I use Stitch Artist by Embrilliance for digitizing embroidery. Its one of the most user friendly programs and there are many many Stitch Artist Videos to help you get started. The online PDF manual is full of great instruction.
I am using a 8 x 8 hoop on my Brother Embroidery Machine. Here is my existing design from Amazing Embroidery. I open the object pane.
I am using Stitch Artist 3. I will explain using Stitch Artist 1 below.
Select the outline of the design.
I then select Create an outline from stitches on the page icon:
With the object still selected click the next icon - Inflate outline. Make sure you click Remove Holes. I used 4mm for my inflation.
IF YOU HAVE STITCH ARTIST 1, you must draw your own outline using draw with points. Obviously, you will want to move the nodes til you get the shape around your object the way you want it to be:
For all levels of Stitch Artist you then go to the shapes library and add a box.
My box is 7.25" x 7.25"
I then select the outline and the box I have created. I go up to Create and I select Outline and then select COMBINE HOLE.
With the new design still selected I click the stipple icon
Then you can adjust the stippling as you would like:
If you just want to create an outline of your existing embroidery design, you can also use Enthusiast by Embrillance. With the use of knockdown stitches, you can make the outline of existing embroidery. Here is my existing design from Amazing Embroidery. I open the object pane and select the design.
With the object selected in the object pane go up to Utility and select Add Knockdown Stitching:
And this is what it will look like:
With the knockdown stitches selected in the object pane, open Stitch Artist by selecting Create. Then select run stitch from the stitch selection. The knockdown stitches will change to a run stitch around your embroidery design.
Have a good day!