In previous blog posts I’ve compared Quilt-Pro 6 with EQ and explored how to design a simple quilt. This time I’ve been having a look at how to draw a simple block. All blocks in Quilt-Pro are drawn using patches rather than lines (if you are an EQ user, it is similar to Patch Draw). These patches can be divided using the rotary cutter tool to cut the shape into half or quarters, just as you would with fabric.

When you first open Quilt-Pro6 you are given a number of options to choose so for drawing a block we should choose that option and also choose to use the wizard. If you forget to click on ‘use the wizard’ then it is easy to find the button on the drawing table screen.

The wizard pop-up screen starts with setting our grid – this enables you decide the type of grid you want and to set the ‘snap’ so your patches fit together. I have chosen the ‘solid’ grid which is a standard square block and to set the snap at 0.25 (or ¼ inch).

Next we choose our guidelines. These are the basic units of our block and as I have decided to draw a four-patch block I have selected 4 patches across by 4 down and set a finished patch size of 2 inches. I have also chosen to show my guidelines.

Once you have made all these selections you can click on ‘ok’ to be taken to the drawing board where you will find all the tools displayed in another pop-up box. I’m going to start by drawing some triangles. So I select the triangle tool and position the cursor over a corner of the square I want to put my triangle in. As I draw the cursor across the square a triangle appears and I can rotate it to get it where it needs to be.

Each part of the block needs to be filled with patches so I went around putting triangles in to make the beginnings of a Sawtooth Star. But, as I discovered, if you start in the wrong corner then no matter which way you rotate that triangle it doesn’t end up pointing in the right direction. At least there is an ‘undo’ option in the edit menu!

Having managed to get all the triangles in the right places and facing the right way I filled in the remaining parts of the block with squares.

But then I decided it would be much better to have triangles in the centre. I selected the rotary cutter tool and cut my centre squares in half. As with fabric you have to start and finish cutting beyond the edge of the patch.

And take care with the snapping – having set my snap at (an unnecessary small) 0.25 a slight wandering of the rotary cutter created a miscut. At least I could undo it as it was only a drawing.

Finally happy with my simple block I can now add fabrics or colours to it. The colours are along the bottom of the screen and do not appear to be in any sort of order as all the blues (for instance) are not together and I found it very difficult to find a ‘white’ as there were several that looked white but turned out to be very pale green or pink or . . The fabrics are in the fabric library which can be accessed through the Toolbar.

Once the fabric library opened I could move it to a more suitable position on the screen and move the Toolbar out of the way. Choosing fabrics is done by choosing a colour from the slider and then choosing a fabric from the ones shown. Simply clicking on the patches in turn will colour that patch with the chosen colour.

Having finished colouring my block I saved it – giving it a name – and it is automatically saved to the Block Library in the My Blocks section. I could now use it in a quilt.

Next time I will explore some of the other options for drawing blocks, using different grids and also converting blocks for foundation piecing.