Wednesday, February 14, 2024

A STEM Project: Origami Stars For Polygons

 Origami Stars For Polygons
Shown above are three, four, five, six, eight and ten points stars. 
Count the points to determine the number of polygon sides.

I saw this origami star design in Cuttle. and I was intrigued by it.  I recognized the design as a variation of the Puzzle Purse because the folds of the star are created by a parallelogram and a triangle.  Here is the brief history of the Valentine paper purse. 

To make this design, a polygon of n-sides is placed in the center. A parallelogram and a triangle are then attached to each outer side of this polygon.  Once the design is cut out, the paper is folded whereby the parallelogram folds on top of the triangle to create a point for the star. The fold pattern is repeated for each n-side. When the figure is turned over, the original polygon is visible.

I coded the design in TurtleStitch, and then cut it out with the Silhouette Cameo. I am not offering the cut files for this design as I would like you to go to the TurtleStitch program and to execute the code with the desired number of points. Once the program is executed, save the file by going to the top left corner with file icon.  Export the file as a DXF file.  In the Silhouette software, open the file and cut it out.

To fold the star is simple.  The folding technique is the same for all polygons.  The center polygon is creased with a mountain fold and all of the points of the star are mountain folded as shown above.

  The remaining dotted lines are folded as valley folds.

The last few folds are a little difficult but perserverve.  The origami folding does work.

Friday, February 9, 2024

A Rubber Band Pop-Up Valentine Card

A Rubber Band Pop-Up Valentine Card

This cute Valentine card pops up out of its A5 envelope to surprise its recipient. A rubber band is built into the base and the stored energy in the rubber band opens the Valentine card.

I have included four different styles for the center slice. The first one is simply the heart design(not shown above), the second one is the word "Love" and the next two are flower bouquets. I have also included a bonus of these same designs.  I added a hole to the center of the heart design and they can be used as Valentine window decorations.

Here is the PDF.  I used 65 lb cardstock from Michaels in various colors.  

Here is the .Studio file.

Here is the SVG. The file goes beyond the viewable area.  Zoom out to see the entire file once the file is opened in your design space.

Make the Rubber Band Pop-Up Base

I am using the directions from a previous blog posting, to make the rubber band pop-up base. (The slice form base does not have the added heart design but the concept is exactly the same.)

There are two sides to the rubber band base. Each side is folded over to create a two-ply base. Crease the paper as shown above.  

Glue the folded sides together.

Glue the tabs together. Make sure that the slits are going in the same direction.

Slide the one inch rubber band into the slit and align the rubber band with the round hole in the base of the slit.

Apply glue to the diagonal as shown above.

Adhere the other side of the diagonal.  Make sure that the slits on the long side of the diagonal align.

Slide the rubber band onto the slit on the long side of the diagonal.

This rubber band base can now fold flat when the corner opposite the diagonal is pushed down.

Make the pop-up columns by creasing the paper into a square and gluing the tab together. Repeat for the other column.

Apply glue to the side of the column that has a tab. Attach this side to the right angle that is opposite the diagonal.  Repeat for the other column.

Make the Slice Form Base

Arrange all of the slices by size.  Take the largest slice and slide them together as shown above.

Continue sliding the pieces with the upward facing slits onto this assembly.  

Slice the downward facing slits onto the assembly to finish making the slice form base.

Assemble the Two Parts of the Pop-Up 

Apply glue to the column tabs as shown above.

Slide the slice form base onto the pop-up base.  The tabs of the columns will be glued inside the slice form  base. Flatten the base so that the glue adheres correctly. 

The slice form base is now attached at two spots.  In the photo above, it is attached on the left side.  The right side is not attached as this allows the slice form to fold flat.

Top View

Make the Valentine Heart Slice Form

Choose the center slice form and apply embellishment if so desired.

Slide the center slice together.  There are two types of slices, inward slits and outward slits.

Insert all of the outward facing slits onto the heart as shown above.

Insert all of the inward facing slits onto the heart.  Open and close the heart slice form to align all of the slits.  Apply glue to the center tab as shown above.

Assemble the Rubber Band Pop-Up Valentine 

Slide the center tabs into the base.

Adhere the tabs by closing the slice form. 
The pop-up will fold flat.
Completed Rubber Band Pop-Up Valentine 

Friday, February 2, 2024

A STEM Project: Three Different Methods of Colorizing a TurtleStitch Design

A Colorized TurtleStitch Design
This embroidered design was colorized with Inkscape/Inkstitch 
The flower petals were colorized with the fill capabilities in Inkscape and then sent to Inkstitch to be digitized for the embroidery machine.

