Lesson 1 - Manual Digitizing Set Up a Plan

In this series of lessons, we will be manually digitizing a bitmap graphic that comes in the Embroidery Album, titled "maples".

Click Image, Insert Image on the Menu toolbar.


The Open dialog box will appear. Click maples once to see it in the Preview box. Click Open to bring it to the design screen. Don't be concerned if the graphic is larger than the design area.


To understand the process of digitizing manually, we must study the graphic we will be working with. In the maples graphic, there are two identical parts to the design, the upper branch and leaves, and the lower branch and leaves. We will only have to digitize one branch and leaves, and then duplicate it.

All the leaves are identical shape, so we only have to digitize one leaf. We will be able to insert duplicate leaves into the design. That includes the tiny leaf on the end of the branch, which is the same shape, just smaller.

The most efficient embroidery will result if we sew all of one color at a time. If we sew all the leaves of one color at a time, before we sew the branch, we can hide walking stitches from one leaf to another in the body of the branch. This will eliminate thread trails from one leaf to another, which would have to be trimmed. The walking stitches will be covered by sewing the branch, and in fact, will also act as additional underlay for the branch.

We set up a digitizing plan so we will know how to go about the task. We work with colors in the graphic, matching those colors to corresponding thread colors. The maples graphic has four colors: orange leaves (thread color Orange #203), dark orange leaves (thread color Burnt Orange #235), brown leaves (thread color Brown #214), and a dark brown branch (thread color Cocoa brown #257).

The Digitizing Plan




The digitizing plan helps us to organize the digitizing process. It is the hardest part of digitizing manually!

Once the plan is done, we follow the steps to create embroidery. Notice that the plan does not have specific digitizing instructions. Instead, it has general directions.

The plan is not formed in concrete. It may change as you begin digitizing, if you notice an easier or more efficient way to generate embroidery. Its most important function is to break the embroidery down to create it by color sequence.