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Lettering & Monograms Software

Last minute thoughtful holiday gifts!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

In the middle of summer my friend and I went hiking at Lost Maples State Park.  We’ve hiked before but neither of us realized what we were getting into.  The walk was difficult from the start.  I tried to distract myself by admiring the rocks.  They were pretty white rocks!

We walked for several hours before reaching a stopping point.  My friend asked if I wanted to take the same trail back or continue toward new territory.

I detested the thought of walking back.  Moving forward seemed logical.

But then the terrain changed.  Steep inclines.  Vultures were circling us.  I wondered if they spotted dinner.  My friend rallied and encouraged me.  He kept telling me I’ve trained for this – it’s just like the stairmaster at the gym.

We made it up the incline.  But the trek down was worse.  I turned silent.  I began praying.  Not even in English— I pulled out Latin prayers from my memory.  I was afraid.  I wondered if I’d reach the point of despair.

The trek was cruel—with loose rocks covering the entire incline down.  I hung on to branches to prevent slipping and falling.

My friend helped me along by testing the steeper rocks and making sure I stepped on firm rocks.  I wondered if we’d end up in the news.

We reached what I thought was the end of the trail and I ravenously ate my rationed chocolate granola bar—not caring that chocolate was probably all over my face.  (I’m usually very fastidious).  But the trail wasn’t over yet.  We walked through a creek then reached some shade before finally reaching the car.  I lay on the parking lot pavement—grateful and exhausted.

Somewhere along that trek I coined a new name for the trail.  Quicksand Mountain.  The name doesn’t make sense but in my delirious, panicked condition, the name stuck.

That day on Quicksand Mountain is my reference point.  If I can survive that day I can do anything.  My friend and I made it through—learning valuable lessons and having a great story to share.

That’s why I decided to make this gift for him for Christmas.  It’s simple yet has a lot if meaning.

I encourage you to stitch a simple, yet thoughtful gift for a friend or family member.  No one but you and the recipient may understand its meaning— but that makes it all the more special and unique!

The block was made in My Quilt Embellisher—but your thoughtful creation can be made using any software.  Choose your own message and design to make it a personal gift.  Follow the steps below to get an understanding of your software then create your own version.

In this article you’ll learn:

  • How to convert artwork to embroidery stitches
  • How to incorporate lettering and quilting stitches using the Outline feature.



Open My Quilt Embellisher.  Click on the Select Block icon on the top Tool bar.

Click on Basic Quilt Blocks.  Then select Peaky & Spike.  I chose the 8” x 8” block size but you can change to whatever size suits your needs.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

With the block selected, click the Transform tab and click Flip Vertical.  Note that the entire quilt block is just artwork right now.  The next steps will convert it to stitches.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Click on the Red Triangle.  Click on the Convert to Run icon.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Click the Text icon to add text.  I chose to do 4 individual lines of text because I wanted the most freedom. The first two lines of text are the Arial font.  The third line, “Quicksand” is the Mini Lancer Script.  I thought it captured the look and feel of quicksand well.  The 4th line, “Mountain” is the Arial font.  I chose to italicize it to enhance the ominous look and feel.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Next I chose the Arial 4mm font to type additional messages for the ‘side’ of the mountain.  Then I rotated the text to align with the side of the triangle.  Message 1:  “Let’s go to Quicksand Mountain!”

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I repeated this step for the other ‘side’ of the mountain. Message 2:  “It’s just like the stairmaster!”

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I added the year to the ‘peak’ of the mountain, using the same Arial 4mm font.

The last step is to convert the rest of the artwork to stitches.  But you’ll want the stitches to work around the text.

Select both lines of text as shown in the diagram.  Right click and select Group.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Right click again.  Select Create Outline.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

A window will appear.  Keep the defaults and select Ok.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

An outline will appear around the text.  This outline is Artwork only—there are no embroidery stitches.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Select all the Artwork images.

Click the Combine icon.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog


With the Artwork still selected, click the Stipple icon to convert the area to stitches.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Your embroidery design should look like the image below.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Finish the block by color sorting.  Then save the embroidery design and send to your machine.

Purchase a frame and trim the fabric to fit.


Not only do you have a one of a kind gift unavailable from any department store – but you’ve spent a moment learning your embroidery software!


