Skill Level: Beginner
Digitizing skills that are reviewed in this lesson :
- resizing design images
- resizing a background image
- editing the outlines of shapes – shape edit tool
- editing a fill pattern
- editing stitch commands – (start/stop) – (tie in/tie off)
- rotating images
- changing selection highlight color
- using the stitch player
If you would like a PDF written copy of this tutorial, click on the link at the end of this tutorial
and it will be emailed to you! It will also include the jpeg image used in this tutorial.
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The star that I am using in this tutorial is from the FTCU Custom Shapes library. I traced a steil stitch around the edge of the star to create a design with stitches to be able to demonstrate the editing tools.
You can use this star or any image of your choice to follow along in the tutorial. Just note that you will need to make sure it is a STITCH file and not just artwork. You need to have a design with stitches to be able to use these editing tools. (editing artwork is different than this tutorial)
Here is how to create the star I am using:
Open a background image – JPEG
To open the image onto your workspace:
- Click on NEW page icon on the top tool bar (under the word FILE).
- Click on the Custom Shapes tool (on the second row of toolbars at the top)
- Scroll to image star005. Click on the image and OPEN.
digitize the steil stitch
You will be using the steil stitch to trace around the outside of the star.
Step 1: Choose the stitch:
- Left click on the STEIL stitch tool in the top row.
Step 2: Choose the thread color:
- Left click on ANY thread color
Step 3: Trace the shape:
- trace around the outside edge of the star using LEFT clicks to set the anchor points
- notice that I only placed nodes on the end points
- STOP tracing when you get near the last point
- left click on the CLOSE SHAPE tool (on the left tool bar) – this tool will finish the steil stitch and close the shape
There are several ways to resize digitized designs (or segments). Choose whichever method you are most comfortable with.
resizing a design using the selection box
To resize a design (or segments):
- on the workspace, left click and drag a selection box around the object
- to resize the width: left click and drag one of the “handles” on either the right or left side of the box
- to resize the height: left click and drag one of the “handles” on either the top or bottom of the box
- to resize proportionally: left click and drag one of the corner “handles”
resizing a design using the transform tab
To resize a design:
- in the sequence view, left click on the segment to select it
- in the properties box, click on the TRANSFORM tab
- in the width box: enter the width you want
- in the height box: enter the height you want
- to resize proportionally: make sure there is a check mark in the MAINTAIN ASPECT RATIO box
click APPLY to save the changes
When you are digitizing a new design, most of the time, you will be tracing a background image. You will probably need to resize that image so that it will fit your hoop size.
Here is how to open the background image and resize it
- click on NEW page icon on the top tool bar (under the word FILE).
- click on the Background tool (on the left toolbar)
- navigate to the location of the file on your computer where the jpeg image was downloaded with this PDF tutorial
- click on the image and OPEN
EDIT THE OUTLINES OF a SHAPE
- In the Sequence View, click on the plus sign to open the thread color (if not open)
- click on NAME to select the stitch segment
- click on the EDIT SHAPE tool (on the left toolbar)
- hover the cursor over one of the traced lines of the segment
- drag the lines to adjust or drag the blue nodes to adjust (as needed)
- with a FILL stitch you can adjust the black angle line
- enlarge the screen to 200% or more to see the details
- RIGHT click when finished to set the changes
edit A fill pattern
Floriani FTCU has many different fill patterns to choose from. After you have traced your object using the FILL stitch tool – here is how to change the fill pattern:
- in the sequence view, left click on the FILL segment so that it is selected
- in the properties box, click on the drop down arrow and choose a FILL TYPE and PATTERN that you would like to use
- you can experiment with different combinations – Be CREATIVE!
- click APPLY to set the changes
Note: For this section, I change the star to a FILL stitch to be able to show these tools.
Here is how to change the star to a FILL stitch:
- in the sequence view, click on the STEIL to select it
- on the STITCH EFFECTS tool bar (on the bottom of the screen, under the thread colors), click on the FILL stitch icon .
start and stop commands
These commands will tell your embroidery machine where to start stitching and where and when to stop stitching.
