Designing a Patchwork Quilt in Adobe Illustrator | Corinne Sovey | Skillshare

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Designing a Patchwork Quilt in Adobe Illustrator

teacher avatar Corinne Sovey, Quilter and Color Enthusiast

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Introduction to Designing a Patchwork Quilt in Adobe Illustrator


    • 2.

      Setting Up Your Document


    • 3.

      Setting Up Your Workspace


    • 4.

      Essential Keyboard Shortcuts


    • 5.

      Purpose of Snap to Grid


    • 6.

      Using the Pen Tool to Create Shapes


    • 7.

      Using the Shape Tool to Create Shapes


    • 8.

      Creating a Color Palette


    • 9.

      Class Project Sample Part 1


    • 10.

      Class Project Sample Part 2


    • 11.

      Final Touches


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About This Class

In this class I will walk you through how I design quilts in Adobe Illustrator. We'll look at everything from how to setup your document and workspace, to different ways to create basic quilt block shapes. You do not need any prior knowledge of Adobe Illustrator to take this class!

Meet Your Teacher

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Corinne Sovey

Quilter and Color Enthusiast


I'm a maker first and foremost. I love crafty things and I'm always figuring out how to make things. My first love is Quilting and you can find my projects on my blog, 

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1. Introduction to Designing a Patchwork Quilt in Adobe Illustrator: Hello. Welcome to designing a patchwork quilt. An adobe illustrator. My name is Karen So V and I am the maker and blogger behind Sunshine Handcraft. You can also find me on instagram out sunshine dot handcraft. I have been a maker all of my life in a crafter, and I have been designing quilts and making quotes for several years now. I have also had many quilts in quote Khan, so you may have seen them there this past year. I actually won first place in the piecing category for my under the radar quilt, which was a huge honor and a great surprise. Today I am going to be walking through the basic steps of designing a patchwork quilt and adobe illustrator. You don't need any prior knowledge. I'll walk you through the basics, and when you're all done, you should be able to design your own basic patchwork quotes. So let's get started 2. Setting Up Your Document: Let's take a look at how we're going to set up our document. Open up, Illustrator Goto file new going to Neymar document. I'm gonna call mine Patchwork. Don't worry about the profile or the size. The most important thing on this page is you're going to change your units into inches. We designed quilts and inches. Our document will be an inch isas. Well, over here, the with and the height are going to refer to how big our art board is. I like to make an art board a little bit bigger than the quote I'm planning. So if I'm gonna design a quilt that is a lap sized quote, let's say 50 by 60 inches. I'm gonna make my art board a little bit bigger. Let's go ahead and make it 70 inches. I'm gonna tab down to height and say another 70 inches from my art board is gonna be 70 inches square in another lesson, I'll show you how to ultra that later on down the line. If you're quilt ends up being a different size color mode, I want to be RGB. We're gonna pull some color from the internet later. So this is gonna keep our colors really vivid on the screen. And we're going to be able to get the right color values when we use her eye dropper And the other couple of things don't really matter. You could hit, OK, And it's gonna pull up your 70 vice 70 inch art board the next step, we're gonna go ahead and take a look at setting up our workspace. 3. Setting Up Your Workspace: you have your documents set up. Let's take a look at setting up your workspace head on up to the window tab, click down, hover over workspace and make sure you're on essentials. It's going to give you the basics. You'll notice we have a toolbar on our left at a toolbar on our right. We're only gonna be using a few items from each head over to your left toolbar, and you're going to hover over the pen tool. You'll notice a note pops up, telling you what it is, which could be pretty helpful. Gonna click down. Don't release your mouse and head over to this bar. It's gonna change color. And once it does release and it's going to pop out, your pen tool will be using this quite a bit. The other tool that will be using a lot is are shaped. Tool is a few down from the pen tool. It's this rectangle right here, and it clicked down. Same thing drag over is going to pop out your shape tools. Let's head over to the other side. We're gonna pop out our swatches panel here. You just have to click down. It's gonna pop itself out. You release the mouse. If you go up and you click down on the tab, keep cooking, weaken, drag it over under other tool bars. Now we're not going to use this color themes. So we're gonna hit these arrows here to pop it back in so that it's not cluttering up our workspace. We have the main tools were going to be using Click back on my selection cursor. Here. You can also hit V. If you prefer. That's a keyboard shortcut. The next thing we want to do is turn on our grid lines. They're gonna be essential to designing her quote. Head up to the View tab. You're going to click down and go down to show grid. It's going to bring up our wonderful grid lines. I'll explain these more in