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Getting Familiar With Quilt Pro Version 2

Open Quilt Pro

Welcome to Part I of this online Tutorial. In Part I we will be studying the various items you will see when you open Quilt Pro for the first time. The Quilt Pro manual also has a section on the opening screen beginning on page 16 (Win) or page 5 (Mac). Refer to your manual if parts of this tutorial are unclear. We don't want to rehash what is in the manual but hope to give you a different perspective on the same topics. In later sections we will cover drawing a block, border, sash, quilt layout and other topics of interest to you. If you have a particular area of interest please let us know.


Let's Begin

If you don't have Quilt Pro open please open it now by double clicking on the program icon. Click on the arrow that you would like more information about.
ControlMenuBox - Double click to close the program or click once to see and choose a command from a list of Windows commands. For Mac users this position is the close box. Although called a "close" box the program is merely hidden and must be shut down by selecting quit from the file menu.

Menu - The menu bar contains menus that drop down to display a list of commands. The menus for the Macintosh and the Windows versions virtually identical.

Title Bar - The title bar displays the file name of your block, border or quilt. If the file is untitled the title bar will say "untitled" The title bar also tells you if you are viewing your design in actual size or a percentage of actual.

Status Bar The status bar gives you lots of information. beginning from left to right: the status bar tells you if you are in block design mode or in quilt design mode. If you are in quilt mode then you can also see if you have set your option to "affect all" or to "affect individual". Don't worry about those two terms just yet, we'll cover them later. In the middle of the status bar you'll find number selected. This pertains to the number of patches selected at any one time. To the right you will see the active color or fabric box. If you will look at the illustration above you will see that color 16 is the active color. If a fabric was the active color then the status bar would read "fabric 4" or something similar. Not shown above but also an option is the "show mouse position".

Min/Max/Close - Click on these Win 95 buttons to minimize, maximize or close the program. The buttons look slightly different in Windows 3.1 and the Mac users have a zoom box in this position that is used to minimize and/or maximize the program.

Scroll Bars - The scroll bars allow you to move around the work area or color palette quickly. If your color palette is docked along the bottom move the button to the left to see the range of colors available. Move to the next scroll bar up and drag that button to the left. When you release the button you will see how big your work area actually is.

Rulers - Quilt Pro has an on-screen ruler which can help you determine the size of your patches, blocks, or quilts. For those used to working with inches set the ruler to English Measurements and for those used to working with metric measurements you can use Metric Measurements. To change the ruler go to file menu item and select preferences. The ruler is discussed in greater detail on page 17 (Win) or page 7 (Mac) of the Manual.

Tool Bar - The tool bar is a floating tool bar that you use to draw, rotate, flip, paint and zoom in or out on the work area. Quilt Pro allows you to set your preferred toolbar size in the preference section of program: your choices are small, medium and large. We'll delve into how to use the tool bar below.

Work Area - The work area is where you will design the blocks, borders, sashes, and quilts. It is approximately 300 X 300. Try scroll bar to the right to check for yourself. The work area is area with the grid. There are several grids to choose from solidsquare, isometric, circular and Eight Point. To see the different grids click on Options from the menu and select Screen. Click on the arrow under grid type.

Color Palette The color palette is the band of colors along the bottom of the Quilt Pro Screen. Scroll to see the various colors. The default setting for this palette is for the palette to be docked. If you'd like to have this be a floating palette go to the file menu and select preferences. Click on the option box labeled "Floating Color Palette" The color Palette is editable and once changes have been made you may save the new color palette.

Fabric Palette - The fabric palette, also a floating palette, displays 32 fabrics. It is also one of the items in the program that brings the most questions. Quilt Pro has 10 fabric palette's in addition to the default palette. The program allows you to create your own by allowing you to change fabrics and save the palettes under a new, familiar name. In later tutorials we will discuss how add fabrics to the palette from your own fabric collection that you have scanned in using scanning software.


The Tool Bar

As we said above the tool bar is a floating tool bar that you use to draw, rotate, flip, paint and zoom in or out on the work area. Quilt Pro allows you to set your preferred toolbar size in the preference section of program: your choices are small, medium and large. If you would like your tool bar to be in the same position whenever you open the program you can save the position by selecting Options/Screen menu items, then clicking the save button. Then click the OK button.

Below the images of the tool bar buttons you will find an quick explanation of what the tools are used for. Click on button of your choice for a quick jump to the explanation. For an in depth explanation please review your manual.

Tool Bar Explanation

Select /Edit Use the select tool to click on patches before you move, color, distort, flip, rotate patches or print templates. To select more than one patch at a time press and hold your shift key while clicking your left mouse button on the patches. This is especially important when printing templates for multiple patches.

