Before July 20, 2015, my knowledge of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) went as far as Stephen Hawking – a brilliant scientist who has been living with this disease for decades. It attacked his body but not his mind, and that was pretty much all I knew about ALS. The annual Ice Bucket Challenge in August was in my peripheral edges of my world, but little did I know how much it and the money raised for ALS research would be part of my life. In the past year, I have learned so much about this atrocious disease, and am doing my small part to raise awareness.
On July 20, 2015, I found out that my sister-in-law Pattie was “officially diagnosed” with ALS – they had ruled out everything else. For some, the disease hits slowly with symptoms developing and progressing over a couple years, but we have not been as fortunate. There is always hope and everyone that is affected by ALS is very aware of the finite aspect of life and hope for a cure. May 10 has been designated by The ALS Association as NATIONAL ALS ADVOCACY DAY. The previous links provide information on the disease and the organization that is working towards creating a world without ALS.
I have nothing to contribute as far as scientific knowledge, but I thought I would create this blog post in support of all of those who are affected by ALS. I would like to promote awareness of ALS by using my knowledge of machine embroidery to teach those interested in how I develop my plan for creating a machine embroidery design that I wear in support of my sister and all of those that are affected by ALS.
The ALS ribbon is blue and white striped and I am going to show you my thought process for creating a free standing design that can be worn as a pin or used as an ornament. The following video walks you through my thought process – how I go from an idea to an embroidery stitch file. As you will see, I do alot of the planning outside of the computer. Once I have my plan, using the tools in StitchArtist to accomplish the plan is almost as easy as following the directions on the box to make brownies.
So, there you have it – its not a cookie cutter set of steps of how to digitize every single design. Is this the ONLY way? Of course not! It is, however, a way to start thinking about how the design could stitch before you even start creating the stitches. If you are reading this for information on digitizing, maybe this will help you develop YOUR plan – what works for you! Does this sound like extra work? maybe – but you can see that I already created two designs that I didn’t like. They had a few issues like overlapping stitches I didn’t take into account and because I didn’t have a plan, I ended up doing extra work that could have been avoided – and you know me – I like to be lazy! I didn’t really think about what I wanted the resulting stitch file to look like before I started.
My awareness of ALS and those that it has affected has exploded in this past year. Social media is probably my biggest source of news (to further research) as well as reading the stories of those that have been touched by this disease. My heart and thoughts go out to all that are affected by it. I hope that they will soon find a cure. For those interested in more information or to make a charitable donation, please visit www.alsa.org.
Enjoy each day – – and YES,….you guessed it, next up, we take my finished plan to the software and create the embroidery design file for stitching.