The most useful tool I know for designing my own quilts is the multi-function printer attached to my computer. I have no idea how I worked in the times before this printer.
After piecing together a quilt top I start to draw the applique shapes I want to use.
This one will be a pond quilt.
Once I’ve drawn my shapes I make a copy of each one, roughly cut them out and audition them on the quilt top.
If the shapes are the wrong size for the quilt I just copy them again using the resize function. These dragonflies are copied at 80% of the size of my original drawing.