I recently collected a lot of vintage family recipes — many of them handwritten! They definitely warrant being immortalized, so I’m endeavoring to capture them as machine embroidery patterns. Lots of trial and error here as I’m learning Embrilliance Stitch Artist.

I started with Aunt Cleo’s Carrot Relish recipe. It was short and simple enough that the embroidery would be able to fit in the 4″x4″ field of my embroidery machine.

First I tried to clean up the scan, thinking it would need to be clean so I could use the magic wand to detect the outlines.

The resulting pattern was *so complicated* that the software would crash every time I opened the file. I emailed the lovely people at Embrilliance, and I got the equivalent of “Oh, you sweet summer child. You overcomplicated the f**k out of this design.” They sent me a video to learn from and gave me an example of how to simplify the design. Effectively, I would be tracing the letters instead of making them into large shapes.

Why oh why didn’t I seek this out sooner?

I stitched out the original complicated version, and it turned out okay. A little too tight in places — still working out the balance of tension, fabric, and embroidery stabilization.

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