Creating Quilt Designs with CorelDraw:
|TIP: Clicking the right mouse button while dragging or rotating an object will create a duplicate of the object, leaving the original unchanged.|
This block is based on a basic 8-pointed star. You could copy any of your favorite blocks or create your own from scratch at this stage. If you want to test the "set" of the block, you could create copies of it at this point to see how they will look next to each other. But you will have to get rid of the extra copies before you proceed, because we need to create a single "Control" block to act as master for our colouring.
At this stage, selecting the "right" colours for the final quilt design is not that important, because as you will see, we will have a chance to fine-tune that later. What you do want to decide now is which pieces in your block will be the same colour as one another.
In this case, I wanted four parts of my star to be in the same fabric. I shift-selected those four parts from the drawing and then "Combined" them into one shape. Merely "Grouping" the four parts won't work for our purposes, you must make the separate pieces into one shape, even though the shape might be made up of pieces that don't touch each other. Do this for all the parts that share a fabric colour. In this example, there are 6 shapes made of pieces which share a fabric colour: Rust (shown as the hatched area), dark rust, gold, brick, dark peach, and light peach.
Now select all the parts of the block and group them. This is your Master block. At this point it's a good idea to save your work. You might want to save this block on it's own to use again, or you might want to just save the entire project in one file.
It's time to move on to creating the quilt design. If you chose to save the whole project in one file, you must now set a new page size, one which will accommodate the entire quilt. (To do this, have NO objects selected and you should see a property bar which will allow you to set the page size.) For my quilt the final size is 6 blocks x 8 blocks. You can change the page size later to accommodate borders if you wish. If you saved the block separate from the final quilt, open a new document with and set up the page with the final quilt size and import your block into it, or use copy and paste from the open block drawing.
Place your Master Block in the upper left corner, or wherever you feel it will be easiest to find. To make it easy to position this block and the duplicates you are about to create, you should have "Snap to Grid" and "Snap to Guidelines" enabled. Set up guidelines at intervals equal to the size of your block. Setting the grid to one tick per inch will make this easier. Drag guidelines from the rulers or use the "Guidelines Setup" dialog (under the "Layout" menu).
Send In The Clones...
|TIP: You can set the amount of offset of a duplicate you create by using "Ctrl-D" through the "Options" dialog under the "Tools" menu.|
A DUPLICATE of a CLONE is also a clone of the original Control group or object. A DUPLICATE of a duplicate of a clone is also a clone... and so on!!!! Any changes you apply to the Control group will apply to ALL the duplicates. HOWEVER... changes applied to a clone will only apply to that clone, not to any of its duplicates.
The wonderful behaviour of clones allows us to do some time-saving things when setting up our quilt. It allows us to create just one clone of the Master Block from which all our duplicate blocks can be made. We can stretch, flip and rotate our clone blocks as we wish without affecting any of its duplicates. We can grab a whole row or rows of clone blocks at once and duplicate all of them with one click, saving lots of time! If you need to, flip or rotate any of the blocks to make sure they are "set" properly.
The real beauty of using clones is the fact that we can re-colour our entire quilt design just by changing the colours of the Control Group.
Here's how to do it: First,zoom in on the Control Group and select it. You CANNOT ungroup this group since it has cloned duplicates. In order to select just one set of pieces to re-colour, you must hold down the control key while selecting the piece. (When you select the "child" object of a group it will have round handles instead of the usual square handles.) Remember that we combined all objects with the same colour, so you only have to click on one piece having the colour you want to change to change all pieces in the block having that colour. Either select a fill from the Colour roll-up or click a colour in the palette bar. Observe the effect on your entire quilt.
Continue changing the colours of your Control Group until you have the effect you want. You can even apply pattern or bitmap fills (see sidebar!) to the pieces to simulate fabrics, to see how they might look in your design!
Want to change the colours of some of the blocks without changing all of them? You can still do this, by selecting the individual blocks and editing them. A great tool to do this can be found under the "Effects" menu... it is the "Colour Adjustment" tool. As long as your colours are RGB or CMYK and not Spot colours, (like colours from the Pantone or Toyo palettes) you can adjust the colour of the entire block globally by using the "Hue-Staturation-Lightness" control.
Blocks you edit individually will still be linked to the Control Group, however, and if you wish, you may right-click on the group and select "Revert to Master" to undo your changes.
The example I've given here was for a quilt with no sashing and no borders. But once you've mastered the art of "Cloning", you can use this technique to create cloned copies of sashing blocks and border strips as well. You'll find this a very time-saving technique for creating complex designs as well as simple block quilts.
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Editor's Note: Nancy has written another insightful tutorial using a script she created. It is posted on the CDUG website : "Create a droplet from a simple mask in PhotoPAINT," a script by Nancy Hastings-Trew.
REMEMBER if you want to learn more about CorelDraw, sign up for the Corel Draw Users Group.
If you have not discovered the CDUG list yet, go check it out. It is a professional users group, but nonprofessionals who are lurking could learn a lot! I am amazed by how knowledgeable and sharing this group is. There is a voluntary fee of $10 a year. Great returns for the buck in my book!