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Draw Your Own Appliqué Designs

Jan 23

Draw Your Own Appliqué Designs

Want To Draw Your Own Appliqué Designs But You Are No Artist!


I Have a Solution or Two For You And Your Appliqué Designs


Often I am asked where did I get the designs from that I put on my clothing and bags I make.
There is a simple answer, I draw them, by hand.

I have three friends that do quilting and and for many of their designs they have to buy appliqué patterns, or download free ones from the internet. Every now and then one of them will make the comment “I wish I could draw like you” which kind of makes me feel like an outsider.
In saying that,  I can’t translate seven languages,  do a root canal or organise three children. Everyone has their own talents.

It seems others have this drawing issue to. I won’t call it a problem because it isn’t.

To be honest I have never given it much thought, apart from the chats I have with with my friends. That was until I read an article, about appliqué designs, in a local quilting magazine yesterday.
At the end of the article the author gave some suggestions of computer software to use and highly recommended one that she uses made by Adobe.

This article got me thinking and although I do all my own art for my designs by hand, what would I do if I couldn’t.

Would I buy them premade, possibly not. I like to create and that includes my own designs.
Would I buy books with patterns or download them from the internet. Most probably. I have looked at children’s coloring books as a place for cheap simple patterns. (Thinking of my friends)
Would I use computer drawing software. That had me thinking, could I really draw good designs on a computer and print them out for use.

Just a side note: I am probably slightly below average as far as computer competency goes. I don’t let computers or software for that matter intimidate me. My view on computers is that they are a tool and therefore deemed useful when I need one. Oh and if I can not do something on the computer, scream at the top of my lungs until someone comes running – just kidding. I do ask for help though, a lot.


Appliqué Designs At The Click Of A Mouse

I researched the cost of the Adobe software mentioned and when I saw the brief description of what it could do I instantly knew this was no beginners software, there would be a serious learning curve.

This is what I found on the Adobe Illustrator page

Adobe® Illustrator® CS5 software helps you create distinctive vector artwork for any project. Take advantage of the precision and power of sophisticated drawing tools, expressive natural brushes, and a host of time-savers.

OK. Did you see the word sophisticated?
Not one to be put off I kept up my search and here are some of the other graphic design software solutions I found.

Adobe Freehand MX – this software is no longer upgraded and new users are encouraged to use Illustrator

Coral Draw Graphics Suite X5


All are nice looking graphic software packages if software is your thing. I am still thinking they are way out of the scope of what I would require.

Some of you may have heard of or already own the following two:

Quilt Pro

A quilting software program with ability to design and draw your own appliqué. It also has a variety of predesigned appliqués.

Electric Quilt

Well I must say if I was buying specific software for quilting and appliqué this would be the one I would give serious thought to.
Solely because the website gave more information than Quilt Pro.

Because I was following along with the idea of what if I couldn’t draw, none of the above appealed to me due to the purchase costs and the seemingly huge learning curve.

If you do own Electric Quilt or Quilt Pro I would love to hear your opinions or comments on them.


Free Graphic Software That Can Be Used For Appliqué Designs

There are many free graphic software programs out there and just because they are free don’t think they are not powerful.

Gimp – GNU Image Manipulation Program

Possibly the most popular free drawing software that you can find on the internet. It is very similar to Adobe Photoshop. From what I found out it was popular with manga and comic book artists in Japan.

However, in order to use this software for the purposes of drawing, a graphic tablet would need to be used.
Free but not the best for a beginner.

Tux Paint

This is very simple software. Designed and developed with young kids in mind. It has simple self explanetory interface with fun sound effects made as different tools are selected.
Great if you have never touched any kind of drawing software before.


Now I don’t know why I never thought of this one, as I already have it on my computer. My husband downloaded it for me and added something to that can edit photoshop files for me.
I love this software and use it regularly with some other art work I do. Not drawing or appliqué related.
It is easy to use and I have now used it to draw and print some basic designs. You can click on the images to see them full size.

easy applique patternsimple applique designhow to draw applique designs on a computer


InkScape may well be the place to start for many of you. It is illustration software that is similar to the Adobe Freehand and Adobe Illustrator, but without the cost.
This software is going to be on my ‘future to use’ list as it is a vector graphics editor and you could make really nice computer drawings similar to what you see in magazines.
Though I am not sure I require that type of quality. Pencil and light card have done fine till now.

I did look into the free graphic software versions closer than the paid because when I am starting out with a new idea or project I like to trial many things first before committing, so free is always good.

There is a good reason to go the paid way and that is – Support. You get access to a support team to help you with your questions or if you have problems with the software.


Graphic Software Will Put You In Control Of Your Appliqué Designs

I am hoping you are a little curious or maybe even excited about the prospect of drawing your own designs. The advantage to you is you are not limited by someone else s designs. You can have complete control of your projects from start to finish.

So what would the advantage be to me to use computer graphics.
I see the real advantage in that I and can draw my designs and save them to a file. Print them when I want them and not have to re-draw them if they get damaged or lost. I said advantages to me but they apply to everyone.

For those that maybe thinking that all of this seems way to complicated and it is easier to stick with doing it the way you have have been doing it. I can understand you…. but…. if you just give it a good try, you could well be on your way to drawing your own designs.

No one else will have them, they will be your very own appliqué designs, original to you.



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