When you trace a shape, FTCU will insert the start and stop commands, but there will be many times when you will want to change their locations. As you go through the tutorials, you will see situations where their location is very important!
To edit the start and stop commands:
- in the sequence view, click on the stitch segment to select it.
- click on the EDIT SHAPE icon on the left tool bar
- you can now adjust the green start node and the red stop node
- depending on how you traced the shape, they could be laying on top of each other
- left click and drag them to make any adjustments
RIGHT click on the workspace when finished
changing the angle line
Adjusting the ANGLE line will change the direction the fill stitches will stitch in your design.
Adjusting the stop or start location can also change the way the fill stitch looks.
Here is an example of before and after adjusting the ANGLE line.
TIE-IN AND TIE-OFF commands
The default for the FTCU software is to insert a tie in and tie off for EVERY SEGMENT that is digitized. However, usually they are not necessary for EVERY segment within a thread color. You can leave them, but I like to remove the unnecessary ones so that the embroidery will stitch faster.
Tie in and tie offs are needed to create color changes and when there is a jump stitch.
Here is how to view and edit the tie in and tie off for a thread color change:
- In the Sequence View, click on the plus sign to open the thread color (if not open)
- In the sequence view, click on the name of the FIRST stitch segment
- In the properties box, click on COMMANDS tab
- use the dropdown box > set the TIE IN to BASIC > set the TIE OFF to NONE for the first segment of the thread color
- click APPLY
- in the sequence view, click on the name of the NEXT stitch segment
- in the properties box, use the dropdown box and set BOTH to NONE
- continue to do this for every segment until the LAST segment
- remember to click APPLY for EACH segment
for the LAST SEGMENT > Set the tie in to NONE and the tie-off to BASIC
Here is a sample of how your tie ins and tie offs would be for the thread color changes for this design:
Note: You will also want to review stitch segments for jump stitch locations and set tie-in and tie-offs
You will get lots of practice setting the tie ins and tie offs as your work through the tutorials on the website!
Here are some other FTCU features that you will notice as you are editing your designs
highlight color – editing a selection
When you select a segment or an object on the workspace, you will notice that the selection changes to a “highlighted color”. This is to indicate that you have made a selection and is very helpful.
To change the “highlighted color” to a different color:
- click on TOOLS > PREFERENCES > VIEW
- place a check mark in the “highlight selection” box
- use the dropdown box and choose a color that you like
- click OK
NOTE: I often adjust this color, while I am digitizing. Sometimes, the highlight color seems to conflict with my thread color when editing a design. Changing this highlight color can be very helpful.
selection box controls – shortcuts
In the last update, Floriani FTCU added these some of these new shortcuts to the selection box.
You can choose to show all of these icons or not.
To change what you see, on the top tool bar click on TOOLS > PREFERENCES > VIEW > uncheck SHOW SELECTION CONTROLS
REVIEW DESIGN WITH STITCH PLAYER
Floriani FTCU has a really helpful feature that allows you to watch your design draw stitch by stitch, simulating the sewing action of your machine. This can help to eliminate potential sewing problems.
If your stitch player is not showing, then click on TOOLBARS > SLOW DRAW on the top menu. This will open your stitch player.
- click on the STITCH PLAYER button on the top menu of your screen
- you can also adjust the speed so that you can review the stitches
Make note of the following items while watching the stitch player:
- correct stitching order of all segments
- correct color order
- correct starts and stops
- correct tie ins and tie offs – for color changes and jump stitches
- make necessary adjustments by using the editing tools above.
These are the basic editing tools that you will be using as you are digitizing your designs.
As you work through more of the tutorials, there will be more step by step details included in those tutorials for editing specific designs.
For more practice and review, here are some links to previous tutorials:
I hope this tutorial is helpful to you and encourages you practice your editing skills.
And, as always, if you have any questions, please send me an email and I will try to help!
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