TurtleStitch is a program which generates patterns for an embroidery machine. The patterns are made by moving a turtle around the stage area and its position is recorded by the program. The movement of the turtle is recorded in a graphic table of X and Y coordinates. These series of X and Y coordinates create the paths which represent the position where the needle of the embroidery machine will sew. When the computer code is converted to code which the embroidery machine recognizes, it is known as digitizing,  For example, when you export your file as a Tajima/EXP file, the TurtleStitch computer code is digitized for the Brother embroidery machine.

In this blog posting, I will describe three methods of colorizing a TurtleStitch design. The three methods are with thread, appliqué and Inkscape/Inkstitch.


Colorizing a TurtleStitch Design

1). Colorizing with Thread

Threads of many colors can be used by coding a "Set Color" block. The embroidery machine will stop when it encounters the "Set Color" block and the thread can be changed to another color. 

In the following program, the color was changed from the border color to the medallion color. Please note that when coding the design, the exact color does not need to be coded in the "Set Color" block.

Using Variegated Thread offers another way of bringing color to your embroidery design.

 2). Colorizing with Applique

Another method of colorizing a TurtleStitch design is with appliqué. A piece of colored fabric, which becomes the appliqué, is placed on top of the backing fabric and is tacked down with a running stitch.  The embroidery is temporarily removed from the embroidery machine and the appliquéd fabric is cut as close as possible to the outside of the running stitch.  The embroidery hoop is then returned to the machine and a satin stitch is sewn on top of the running stitch to complete the design. In this program, a heart is appliquéd. 

To Applique A Heart:

Attach a backing fabric with a stabilizer to your hoop. Float another piece of fabric on top of the backing fabric on your hoop.  This top layer will be the appliqué fabric for the heart. It will be sewn down with a running stitch.

Once the running stitch is complete, the embroidery machine will stop because of the "set color" command. Remove the hoop from the machine (Do not remove the fabric from the hoop) and cut away the outer edge of the heart fabric with scissors. Try to get as close to the edge of the heart without cutting the running stitch. In the photo, you can see that I cut the appliqué fabric to about 1/16 of an inch away from the outer edge of the running stitch.

Reattach the hoop to the embroidery machine. Satin stitch the heart.

3). Colorizing With Inkscape/Inkstitch By Applying Color With A Fill

A third method of colorizing a TurtleStitch design is to save the program as a Tajima/DST file or a Melco/EST file. Import the file into Inkscape.  Inkscape is a free vector graphics program which has an embroidery design extension called Inkstitch. Both programs need to be installed on your computer. 

Inkscape and Inkstitch are valuable tools beyond colorizing because Inkscape allows you to resize your embroidery design and Inkstitch allows you to add text to your design.

To colorize your TurtleStitch created design, the instructions to add fill are as follows.

Import the file into Inkscape and say Ok to SVG Input.

Zoom into the design by increasing the value in the bottom right of the page.

Using the paint bucket tool(fill), add color to the areas where you would like color. Please note, the areas to be filled need to have a closed path.

Make sure that the stroke says "paint is undefined".  Otherwise, there will be a line created around the fill.

Once all of the fill has been added, make sure all the layers are selected (a bounding box will be around each fill) go to Extension, Inkstitch, Fill Tools, Break Apart Fill Objects - this will fix fill problems.

In Extension, Inkstitch, Visualize and Export, Simulator/Realistic Preview.

A new window will open and a stitch preview will be displayed.

If everything is correct, save a copy in the file menu. 

My file was saved as a PES file for my Brother Embroidery machine.

A TurtleStitch created design with colorized flower petals made with Inkscape/Inkstitch 

Thursday, February 1, 2024

A Valentine Proposal Diorama


A Valentine Proposal Diorama 

I love dioramas. I love how this diorama depicts the scene of a Victorian couple on Valentine's Day.  The gentleman is proposing to his sweetheart on a mountain top overlooking their village. She is holding the  key to his heart on her wrist.

Here is the Valentine diorama in PDF form. I used Neenah brand 65 lb White Gold metallic cardstock from Office Depot.   I recommend using overcut to cut out this design as the intricate pieces might not cut out correctly. 

Here is the .Studio file.

Here is the SVG. The file goes beyond the viewable area.  Zoom out to see the entire file.

Eight double thickness tabs keep the diorama scenes together.
The tabs slide into the sides of the scenes.

The back of the diorama was embellished with love birds.