|Image from Facebook|
|Image from design seeds|
One of the programs that the QDAD group uses to make their designs is a free program called Inkscape. Like Touchdraw, that we explored in the last post, Inkscape is a vector graphics program that allows you to manipulate shapes independent of each other, move them around, group them, scale them, rotate them and colour in any colour you want. Unlike Touchdraw, Inkscape is free! It is available for Mac, PC and Linux and can even be installed as a portable program on a hard drive or SD card and moved from computer to computer if you have more than one!
There is a little bit of a learning curve with Inkscape and I find Touchdraw much more intuitive. Having said that it is possible to make some really fun quilt designs with it and use it to help re-size or scale up quilt designs, or even colour in, as in this rainbow version of the Dutch Rose block. (We explored the Dutch Rose aka Swoon block here some time back if you want to see more of this gorgeous block!)
|Image from Inkscape Help|
Next click on the pen tool or hold the shift key down and press F6. Then draw a triangle on the grid.
Click on any of the colours on the bottom of the screen to fill your triangle as a solid shape. You can now build your block or design and change colour really easily.
Grouping shapes together works the same as in Word and Touchdraw and you can add backgrounds or binding the same as in previous software tutorials.
Once grouped, if you click on a block you select the whole block and can move it or scale it. Holding the control key and pressing D makes a duplicate copy. To change the colour of a shape in a grouped collection hold down the control key and click on the shape in the group you want to just select that shape. You can then change the colour and play with colour combinations or different background colours.
To scale a block accurately in Inkscape you need to turn off the stroke (outline around each shape, grey in the black background block above. For some reason Inkscape grows the shape by a very small amount when you add an outline.) Select Object/Fill and Stroke to open the menu and click on X to turn it off. You can then pull on the corner handles or insert a size in the top bar in W for Width and H for height.
Here I made my 16" block 36", duplicated it 3 times and arranged them all so that there is a 4" space between them. I didn't like the corner squares so coloured them white the same as our background. Click on each shape twice will allow you to rotate the blocks (or use the drop down menu Object/Transform). I like this with the warm yellow/orange colours in the centre and the cooler colours on the outside.
Adding a background square, sending it to sit behind our existing blocks (Object/Lower to Bottom) and colouring it in simulates binding.
I like this 4 block version but how about a giant Dutch Rose block?
Scaling up to 72" and adding a border could make another fun bed sized quilt project. To determine what size squares to cut I could take the 72" and divide by 8 (the Dutch Rose is an 8 x 8 block) or just click into the group holding control and clicking on a shape gives me the square dimensions of 9". This is the finished size to I need to add on 1/4" seam both sides and cut 9.5" squares. For the triangles to get a 9" finished block I need to cut 9 7/8" squares (for lots of ways to make Half Square Triangles see this earlier post!)
So what do you think? Want to make a giant Dutch Rose quilt? Anyone up for a Quilt-A-Long?
I hope you have a look at the QDAD page and if you are tempted to try a quilt design a day, we'd love to see them!