Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning or communication, as a guide to belief and action.  Simply put it means to plan ahead.  When digitizing we do this all the time.  Think of what type of design you want to create, the steps it will take to create the artwork, work from background to foreground, apply stitch properties and thread colors, and then sort the information before exporting it to become a stitch file for your embroidery machine.  Did you know you do all that when designing with your EQStitch?

Sometimes it is just easier to let the auto digitizing functions of the program take over and think through all the steps for you.  But, when you rely on auto digitizing,  you lose the control to be creative yourself.  

One of the ways to take the control from the very beginning of the design process is to tell the program what you want to do in the ‘drawing board options’ box before you begin to draw your artwork.  This works really well except when you are on the machine applique worktable.  The auto digitizing is strongest on this worktable.  All lines will automatically have a zigzag edge stitch and all closed objects are assumed to be filled with applique fabric.  You can over ride this feature by being careful with your artwork to start with and then changing the stitch properties on the stitch tab in EQStitch.

Open your EQ Stitch program and click on the ‘stitch worktable’ icon.

Click on STITCHING>New Design> Machine Applique.

Click on the drawing board options box on the properties bar at the top of the design area.

In the drawing board options box, set the  embroidery edge stitch to a ‘bean stitch’ and the embroidery fill stitch to be ‘no fill’.

Using the ‘freehand drawing tool’, draw a squiggly line on the artwork area.   Since we set the drawing board to have a embroidery edge to be the bean stitch, you would expect the line drawn to be that stitch.  Click on the stitch tab and notice how it is not the bean stitch but instead it is the zigzag default edge that you would have with an applique.  This is because we are on the applique work table.

Return to the artwork tab and keeping  the open line, ‘clone the selected line’ and then flip and rotate it to create a free form flower head without closing the  shape together.

Add a small star shape to the center of the area.

Use the ‘brush stroke’ tool to create a flower stem.

Now use this same design and clone and re-size it two more times to create 3 separate designs.

On one of the designs only, use the oval drawing tool (circle) and create another edited circle shape to mimic the flower head outline.  This will be a closed shape into which you can apply applique fabric.

Click on the fabric tab at the bottom of the screen and add applique fabric to the closed shape area you created.

Once you add the fabric to the closed shape, the auto digitizing functions take over and apply the placement line, the tack down line, and the edge stitch.

Click on the stitch tab and apply the stitch properties of your choice to each of the different design elements.