I am still learning. I have just digitized this angel design and I used the Florentine effect. I am pretty pleased with it.
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