Soft Expressions supporting the expressive quilter in tradition innovation art and computer with Sharla Hicks

Search Website
Nav Bar Galleries, be inspired by others expressive quilters work Help to get the most out of browsing Newsletter with how-tos, tutuorials, reviews on quilting software and quilt embellishment for the expressive quilter Quilting Software Reviewed Home Page: Supporting the Expressive Quilter in Tradition, Innovation, Art and Computer Quilting with Sharla Hicks contact info and site map

50% to 70% off Clearance
Online Only, Limited to Stock on Hand
Many Notions, Books, & Gift Items
Click Here

Nav Bar storefront Search Log-in: Account / Wish List Product List Checkout Basket Contents

Expressive Quilters' Newsletter
Subscribe to Interest List(s)

Sale and New Items
Laurel Burch
Art Girlz Felt, Charms, Stamps
Jenny Hasking Magazines, Embroidery CDs, Quilting Software
1000+ Helpful Books for Quilting and Computer Quilters, find helpful books on quilt construction, design, printing on fabric, using the software programs and more.
Magazines: Quilting Arts, Creative Expressions, Cloth Paper & Scissors
Quilt Patterns
Notions for Quilters like Marti Michelle Templates, Rulers, Mats, Rotary Cutters, Sewing Accessories, Machine Quilting Supplies and more.
This is a expanding category with quilt giftwrap, jewelry, helpful must have tools, watches, organizers and beautiful storage boxes.
Paper Piecing Software and helpful tools like finger press, foundation printer sheets, rulers, books and . . . .
Helpful products for quilting memory quilts and labels like Bubble Jet Set 2000 and June Tailor Fabrics
DVDs, CDs and Videos
Find all the popular programs like Electric Quilt, Quilt-Pro, PCQuilt, Paper Piecing programs, Redwork, Designing CD, Repligator, Creative Impusle and more for the traditional and innovative quilter.
Dyes, Paints and Pens
Foils & Glitter
Iron-on Applique Patches
Beads and Charms
Angelina Fibers for Innovative Quilter
Threads, Yarn and Fiber
Needle Felting Roving & SuppliesThis section will answer your questions about shipping methods, costs, handling and more.
bullet iconShip International
bullet iconCompany Profile
bullet iconMail, Fax Form
bullet iconReturn, Exchange, Damage
bullet iconWebsite Use Disclaimer

Find Soft Expressions on Facebook



  • Use for inspirational tessellation designs for quilts and art.
  • Creates paint patterns, symmetry roses, tessellated art and symmetrically decorated 3D polyhedron models.
  • Easy to learn, fun to use, includes extensive online help, and the low price tag makes it very attractive.
  • Endless hours of inspiration to any artist or quiltmaker interested in tessellation and repetitive designs.
  • Check out the FREE shareware program at Slide Show Available.

SymmeToy Review
Symmetory Tutorial

line break
click here More Quilt, Embroidery, Instructional & More

NOTE: Opened Music, Pattern & Instructional CDs, DVDs, Videos, Computer Software are NOT returnable.
Exclusions: 1. If defective, the item will be replaced. 2. If UNOPENED in original sealed and undamaged case or box, the item may be returned for a refund.


SymmeToy, Math Mouse, & Spiro Math
FREEware by Hank Hufnagel

Slide Show Available

SymmeToy Review

by Sharla Hicks © 2000

Some of the Patterns shown above look similar to quilt designs. Needle is good for cross stitch type designs, trips around the world ideas and other designs based on small squares. The other 5 grids are designs based on the hexagon, repeating patterns and circles.

Show Roses screen shot
Click on graphic for larger view

Roses (above) and Drawings (below) are my favorite grids. Use the Rose and Drawing grids to create Escher like tessellations. The Rose Grids create the most kaleidoscope looking designs.

Show Drawing screen shot
Click on graphic for larger view

The 3D Models below are fascinating and have some of the most interesting drawings you will see in the preview designs.

Show 3D Models screen shot
Click on graphic for larger view


Color Palette options found in SymmeToy

SymmeToy has built-in palettes, the normal palette has the standard solid colors you often see at the beginning of any palette. The magical palettes are the specialty palettes that use the color wheel's triads, complimentary and analogous solutions. The best part of these palettes is that you do not have to know any color theory, they come up automatically when you select them from the Color Menu. (See examples below.) Each of these specialty palettes has a light to dark color scheme that will make color study designs for quilts and other designs very easy to explore. Use the right side arrows to move to other variations using the same color theme.

SymmeToy also has the option to create custom colors and set the background color for quick background changes when you wish to color only part of the objects/shapes/patches that have been created. SymmeToy also has the ability to swap colors. The swap techniques are well described on the CD video tour and in the on-line help.