our next lesson. One more thing with the grids you're going to go to view snap to grid again. Pretty important, Walt, and I'll be explaining it a little bit more in our next lesson. I do want to show you how to change the with between your good lines, you go to edit preferences and then guides and grids. It is going to pop up this, uh, preferences menu. Now the thing that you want to pay attention to is this grid line. Every I like to set it up every inch or so. It's going to give me a good line every inch. That's a pretty easy number to remember. It's a great number when you're looking at how big your shapes are. You're subdivisions is going to be the lines in between your grids. It's just another way of setting up your grid. I leave it at one, meaning I'm just going to have a good line every inch. If you change it to two, it's going to give you a grid line. Every half inch of you change it before it's going to give you a grid line every quarter inch again. I'm just going to keep it simple and leave it at grid lines. Everyone inch we're gonna click. OK already had my grid set up, so you're not going to see a change. You go ahead and change your grid lines to everyone in just for demonstration purposes, and then later on, you can play around and see what your preferences. That's all for this lesson. In our next lesson, we're ready to start talking about shapes 4. Essential Keyboard Shortcuts: before we start looking at how to draw shapes, I wanted to discuss keyboard shortcuts with you. There are a few that are essential and will really speed up your workflow, and there are others that are nice tohave. I'll be referring to them throughout the lessons and pointing out where they are on the tool bars as well. There is also a document that you can download and print that that are some helpful keyboard shortcuts that specifically apply to quilt design. But let's cover a few before we get started on shapes. Now, sometimes you're going to want to zoom in on whatever you're drawing. You could go over here and hit on the magnifying glass, and it's going to let you zoom in and zoom out, but something that's really handy. Let's say you're working with your pen tool. If you hit controlled space and keep your fingers on the keyboard like I'm doing right now , you'll notice that my cursor changed to that magnifying glass, and I can zoom in and zoom out, and then I'm going to release my fingers from control in space. It's gonna go back to whatever tool I was using. It's really helpful. I suggest that you practice it a couple times. You'll find that it's life changing. Another one that's useful is control. Zero. You'll notice that I am zoomed in a little bit. You can't see all of the art board if you hit control zero like I'm doing right now, it's going to bring your whole art poured into view. That one's really helpful if you're zoomed in and you we want to zoom out without the magnifying glass. Now, if you hit the space key, it's going to bring up this hand. It's gonna let you move your art board around, which could be pretty helpful. A museum in I'm Control space Zoom. Now let's say I want to see what this says up here. Got my pen tool click on the space bar. It's gonna bring up my hand and I can go up and take a look at it. Now let's say I want to go back out and look at my entire are bored. I'm gonna control zero. The last one I want to cover quickly is V that is going to take you to your pointer or your main cursor every time you're in a different tool. You're not necessarily going to want to go up to this toolbar and click on it. So if you're in any particular tool, it's grabbed this rectangle. You hit V in your keyboard like I'm doing right now, it's going to bring up your main cursor. Those are the ones you're going to use most often. I really do recommend that you practice and play around with them for a few minutes so that their second nature the more you do it, the more comfortable it will be. Now that you have those in your toolbox, let's go ahead and take a look at drawing your shapes. 5. Purpose of Snap to Grid: when we set up our workspace in our document, we went to view Snap to grid. I want to explain a little bit more about that. It is very helpful when it comes to drawing shapes and moving shapes on our art. Bored I just turned off. Snapped a grade. You'll see. There is not a check mark. They're going to grab my pen tool and I'm going to control space. Zoom in just a little bit. Now I have snap to grid turned off. You'll notice that the grid where the lines intersect, there are points. Five. Snap to grid turned off. I can draw anywhere. I want to go on. Go ahead and delete that with the delete key. Now, when I turn on snap to Grid and grabbed my pen tool, you'll notice that even if I'm in the middle of a box, it's gonna snap to one of the intersecting points of the grid. So this way I can make sure that my lines are perfectly straight. Another perk of snapping to grid is if I have my shape, I know that commuted control. Seeing control V to copy paste, I know that it's going to line up perfectly. If I didn't have snap to grid on, turn it off for more time. I could move this wherever I wanted Teoh, and you'll notice that it's if you're zoomed out of control. Zero out. It could be pretty hard to make sure this is lined up. I have my smart guides turned on, which is the green that you keep seeing, trying, tow Line me up. But it's not going to be nearly as perfect as if you have your snap to grid turned on. That's why we have snap to grid. Gonna go ahead and turn it back on, going to select those with my cursor and delete. And now you know why we're using snap to grid. We can move on to drawing our shapes with a pencil. 