I hope you are finding ways to stay cool. It has been super hot in MN this week, so I've been trying to get caught up on a number of computer projects. And I need to find some time to settle on a project (or two) for my quilt retreat next weekend.
In this weeks EQ8 video, I had fun playing with the Swath tool. If you haven't had a chance to use it -- let me share my tips with you.
Swirling Geese EQ8 Tutorial
For fabric I used the Stonehenge Basics collection by Linda Ludovico by Northcott. I love the watercolor look of the fabrics and look forward to finding them at a quilt shop.
Here are a few different quilt options. The first was covered in the video. But I decided to do a little more playing after the video was complete.
Let me know what you decide to do with the swath tool.
I've set up a post in the Learning EQ Facebook group where you can share you ideas.
What Others Chose to Do with the Geometric Garden Quilt
I suggested viewers post pictures of their Geometric Garden quilts. Check out those that were shared on Facebook.
I hope you enjoyed seeing their variations as much as I did. Quilters are so creative.
Quilting Motifs for the Geometric Garden Quilt
The blank blocks in the Geometric Garden quilt, really called for me to add something more. After a bit of personal debate, I decided on a quilting design. The one I came up with started with a circle and added cross-hatching inside the circle.
If quilting designs intimidate you, this is definitely a great way to get started. I promise -- it is easier than it looks.
Here are the quilting motifs along with the final Geometric Garden Quilt.
I look forward to seeing what you decided to do with the alternating blocks. Please feel free to post pictures in the Learning EQ Facebook group.
Sizing Blocks for the Quilt
The size of the blocks in the antique quilt appear to be around 12" x 12". I started with the finished size of the quilt ( 63" x 84") and backed into these numbers.
However the block is actually easier to draft at 18" x 18". Then each of those tiny squares in the nine patches in the corners has a finished size of 1". In a 12" quilt, the finished size of the 9 patch squares will be .667". This is something that would be super easy to do with templates. Not so much for rotary cutting.
The beauty of using Electric Quilt is we get to decide the size we want to use for the quilt. it could easily be 9", 12" or 18". Or something else. Whatever you prefer.
See how to design the block and quilt in my video tutorial.
Here is the block and quilt from the video.
I look forward to seeing what you do with this block along with what layout you decide to use for your quilt.
Feel free to share in the Learning EQ Facebook group.
Tech Know Quilters May Showcase
Current Tech Know Quilter members have been sharing their class projects along with their original designs (and in some cases quilts) in the membership's private Facebook group. Each month they are challenged to apply what they have been learning in their classes. Enjoy this show of some of their recent creations.
You can learn more about the Tech Know Quilters membership program and sign up for the wait list for the next open enrollment period here.
Last month I challenged the Tech Know Quilter Masters members to design a flag. They came up with some amazing designs -- that I am featuring below. I had planned to participate in the challenge myself, but became engrossed in some other projects and hadn't gotten to it. However inspiration struck this week.
Electric Quilt 8 Flag Like Quilt
I debated between two fabric collections and ended up doing a quilt in each of them.
You can purchase the Stash collections from Electric Quilt. You could also download the collections from various websites.
In the images below, I sent each of the swatches in a 9" block, so you could get a better visual of the fabric sizing.
Electric Quilt 8 Design
Watch the video for step by step instructions.
In the video I shared the Tonga Honor fabric in the design process. But I also did a version in the Bright Stars fabric. I am curious which you prefer.
Pick a fabric collection and draft your own Flag Like Quilt. I would love to see pictures of your quilt. I've set up a post in the Learning EQ Facebook group for you to share your design.
Tech Know Quilters Flag Quilts Showcase
Those in Tech Know Quilter's Masters are more advanced Tech Know Quilter's members. They receive exclusive Master's level classes every month and are encouraged to work on their own projects and designs.
Their challenge in June was to design their own flag quilt. As you can see by their quilts, we have members from all over the world.
Katherine Martin Being British my flag has to be the Union Jack (flag). I tried to draw it to scale. I presented it as an English country garden using fabrics from the EQ Library.
If you have completed twelve months of Tech Know Quilters, you are eligible to join Tech Know Quilter's Masters. Send me a note, if you are interested in joining Masters.
I remember agonizing over my first purchase of Electric Quilt. I loved quilting and had a ton of patterns and books – more than I could ever use in my lifetime. Can you relate?
I wasn’t completely convinced I needed the software. However, I also realized that those purchased patterns were not always accurate and there were quilts that I saw in magazines and at shows that did not have patterns. And I didn't necessarily want to make an exact replica of the quilts from patterns I had bought.
