You might think that quilting is a craft for older ladies, but quilting is the craft that is entirely engaged in the digital world. Yeah! Nowadays, the computer-based quilt design or designing a quilt on the computer is growing quickly, helping you create designer quilts in handy devices.
Many softwares are available to create quilt designs on a computer, and you can use any of them. Quilt pattern and fabric designers have used the Adobe Design Suite’s common software to design their fabrics and quilts. Many software allows you to import the images and design one by yourself. This article is absolutely for you as we are here providing the steps to design a quilt on the computer.
Keep reading the article and get yourself acknowledged with the computer quilting.
How To Design A Quilt On The Computer
To design a quilt on the computer, you can use several available or simply Microsoft Word. Yes. Microsoft word is the program you might use for letter writing but today, you will use it to design a quilt.
The word document has a drawing toolbar, and with the help of that, you can design a quilt. First, you need to go to the view button on the taskbar, then visit the toolbar section and enable the drawing option. A draw option will be enabled at the bottom of the document, and there, you will see the basic shapes option. Open the blank page and make a four-patch block. Then, you can choose shapes from the basic shapes options.
Now, you need to move the mouse to the screen and make a square. Now, color the box as quilting without color is nothing. Next, visit the fill effects section, the pattern, and pick the foreground and background color for your quilt.
It is easy to work with blocks, and now we desire the patches to have two blocks. Now, click on the square and copy it. Next, paste the square and drag it to the position you desire.
Make two squares by copying and pasting two or more times. By doing so, you will get four identical square patches for your quilt.
Well, click one of the squares, and with the shift key pressed, click on the other one. Now, click and drag the blocks to design four patches. The next is to group the pieces to make a block. Click on each shape with a shift key. Right-click and visit the grouping button and group them.
The blocks can be treated like one item, and you have just completed a quilt block. After that, we need more blocks to design a quilt, so right-click and paste more blocks. Finally, drag the blocks and make a quilt top.
Let’s have a step-by-step discussion on it.
Step 1 – Decide The Size And Block Of The Quilt
In the beginning, you need to decide what quilting block and of what size you will use. Then, you can choose the basic ones. Next, decide the rows and columns in the quilt and the border you desire.
Step 2 – Scan The Fabric
The next step you need to follow is to scan your fabric on the computer. It is essential that the quilt you will design would be of the exact size as your fabric. Your fabric swatch must be large enough as the quilting pattern piece that you will cut from it.
You can use the flatbed scanner and place the fabric on the scanner bed. The fabric should be kept flat without having any wrinkles. Line up it in horizontal or perpendicular patterns with the scanner bed edges, ensuring that the patterns flow straight upside down.
Don’t forget to set the scanner image size to 200 dpi for a clear picture of the fabric. Then, scan the fabric you will use and save the folder on your computer.
Step 3 – Create The Virtual Quilt Blocks
Now, you need to use Photoshop Elements to create the virtual quilt blocks. First, select the edit button in the photoshop tool, then go for file, new, and create a blank file.
Fill in the pop-up box with the title where you are starting with the first block, width to set the size of the finished quilt block like 12 inches, and height to set the size of the finished quilt block like 12 inches. You also need to set the size of the pixel to 72.
Select the view button and ensure that the grid and rulers have check marks on them so that you can view the measured grid for the quilt block. Next, select the file, and open your file of fabrics you scanned earlier. Select the first fabric for the first block.
The image of the fabric will open in the photoshop tool, then select your rectangular marquee. For that, you need to put the cursor on the image of the fabric, left-click, and drag the cursor diagonally to increase the virtual swatch’s size inside the dotted cursor line until it becomes similar to the quilt pattern piece. Now, place the swatch on the first block of the virtual quilt.
The new swatch is the virtual quilt block screen. Now, place the fabric swatch in the position for quilt block design, and if the same fabric piece repeats, select the rectangular marquee.
Select edit, copy merged, edit, and paste to duplicate your fabric swatch in the accurate size. Save the quilt first block and continue to build every block in the quilt until you get the virtual quilt block completed for each unique block in the quilt. You will need to design a unique block by copying and pasting duplicate blocks that repeat in the quilt pattern.
Step 4 – Assemble The Virtual Quilt
This is again a similar process as building the individual quilt blocks on a large perimeter. You can create a blank quilt canvas, and again with a photoshop element, you can create a new quilt block on the virtual quilt screen. Now, place the fabric swatch and repeat the previous process.
You can also edit and paste to create more duplicate swatches required in your quilt design. Finally, you can rotate the quilt block position, and you are all done with your quilting design on the computer.
If you don’t like the design, you can design it again following the entire procedure.
Step 5 – Remember The Border
When you get ready with the virtual quilt design, don’t forget the border. You need to leave a space of one-fourth inches for the border on the real fabric as it is your seam allowance.
Benefits To Design A Quilt On The Computer
Designing a quilt is not that easy task, and when it is virtual quilt designing, it becomes even more challenging if not followed properly. But, despite the challenging role, designing a quilt on the computer has some benefits as well, including;
- Limited quilt mathematics required
- Ability to import real fabric pictures
- Compared to pencil and graph paper, changes can be made quickly
- You need not guess what will work and what won’t as you can easily mix and match and get the suitable fabric to place for a particular patch.
- Quilt design programs offer easy and quick options to modify the quilt design if any mistake happens or if you get any new idea about designing a different design for your quilt.
What Software Can I Use To Design A Quilt On The Computer?
For an easy design of a quilt on the computer, here are some softwares you can use.
Brother SAPVQ Preview Quilting Design Software
Brother is a popular brand in the sewing world, and this quilt design software is one of the best. You can design entire quilt patterns here, and it would work well for beginners and advanced quilters. This is not a free tool for quilt designing but one of the best.
It is an excellent investment for a quilter to get the design they desire. It features the block-in library of about 150 blocks, provides distinct fabric and color availability, design sizes from block to a king-size quilt, and printable templates.
Grace Quilter’s Creative Design Software
This software is quilt design, block design, and pantograph design, all-in-one type. Here, you can design your quilt with spirals or stippling or any design you desire. It features 200 built-in patterns, the ability to trace and upload images to create patterns, printable patterns are there, and you can design the quilt from start to finish.
EQ8 Mini & EQ8 By The Electric Quilt Company
The Electric Quilt Company is the best to create quilting for both advanced and beginner level quilters. The EQ8 mini is a test-drive version and is best for beginners boasting great basic features like copyright-free 300 blocks library, eight borders and four layout styles, design templates, and online tutorials on how to use.
The EQ8 software is the latest edition of Electric Quilt Design Software, and it is both beginner-friendly and advanced-friendly. Here, you can also upload images of fabric and use them in quilt design. It features over 6000 original block libraries, block drawing tables, distinct file types to export images, 22 borders and ten layout options, online tutorials, upgradation, and print templates in full color.