6. Using the Pen Tool to Create Shapes: we're ready to start drawing with our pen tool. Gonna go up here. I'm going to select it. Now Come down here to your swatches. You'll see that I have. The main swatch is black. And then if you click on the one in the background with a red line through it, I don't have any color selected. I don't like to have a stroke when I'm drawing. I just like to have a general, uh, color to fill it in so that it's easy to grab your on going to control. Zoom into my grid and I again with the control space to zoom. I have my pen tool at the ready once I release the keyboard. Now, to draw shapes, all you have to do is point and click on any of your or near any of your grid line since we have snap to grid turned on. So I'm going to draw a square. Let's say I wanna Foreign Square. I'm gonna click on this point and then I'm going to count. One inch, two inches, three and four. Click again on account down. Four more click again for more click again, and then you want to close your shape, you'll notice that this, uh, anchor point is blue. That's the active anchor point. When I come up here to close my shape, you'll see that near the pen cursor of little circle pops up. That's telling you, you're closing your shape and it's not going to be open. Ah, you just want to make sure that you close your shapes, going to click one more time. Now we have our square. Now, if I decide that I want to make 1/2 square triangle, what I would do is I would start off with my square. I would select it and go up here to my delete anchor point. That's going to be your pen tool with this, with a minus sign would click on that. Any time that you take the Delete Acre point tool, you're going to get rid of whatever anchor point you click on. So I'm going to click on this guy, and it is going to get rid of half of my triangle. The shape is still closed, and if I click on it and go edit copy, which is control, see at it. Paste Control V. It's going to go ahead and give me another copy. Now, if I take my regular cursor and I go up near any of these anchor points and I hover, it's gonna give me these little arrows that are telling me I can rotate it if I want to. When I rotate, I use the shift key to make sure it goes at perfect angles. So I'm gonna hold shift down, going to rotate this guy a few times. You can see that the shape moves with you, so you see what you're doing, and I'm going to move it over and go over here to the swatches panel and make it a different color. And now I have my half square triangle. Now, if I want to create an hourglass, I would take this shape and I'm going to Let's copy, Paste going to copy paste this guy. And I am going to add an anchor point. I'm going to go up to the plus sign with the anchor point and I am going to put it right here in the middle. Then I'm going to take my subtraction and per point, get rid of this and click on that. And now I have 1/4 of a square again. I'm going to control C Control V. And then I am going to shift, rotate, not got half of my hourglass. I'm going to drag my cursor over both so that I select them both. You'll notice they're both selected in the blue box going to control Sea and Control V again with those over so you can see them. And again, I'm going to shift, rotate, move them into place. And while they're still selected, I'm gonna change the color. I've got an hour glass block. You could also make your flying geese block this way. I'm going to go ahead and grab one part of the hourglass control C Control V, move it down here. Going to grab my pen tool to draw the rest of it in a drop. Two different triangles going to start here with an anchor point anchor point anchor point closed my shape. It's still selected. It within the blue lines me to change the color. And then it's that I could just take my pen tool and draw another triangle over here. But instead I'm going to copy paste control C control V and then I'm going to shift, rotate and dragged that guy over there. Now you've got several of the major quote blocks. Let's go ahead and take my pen tool and draw a box just for good measure. Those are the basic ways that you draw your shapes with the pen tool. 7. Using the Shape Tool to Create Shapes: Now that you know how to use your pencil, we can go ahead and take a look at usually in the shape tool to draw your shapes in this class were really only going to use this square or a rectangle tool to go ahead and click on it. You'll notice that the cursor has changed to cross hairs. I am going to click down and drag, and I can create any shape I want. You'll notice the blue flashing line is telling us what shape we're creating. So let me make a rectangle. If you know specifically what size you want something to be and you don't want to do it by sight, you can have your crosshairs and click anywhere on your art Born gonna click down and it is going to pull up your, uh, in this box where you can define exactly how large you wanted to be. Right now, the aspect ratio is locked. I'm gonna unlock that and change it and say, six minute tab down six again. It's gonna make a six inch square. And then let's say I want Teoh make a rectangle. I want it to be 12 inches by six inches, and it is going to create that. So now that's how you create your basic shapes with the rectangle tool. The short cut is M. If you hover over the toolbar, you'll notice that the note with what the tool is pops up. It also has the letters in parentheses. That's gonna be your shortcut. If you don't just have the pronoun that I've provided handy, you can hover over any tool, and if it has a shortcut, it will tell you what it is. Now that you have these shapes, you can go back to the lesson with the pen tool, and you can use the pen tool to create the same shapes we did in the last lesson. So I've got my delete acre point, and I could go about my business, creating our quilt shapes. 