Pattern Designing

Pattern Designing –
Adding text and images to your PDFill project.

I use Microsoft Word to write out my pattern instructions. Then I can copy/paste the text into my PDFill project.
I like to make my own pattern graphics from images created in Electric Quilt.  For this project I know I will want a colored version of the block to go along with the layout image created when Electric Quilt generated when you printed your PDF.

Open Electric Quilt and choose the block you have been working with.
You will want to color it with fabric if you have not already.
Click on PRINT & EXPORT > Export >Image
Navigate to the folder you are keeping this project in.
Name your image.
When you click on Save and option box opens. Choose your print size. Choose your resolution. Then click OK.
You now have an image that you can drop onto your PDFill project.

Open PDFill
Click on File > Open Project to Resume Editing > navigate to your saved PDFill file and choose Open.
Once the file opens in PDFill, click on View > Zoom > Fit to Window.
Now click  Insert > Image or PDF page > Image from File
Your courser will change to a crosshair. Drag open a box. Navigate to your image and click on it. Then Click Open.
The image is now inserted into your project. Right-click the image and choose Properties. This will let you choose the width and height you want the image to maintain. For instance, my graphic that says 1 inch for scale, absolutely needs to be 1-inch x 1-inch 😊 You can use the pointer tool to choose your image and move it around on the page.

To add Text.
Click on Insert > Single Line Text or Multiple Line Text
Your courser will then change to a bracket. Place it on the screen where you wish to begin typing. You can change the font and font size. You can start typing or you can paste from another program.  You can also run Spell Check, found under Tools. Play with this until you are happy then Save. To create a PDF you can share click on
File > Save the Edited PDF as > Save PDF as.
When the window opens Name your file and click on Save.
You are now ready to share your pattern with your friends!

Pattern Designing

Pattern Designing –
Take your Electric Quilt PDF and clean it up.
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.

In my last post, I shared how to take your sketch from paper, import it into Electric Quilt and save as a PDF. Now you have a PDF printed from Electric Quilt that includes the Electric Quilt information along the bottom of the page. A line drawing of the Block with an alphabetical patch count, and the patches. If you are doing this for your own personal enjoyment you needn’t alter anything. If you are wanting to share your pattern you will want to clean it up some.

I use PDFill PDF Editor 14 – http://www.pdfill.com/
PDFill is an inexpensive PDF editor. It is easy to learn and use.
You can download their free trial and play along here.
Open PDFill.
Click on File > New Project to Open a New PDF > navigate to your saved PDF and click Open.
Once the file opens in PDFill, click on View > Zoom > Fit to Window.

Choose the select tool, drag around each element you wish to remove, and click Ctrl + D. A red X will appear indicating that element will be removed upon Save.

Click on File > Save the Edited PDF as > a window opens that will give you various options.
Click on Save PDF as > Navigate to your folder for this project and click on Save. You have successfully started your PDF clean up!

Once again Click on File > New Project to open a New PDF
The program will ask if you wish to save the PDFill file for later editing. I normally say NO at this point.
Click on NO, then navigate to the edited PDF and click Open.
Click on View > Zoom > Fit to Window.
You now see your cleaned-up PDF, ready for you to add patch labels and text!
This time when you close the PDF choose YES, you wish to save a file as a PDFill project. That will allow you to open the project and continue editing without having to use the PDF file.

Next time I will share adding text and images to your PDFill project.

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 https://electricquilt.com/ 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. https://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/trackman-marble-business?crid=7
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  http://www.pdf995.com/pdfedit.html 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.

Quilting Hacks

I love Command Hooks!
On my sewing machine, I am using their soap holder to keep my snips handy!
I bought the item off of Amazon. It fits easily on the front of my Pfaff. And I don’t lose my snips nearly as often!
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00SH2C9AC/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Pfaff with soap cup for scissor holder

2020 BoMs and BoWs


Let me introduce the BoM and BoW projects starting January 1, 2020.
You can Enroll in the projects now! Yardage and cutting instructions are ready and waiting.
PurrTastic – This fun throw features kitties in the garden.
Angels – Always one of the favorites, these could also be considered as Fairies if that is your preference.
Funky Chickens! – use up your scraps with these crazy fowl.
We had a vote over in the FatCat Friends Facebook group and there will be two throwback projects this year.

I can do this

Sometimes we get excited and bite off more than we can actually chew. I may have done that. http://muppin.com/wordpress/index.php/the-2019-31-day-blog-writing-challenge/
Muppin.com is having a Blog Challenge. Nothing hard. Nothing scary. Just blog once a day for the month of December. (This is to help get back into the habit of not neglecting this poor little corner of my internet space.)
Do it every day for a month and it should become a habit. Or at least something easier to accomplish.
How hard can it be? Do one thing once a day, every day for a month.
Then I sat here and thought about things I actually do each and every day. The list isn’t long.
Aside from the basic stuff like get out of bed, shower, get dressed and brush my teeth 😊 Those don’t actually count because Momma was responsible for beating those habits into me. Sorry, Momma, I don’t even make my bed every day anymore.
So here is my list of things I actually do each and every day without fail.
Have my morning coffee
Read and answer my email
Walk the Little Boys
Interact with quilters on Facebook
Take my nap
Holy Smokes! Obviously, I am not an everyday kind of gal. I got nervous. Perhaps this really is more than I can take on. Then my eye caught my Day-Timer sitting here on my desk underneath the current pile of patches being cut out. Then I realized that a silly book actually gives me superpowers that I take for granted. I may not do the same things every day, but I do have a pretty set routine 😊 Just need to add the Blog into it. Oh, I feel so much better now!!!

