Creating clusters with digital machine stitching

Hey Everyone,

Rach here!

This tutorial will teach you how to quickly create a cluster of machine stitching to add onto a photo, stack of papers or ephemera etc. within your digital scrapbook page.

These tips are designed to help you create faster by eliminating some decision making and the manual placement of files. 

Steps are written for Photoshop, I was working in CS6 at the time of this tut. I used my Machine Stitches 2 which you can purchase here and are discounted right now for a very short time!

1. Select File > Scripts > Load Files Into Stack 

This will load files of your choice and place them into a stack in a new blank canvas. You can import individual files or a whole folder, or even use files you have already open in Photoshop. Select the option you prefer. 

For this tutorial i’ve selected individual files to load into my stack and here are my next steps with screenshots.

2. Select Files from the Use: drop down menu and then select browse. 

3. Navigate to the location where you saved your stitching and select which files you wish to bring into the stack and select Open and then OK. Hold down the control or command key when clicking files to select multiple files at once.

Note that Photoshop will stack files from the top left hand corner of the canvas and so when picking your files pick stitches that will compliment each other when layered on top of each other from the top left hand corner. I chose fairly horizontal stitches as I want to overlay them on top of a photo.

You should now have a transparent window with your stitches stacked. Each file is on it’s own layer, so if needed you can move things around a bit but for speed and to show you how easy this can be i left them as-is and simply selected the whole canvas and copied and pasted my stitches right onto the photo in my layout that I had already started. To do this I use the keyboard commands control + A to select all, then shift + control + C to copy the merged contents and control + V to paste. If you are using a Mac use your command key vs control. 


I then add a subtle shadow and I’m done! Complex stitched clusters can be created by choosing lots of files to load into your stack, this creates a tangle of stitches to add to your projects!

If you want to add stitch holes simply double click on the brush file that I supplied in the machine stitching pack, select black as your foreground colour, select your brush tool and the stitched brush hole and on a new layer below the stitching stamp your holes where needed.

Here is a page by me using this technique, i'll post a detailed walk through of this layout in another tut so you can see my other steps. 

And some pages from the Captivating Sistas using the same technique!


Have fun trying it out, leave me a comment and let me know how you get on if you have any questions!