Welcome to Day 26 of How to Earn $ From Sewing and Quilting! This week we are talking about Designing and Selling Patterns, and today we’re having a look at some Other Software to Use for Designing Quilts.
(I am in no way affiliated to any of the programs I am going to discuss in this post)
Many years ago, before I knew about quilt design programs like EQ, I was using Corel Draw. I used this for many years to draw simple designs, and as with EQ, there was so much more I could have learned if I had put the time into it. Every now and then I still use it, but the version I have is quite old… I am sure the current version is much better and more powerful.
Recently I have tried some different programs, recommended by my children who are into graphic design and game programming. Like I said yesterday, I am mostly focusing on stitcheries and applique, so these are the programs I have been working with recently….
Wacom Bamboo Tablet
Ok, let’s take on step back…. before I go into the the programs I am using, I have to mention this new toy that I have…. Actually, this one DD and I bought at the Opshop a few years ago. It is a Bamboo Drawing Tablet from Wacom and basically you use the pen to draw on the tablet and you see it on your screen. It is what DD started with before she moved on to bigger and better things 🙂
I first had a play with it a few weeks ago in the hotel room in Dubai, on my way back from Holland…
I figured DD could show me some hints and tips on how to use it.
It’s pretty straightforward. You just download the drivers and plug it in via a cable… As you can see it has a pen that comes with it, and it basically does what the mouse would do in the program you are using.
Of course to make it work you need a cup of tea or coffee….
You can still use the mouse if you want to – so both the pen and the mouse control the cursor.
It integrates nicely with the programs I’m going to be talking about today, AND with EQ7!! So that is a bonus!
With regards to EQ, it helps with tracing and drawing applique designs – instead of using the mouse to trace and draw, you are using the pen. You still have to look at the screen while the pen does the drawing on the side, but once you get the hang of it, it is easier.
Ok, on to the programs I have been playing with…
Of course Photoshop is the go to program for many people in the graphic design world. DD has been using this program to draw most of her older stitcheries. (She has swapped to something else now, more about that later.)
I had a bit of a play with Photoshop on my own before I saw DD in Holland, and my goodness, there is a huge learning curve with this! There is so much you can do with it, and I had trouble with the basics!!! I watched a few tutorials, but to be honest it made my head spin!
I then asked DD to show me a few things, which she did… and then she got frustrated because for some reason the settings were different from on her computer… so she decided I was better off trying a different program and pointed me to Paint Tool Sai!
I can see that Photoshop is a great program if you have the time to learn how to use it. Other than drawing, I have used it for editing pdfs, and turning some of our stitcheries into pdf patterns. If you are on my newsletter list, the freebie stitcheries I gave you the past few months were all done with Photoshop.
Photoshop is available on a subscription basis. I have subscribed to the Photoshop and Lightroom (editing photos) bundle and pay US$9.99 a month. There are lots of plans available, and I am not sure how long I will subscribe, but for now that’s what I have done.
Paint Tool Sai
Paint Tool Sai is the next program DD pointed me to. You get a free trial and then it costs about US$50 once off payment.
It was MUCH easier to get the hang of for me… more similar to Corel Draw ( 🙂 ), but also using the layers features that Photoshop has. It also integrated nicely with the Bamboo tablet.
I have been using this program to trace designs that Nora has made for an Arabian style quilt. You’ll be seeing more of this later on in the year…. It has been easy to get the hang of and so far I am happy with it. The only problem is that I have still been using Photoshop as well to do some things that Paint Tool Sai can’t do! (Or I just haven’t figured it out yet!) I am hoping to get to the stage of having only one program that will do everything I want…
Again, like EQ and Quilt Pro, these programs can do more – I just need to learn how, and finding the time is always a challenge.
Procreate on the Ipad Pro
So this is the latest that DD has been using and she let me have a play with it in Dubai… OMG, it is amazing! To draw on this, is just fantastic… and I told DH that I NEED one 🙂
I have been teaching classes this month (and will update you on that when this series is over) and you know where that money is going, don’t you?! As I get more experience with this platform I will be giving you an update….
The best thing with all these programs is that if you draw with them, there is no need to scan and touch up your drawings again. You can just convert them straight into a jpg or pdf and your pattern is ready to share or sell.
In the past when I have made patterns, I have drawn them in pencil… then traced with a lightbox and black fineliner… and if I made one little oopsie I had to start again….! Then I would scan it in to the computer and put it in with the pattern instructions….
With these programs, especially procreate, you can just hit the back button.. or use the eraser…. sooooo much easier!
I am told by my friends here who have an ipad pro, that you can design whole quilts with it too… so once I know how to do that I will be sharing that with you as well…
Well, those are the programs I have used recently and am still learning more about. Do you use any of these programs for designing quilts or other things?
I’ll see you again tomorrow to look at Designing and Selling Patterns – How to Write up a Pattern
PS Please remember I am answering your comments in the comment section below and not via email like I usually do. Sorry for the hassle, but I am hoping this month we can share ideas!
PPS The main page of this series is here along with links to each post for this series.
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