Do you remember the first time you found a critical error in a pattern? For some of us it ranks up there to remembering where we were when 9/11 struck.
For me it happened during my second year of quilting. I don't remember the pattern name, but I remember the quilt. it had browns, reds and tans. It was going to be big -- queen size. I had reached the stage where I had gained some confidence in my piecing abilities and to be efficient I cut out the entire quilt top before I began piecing it. Yes -- all nine yards of fabric beautifully cut up, stacked and ready for a day at my sewing machine.
I then proceeded to work through each of the steps -- before doing step two, I finished step 1 for all 20 blocks of the quilt. I reached the point where I needed to add a large half square triangle to a previously pieced unit. I found I had to really stretch the triangle to make it fit. Hmmm. I began checking the normal suspects:
Everything seemed to be ok on my end. I finally pulled out a sheet of graph paper (this was pre-Electric Quilt) and redrafted the block and checked the math using the Pythagorean theorem from high school albegra.
The issue was not me but the cut size of those half square triangles. I couldn't find more of the fabric so the entire quilt was delegated to the UFO (unfinished objects) bin where it languished for many years until I eventually decided to throw it and the pattern away.
Now I wish I could say this was the only time I found an error in a pattern.
I've now learned the importance of decomposing a pattern and checking the math. This technique can be done with graph paper -- but I find I am much more efficient with Electric Quilt.
Pattern Decomposition Using EQ8
When working with Electric Quilt there are often discussions about how to take a design created in Electric Quilt and turn in into instructions (or a pattern). In Tech Know Quilters (a membership focused on mastery of EQ8), there are a number of lessons around this very concept.
Today, let's talk about the reverse. Have you ever purchased a pattern and then wanted to put it in EQ?
Learn how to play detective and work from a pattern to draft the block in EQ8. It is a great way to double check there are no math errors in your cutting instructions!
Basic Math Rules when Analyzing a Pattern for Decomposition
The video tutorial will take you through this process using a block pattern I created back in 2005 for a BOM for a local quilt shop.
Here is the cutting chart referenced in the video.
Download the block pattern including construction information here. Here is what the block looks like in a finished quilt.
If you try this technique, let me know how it goes.
One of our typical family vacations when I was growing up was a quick trip to Canada. (We lived about 100 miles from the border.) Although there was a border crossing (an exciting part of the journey) there was no need for passports and we enjoyed being able to visit a "foreign" country.
To celebrate Flag Day (June 14th in the United States), I created a quilt with two flags. One for the US and one for Canada. I also decided to make the flags "wave".
Would you like to learn how to draft a "wavy" flag block? Check out the following video tutorial. You will learn some great tips for getting those stripes to nest.
Here is the block from the video. This would be a fun project to cut out on an electronic cutting system.
I am curious what flag you would like to make "wave". Please post any or your drafted flag blocks or your quilt with flags in the Learning EQ Facebook group.
With temperatures reaching over 100 this last week (and high temps projected for next week), Minnesota has moved into summer mode even if the calendar still officially says spring.
When looking through the blocks in Block Base Plus, I came across the block "Pride of the Prairie". The pattern was sold by Old Chelsea Station (a mail-order company that started in 1933). The Brackman ID is 1489.
Doesn't this look like a sun?
I did some research to see if I could find any finished quilts made with this block. The only quilt I was able to locate was documented on the Quilt Index.
I came up with a layout for the block, which you can create in EQ8. In this video you will learn how to
Here is the quilt from the video. I would love to see pictures of your quilts. Feel free to post in the Learning EQ Facebook group. I've set up a separate post for your shared designs.
Cutting the fabric using Cricut Design Space
Curved piecing -- yes or no?
While I love the look of curved piecing, it is not my go to piecing method. Using templates to cut all of those pieces by hand is not my idea of fun. So I decided to use my Cricut Maker to do the cutting for me. The rotary cutting blade is fantastic for cutting through fabric and no sizing or backing is required on the fabric.
In the bonus video, you will learn how to work with the design in Cricut Design Space. Warning -- Cricut Design Space did an update last week (v6.9.163) and as a result the templates are no longer being imported at the correct size. There is a workaround that I will share with you. Electric Quilt was really thinking ahead when they added that 1" square in the export.
Tech Know Quilter Members Share Their Designs and Learnings
In the private Tech Know Quilter's Facebook group, I ask members to share their favorite designs for the month along with sharing what they learned.
Tech Know Quilters is a membership of Electric Quilt 8 owners who are mastering Electric Quilt through online training.
I wanted to share Melonee Noll's story as I am sure many of us can relate to her struggle. I enjoyed the problem solving skills she employed to create a better quilt.
Melonee had "picked" this quilt top apart twice. This is the third version that had been sitting on a spare bed for almost a year because she didn't like the way it looks.
(I will admit that I thought it looked pretty awesome.)
In April, she took the EasyDraw Kaleidoscope lessons and learned how to rotate fabric and use Serendipity. In her EQ quilt design she incorporated new concepts including using a photo of a previously made block in quilt as a block along with incorporating newly designed kaleidoscope blocks. She also played with different sashing and border ideas.