Here’s your assignment this week:
What memories do you have that you could convert to stitches?  Post your comment and one lucky winner will win a copy of Calligraphy Project Designers! Good Luck!
The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question…One of these things is not like the other. Spot what’s different in the photo above? Two random comments will be chosen to receive $50 gift certificates at Stunning Stitches! Good luck.SS_DME-Banner-CertificateAnd the answer we were looking for and the two winners: Sandy P and Joyce F – barefoot lady!




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  • Karen Poole

    I have a lot of memories, it’s really hard narrowing down! Maybe the funniest one -now- is one time when the whole family was sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows for s’mores and my middle son, who had his marshmallow on a wire hanger, had noticed his was on fire. He pulled it back to blow it out but being a wire hanger it had a mind of its own, it sprung back and hit him in the face, the marshmallow stuck to his face- upper lip, nose……poor kid it was awful at the time but years later we joke about it. So it would be “I fought the burning marshmallow and won”!

  • beth daniels

    I would play with my Barbie dolls with my best friend. I would probably embroider a Barbie doll on a sweater just for her.

  • Carol Seavitt

    My mom and I skated together and taught kids thru adults. Skating makes my heart jump. On a pillow with a heart and trim with fringe or a quilt block. Shhhh don’t tell her. Maybe I will make it as a delayed Christmas gift.

  • Donna G.

    I’m making a quilt with blocks resembling cameras and pictures from my daughter’s wedding in the “lens” of the camera. On the back I’m doing a machine embroidered label with the title “A Picture Perfect Wedding”.

    • Denise Holguin

      I love the idea! Send us a photo when it’s complete.


  • Shelley Williams

    A few years ago I was rock climbing with another couple and my husband. We had to traverse(go sideways) across a straight up and down craggy wall. I was the last to make the trip across. Just as I started across, the wind became very gusty and a light rain began. In case you don’t know, rock climbing is also know as “friction climbing” so I was not able to continue and went back to the starting place. Still separated from the other members of my group, after much encouragement I started again with even gustier winds and heavier rain, and less and less traction. I started praying the rosary, and let my mind and the fear go, and I made it across, soaking wet, and scared to death. I would live to make the other couple we were with a quilt with a mountain theme to commemorate the occasion.

    • Denise Holguin

      Wow! I thought my trek was hard — yours was incredibly difficult!

      I’ve wanted to do an entire quilt with a similar theme — and after reading your post I think I may have to revisit the idea!


  • Linda E

    My husband made a once in a lifetime trip to Bonneville in an old hotrod. I’d like to place a photo and bottle of sand in a collector frame with an embroidered phrase and date.

  • Theresa

    I would make napkin rings with “Merry Christmas” in different languages to pay homage to our heritage. We all came from somewhere else and it has shaped who we are today.

  • Susan Fiondella

    I took a picture of a stained glass window in the Church of The Nativity in Bethlehem. I would like to recreate it to commemorate our time there and this blessed day.

  • Elizabeth

    My dear friend and I are in recovery together. I would love to put together a wall-hanging celebrating our sisterhood.

  • Doreen

    When my Younger brother was in the service, he and my oldest brother were supposed to climb Mt. Washington when he was on leave. For whatever purpose my oldest brother bailed on him. Seeing how sad he was I volunteered to climb with him. I had not done anything very physical after I had my son. I had climbed Mt. Chocorua as a kid when I was sick because I didn’t want to be left behind and miss something so I figured I could do this. I was not liking my big brother much on that climb. My feet felt like Popeye feet and my fingers were swollen. I tried to convince my brother to let my lay down and let me roll down the mountain. But I made it and felt glad that I had fulfilled his wish. I’d do something with regard to that mountain.

  • Karen W

    Your story reminded me of a similar trek – nearly 40 yrs ago! Three families (including my own) got together for a picnic at Three Rivers area of NM. After checking out our site & eating our picnic lunch, someone suggested we all hike the nearby mountain. I’ve never been a strong hiker, but figured I could turn back down when the first climbers were descending. About half-way up, a sudden thunderstorm came up & soaked us pretty quickly before we found shelter in a large rock overhang. I didn’t mind getting wet, but the trek down was slippery with mud & gravel. I’d had to remove my glasses because my hearing aid was built into the temple, so I couldn’t see very well & the longer we walked, the longer my jeans got!! It was hilarious (more so after the fact), but at times I couldn’t decide whether to sit down to laugh or cry! Guess I should make a t-shirt declaring that long-ago survival! (smile)

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