Color Menu

Color Menu

Three Fold Palette
1 example of the
Three Fold Palette choices

Opposite Palette
1 example of the
Opposite Palette choices

Adjacent Palette
1 example of the
Adjacent Palette choices

Drawing Tools found in SymmeToy

SymmeToy has two methods for drawing, symmetry and no symmetry. No symmetry draws a single line only across the grid. The symmetry option draws multiple lines at the same time while you are drawing one line creating the type of symmetrical drawing shown below. The example below used only two drawn lines to complete. The symmetry variables for the repeats can be tweaked.

no symmetry button Or symmetry button

Select Symmetry mode for drawing

drawing tools
Draw Tools
tessellation drawing
Note the triangle grid (one of many grid variations.) The Grid shape is the structure for the underlying symmetrical drawing
Note the Polyline Tool in the white Draw Tools section above -- white indicates the tool is selected. The Polyline Tool is my favorite tool because it is the one that allows drawing curvilinear lines.

9 of the 25 Grids found in SymmeToy

Note: When Symmetry is selected any lines you draw will repeat in all sections of the grid. The yellow section in each grid shown below is a guide indicator. It is suggested you start your drawing in or close to the yellow section.

star rose grid

12 section rose grid
octagon rose grid

3 of the 6 Rose Grids that aide in the creation of
tessellations and kaleidoscope designs including the Escher inspired ideas. To go back to the color examples, click here.

triangle drawing grid
square drawing grid
octagon drrawing grid
3 of the 6 Drawing Grids good for the tessellation designs including Escher inspired ideas. To go back to the color examples, click here.
3D grid
3D grid
pattern grid

2 of the 14, 3D Model Grids
To go back to the color examples, click here.

1 of the 6 Pattern Grids. The pattern grids are more like overall grids found on graph paper.


SymmeToy, like many specialty programs has little operational nuances that are unique to itself. It does not always do things quite the way you expect, but after a little exploring using the tutorial outlined below, online help files and content active cusor, listening to SymmeToy's video (NOTE: found on the Hank Hufnagel's website), or reading the on-line help and help tip activated by the mouse, you will be up and running quickly!



Tutorial Step-byStep for SymmeToy written to help you get the most out of the program.

Suggestion: Print this review for a handy reference to make the the time you spend learning the program without too many of the accidental crashes that often come when first using a new program.

Note: In the tutorial, use the left mouse button whenever click is indicated unless the instructions clearly state to use the RIGHT mouse button.

Hoover mouse over icon  to identify Hint: Hover the mouse over a tool or area and a identifier tip will appear.

To begin, preview the examples:

mode select 1. Click the Show icon .
art typ select 2. Click an Art Type Icon.
3. To see enlarged preview of a single design: Click on the design of choice.

To move back and forth between the Preview or Work Screen and the Main Selection Screen:

  1. Use exit in the top menu bar menu.
  2. OR use the X found in the buttons buttons at the top right corner.

To use the the RePaint, ReDraw or Edit Modes:

  1. mode select Click icon choice from the Mode Select.
    : Try all three Modes to see how each works! RePaint: Use to change a preexisting design's coloring. ReDraw: Use to create new design from scratch. Edit: Use to add additional lines to a preexisting design.
  2. art typ select Click a design choice from Art Type Select.
  3. Then select grid style to work with.
    The preview screen will open.
The icons for the tools are very self-explanatory which helps to shorten the learning curve, remember to help identify a tool, hold the mouse over an icon (without clicking) and a tip will appear. Below find some guidelines to drawing, painting and program operations.
  • To select a symmetry choice for drawing and painting: Hint: Try drawing and painting with symmetry on and off to see the difference.
    1. Click on no symmetry button, a single line, circle or arc is drawn.
    2. Click on symmetry button, a single line is repeated automatically multiple times across the grid according to the symmetry setup .
  • To Undo while painting or drawing: While in the Paint or Draw mode, click the RIGHT mouse button. Repeat again and again for multiple undo's. Very powerful!

  • To draw a simple Line:
    1. Select the Line Tool.
    2. Click, drag to size, and release.

  • To draw an Arc:
    1. Select the Arc Tool. Arc Tool
    2. Click 2 points to create the width of the arc. (At this point, the arc will look like a line.)
    3. To add depth to the arc, move the mouse cursor away from the line and click to complete the curve.
    4. Hint: This may feel a little confusing at first, but try a few arcs and it will be clear.
    5. To undo, click the RIGHT mouse button.

  • To draw a Circle:
    1. Select the Circle Tool.
    2. Click the center point of the circle
    3. Release the mouse, then drag the circle to the desired size.
    4. Click again to complete the circle.
    5. To undo, click the RIGHT mouse button.

  • To draw a 3-point Circle:
    1. Select the 3-point Circle Tool.
    2. Click and drag to create a circle. Note while dragging the circle, it rotates around the first established circumference point.
    3. Click again to establish a circle that still is active and continues to rotate, increase or decrease in size around the first established point.
    4. Click a third time to complete the final circle.
    5. To undo, click the RIGHT mouse button.

The Polyline Tool is the most complex and powerful of the drawing tools.

