Dabbling in Design

So I don’t know that I’ve been getting a lot of quilting done lately, but I’ve certainly been playing on the computer designing logos for a few different groups lately. It’s all design work, so I never feel like it takes away from what I would like to be doing. It’s just working in a different medium.

I’ll be honest. I like to know how to do everything. Ha! Well that is NOWHERE near where my abilities are…but I pretend like I know what I’m doing and throw together these things using online tools and paint and word. Nope. I don’t have a graphics program. Well, I do have EQ but that is for quilt designs and it’s not super user-friendly to get it to work for other things like logos. I really would like to get a graphics program because I like to believe that it could only help me. 😉 Someone, Tracey maybe, gave me a tip to look on ebay for photoshop 8 which you can get pretty cheaply since there is a 9 out.

So, I’ve been designing away… first I made a label for the VIBees that we are going to have printed on Spoonflower and therefore all have the same label for our quilt with all the names of the ladies who are in the group. Not my idea, but clever Cherie brought it over from another group that she is in. I was elected to design it because I had designed the logo for that group already. I spent entirely too much time on it because, first, I had never used Spoonflower and needed to get a grip on that, and second, because I could not for the life of me find one program that would let me do everything I needed. (Thus began the desire for a graphics program!) I would love to share the finished product with you, but it has everyone’s full name and hometowns…so because you never know who’s out there on the internet, I’ll just show you some pieces of it.

This is the graphic that I originally used for the group’s logo. she looks like a very important person, doesn’t she?

Dabbling in Design

And this is the border that I eventually used for the label. It started out green and beige I believe and I painstakingly changed the colors individually on every little piece so that it matched the flapper girl. (see why I need a better program? LOL)






I eventually threw these together in word and played with the size until I finally found a decent size that it would save the clipart image to so that I could get a large enough label. Did I mention that I don’t really know what I’m doing? Even now, with the label done, I’m still not sure that I love it…There are still things that I would like to look better. Sigh.

So then I made the logo for Modern Swappers whose name has been changed to Make Mine Modern.
Again, much playing with graphics and such…the rainbow graphic in the background is something that I “borrowed” from an actual company that I believe is Arab. Hopefully they won’t mind that I altered it and used it for our little logo. 😉

Dabbling in Design

Well, then I decided that my little fabric challenge needed a button to help us all remember what our goals are (no fabric buying for 8 weeks!). Again, found the perfect tape measure fabric picture…changed all the colors and played around…and tada! a new button was born…

Dabbling in Design

but then Lynne started to complain that it was going to be too difficult, so I needed to make her a button of her very own. 😉

So then I thought I was all done for a while… but wait! The Doll Quilt Swap is starting and they asked for blog buttons as well. They didn’t ask me personally but for some reason, I felt that I needed to inundate them with options. So without getting too wordy about each one, I’ll just show you them. I acquired most of the images used from a graphics site that has some free downloads for royalty-free pictures. aka I can use them without a guilty conscience. LOL. (unlike my Arab one!)

Dabbling in Design

Dabbling in Design

Dabbling in Design

Dabbling in Design

Dabbling in Design

Dabbling in Design

Phew! And personally, I don’t even think that mine are the best ones to be honest. I might vote for someone else’s button. Amy has one with cuteness galore! And you may notice that my buttons tend to not be very quilty. I love quilts, but I don’t feel it always translates very well over into blog buttons. But I could easily make a quilt block one… maybe I’ll do one last option just to show that I can be nice and traditional and quilty. 😉

So, please, someone tell me what graphics programs I should be looking at!

18 thoughts on “Dabbling in Design”

  1. That blog button for Lynne is hilarious!! Bet she'll love that.
    Seeing all your buttons makes me want to know how to do that myself. Yours are looking really good!

  2. If you don't feel like shelling out the cash for Photoshop right away, look into Gimp, it's a free download that offers a LOT of the same features for that photoshop does! It's made by Unix (which I think made the Linux operating system…. I could be wrong on that). You can also get Inkscape, which is similar to Adobe Illustrator if you're wanting a vector graphics editor!

  3. I highly recommend Gimp as well. You will get similar designs as by Photoshop but for free. You will find more classes for Photoshop but there are also plenty tutorials by the fan community for Gimp as well.

  4. It is quite difficult when you have no background in graphics and a variety of software that are intended for other purposes, and I feel your pain. So kudos to you for even trying! I like the flapper especially and the DQS one with the tree too. I use PhotoScape (free download) for altering photos and a random selection of digital scrapbooking programs for graphics for my shop & website.

  5. I'm a seasoned Photoshopper/Illustrator user but it was all on my (now deceased) Mac.

    I swear by Gimp and Inkscape now. They have great functionality, and are open source which I try to use as much as poss.

    There are a gazillion plug-ins for both … give em a try …

    Love the DQS ball button, well actually I like em all! 🙂

  6. Just like you, I've basically taken Word and Paint to their absolute limits. I recently downloaded Inkscape (free!), and I've really been enjoying it. I've been making tons of banners and buttons and cards for my blog. In my opinion, it's pretty freakin' advanced. It literally took me an hour to make a heart, but I'm catching on and there are a lot of great tutorials online for it. Hope this helps!

  7. Your designs are great! I'd love to have a try at this but I'm not sure my husband would approve of me spending MORE time staring at this screen!!! I love the look of your billiard ball button!

  8. I still can't believe you do all this with word and paint…

    I mentioned I got photoshop elements 8 for $40 on ebay…
    Now I need to go check out Gimp and Inkscape.

  9. I LOVE all of your designs and logos. I feel quite amateur next to you and I've been working with Photoshop since high school (and just starting to grasp Illustrator).

    I really like http://www.fontfreak.com for free fonts (once you enter the site just say you'll download them one by one instead of paying).

  10. I'm a graphic designer, so I can answer this one! : ) I highly recommend Photoshop and Illustrator. They're pricey but worth it. (Good tip about ebay.) There's no one single graphics program that will do everything you want, but Photoshop and Illustrator play nicely together, and combined those two WILL do everything you want. If you can only get one or the other, I would get Illustrator – it's more powerful and flexible, and much better with text. I personally do photo editing in Photoshop (for exposure, color, etc.), then bring the photo into Illustrator and do everything else there (add text, finishing touches, etc.)

    Sorry, that was probably a longer answer than you were looking for. But if you have further questions, feel free to let me know. Also, I love that you did the label on Spoonflower for the VIB's! I created the bee label for Cherie's other group. : ) Nice work on all your buttons.

  11. Love your logos. I recently attended a conference where childrens author/illustrator David Biedrzycki says he only uses computers for illustrating his books and showed and demoed a free online program called SUMO that he uses. If you google it it will some up easily.

  12. I love what you're doing. I also love to do logos.

    Like some of your other commenters, I'm also a big GIMP fan. It works well, there are lots of tutorials online and it's free!

  13. I designed some logos for a bee I am in. I used EQ7, designed a block and saved it as an image. Then put the wording in it in paint, I am cheap and haven't got any other programs yet!

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