Software Lessons

Gradient Fill

Gradient fill creates a beautiful effect that can be used either as shading or can stand alone as an alternative fill stitch.


What you'll learn
Gradient fill creates a beautiful effect that can be used either as shading or can stand alone as an alternative fill stitch. Gradient fill means the fill stitches gradually get wider in the object. You can set the spacing as well as the direction of the spacing.

To show how to use Gradient Fill, we will use the Pieces6 bitmap from the Embroidery Album.

Select a Hoop

  • 1. We plan to use Hoop ST (Standard Hoop).
  • 2. To choose your hoop, click the down arrow in the Hoop Selection box to see the choices.
  • Image
  • 3. Click on the hoop you want to use. It will appear in the Hoop Selection box and will show on your design screen.
  • Note: The MC11000 Hoop ST has the same dimensions as the MC10001 Hoop A.

Open the Image

  • 1. To insert the Pieces6 bitmap on the design screen,
  • Click Image, Insert Image...
  • Image
  • 2. The Open dialog box will appear.
    3. If necessary, change the Look in: box to the Embroidery Album, which was placed on your C: drive when DigitizerPro was installed. 
  • 4. Click Pieces6 once to view image in the Preview window.
    5. Click Open to bring the bitmap to the design screen.
  • Note: If you do not see the bitmap on the design screen, click the Display Images icon.

Enlarge the Image

  • 1. Pieces6 is a small bitmap. We can enlarge the bitmap to fill the hoop area.
  • 2. If the bitmap is not already selected (having 8 black boxes around it), click on the bitmap to select it.
  • Image
  • 3. Double-click on the bitmap to bring up the property, Dimensions of the image.
    4. Increase both the width and the height of the bitmap to 500%.
  • 5. Click OK to set the new size.
    6. Magnify the screen so you can see the bitmap well.
  • Note: each time you click on the Zoom In icon, the magnification will double in the Zoom box.


Digitize the Image

  • 1. We are going to digitize the center circle of the bitmap. We will use a plain Parallel Weave fill.
  • Note: If the Parallel Weave icon is not showing on the Digitize toolbar, click the flyout arrow on whichever Parallel tool icon is currently present to have the flyout tool bar appear.
  • 2. Click the Parallel Weave tool to activate it.
  • 3. To set the parameters for Gradient Fill, click the Object Details icon, located at the bottom of the screen. 
  • 4. The Object Details dialog box will appear.
  • 5. Click the Gradient Fill tab.
  • 6. Click a check mark in the Gradient Fill box to activate this process. We will use the default choice of Increasing Linear Profile, which is the first Profile box. 
  • 7. Click on the Maximum Spacing slider and slide it to the right until it reads .12 in the box. This shows that we are setting the maximum spacing to a little more than one tenth of an inch.
  • 8. Click OK.
  • 9. To digitize the circle, click four curve points (right click points) around the circle, clicking one at 12:00, one at 3:00, one at 6:00, and one at 9:00. Since the bitmap was placed in the center of the screen, you can use the grid lines as a guide. 
  • 10. Press the Enter key on the keyboard to generate the embroidery.
  • Notice that the spacing between the stitches, which is called the density, gradually increases as we move from the bottom of the circle to the top of the circle. Also notice that we have underlay automatically generating under the embroidery. If we turn the underlay off, we can use this fill as is for a pretty effect.
  • 11. Click the Select icon to select the filled circle.
  • 12. Click the Underlay icon to toggle underlay stitches off.

  • 13. To use Gradient Fill for shading, we must generate the fill again, this time reversing the spacing so the wider density is at the top and the closer density at the bottom.
  • 14. Click the Parallel Weave fill icon.
  • 15. Click the Object Details icon.
  • 16. Click the Gradient Fill tab.
    17. Click the second Profile choice, which is called Decreasing Linear Profile.
  • 18. Click OK.
  • When we do shading, we choose two thread colors that will blend with each other, so it looks like a gradual change from one color to another. Since we generated the first fill in red, we will generate the second fill in pink.
  • 19. Click the Thread icon.
  • 20. Click pink thread color.
    21. Click reference points exactly as before. Again, toggle off the underlay.
  • When this circle is sewn, the red thread at the bottom will shade to pink thread at the top.
  • Shading is a digitizing technique that you must experiment with to get maximum results. As graphic as the DigitizerPro screen is, this is a technique that must be sewn out to see its beautiful effect.
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