How I Use Canva and Google Docs to Draft Quilt Designs

Did you know that you don’t need to use expensive software to draft your own quilt designs? If you’re a beginner quilter and looking for a free option to electronically draft your designs, try using Canva and Google Docs. Canva is a graphic design software that provides both free and paid services to create your designs. Canva offers a desktop version and mobile app. In this example, I am using the desktop version.

If you do not have a Canva account, it is free to sign up. Follow the prompts on the screen to create your own Canva account. Below are the steps I use to create designs.

Step 1

Once you’ve signed up for Canva, on the homepage click Create a design, then select Instagram Post. This will open the working window where you’ll complete your edits.

Step 2

Choose Background on the left panel and select the background you’d like to use. *NOTE: If you’re using the free version, you will notice a picture of a crown next to some background or photo images. The crown indicates that this is a paid item. If you choose these pictures, when it’s time to download your design, you will need to pay for the design in order for the watermark to be removed. For the purpose of this post, I’d recommend sticking to the free designs offered. If you’re interested in exploring more of Canva, Canva usually offers a free trial. After the free trial, you can purchase the software to have access to all of the designs.

Step 3

Let’s make a half-square triangle! To do this, you’ll need to insert another image on top of your background image. On the left panel, choose Elements, then choose the Right-Angled Triangle. Readjust the triangle by clicking on the double arrows to reposition (see 2nd image) as needed and dragging the triangle until the triangle fits point to point diagonally with your background image. At this point, don’t worry about adjusting the triangle to the top. In Google Docs, you’ll be able to rotate the image. Clicking on the triangle will allow you to change the color to your preference. Once you’ve formed the half square triangle, you can copy the image to create more and change the color. To copy your design, choose the second image on the top right of the gray window (see 3rd image below). In order to make a flying geese block, I resized the triangle and dragged it to the top left corner. Then, I right clicked the triangle to copy it and readjusted the copied triangle so that it is a mirrored image. Finally, I dragged the copied triangle to the top right of the screen (see images 4-6).

Step 5

Download your image by clicking the Download button on the top right of the screen.

Step 6

Open Google Docs and import your images into the document. To import your images, in the menu bar click Insert > Upload from computer. Locate your downloaded pictures from your computer. Your images will appear large and you will need to resize them to your preference. From here, you’ll be able to copy and insert as many of your blocks as you’d like to begin creating your design. If you’d like to rotate the blocks, click on an image and choose the three vertical dots to bring up the Image Options screen. Rotate the image by clicking on the 90 degree rotation button (see 3rd image).

That’s it! Now you can start drafting your own quilt designs without the need to use expensive software. Here are two simple designs I made using Canva and Google Docs.

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