If you put all the rules of digitizing aside and sketch (or trace) an inspired image with wild abandonment, the results can be very rewarding.
In some software packages, there are fabulous sketching/drawing tools where you first create your artwork, perfect the sketch and then apply the stitches. Art and Stitch is a perfect example of this type of software. You can get an idea of how this works in their tutorial videos.
A shortcut in sketching with Bernina software is the Blackwork Run tool. This auto tool eliminates the jumps quickly and efficiently.
Brother and Babylock have simple drawing tools in the Design Center of their software packages. Once you have your image drawn with the tools, and ensure that all lines connect in stage 3, it's a click of the outline tool in Stage 4 and the drawing is complete. 5D and 6D have wonderful sketching tools. Janome MBX has easy to use drawing tools for sketching. The list goes on.
What you do need to consider is the length of the running stitch!It's important to use longer stitches when sketching to keep them from sinking in. Think of your own sewing machine and how it sews the running stitch with the lengths 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5. Pick your length by the weight of the thread and the needed space to keep the stitching smooth. There are a variety of stitches available once you have drawn your outline.
Think about the type of outline stitch you apply. In most instances the basic running stitch is perfect!For a smooth outline, a simple running stitch is preferable. Bean and Triple stitches are heavier and can create more issues with the thread rippling the fabric due to length and thread density. Consider a lightly applied column stitch with feathering for shading effects to be done after creating the sketch. All software packages have an easy way to change the stitching order.
Learn more about sketching in stitches, Artistic Digitizing: from Inspiration to Stitch.
If you are currently enrolled in this class, remember you can always use the 30 sec. repeat, post questions directly to me at the point in the lesson where you need help, share screen shots of where you are and receive personalized answers based on your software.