Inkscape Design Video Tutorial


Earlier this week, I wrote a Block Design Tutorial for how to hand draft quilt block ideas. Today, I want to introduce you to a free computer program called Inkscape that creates vector based images. I have been using Inkscape to design on my computer for a few months, and I really like the crisp PNG images that can be created for tutorial images, block design, and quilt design.

Inkscape Design Tutorial by Quilting Jetgirl

For the video tutorial below, I am working with the 2015 Fabri-Quilt New Block Blog Hop color palette and 2 inspiration images of rope swings within Inkscape to create a 12-inch by 12-inch (finished) quilt block. I hope this gives you some idea of how to interact with the Inkscape environment and helps you decide if it is a software tool that would be beneficial for you to learn.

Summer Swing Block - Half Inch Grid
Summer Swing Block – Half Inch Grid

Using a screen shot of the block design from Inkscape (above), and knowing that each block represents one half inch, each color can be broken down into the following pieces (remembering to add a half inch to each dimension for seam allowances):

  • Lapis Blue
    • (2) 3-inch by 8.5-inch rectangles
    • (1) 6.5-inch by 8.5-inch rectangle
    • (2) 1.5-inch by 2.5-inch rectangles
    • (1) 1.5-inch by 12.5-inch rectangle
  • White
    • (2) 1-inch by 8.5-inch rectangles
  • Coral
    • (1) 1.5-inch by 8.5-inch rectangle
  • Chareuse
    • (1) 2.5-inch by 12.5-inch rectangle

A little creative cutting / thinking will show that it is possible to get all of the required pieces of the Lapis Blue out of a Fat Eighth of fabric:

Lapis Blue Cut Layout
Lapis Blue Cut Layout

If you are interested in spending more time getting familiar with Inkscape, I highly encourage you to join the Quilt Design a Day (QDAD) Facebook group. Within the group there are some Getting Started Challenges meant to help walk you through learning your software, along with a set of Tips for Inkscape Users. Also, the description for Inkscape as given in the QDAD group is below:

Inkscape – vector-based design program for Macs, Windows and Linux. a semi-clone of Adobe Illustrator. It’s public domain and user-developed which means its developed by random people for free. That means things aren’t always optimal, but it works well if you want to try a vector-based approach. There is a small learning curve if you haven’t used vector software before. We have tips for Inkscape users in the Files section of the group.


  • I have not been able to watch the video yet, sleeping husband next to me, but I still want to thank you. I will definitely come back and watch the video and I appreciate so much that you take out of your time to do things like this for your readers. You are very generous. It seems that you love to spread knowledge and experiences that you enjoy just so others can enjoy it too. So, yeah, thanks – I am very glad that you are the way you are 🙂

  • Very cool program. I’ll have to play around with that, but it certainly would be a fun way to design. I can see the advantages to paper/pencil and electronic. After playing with this, which do you prefer? Or does it depend (as I think it would for me).

  • Why do new computer programs scare me?!! I think the key is to find what works for you and go with it. I need to check it out and play a little bit, if I can get the intimidation fear under control!

  • Thanks for sharing this. I have been beginning to create some designs by hand. Looking forward to trying this out on the computer. Have a great weekend, Yvonne.

  • Okay, cool. I think I will try this if it is compatible on a Mac. Great video tutorial; just confused that you seem to have to save and/or export this twice? Once as is, and then the second time to be able to go back to make any changes?

  • Thank you for the tutorial! I need to play around with this program some more to get comfortable with it. I joined the Facebook group as you suggested.

  • This is slightly scary stuff for a technophobe like me! I have a feeling pencils and paper might win the day round here, but good to know it’s out there in case I do ever have the need.

  • Great to hear your voice on the video – you remind me very much of my cousin in Chicago listening to you. I like that inkscape can be installed on a drive or SD card and you bring it between computers really easily. Do you use this more than EQ?

  • Ohhhhh….. right, then. This explains a lot! I have Inkscape and I like it a lot, but like so many things, you miss stuff unless someone happens to mention it or you fall over it somehow during a click’n’play, so I didn’t realise about grids until I watched this. Thank you so much, this is the info that means my quilt drafting days in Paint are numbered! o/

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)