Pattern Designing

Pattern Designing –
Take your drawing from paper to Electric Quilt, to PDF

 Hi there! I get asked quite often about my pattern design process. So I thought I would share it with you here. Keep in mind, my niche is Applique. This is my personal process.
All of my designs begin by hand as I am a chronic doodler. Once I have my idea scribbled onto paper the fun really begins. I am a huge fan of Electric Quilt it is the most used program installed on my computer.  And yes, I also use it for things other than quilting and pattern design 😊
 Using my phone camera or the scanner on my printer, I get an image of my sketch on the computer.
Then it can be imported directly into Electric Quilt as a traceable image, or I can just open it up on the second monitor for visual reference. Plus being a digital copy I will not accidentally lose it or throw it away.
For computer drawing, I use a trackball instead of a mouse. It gives much better control and it is more forgiving on my hands. My favorite brand is the Logitech Trackman Marble Mouse.
Create a folder on your computer to store all the files you will be making for your pattern. Mine usually looks like this.

Electric Quilt will use your default printer. As you want the templates to print as a PDF. So set your PDF printer as default on your computer. There are many PDF printers out there. The one I use is called pdfEdit995 You can try their services for free.

Open up Electric Quilt and create a new project.
Create a new block. My go-to is “Pieced Applique”. 
Then choose “Easy Applique”
Under the  Draw tab, you can choose to import your sketch by clicking on “Tracing Image”.
Click on “Import Image” and navigate to where you saved the image file of your sketch. Choose your image. Then click on Draw and begin tracing!
Ready to print?
Click on the Print & Export tab.
Click on print,  then click on Templates.
A window will pop up allowing you to change the size of the block, add a seam allowance, add a key block and Mirror the block. For fusible applique be sure to mirror the block 😊 That way your patches will face the proper direction when finished!
Click on Preview. Preview allows you to remove duplicate patches and move patches around to fit on your paper. You may wish to group patches that will all be the same fabric. Or you may just want to scrunch as many patches onto one page as you can. Preview is your friend.
Once you are happy with the layout click on Print.
Another window will pop up letting you choose where to “print” or save the PDF. Navigate to the folder you created for this project. Then click on Save.
You have now created a PDF Electric Quilt template of your sketch!
Next time I will share how to take your Electric Quilt PDF and clean it up.

3 thoughts on “Pattern Designing

  1. I have just reinstalled EQ7 after a long time, but I am very unsure how to use it yet. I’m going to give this a go, thanks!

  2. I have always been curious about this. I can’t draw so I doubt I will ever design but love to know how patterns come to be. Thanks for writing this.

  3. Thank you for the tutorial. I just purchased EQ-8 and have just started playing with it. I am looking forward to reading more of your post on your process.

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