Here’s page 18:


#103 and #108 are fillings I’ve stitched before on my underskirt, coif and other projects. The rest are new. To be immodest, I’m quite fond of my acorns (#105). I think that will have to end up on my current work in progress. Yes, I do have another work in progress, and no – you haven’t missed it. I haven’t previewed here yet.

GIMP Charting Tutorial 105 – Finally! Drawing The Design.

If you’ve been following along, you should now have a GIMP document with four layers in it, a background, a dots layer, one called PATTERN HERE, and one entitled Donuts.

We’re now ready to draw.

Using the Layer Navigation window, click on the PATTERN HERE layer. Obviously, all drawing will happen here. If you’ve saved, quit then re-opened your work you’ve probably noticed that Snap to Grid has turned itself off. Double check and make sure that it’s selected: VIEW-Snap to Grid.


 I prefer a thicker rather than thinner line when I draw my pattern. I think it’s easier to see and count. To get it, I select the Pencil tool in my Toolbox and use the following pencil settings:

Mode: Normal

Opacity: 100.0

Brush: Circle (02, Hardness 100)

Scale: 1.30

Dynamics:  Basic Simple

(None of the other settings should be checked off)

Making sure that my Color Specification boxes are set up so that the color I wish to draw with is in the top (overlapping) box, I can now draw.

With the pencil selected, I click on a dot, then holding down the shift key to constrain my line to be straight, I click on the dot marking the end of my run of stitches. What I end up with is one straight line, divided up into individual stitch units. In the example below I’ve drawn a four-unit stair step by making six clicks:


So we’re now off and running. Some things to remember as you draw your designs:

1. If you’ve got the pencil tool selected and you think you’re drawing but no line appears, check to make sure that you don’t have an active selection window. To close any that might be open, use A.

2. To cut, you can use the selection box in the upper left corner of the Toolbox window or any of the other selection tools. The box is easiest to use because you can constrain it to snip out pieces even with the grid, making pasting on the grid easier.

3. It’s a bit easier to copy an area, then paste it immediately (using V) and then drag the result to its final resting place than it is to copy an area, reselect the original and THEN paste. If you do this, the new bit will end up in the middle of the active screen and grabbing it can be difficult.

4. If you paste something and wish to move it, mouse around until your cursor turns into a four-way arrow. If you don’t see the four way arrow and try to click and drag the newly pasted bit, you’ll excise and paste a small area of it in the current location instead. If this happens, remember that Undo Z is your friend.

5. OH NO! My drawing disappeared! No problem. You probably killed the entire PATTERN HERE layer by hitting X instead of Z. Undo with a real Z.

6. Moving using the Move tool (the little four-way arrow in the Toolbox) is manipulating the layer rather than the bit I just pasted. If this happens, check the options box for the Move tool. There’s a row of icons across its top. One is labeled layer, one is labeled selection (mouse over to show labels). Make sure selection is highlighted, not layer.

Tomorrow we’ll cover image manipulation – flipping, mirroring and rotating. At that point we’ll have pretty much covered all I know about using GIMP for charting these patterns. If you have any questions on the material in this series, please feel free to post them here.

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2 responses

  1. Gail – I’m not a computer expert, but the GIMP Help bit you downloaded only installs the help files – not the main program. If you’re running windows, go back to the download page here:

    and click on the link entitled "Download GIMP 2.6.11"

    I do not know what would happen if you tried to install the optional help files before the main program, but I have a hunch that this is your problem. -kbs

  2. […] GIMP Charting Tutorial 105. Drawing the design. […]

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