Customer Login

You will now find a “Customer Login” button here on the blog and on the FatCat Patterns website. If you have made a purchase or ordered a download from me, this is your easy access to your personalized download page! When you click on the button it might ask you to verify your device. Please allow the system to set the cookie, or you will have to verify each time. Your download page will show ALL downloads you have ordered, including expired and duplicate patterns. If you wish to have your page “cleaned up” just message or email me and I can take care of that for you.
Here is a sample of what to expect.

See how it has each purchase listed? If you then click on “View Purchase” you will be able to download that particular file.

Purrs, Gurrs, and Gnomes…Oh My!

Back in June. I started doodling cats. Yes, I prefer to doodle in pen 😊 Those doodles became the launching point for my  “All the Purrs “pattern. Which quickly morphed into the “All the Grrs” pattern, because, if cats…why not dogs?
Which then went spinning into “Gurrs and Purrs”. Can you see the beginning spiral into Summer frenzy?
Could I do it? Were my Tester up to it, or would there be mutiny? We had a giggle at that, they are such wonderful folk and real troopers.

A fellow quilter in the FatCat Patterns group had shown a quilt block where she used flannel for applique. Man, that looked really nice! I made a trip to the local quilt shop to just “look” at flannels. Flannels had never been on my quilting radar before. I was AMAZED! Fat Quarter frenzy took over. To make things even better, for every 12 fat quarters purchased you got 1 free. 39 different prints followed me home that day. Got home and tossed them into the washing machine. What a nightmare! Had to happen though as the sizing and preservatives used break me out in some serious hives. Finally, they were trimmed, ironed and folded. Behaving as fabric should.

Now, due to the fact that I totally absorbed in a creative tsunami…I worked all three patterns at the same time.
Sleep was not happening. Imagination was full steam ahead. It took a solid week just to trace all the patches. Another week to fuse and cut them. Carefully keeping each project separated into its own pile. Noses and Mouths got pre-assembled on the Teflon pressing sheet

The other patches were easy to place without any pre-assembly.
FINALLY, I could sleep. One solid night of undisturbed rest. Jon even took care of walking the boys at 2 am. I was soo refreshed that next morning! The feeling of frantic creation had gone away and I could work at a normal pace.
Till the next night that is. While sleeping I was quilting in my dreams. I was appliqueing down the cats and dogs. Know what they did??? Those suckers turned into GNOMES and woke me up. 1 am in the morning and I was deep into Electric Quilt revamping the pattern file to become “Here We Gnome Again”. Seriously, a glutton for punishment. You guessed it, another trip to the quilt shop for red flannel, a day of tracing and fusing…then peace. No more quilting dreams.
The next few weeks are a blur of marathon applique sewing. All four projects at the same time. Trying my best to keep them all in the right piles. Sometimes the cats and dogs would visit each other and need sorting out again.
The first top to get finished was Here We Gnome Again.
Misery loves company though. So in July, I kicked off the Summer Sew-Along 😊
Soon many of you were actively stitching along with me! Friday, release day, became a highly anticipated event. Seeing everyone’s finished blocks became the highlight of my mornings. And I continued to stitch down applique. By August two more quilts were finished. “All the Gurrs” and “Purrs and Gurrs”. As of this writing “All the Purrs” has just the faces left to applique. I ran out of steam, lol. A much-needed break allowed me to put the finishing touches on the pattern files and release them September 1st.
Now, I need to get back to the machine and finish off those Purrs!

A Fresh Face!

I decided to make the jump from Blogger to hosting my own. I am not positive I can get the old posts migrated over here but will try 🙂
Please bear with the mess while I get this under control.

Sindy

BoMs changing to Sew Alongs

Hello Friends!
I am here today to announce a change in how I share ongoing projects.

Many of you have seen the scamming sites that lift artwork and pictures from pattern designers. Then use them to sell a fake quilt. This has caused me such headaches. The only way I can personally combat this theft and misuse is to not put artwork out there to be lifted!

Instead of sharing free BoMs with images of the blocks each month on my website, I will now be hosting Sew-Alongs.

What is a sew-along? Well, it is a lot like the BoMs I have offered for years. Except that you do not need to remember to visit my website and download blocks. Instead, you are joining an email newsletter that will automatically send you the download link each time a block is released.
The BIG change? A one-time fee that guarantees email delivery right to your inbox. By the end of the sew-along, you will have the complete pattern set! If you are joining late, any blocks already released will be waiting for you. You will not miss a thing! Although you do want to register early, for with the release of each new block the one-time registration fee will increase slightly, (never to exceed the cost of the complete pattern).

Show and Tell, and personal announcements of block releases will be offered in my FatCat Friends group over on Facebook.

Alright, so why charge a registration fee?
Basically, because newsletter type emails cost money to send out 🙁
And there is the fact that when we have to pay for something, we value it a little bit more.
We tend to care more. I am desperately hoping this will translate into folks paying attention to copyright.

This has been a hard decision for me to make. I have been sharing free patterns and BoMs for over 20 years now. I am trying really hard not to feel like I am letting you guys down!