Create Intelliquilter Designs for free using Inkscape

Posted by munkey on August 27th, 2011

I stayed with my Mother this weekend and as always she had a whole bunch of tech related questions for me to solve. One of which was whether she could design quilting patterns with any free software for her new toy, an ‘Intelliquilter’ (IQ) device.
For those that don’t know, it’s essentially a quilting machine that has been automated in a similar manner to a CNC or milling machine.
The IQ device which instructs the machine on the pattern to follow accepts a couple of file types, including .dxf which is a vector graphics file type created by CAD programs.

The free alternative I found for her was Inkscape, it will allow users to create designs on a computer that can be transfered onto the IQ device and reproduced by the quilting machine.

Step 1: Get Inkscape

You can download a free and Open Source copy of Inkscape from sourceforge here.
If you are a Windows user, click on the ‘Windows Installer’ Mac and Linux users follow the relevant links.

Step 2: Install Inkscape

Once downloaded double click on the Inkscape installer to install the program on your computer.

Step 3: Get dxf plugin

Inkscape struggles to properly format dxf files for milling machines out of the box so we’ll have to apply a little patch to it so that it works with curved lines properly. The patch can be found here. The instructions for installing the patch are included on the website, but I’ll include some screenshots here incase you get stuck.

Step 4: Create your design

Now I’m not a quilt designer, so please forgive my efforts, but using the beizer curves tool, you can create some interesting swirls and curves, or even copy some cursive text into a single curve for use on the machine. See screenshots below.

Step 5: Save and Transfer to your IQ device

Here comes the important bit, when you want to save your work ready for transfer, click ‘File’ then, ‘Save As…’ decide on a good place to save it, then name it. Important bit! From the drop down box, you need to select ‘better DXF’ and then hit save. You can then transfer the new design to your IQ using the USB stick provided.

Step 6: Enjoy your new capabilities and have fun!


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3 Responses to “Create Intelliquilter Designs for free using Inkscape”

  1. WOW! This design tool has potential, you may not be a quiltermunkey but you know your stuff. Guess there aren’t many other Longarmers with an IQ in the UK that design there own patterns YET! Will have to pass on the news ………

  2. eu textile news

    Amazing site…

    I really liked your blog, thanks for sharing this useful information……

  3. The blog is cool

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