Quilt pattern design is an activity that I wanted to ‘conquer’, especially after getting my patterns published in a magazine in 2014.
I design a lot of my quilts in EQ7 and I really like the program for the way I can plan, play, make changes before cutting a single piece of fabric.
But, when I decided to start writing patterns and more detailed instructions for my workshops, I thought that Adobe Illustrator was going to be my my best option. UGH…expensive program and a steep learning curve.
But then…..several wonderful quilt designers mentioned Inkscape as a great alternative for drawing diagrams and step out instructions. Well, it’s been marvelous!! And, it’s free. After practicing, I’ve used it for a published pattern and it looked pretty good, if I do say so myself. So now I’m a confident beginner with quilt pattern design using Inkscape and EQ7!
First, I found Youtube tutorials that taught me how to use the program. Here’s one to start with. TIP NOT SHOWN IN THIS TUTORIAL: You first have to save your block or quilt layout in EQ7 as an Adobe PDF file. This isn’t shown in the normal ‘save as’ options. For this option, go to PRINT and change your printer to PDF software that you have on your computer. Sometimes I forget that step. Inskcape reads the PDF file as an image and you can then edit it.
So, I wanted to go from this block diagram created in EQ7:
…to create this in Inkscape–it’s called exploding the block to show how the 4 pieces actually fit together. The one on the left is the block shown above.
I can also add text for directions, arrows and more when I need to because the files are saved as jpegs that I can edit in Word or Photoshop as needed.
Same process for your full quilt layout. Here’s a snippet of a full quilt layout I created in EQ7 and then edited in Inskcape for one of my patterns –also exploded. Kaboom!