Working our way through the Toolbars of V8, to better understand functions. This time we will take a look at the Travel Toolbar to check stitching, sometimes even stitch-by-stitch. No matter if you are checking an existing design – one you’ve purchased online or found in the BERNINA Embroidery Library – or the one you’ve just designed yourself, it helps to understand how stitches are made.
1) Select While Traveling. Toggle* on to select stitches, objects, or colors while traveling through a design. This function is deactivated at the moment/grayed out on my screen. In fact: I have never seen it being activated while using the other options, so let’s keep this one for a later date.
4) Jumping by Object. Use in conjunction with Forward and Back icons to travel to the previous or next object. The icon shows a square and a shape, blue arrows pointing to both, which means that you will be working from one object to the next.
5) Jumping by Color. Use in conjunction with Forward and Back icons to travel to the previous or next color change. The icon shows two spools of thread, blue arrows pointing to both, which means that you will be working from one color to the next.
6) Jumping to Start/End. Use in conjunction with Forward and back icons to travel (directly) to the start or end of a design. The icon shows a flower with an ‘o’ to the left and a ‘+’to the right, blue arrows pointing to both, which means that you can travel immediately to start or finish of the design.
You can also press ESC (Escape), to be sure ‘Select‘ (Transform Toolbar) is deactivated: it’s the first icon of the Canvas Toolbar. Usually when selecting just one object, the ‘Select Object’ is used to click on the object of your choice and select just that one = pink color. But with traveling it works differently.
At this moment the (current) needle position on my workspace is indicated by a large white cross, which is the needle position marker. With this embroidery design, it is positioned right in the center. Normally this is located at the end of the design (blue arrow), which means that’s where the last stitch is made and the embroidery will be cast off.
The current number of stitches can be found on your screen, bottom-right = Status Bar. More indications about measurements (width and height) are available. At the moment this embroidery motif has a Width (W) of 68.0mm and a Height (H) of 65.6mm, a Length (L) of 11.5mm, an Angle (A) of 95, and the number of stitches is 9.496.
If you want to move to the start/beginning of your design, press the Home key on your keyboard: the white cross will move to the first stitch and the entire design turns black. All stitches and underlays are shown.
When ‘walking’ through the design by using Travel Forward or Travel Backward, this needle position will travel too. With the picture above you can see the white cross to the right of the green leaf.
To travel by object or color, use Jump by Object or Jump by color: the first object or colors are shown, with the cross/indicator moved to the first stitch of that object/color. I have enlarged the view of the object (420% Zoom Toolbar), because sometimes you cannot see what’s going on if the design appears small on your screen. The blue arrow is pointing at the cross = start.
Using Travel Forward, while Jump by Object is still activated, a second leave turns green, and a third by clicking on Travel Forward again. Not just the sequence of embroidery is shown, but also details of edges, stems and the veins of the leaves with this design. When a smaller part of the object (another object but smaller or in a row), like the edges of these leaves which are designed in slightly different colors, the indicator showing the start (cross) moves to that area. So sometimes you will see this cross at the foot of a leaf (in this case the entire leaf is covered with stitches), and another time the cross will move to the top of the leaf or to the side, because that’s where the start for the edges is placed.
I am traveling through the entire design to better understand the sequence: this is always very helpful before digitizing your own designs. I can Travel Backward to go back to previous selections.
Another possibility to move to the next object is to press Ctrl+T: you will move forward, step by step through the objects, as with the options mentioned before, but now using a shortcut. They will be pink = selected. Moving back = press Shift+T, again step by step. If an object is pink, you have ‘selected’ it, like the leaf above. Just press Esc to deselect and turn it into the used color in order to travel further. Many V8 users never use shortcuts, just the icons/buttons/commands of toolbars. But believe me: once you’ve discovered them, you will use them more often.
For Jump by Color, I will press Home again and the motif is all black again. I will Jump Forward and the first (green) color will be shown: these are multiple objects, all from the same color and properties. By clicking again on Jump Forward, another group of color/leaves is shown. When doing this, it seems as though nothing has changed, but look closely: the second color group = edges of the leaves – are shown now in (almost the same) color. So even if you think nothing changed, it can slightly differ. Sometimes a piece of embroidery is made in a darker hue, because that will enhance something. Jumping Forward through the entire design shows where the rest of a color groups will start.
If you are not sure if leaves of the same color/almost the same color are grouped, just check the docker ‘Color Film’: as many boxes as there are, the same jumps are made. I can see 6 colors, so 6 Jumps by Color can be made. It shows you much more clearly that the leaves themselves of the first color group = n0. 1 is different from the edges of the leaves = color no. 2
Looking at the Color Palette, I can see the number of colors that are used too. Number 4 on the left is the one I’ve clicked on the last = the current number. The row of the next 6 colors are all in the same sequence as shown on ‘Color Film’. With every jump, the first number changes into the next number/current number.
To move to the next color, use Page Down on your keyboard, or Page up to go back. With every click you will go one object forward or backward.
- Arrow up – moving 10 stitches forward
- Arrow down – moving 10 stitches backward
- Arrow to the right – stitches forward per piece/1
- Arrow to the left – stitches backward per piece/1
Holding the arrow 1, 2, 3 or 4 down, you will fly through the stitches, similar when using the ‘Stitch Player’, but only at your workspace. You will understand that the movements are faster when holding 1 or 2 down then when holding 3 or 4 down, because of the different increments. You will see the cross dancing over your design, like the needle with thread will do with your embroidery machine.
But that’s not all: using the Plus and Minus keys, you will move forward of backward a 100 stitches at a time. I have enlarged my design quite a lot to see how that works. Really great to see more details: it is easier to see that – what appears to be one long/solid line – sometimes consists of two or more pieces.
To travel to the end of your design/motif, press the END button of your keyboard: another shortcut. Lots of them, if you want to work faster.
TIP: with enlarging your design to the extreme, parts of it will be beyond the borders of your workspace. Sometimes you will lose the overview of your design. Press ‘C’ on your keyboard to center again. Which means that you ‘travel’ directly to the center of your design. Pushing the scrollbar of your mouse towards you, places the design back to a smaller size, and your overview is back. Travel to another area again, enlarge it (pushing the scrollbar of your mouse away from you). You can repeat this while working much closer to see details of stitches, underlays etc.
When the last icon ‘Jump to Start/End‘ is activated, you can jump to start or end. Also, when clicking on an object, ‘Select’ is activated, and just that object can be edited = pink.
To travel via all shortcuts/view stitching sequence, you can use these indicated in the picture above (the same can be found in the Reference Manual at page 354. I’ve tried them all, just to see what happens. Keyb’rd = Keyboard, Keypad = Num Lock/numeric keypad. For the latter, be sure the key NmLk on your keyboard is activated!
At the bottom of this list, you will see that with some shortcuts the ‘Num Lock’ needs to be OFF and with other shortcuts, the ‘Select Object’ should be OFF (you can do this by pressing Esc). First check which shortcut you want to try, set Num Lock or Select Object tool ON or OFF and see what happens. In other words: have fun!
Next time another Tool Bar, see you then!
Sylvia’s Art Quilts Studio
*Toggle = handle/switch, in this case ‘command’.