  • To draw straight segments of a continuous line using the Polyline Tool:
    1. Click and release, move to the next segment --click and release again. Continue until you have completed the line or shapes.
    2. Double click to end the line.
    3. To undo, click the RIGHT mouse button.

  • To draw curves segments using the Polyline Tool:
    1. Click, move a small distance and click again, this establishes the distance the line will draw each segment. The length of the segment can create different looking curves.
    2. Hold down the mouse button and draw by slowly moving the mouse.
    3. Double click to end the line.
    4. To undo, click the RIGHT mouse button.

Paint and Color Management

  • To paint: Click on a color from the palette, Three Fold Palette, then click a section in the grid to paint.
Rotate Colors
  • To experiment with coloring already painted in shapes on the screen:
    1. Select the Repaint Mode.
    2. Use the Rotate Colors, color wheel.
    3. Drag the dot inside the color wheel to a new position on the color wheel.
  • To open the Custom Colors dialogue box: Click the # in the standard palettes.

  • For additional color management options: Review the Color Menu.

Additional operations to be aware of

  • To refresh the screen: Click on the Redraw redraw button icon and everything returns to normal. In the preview mode, minimize the window and bring it back to full size to refresh the screen. NOTE: Frequently, even in the high end graphic software, after using undo, little fragments of the lines hang around on the screen after using the undo and erase options or occasionally all lines and coloring disappears. Who knows why, refreshing using Redraw takes care of the problem.

  • To erase a line:
    1. Select the Erase Line Tool: erase tool
    2. The primary lines turn into a series of red nodes/handles (dots along the line.)
    3. Go to the grid and select the line you wish to erase (the line turns into a solid line of red)
    4. Click the RIGHT mouse button and the line is erased. NOTE: If you were working in the symmetry mode, it will erase all lines drawn at the same time the primary line was created.

  • To edit/change a completed line using a point on the line:
    1. Select the Adjust Points Tool. erase tool
    2. The primary lines turn into a series of red nodes/handles (dots along the line.)
    3. Click on a red dot and drag.

  • To preview additional options: Explore the drop-down menus.

Slide Show Available Mouse Math, a bonus program with a Video Tour on the SymmeToy CD.

Mouse Math screen shot Mouse Math screen shot

Hank Hufnagel developed the two math programs included on the CD as aids to help his young son learn math. Now, by offering the programs as shareware, he is helping children all over the world learn math.

Hank tells us: "Mouse Math is a whimsical math drill program for Windows that strengthens the ability to hear a math problem and spit out the correct answer. The program gradually uncovers whimsical photographs as answers to spoken problems are clicked with a mouse. Mouse Math is an interesting alternative for drilling younger children on basic math facts as each solution that is achieved shows another section of a puzzle. Setup options allow you to select problem ranges appropriate for young children, older kids and teens."

Sharla's note: When I tried out Mouse Math I had no doubt that it would hold the attention of the young math student and even the adult who wants to refresh their math skills. Mouse Math is a fun alternative to math table drills and hearing the math problem in words was certainly a different experience that required additional concentration and reinforced the learning process.

Slide Show Available Spiro Math, a bonus program with a Video Tour on the SymmeToy CD.

Spiro Math screen shot

Hank tells us that: "In Spiro Math, you use addition, subtraction, multiplication and division on four digits to reach a particular target. In the picture above, the digits are 2,8,8,9 and you must manipulate these to get a result of 24. If you get stuck, click on the Hint button to get hints on the correct solution (often is more than 1 solution). When you get the correct solution, Spiro Math draws a spirograph as your reward. Spirographs are nifty graphical figures like the one in the picture above."

Sharla's note: I was very impressed with how Spiro Math promoted real thinking skills for math, something that is not always well done when using a text book.

To View Video's for SymmeToy, Mouse Math, and Spiro Math operations, Visit Hank Hufnagel's website.


Computer Requirements

Slide Show Available

Back to Top

Related Items

click here
More DVDs, CDs, Videos & Software

Kaleidoscope Software:
Create &/or Print

Stack-n-Whack Images, Wedges & Kaleidoscope Repetition

10% off
Distance Viewer
Distance Viewer

Reduce Tool


10% off
Colorscope, a mini kaleidoscope

Use to view fabric, thread and paint selection for color balance, value and contrast


Back to Top

50% to 70% off Clearance
Limited to Stock on Hand— Online Only
Books, Stabilizers, Threads,
Laurel Burch Gift Items
Click Here to go Store

Site Map
& Picture Indexes

Paints, Pens, Dyes
50% off Inks

70% off Beads, Charms
70% off
Beads, Charms, Yarns
50% off
Perfect Pearls
70% off
Stitched Appliqués


Soft Expressions
NOTE: Email is best way to communicate


Search Website

Expressive Quilters' Newsletter
Subscribe to Interest List(s)
Find Soft Expressions on Facebook

HomespacerStorespacerReviewsspacerNewslettersspacerGalleriesspacerHelp spacerWebsite Conditions of Use
Website Design by Sharla R. Hicks, Soft Expressions, all text and art contained on this site © 1996-2019