Once I started using the software, I knew I couldn’t live without it. I quickly found that I recouped my investment in the software through significantly fewer PIGS (projects in grocery sacks). You know those quilts that you thought would be your next masterpiece. But as you got started piecing them, you realized something wasn’t quite right.
I knew from my own struggles that the initial purchase of Electric Quilt 8 can be a challenging decision. As a result, I want to help you resolve whether the software will be useful for you.
In this blog post I will be sharing with you:
Six Reasons to Purchase Electric Quilt 8
After purchasing Electric Quilt and working with it (and teaching others how to use it), I've come to realize that Electric Quilt 8 is hands down the best tool I have purchased for creating both blocks and quilts.
Full disclosure. I use it personally, but I also teach people how to get the best use of the program. I am pretty sure you know which side of the fence I will come down on.
But I want you to go into this with your eyes open. So I will also be sharing some of the objections to buying…to help you make the right decision for you.
#1 - Audition Your Favorite Fabrics
When is the last time you bought a pattern because you loved the quilt on the cover? And then realized that the fabric is no longer available. Or maybe it doesn't work well with the other colors in the room you are hoping to use the quilt in. If you have trouble visualizing what your favorite fabrics will look like in your quilt pattern, you are perfectly normal.
Before Electric Quilt, I lost count of the number of times I purchased some fabulous fabrics, cut them up and realized (after the point of no return) they wouldn’t work with my selected quilt pattern.
With Electric Quilt 8 you have the option to audition fabrics before your first cut. This can even be done before spending money on fabric.
#2 - Never Manually Calculate Fabric Yardage Requirements Again
One of my favorite features of Electric Quilt 8 is the ability to obtain fabric yardage requirements with a push of a button. If you use fabric from the Electric Quilt library, it even will provide you with a fabric reference number to assist you in purchasing the fabric at your favorite quilt shop.
Bonus: A new feature in Electric Quilt 8 is the option of printing the number of Fat Quarters needed for your quilt.
#3 - Modify Blocks and Quilts from Purchased Patterns
Have you purchased a pattern and realized there are things you would like to change? Maybe the block needs to be tweaked to use your favorite ruler or die set. Or maybe the sizes or layout needs to be adjusted so the quilt can work for your bed -- and then of course you need to adjust the yardage requirements to accommodate the new size.
Good news! Electric Quilt 8 has three different sets of tools for drawing your own blocks or redrafting a block from a picture.
EasyDraw tools are similar to working with graph paper and pencil, just like you use to do.
And if you want to draw a more complex design, PolyDraw tools also allows you to create pieced blocks that are not based on a standard graph paper type of grid. Think circular or kaleidoscope types of designs.
If you are into hexagonal quilts, PolyDraw also provides us the ability to create interlocking blocks.
And if you love applique, you will definitely be interested in the applique toolkit. I have not found an applique project that cannot be drafting using Electric Quilt 8.
However, before starting to draft your own block, you may want to check if your block is in the Electric Quilt block library. With the release of EQ8, Electric Quilt added 1400 new bocks to their already extensive library. Giving us a total of 6500 blocks to choose from for starting our next quilt.
But if you cannot locate your favorite block in the library, there is no need to worry. There is the option to import a picture of the block and trace it. This is probably my all time favorite feature of Electric Quilt 8. This is an area I love working with Electric Quilt users on and an area of focus in Tech Know Quilters - a paid membership program for Electric Quilt 8 users.
There are also options to add more blocks to the library through collections such as as Block Base Plus based on Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns. Choose from collections by Judy Martin, Marsha McCloskey or even Dear Jane. And the beauty is that all of these blocks will be able to be modified by you within Electric Quilt 8.
Within Electric Quilt 8, they even have added a group of Serendipity tools that provides a fast way to create entirely new blocks based on a previously drafted block. I find this is a great option for creating brand new original quilt blocks on days I am not feeling super creative.
#4 - Select Your Favorite Construction Method
Many potential Electric Quilt 8 users wondering if the software will assist them in constructing their block. Electric Quilt does assume that users are familiar with basic quilt construction techniques. The software will not teach you how to applique, foundation piece or even piece together rotary cut patches. It will also not provide you step by step instructions typically found in a purchased quilt pattern.
However it will provide you with a variety of tools to facilitate cutting fabric and even the foundations to paper piece your blocks. The method of construction is your choice.
#5 - Save Money
Electric Quilt Expert and Educator and Pattern Designer.