October 2017 Recap

Computer Software for Quilt Design

Building upon Jean's September presentation on quilt design, Vanessa, Carolyn R., Catherine and Stephanie showed us ways to let computers and mobile devices do some of the brainwork behind the quilt during our October meeting.

 A screenshot of a design created by Carolyn R. in Electric Quilt 7

A screenshot of a design created by Carolyn R. in Electric Quilt 7

Try an App

Stephanie has a phone with her most of the time and uses two apps, Infinite Design and Infinite Painter, to help get ideas out of her head and into a sketch before she forgets them. Both apps are made for Android devices. Draw with your finger, work from a photo, use layers--all the familiar tools are there in a convenient, free package.

 These are a few of the sketch tools available in Infinite Painter.

These are a few of the sketch tools available in Infinite Painter.

Several design apps are also available from Adobe; Stephanie showed us how to "paint" and create shapes using Illustrator Draw and Photoshop Sketch. They work on Apple and Android devices, enabling you to sketch on the go and send your drawings to your desktop computer for further refinement.

 Stephanie also showed us some of Adobe Photoshop Sketch's design capabilities.

Stephanie also showed us some of Adobe Photoshop Sketch's design capabilities.

Most mobile apps won't take you directly from idea to quilt, but they are portable and tend to be free or inexpensive. No need to carry a sketchbook!

Click here to see Stephanie's entire presentation.

Use Pro Software

Next we saw a demo of Electric Quilt, a recent version of which is known as EQ7. Carolyn took the sketches we sent Jean last month and transformed them into digital designs using this popular quilting software. Her interpretation of Audrey's sketch (which was inspired by Anthony Quigley's photograph of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport) is featured below, and you can see more of Carolyn's work by clicking this link to her slideshow.

 Another screenshot of Carolyn's design made with EQ7

Another screenshot of Carolyn's design made with EQ7

With an extensive pattern library of fabrics and colors, you can work out your design and see a graphic image of your finished quilt before you ever pick up your rotary cutter. And your brain can go to lunch while the program calculates yardage and lists out shapes and sizes to cut.

You will still have to do the cutting unless you have something like a Cricut machine. Then all that's left to do is sew! This isn't the cheapest option when it comes to digital quilt design, but you can get in the door for a couple hundred bucks.

Go for a Classic: Photoshop

If you have already have this software, use it to design your quilts! Catherine scans swatches of her fabric and uses Adobe Photoshop magic to visualize different layouts. If you don't have Photoshop you can get similar results with Photoshop Elements. Early versions like PE3 often have free trial periods.

What's YOUR favorite computer software program for quilt design? Let us know in the comments!

Keep this on your radar...

  • Curves Challenge quilts are due at our November 11 guild meeting.
  • Mini quilts for the #AZtoTNswap will be arriving soon from the Tucson MQG! Hopefully you already mailed yours to your partner.
  • We're looking for next year's guild leaders. Will you be one of them? See Kelly.
  • Do you have any ideas for next year's guild charity/education endeavors? Let us know.

Show and Tell