8. Creating a Color Palette: Let's talk for a second about color. I want to show you how to create your own color palette from an image you grabbed from the Internet. But first, if you look at your swatches panel, there's actually a library that you can click on, has got a bunch of different color palettes you can play around with. But again, I'm gonna show you how to create your own gonna pull it. My website, son John Handcraft. I have a series called Quote Color Crash where I talk about different color palettes and how to use them and quilts. We're gonna grab this image here and go ahead and copy it on. I am going to paste it directly onto my art board. Now, I am going to draw a few swatches. Actually, let's drop for and we're gonna grab color from that image. I'm going to select the first box. You can see it selected by the green outline. I'm gonna come over here and I'm gonna grab my eyedropper tool. It's got a keyboard shortcut of I on a hover over this first color pink. I'm gonna grab that color, and it's gonna put it in the object I have selected. Go select the next object. Grabbed my eye dropper. Grab the aqua, my cursor back. Click on the next box crab. I drop her. Grab the green. I'll do it one last time for that coral color. Okay, now that we have the colors grabbed, I'm gonna go ahead and delete this image, and I am going to click and drag over all of my squares. You can see over here in this swatches panel. There's a question mark because you have multiple colors selected. You go here to the drop down menu. You can say new color group McCall it. Casteen, you're going to create from your selected artwork. Hit. Okay, you can see over here in the swatches panel. You now have a folder with your selected swatches. You can actually also save your swatch library so that you can import it later into other documents. But it's just a Z. Easy to open an old document with the color palette and copy paste them into it. So that is how we will create our own color palettes. I gonna be using this one in our project today. 9. Class Project Sample Part 1: her class project is to design your own quote mock up in Adobe Illustrator. I designed this and I thought it might be helpful to walk you through how I went about it. It's mainly made up of four blocks the flying geese, the 16 patch, this half square triangle hourglass combination and these stripes you come to in my layers panel and click on it. You can see that there's an eyeball here saying that this layer is visible. I have gone ahead and of copy pasted one of each of these blocks onto another layer for us to reference, turn this layer off by clicking on that eyeball. And then I'm gonna come click on this and turn the eyeball on. And now we have this other layer visible. Let's go ahead and create the 16 patch. I'm gonna grab my shape tool, and I am going to make a four inch square. I'm going to drag it over here. I'm going to control C control V. Get another square, grabbed my eyedropper tool. Let's go ahead and grab this color. I could have also come over here to the swatch palette that we created and grabbed the color there. Now I'm going to drag over. Both copy paste with control. C control V have got one road done in a drag over. All four of them. Control C control V, line them up, snapping a grid and making everything super easy. I'm just gonna grab this guy. Move him over here. We've got half of our block. Grab all of it. Control C Control V and I have one of my nine patches done. Now, if I wouldn't know how big this is, what I can do is I can drag over all of it. And then if I go to object group, it's gonna make it one object. I can come up here, see the with, which is 16 inches on the height, which is 16 inches. Now that I know that that guy is a true 16 inches, we can use that to make our flying geese block. What I'm gonna do is I'm gonna grab my rectangle tool again. And the flying geese block is approximately half of one of these. So it is going to be a wits of eight inches in height of 16. Now that we have that, what I can do is grab my anchor point like we talked about earlier in the ad, one in the middle. Then I'm going to subtract those gonna grab my pencil, and I am going to create this other triangle. When you grabbed my eye dropper, we'll just grab the grave for now. We'll switch it around in a second, but I'm gonna control C control V hit shift and rotate. Now we have our flying geese block. I'm going to go ahead and click on one of these hit, shift and click on the other one, going to group them together by hitting Control G, which is also what we were doing by going up to Object Group. Now that they're grouped, if I click on one, it's gonna pull up both of them. So if I go to the eyedropper, I congrats, that blue color and it's gonna apply it to bulls. I'm going to go to this guy, grabbed my eye dropper and grab that gray. Now, as we can see in our example, we've got 3 16 patches and then we've got flying diesel across