Tutorial :: Making a mockup quilt in Photoshop

Elena asked how I made the mockup quilts, so I thought I’d post a tutorial.

It’s pretty wordy, but hopefully makes sense!  Please let me know if anything is unclear.


You will need:

  • Photo editing software that will allow you to crop, rotate and layer items into a new blank project.  (I’m using Photoshop.)
  • A  clear photo of your sample block(s)
  • If you are sashing, a clear photo of that.  Preferably larger so that you can crop it down to the correct size.  I’m showing you how to do a ‘scrappy’ sashing.

**You will need to click on the pictures to make them larger and then click again to zoom in once it opens in another screen.  I copied my work screen as I went to give you a step-by-step.  Just use your back button to come back to the post as you follow through the steps.

Step 1:  Open up the photo of your sashing.  To make the ‘sashing’  I took scraps of the pieces in my quilt and layered them on my cutting board and then took a picture.

Step 2:  After opening your photo, select the crop tool and crop to a rectangle.  (Longer in length).   You want it to still be larger then needed.

Step 3:  Repeat with your sample block(s), making sure to crop down evenly so that no background is showing and the block is square.

Step 4:  After cropping down all pieces, go ahead and open up a new image.   I go bigger than needed at 70 x 80 inches.  (not pixels)  Go under ‘File’, ‘new’ and enter in your size.

Step 5:  Go back to your sashing and crop down to the size you want to use.   If you look right below the File menu there is a spot for me to type in width and height.   My block is 12.5 inches square and I want the sashing to be 1.5 inches, so I typed in 1.5 width and 12.5 height.  This will allow me to crop to that exact size when I begin to drag the tool.  

Step 6:  Once everything is cropped to the correct size, we are ready to drag into the new image.  

Chose the ‘move’ tool, left click and hold on the sashing photo and drag to the new image.   (Make sure that all of your images including the new blank one are set to the same resolution.  Otherwise the scale will be off.  I use 300 dpi.  You can check this by going under ‘Image’, ‘image size’).

As you drag you will be adding new layers to the image, so you want to have a method to the madness so that you don’t have to go back and try and ‘find’ the correct layer to adjust.   I usually do the the top and left side sashing and then  alternate blocks and sashing, going left to right.

When you need to do the horizontal sashing, you will go under ‘Image’ and then ‘rotate canvas’.   Make sure that you are on the right photo and not rotating your ‘quilt’.   Continue adding blocks and sashing until you have made the quilt to the right size.

You can also rotate the blocks the same way if you want to change the orientation.

Step 7:  Once your ‘quilt’ is done you need to shrink down the image size.   I do 1000 pixel width and let the height adjust itself.  That’s usually a good size that won’t be too large when uploading to Flickr or your blog.    Go under ‘Image’ and then ‘image size’ just like when you checked the resolution.

Step 8:   While making your quilt you may have some scraggly edges.   No problem!  Now’s the time to go back and clean up the edges by cropping out any unwanted ‘fabric’ and squaring up.

Step 9:  Now that everything is cleaned up and we’re happy with the mockup, we need to merge the layers together.   On the bottom right side of my workstation I click on ‘layers’.   Scroll down to the ‘background’ layer and right click.   Choose ‘merge visible’ and this will merge all the layers together.

Step 10: You’re done!  Save your file as a jpg, upload and show that beauty off!

I love doing this so that I can really get a visual for what the quilt will look like.   I hope this helps you!   I can’t wait to see your ‘quilts’!


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