The Ripple Effect
Have you played with the Ripple Fill in BERNINA V6 (version 6) Artista software? It's fascinating and fun! The process goes basically like this: create some shapes, select a shape (or several) and opt for Ripple fill in the drop down menu at the bottom. It's that easy.
I especially like to explore stitch spacing for two reasons. The first is that it affects the shape's tranparency. To experiment with this, simply select an object (try a circle; anything) and then right click to surf to and open the Object Properites box.
Increase stitch spacing to achieve a more transparent effect (more fabric shows between rows of stitching)
Decrease stitch spacing for more opaque effects (less fabric shows between rows of stitching)
As you begin to play with designing shapes, you can opt to digitize a little composition. That means "a whole image" or group of shapes you'd like to stitch out just as it ended up in the software. Alternatively, (and depending on your embroidery-sewing system) you might create several smaller shapes and plan to use them as if they're "transparent stitch-stamps." Onscreen editing allows the freedom to make spontaneous choices at the sewing machine; like which shapes you feel like stitching and where you'd like to place them, repeat them; possibly adjust their size, mirror-image them, etc. ...all while you're at the hoop and having fun stitching. If you also want to play with thread selection during the stitch out, be sure assign different thread colors (color changes) to the objects while digitizing. That way the machine will stop and allow a thread change between objects. You can always leave the same spool up top and "pass" on the option.
enJOY a related short series of images from one of Paula's PowerPoints: Fiberella Studio_digitize with ripple fills
If you're interested in needle punch, consider this: digitize ripple-filled shapes in advance of adding fiber.
You can needle punch right over these shapes, adding fiber as desired. In this example, my thread is Isacord.
For optimum needle punch compatability with Ripple Fills, I suggest a stitch distance of 4.75mm or higher.