Paint - The Paint brush is used to paint the patches in a block or quilt. Select the paint tool then "dip" it in the color palette or the fabric palette then click on the patch you want to paint. In the Quilt mode use "affect all" to paint like patches in other same type blocks. Use "affect individual" to paint one patch at a time. If you have a multi-colored quilt with colors from all areas the palette sometimes finding the right color can be a chore. To find the exact match place the mouse cursor over the color or fabric you want to duplicate and click your right mouse key. The paint brush will "pick up" and make that color the active color or fabric.

Node Edit - Node edit allows you to change the shape of any drawn patch in your block design. To do so place your mouse cursor over the patch you'd like to edit and click with your right mouse key. This tool can be especially useful when drawing complex blocks and is used in conjunction with the zoom in tool. You can align shapes that are between grid points by releasing the snap to grid, zooming in to a patch and using node edit.

Free Rotate - Free rotate is a useful tool that allows you to rotate a patch as little or as much as you'd like. You must select a patch(es) before you can free hand rotate but once selected move the cursor over one the black selection boxes (also called handles) and the cursor will turn into a circular arrow with a crosshair (+) in the middle. You can also select the degree of rotation by selecting the options/snap menu item and scrolling the degree of rotation to the desired amount. The setting can range from 1 to 359 degrees.

Flips & Rotate - These tools are fairly self-explanatory but what you might want to know is if you only want to rotate or flip one patch at a time there is no need to select the patch first just select the tool and click the patch. If you want to rotate or flip several patches at one time then you must select the patches first.

Snap - The snap to grid is what makes the patches line up smoothly along the grid line. Reduce your grid lines to reduce your snap distance. Turn off the snap to bring points together when the block requires a point between the grid points.

Zoom In & Zoom Out -Zoom in & out to see how colors look from a distance or close up. Use zoom to do close up editing of points when snap is off. Zoom in on a quilt when coloring patches that are too small to paint full screen.

Tape Measure - Tape measure is especially handy when you have to measure diagonal patches. The ruler can tell you the length of a vertical or horizontal piece but there are times when you need to know the length of a diagonal side. For example: Have you ever wanted to make a template for half square triangles? You have to be able to measure a the diagonal to get true 1/4 inch seam allowance on the diagonal.

Text - Adding text to a block is especially useful for those of you who teach quilting. Add notes to help your students piece a block. You can add a background color or use your favorite fonts. The text will print out exactly as measured by the ruler. If the text area measures 2" it will print out 2". Zooming in on text does not change the size of the text. You should print templates before adding text.

Drawing Tools

Directions for drawing will be using the press& drag drawing preference.

Rectangle & Square & Ovals- To draw with the square, rectangle or oval click on your starting point,continue to hold the mouse button & drag the mouse diagonally to your end point.

Triangle & EQ Triangle - To draw with the Triangles click on your starting point,continue to hold the mouse button & drag the mouse to the right to your end point if your triangle is right up, and to the left if your triangle is upside down.

Polygon - To draw with the polygon click on your starting point, release the mouse button & move the mouse to the next point,click and continue the same until your end point. At the end point click again to set or complete the patch. The last point does not have be the same as the beginning point.

Circle- To draw with the Circle tool click the middle of where you envision your circle to be and while holding your mouse button down move the mouse outward until you have the size circle needed. Release the mouse to complete the circle.

Bezier Curve - Drawing with the Bezier curve is easier than it looks. The curve has 4 points including the starting point. First click on the starting point, continue to hold the mouse button & drag it to the next point, release the mouse button and move to the third point, click, and move to the forth point and click. Now you have a curve. You can change the shape of the curve with the node edit tool.

Long Diamond & Short Diamond To draw with the Diamonds click on your starting point,continue to hold the mouse button & drag the mouse diagonally to your end point. The short diamond is great to use on the eight point star grid. The long diamond works great with a 60 degree isometric grid. Both have other uses as well.

Hexagon- To draw with the hexagon tool click on your starting point,continue to hold the mouse button & drag the mouse diagonally to your end point. The thing to remember with hexagons is that a completed hexagon is wider than it is long if you set a hexagon in a quilt and the block is square the block templates may not be what you expected. Set block sizes proportionately larger or smaller than the block you drew.

Pie & Arcs To draw with the pies & arcs click on your starting point,continue to hold the mouse button & drag the mouse to the right, click and release the mouse button and move upward until you have the arc or pie the size you want.

Line - To draw lines click on your starting point, continue to hold the mouse button & drag it to your end point and release. Drawn lines are sometimes difficult to select. If you have a problem selecting lines use the marquee method of selecting. To marquee select using the select tool , click above and the the left of the line and drag the mouse down and to the right of the line,completely encircling the line and release the mouse button.

We will be covering the drawing tools in more detail in later issues of the tutorial.

We hope you have enjoyed Part I of this Tutorial.  Back to Lessons Table of Contents