Using her new EQ design, she is now set for one last "picking" session to create her newly designed quilt. Well done Melonee! We look forward to seeing your final quilt.
Here are some other fantastic designs submitted by TKQ members.
Tech Know Quilters is open to new members only a few times a year. You can learn more and sign up for the wait list for the next open enrollment period here.
Masters Kaleidoscope Challenge
Tech Know Quilter members who have completed twelve months of Tech Know Quilter's class are eligible for the Masters program. They are given an opportunity to participate in a Masters challenge each month.
Their challenge for April was to design an original kaleidoscope quilt.
Sometimes the biggest challenge in creating a medallion quilt is figuring out what to put in the center of the quilt. In a medallion quilt the center is definitely the star with the borders playing a supporting roles.
Although any block can become a center medallion, it often needs to be spiced up a bit to make it worthy of the starring role.
In the Mix and Match Medallion Centers class offered exclusively to Tech Know Quilter members, the focus is exclusively on designing those eye-popping centers.
Here are a few of the centers that you will be able to draft (and sew) after this class.
Would you like to know a secret about these blocks -- each one of them started as a well-know (and pretty basic) block in the EQ library.
Can you identify the original block (without watching the video below)? Let me know in the comments which ones you were able to figure out.
After completing the Mix and Match Medallion Center class (offered exclusively in the Tech Know Quilters membership), you will gain confidence it creating your own one of a kind centers.
Mix and Match Medallion Center Blocks and Quilt Reveal
After the first few months of Tech know Quilters, I began doing reveal videos showing the blocks, quilts and concepts that are covered in an upcoming class. This was one of those classes that I never got around to doing a reveal -- until today.
If you have taken the class, this may inspire you to revisit one of your old lessons. Or if you haven't taken the class, you will be able to see what you will learn in Mix and Match Medallion Centers.
This particular class will definitely move you from beginner to intermediate status in your Electric Quilt design. In fact a couple of the blocks will fall into the advanced category and are not for the faint of heart. It is so gratifying as an instructor seeing students advance as they work through the exercises.
Make sure to join the Tech Know Quilter wait list if you are interested in learning more when enrollment opens.
Tech Know Quilter Member Projects Inspired by Mix and Match Medallion Centers
After seeing the blocks and quilts I created, you can now be truly inspired by this collection of blocks that Tech Know Quilter members designed while going through the Mix and Match Medallion Centers class.
Sometimes that beautiful striped fabric in our collection can be a bit intimidating to work with. If you have ever struggled with making that initial cut into striped fabric, this tutorial is for you.
Kaleidoscopes with Striped Fabric
There are a number of people in Tech Know Quilters -- an online membership for Electric Quilt 8 users who are mastering the software -- who have been working with striped fabric. In the EasyDraw Kaleidoscope class they created a striped fabric Kaleidoscope block.
Enjoy some of the awesome designs created by those in the class.
Would you like to join this amazing group of quilters in mastering Electric Quilt 8. Names are currently being collected on a wait list for our next open enrollment period.
Rotating Fabric in a Block using Electric Quilt 8
Although Electric Quilt does not have a rotate fabric option in the block worktable (something definitely on my wish list), there is still a way for you to rotate fabric for your block. Let me show you how.
In the video I used Rose Whisperers by Eleanor Burns for Benartex. This is one of the recent fabric of the month collections from Electric Quilt. You can still get the free download on their website.
Here is the block from the video.
And if you want to supersize your project, consider creating a quilt comprised of four blocks. Just don't rotate the block (or put them in an on point layout) as you will need to adjust the rotation and fussy cut the fabrics again).
MN Quilt Show
Are you interested in learning more about Electric Quilt? Join me at the MN Quilt Show from June 9 - 12, 2021. (it is all virtual this year -- so you can join even if you aren't in MN). I will be presenting two lectures on using Electric Quilt 8.
Electric Quilt 8 Overview
Have you dreamed about designing your own quilts, but not sure if quilting software is for you?
This lecture will provide you valuable information on designing using Electric Quilt 8. It will include an overview of the most frequently used features with Electric Quilt 8. You will see how to use blocks from the library and put them into a setting of your choice. You will see how the coloring tools work which will allow you to audition your fabric options before you make your first cut. With a few minor changes, you can modify a design so the quilt will actually fit on your bed. And you will see the types of information and instructions that can be printed directly from the program such as yardage charts, foundation patterns and rotary cutting charts.
Time: Saturday, June 12, 2021 at 2:30 - 3:30 PM (CDT)
Cost:$10 for members, $12 for non-members
Learn how to analyze and categorize blocks so that you can learn the tricks to draft them on your own.
The techniques will be demonstrated using Electric Quilt 8. However you will be able to apply these concepts to your favorite drafting method. By drafting your own blocks, you will be able to audition fabrics, resize your blocks and place them in a quilt layout of your choice.
This lecture will include a number of blocks from my book EQ8 Drawing Blocks.
Time: Thursday, June 10, 2021 at 12:30 - 1:30 PM (CDT)
Cost:$10 for members, $12 for non-members
Electric Quilt Expert and Educator and Pattern Designer.
On Point Quilter