the top. So what I'm gonna do, I'm going to drag over all of this and I'm going to copy Paste. Set it down. Now we know that this is another color going. Teoh, select this soccer together. So I'm going to shift control G, which is going toe ungroomed. Or you could go to object on group and I am going to click on this box hit shift. I'm gonna click on all of the yellow. Wish green boxes in this square. Now I'm going to group them together so that when they use the eyedropper tool, I can apply the color to all of them at once. Object work, eyedropper. And we'll just grab this coral color. We'll go ahead and drag over this box. Copy paste and line it up. Click. Now that they're still all group together, something to click on them. They all change the same time. Crab, my eye dropper. Get the paint. I'm going to do the same thing with this, you know that They're on the top. So let me move these guys down. I'll grab my flying geese, and I'm just going to control C Control V Now, since I have to, I could make it speeded up by clicking on all of them. Control C Control V. And now I have all of those guys going to go ahead and click on them and change the colors . So I'm just gonna be a little random here. We can always go back later and play with the color. I don't need that one. Blue next one. And let's pick up this pink again. No, we don't want it to touch, though. Maybe we'll pick up the quarrel. Then this one will kick up that Gilo. So now we have our half of our quilt done. Half of our quote designed in the next step will go over this block and the stripes. 10. Class Project Sample Part 2: we have half of our quote designed. Let's go ahead and design the other half. This block is the same size or 16 patch which mean it was 16 inches. So I'm gonna grab the rectangle. Gonna make a 16 by 16 inch square. I'm gonna grab my delete anchor point. Turn that into 1/2 square triangle. Now I am going to copy paste control C control V shift rotate, and I am going Teoh, add an anchor point. Here's me. Zoom in for a second. I'm going to grab the anchor point tool And now I can delete this anchor point up here and control zero to go back out. Move that copy. Paste, rotate. Rob, my eye dropper! My eye dropper again! And we have created this shape going toe. Delete this one at the delete button and I am going to copy paste this one. Get them lined up. Now we just have this one to dio. If you drag this up, you can see that I made it four inches. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna do it with the rectangle tool once again and I'm going to go 1234 inches all the way over. We've got it in the pink, going to copy paste, drag it down, hopping paste again, drag it down and then we will go ahead and grab a couple of different colors and our quilt is created. We'll go ahead and talk about changing colors in the next lesson. 11. Final Touches: Now that we have the quote design, let's take another look at these colors as you can see it and change any of these colors in our last step. So let's go ahead and do that now going to select this. Go over your palate, prop the pink. Let's make this guy this color Kim glue and finally looked to make that one coral. Now I used Gray so that you guys could see it on the screen. Let's go ahead and change all of those at once to white, so I'm gonna show you a trick here. If you click on any of the grey portions, you can go to select same fill color, and it's gonna select all of those great pieces when we can come over here. Click on white. It's gonna change them all at the same time. Now, if you want to know what size your block is, you can do what we did earlier with the 16 Patch and group it together. So hover over everything. Hit control G and look up here telling you 16 by 16. If you want to know how big the flying keys is, you can hover over it Rupe. It is going to tell you eight by 16. You want to know how big this piece is. You can click on it, and since it's just one piece, it's gonna tell you directly. It's four inches high by 48 inches wide now, since this is a quilt, any of the dimensions that you see on Illustrator you're going to want to add 480.5 inches two to allow for a seam allowance on all sides. So instead of four by 48 it would be 4.5 by 48.5. Unfortunately, illustrator, you have to do all the math yourself, but at least you can click on the shape and add 0.5 inches to it. A good tip to use is to create a text box with your text type tool, and you could just create a text box. I'm going Teoh, go here and make it 72 points, and then you couldn't type the dimensions of your pieces type math to show you and you can make notes in the margins with what you're shapes are you can copy paste. Let's say you're flying geese over here, then have your text box. Say, this is the math for my flying geese. You can count the number of pieces that you have. Enlist them there. It's a good place to save a little bit of your math work. Another idea is to use your layers panels. Tiu tiu. Use different colors on your quote. So if you want to save different versions, you can just duplicate. Go appear this box, duplicate your layer, it's gonna make another one, and you can turn them off and on to see different colorings of your quilt. That is it for this class. I hope you are able to play around a little bit and create some simple quilts. I'd love for you to upload your projects to the class website so that I can take a look at what you're working on. Thank you so much for taking this class. I really appreciate it.