Saturday, April 28, 2012

Designing Quilts On Computer

Using Paint

Part 1



















I don't use a quilt design program to design my quilts. I use the version of Paint that comes with Windows XP. It has its limitations but it is an easy way to get practice designing.

Let me show you what I do. (If you have a different version of Paint, the exact procedure may be a little different from what follows, but the basic idea will still be the same)

1
I start by drawing a square that I use to make a grid.
   


To draw the square, left click on the Rectangle tool in the menu.

When you move the arrow into the work space the cross-hairs thingy appears. Hold the Shift button down, left click with the mouse and hold; drag the cross hairs thingy diagonally, then release. You should have a square.

Don't make the square too big. I make mine about 3/8". Experience will tell you what size is best for you.

The square can't be just any size. It has to be an odd number of pixels wide. If you draw an X in the square the lines should cross on a single pixel. If you get a blob in the center, the square needs to be either one pixel smaller or one pixel larger.

2
I copy and paste the square to make a grid.

This grid is 3x3. I could have made it any size, 2x2, 4x4, 5x5, whatever I feel like.





To draw the grid, click on the Select tool in the menu.

At the bottom of the menu 2 new icons will appear. Each  has a cylinder, a circle, and a square. One will make your square opaque; the other will make it transparent. Click on the one for transparency.

When you move the arrow into the work space the cross-hairs thingy appears. Place it on one corner of the square. Left click and hold; drag it diagonally to the far corner and release.

When you release a dotted box appears around the square and a 4-way arrow thingy appears. Move it inside the box and right click with the mouse. A menu will appear. Left click on Copy.

When the menu disappears, either the cross-hairs thingy will appear outside the box or the 4-way arrow thingy will appear inside the box. If you get the 4-way arrow thingy move it anywhere outside the box and it will become a cross-hairs thingy.

With the cross-hairs thingy anywhere outside the box, right click with the mouse. A menu will appear. Left click on Paste. A new box with a square in it will appear in the top left hand corner of the screen.

Move the cross-hairs thingy into the new box and it becomes a 4-way arrow thingy. Left click and hold; you can now move the box anywhere you like.

Place the new square next to and overlapping the original square. Move the 4-way arrow thingy outside the box and it will become a cross-hairs thingy. Left click and the dotted box disappears. The grid now has two cells.

To get another square that you can add to your grid, right click with the mouse to get a menu and left click on Paste. Another box and square will appear in the top left corner of the screen. Add it to the grid.

Repeat this procedure as often as needed until you have built a grid.

Click Paste one more time. You will get one more square that you can save so that you never have to draw the square again.

Similarly, Copy and Paste the grid and save it so that you never have to draw the grid again.

3
Once I've made a grid I draw lines in it. What I draw doesn't matter. It can be anything. I will probably change it later anyway.


I am keeping this simple at the moment by only drawing diagonal lines.

You might find it easier to think of the squares in the grid as squares in a Nine Patch block. In which case, instead of drawing diagonal lines, I added half-square triangles.

On the right are some other easily sewn squares you could try using instead.

To draw a line, click on the Line tool in the menu.

When you move the arrow into the work space the cross-hairs thingy appears. Place it in the square where you want to start your line. Left click and hold.

Drag the cross-hairs thingy to where you want your line to end. Release and the line will remain.

Draw as many or as few lines as you like. At this stage you are still experimenting.

I save a copy of my initial design (see step 2) before going on to the next step.

4
Once I have my initial design, I color it. How I color it doesn't matter. I can color it any way I fancy. I will probably change it later; so there is no need to agonize over it at this time

To color the design click on the Fill with Color tool in the menu. Then click on one of the colors in the Color Box at the bottom of the screen.

When you move the arrow into the work space a paint can appears. Place it so that it appears to be pouring paint into the area you want to color. Left click and color fills the space.

Reposition the paint can and you can fill another space,

When you want to change colors go to the Color Box at the bottom of the screen and click on a new color. The paint can now contains the new color and you can fill new areas with color or change the color in old areas.

Use as many or as few colors as you like. At this stage you are still experimenting.

I save a copy of my colored design (see step 2) before going on to the next step.

5
Once I have a colored design I make copies of it that I repeat, rotate and reflect, then combine in a number of different ways to see if I can find anything that I want to develop further.















To do this use the Select tool to put a dotted box around a copy of your colored design. Click on Image in the bar at the top of the page. A menu drops down; click on Flip/Rotate.

Another menu appears. You now have a choice. You can flip your design horizontally, you can flip it vertically, or you can rotate it. Once you've made your choice click OK.

Use the Select tool to move the various copies around to create new designs.


I know this sounds very involved when you see it written out. But when you've tried it once or twice it becomes obvious that it is all very simple to do.

To be continued.....





6 comments:

  1. nice! I often use powerpoint.

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  2. I am paying attention. Will wait for the next instructional class. :D

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  3. Thank you, Wayne, for taking the time to create and share the tutorial. I look forward to giving it a go and adding it to my repertoire.

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  4. Wayne, Hop over to my QuestQuest blog and check out today's post. I awarded you the Liebster Blog Award today. Your ideas are so interesting and help stretch us in our craft. Thank you. June

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  5. This is absolutely awesome! Thank you!! I've been reading your posts and wondering what program you use...even went to Amazon to look at design software. Most of what I saw didn't look like anything I'd be familiar enough with to do anything, so I came back to just enjoy what YOU do. After a few "clicks" I landed on this one (April 28, 2012) and was thrilled to death! Looking forward to the "to be continued..."

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  6. I use power point as well. The grid is already there for you and that saves me time.

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