Monday, February 6, 2017

Stitch Painter Heart Challenge by Stephanie

For my heart design project I wanted to make a cross stitch pattern using Stitch Painter. I chose something that makes my heart happy which would be...Unicorns! I found my prized pony in the land of Fantasia.
Then I made a vector using Adobe Illustrator and saved it as a PNG file. I wanted to use an 8" loom to frame my cross stitch so I made an 8" x 8" box and centered and enlarged my image to the size I wanted.
Then I hit Ctrl + C and copied it into my clipboard.
I'm using 16 count Aida cloth so...
8" x 16" = 128
8" x 16" = 128
On Stitch Painter I set my document size as 128 x 128 and used an 8x8 grid.
I have the Full Color Import plug-in so I just selected the entire 128 x 128 grid using my Marquee tool and hit Ctrl + V to paste my PNG into Stitch painter.
I clicked and held the image to use the FCI plugin which resulted with this:
My palette had more colors than I wanted to work with so I started whittling down my colors.
I started combing the different swatches by clicking on colors in the Palette panel, and then pressing the ʻfʼ key (f for find) on the keyboard to see where they were and then
To see where a color swatch is used in the document, I clicked on the color in the Palette panel and then pressed the ʻfʼ key which would highlight them.
I combined the colors that were near each other in the document by clicking on the first color, then pressing and holding down the Command Key (Right Mouse button on Win).
I changed a few colors and then used the Clean Up Palette option from the Plug-ins menu.
To see how often I used a color I generated a key from the Plugins menu.
I added a blue major grid line by clicking on a blue color then selecting major grid from the Palette menu.
and now I have my pattern! I can print this off with my stitches and rows numbered on the printout by pressing the Opt key (or Alt key for Windows) when I select the print command in the File menu.
Happy hearts create happy art! Good luck with your own design challenge and be sure to share it with us by emailing us at

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Garment Designer Software February Challenge: Hearts

Almost finished piece!
 Susan, owner of Cochenille is sharing her heart-based design challenge. This is a Garment Designer software project. The inspiration for Susan's project came from a store window in Italy. As you can see below, the sweater was uniquely different. So, photo time.. take a shot and file it away for another time. Down the road a bit, Susan was embarking on a recycling project, and was looking for something to do, and remembered, not only her photo image, but also a garment she had purchased while taking a workshop with the Deco Belles in Napier New Zealand. Thus, you can see, this is becoming a global project.  

The Inspiration

 Inspiration sweater from a store window in Florence, Italy . 

Original sweater, purchased in Napier, New Zealand in an Op Shop

The Pattern using Garment Designer Pattern Software

So, Susan developed a heart-shaped pattern in Garment Designer, and cut the pattern out of the original sweater, twice, once for the front and once for the back.


To prevent the edges from fraying, the serger was used to finish the raw edges. 
Serging the raw edges

Then, some of the original sweater was unraveled to obtain some yarn for crocheting around the edges.
Unraveling the original garment to obtain some yarn for finishing


Here are a few shots of the crochet stitch going around the edges. 
Crochet edging used to cover the served edges

And now.. the almost finished garment. Susan still wants to add another row of crochet, possibly in a coordinating fancier yarn... to be decided. 
Almost finished piece!

Close-up of Front

Back view, arc of heart overlapping arc of heart. Modeled by Teresa, one of Cochenille's staff.

 So now fellow Cochenille users.. let's see what you can do!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Announcing Cochenille Design Challenges!

Announcing Cochenille Design Challenges!

Have you ever found that one needs a deadline in order to move your creative projects up the list of ‘must do’s’? We have recognized this reality, and thus, Cochenille is going to start setting out design challenges and invite our users to partake. Approximately monthly, we will post a challenge using either Garment Designer, or Stitch Painter, or both (dependent upon the challenge). Users who partake can enter a challenge through a submission of imagery emailed to Cochenille ( We’ll post the results and a winner will be chosen. Winners will receive a gift certificate for Cochenille product. There could be two ways to partake in the challenge.
  1. Design in Garment Designer or Stitch Painter and simply submit your file to share in our slideshow.
  2. To qualify for a gift certificate prize, you must go one step further. You must execute the design beyond a file on the computer. This could amount to e.g. a sample swatch (if knitting), a test stitchery sample (if needlework) or a small quarter or half-scale sewn garment if sewing with Garment Designer.
Upcoming Challenges
  February   The Theme of Hearts (see the next blog entry)
  March       Design a unique fob for your Hasp Key.
  April          Pieced Design Garment (knit or sewn). Details on each challenge will be posted.

 Here is a prelude to this month's challenge.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Cochenille Design Studio Italy Retreat, 2017

It's that time again... planning for our annual creative retreat in Italy. This year it will be a combination of both the Food and the Fashion. The Dates are June 14th - 23rd, 2017.

Here are some highlights of past trips and a testimonial from a happy traveller who joined us in 2015.
The 2015 Fashion Retreat was a real trip of a lifetime. As an avid textile lover, it was a transformational experience! Susan’s fun and fact filled itinerary exceeded my expectations. We had such an organized agenda it seemed like we were on the go from morning until night. The array of appointments included quality museums, demonstrations, factory visits, fashion houses and many, many extras –Venice, opera, great Italian dining, terrific accommodations, and easy transportation. Susan was always there to guide and help us along the way. It’s difficult to say what my favorite experience was- it was all very exceptional.“Eye opening, fun, educational, adventurous… not your ordinary trip!
Linda Perry

Click on this link for more info.. and enjoy the fashion and food photos here..

Painting a ceramic in Renaissance 

Lunch at a restaurant in the Lake Garda district. We will have a cooking class here in 2017!

and of course... wine tasting in the Lake district outside of Verona

We'll have a felt workshop with Lisbeth Wahl, renown fiber artist

There are always the appetizers!

Lots of unique styles

We'll visit a velvet weaving workshop in Venice

and lots of relaxation!