I’ve had a few people ask me how I go about drawing up my patterns. So I thought I’d share how I do it. I’m no expert, I just do things the way they work for me the best. This isn’t a tutorial but it might give some of you keen to try your own patterns a starting point. Or it might simply amuse some of you to see my before and after pics ;) It amuses me. I'm perhaps easily amused. hehe.
First up – I use EQ7 (Electric Quilt 7). Not a cheap piece of software but it is definitely worth it. I don’t use it to its full capabilities – I mainly using it for paper piecing patterns, but the more features I start finding and using, the more I love it. If you’re not up for that kind of investment (and I wasn’t – my awesome parents gave me my copy!), there is also Quilt Assistant. That’s a free program designed especially for paper piecing. I started off with that one. It’s a bit of a learning curve, but then so is EQ7.
So then what?! You pretty much have a choice – use a picture as a tracing image, or freehand it. I do both.
There are a few options for tracing. Sometimes I draw it on paper, scan it into the computer then use the “tracing image” option in EQ7. Like this stork:
Sometimes I draw a rough (very rough!) outline in Paint. It just gives me some guidance on where to place the key things in my pattern. Don’t laugh. Okay you can have a little snicker – I know - my Paint drawings are pathetic.
The third option – sometimes easier than my own drawings is a photo. I generally take my own photos for patterns to avoid any copyright issues (except when I paper pieced Marieka’s house for fun! ).
As I sell my patterns, I figure this is the best course of action to make sure that my work is completely my own. Side note: for those observant enough to notice my LEGO patterns – I made those for my own personal use and contacted the LEGO group for permission – which they kindly gave - to share them as free patterns on my blog) – but they are personal use only, no money is made from them.
And there’s the patterns that I draw freehand. Start with a blank screen in EQ7, and divide it up into sections and away I go. These generally take a LOT more tweaking and playing around with to get just right. They might not be as nicely centred or as tidy as some of my other patterns, but sometimes inspiration strikes and I just go for it.
Sometimes the results seriously suck. Keeping it real and sharing one of my reject patterns here Be kind. Yeah I don’t know why anyone would want to paper piece a quilt on a chair either. I just wanted to draw it.Thank goodness I have awesome quilty pals to help me reign in the bad creativity and focus on the good.
Other times, the freehand designs work. Like my little house. That worked way better than I thought. I’ll admit I may have done a little happy dance when it did work. More so when my freehand design translated into fabric just as well!
So there you have it, my friends! You know my paper pieced design secrets! Or at least my starting point. If you’re keen on seeing how to use EQ7 to translate your design into a paper pieced pattern (sections and numbering), ShapeMoth has a great tutorial. Be warned, these patterns are a bit addictive, but very fun. If you give it a go, I wish you luck and patience.
If you just like to paper piece and have no interest whatsoever in designing your own patterns, may I be so cheeky as to direct you to my Patterns page and Craftsy store? hehehe promise there are some freebies in there! Or let me know if you’re keen to test my patterns for me. That’s always appreciated! Oh and I don’t mind special requests if you’re after a specific pattern design.
Whew! Well that’s enough! Guess I should quit procrastinating and go actually sew! Or maybe draw up some more patterns….