Electric Quilt just released the Dear Jane Add-on for EQ. As I have been playing with the new software this week, I have also been reflecting on my Dear Jane journey. In this post I will share a part of that journey (and a few of my Dear Jane quilts). I will also share a really cool new feature from the add-on software in my EQ8 video tutorial.
My Dear Jane Journey
My love of Dear Jane began in June 2000 (almost 20 years ago) when a new guild was being started by JoAnn Atikins (now the owner of Four Seasons Quilt Shop)..
My original plan was to do a few blocks and make a small quilt based on the blocks in Brenda Popadakis' book Dear Jane: The Two Hundred Twenty-Five Patterns from the 1863 Jane A. Stickle Quilt.
I ended up creating my own layout, including thirteen original triangles and five additional blocks. There are a total of 174 blocks, 68 triangles and 4 corners – not including the unused duplicate triangles as a result of a tracking glitch. (I needed the new add-on software back in 2000.) There are 421 separate fabrics. Based on a purchase of a fat quarter for each fabric, I estimate the quilt cost $950 in supplies alone. All blocks were redrafted using Electric Quilt 4 to aide in my construction. The quilt took five years to complete.
Those in the Dear Jane Minnesota Quilt Guild became some of my closest quilting friends. One year we did a road trip to Shipshewana for a Jane Stickle retreat.
We also began doing our own retreats, in the winter at Four Seasons Quilt shop and in summer at St. Bens College. We also had numerous exchanges and challenges that had a Dear Jane aspect to them.
As I was writing this post, I attempted to track down some of my quilts inspired by Dear Jane. Here were the ones I could locate in my stacks of quilts.
In this exchange, each participant did the same block All blocks needed to be signed and dated. Each participant was required to produce a block that was representative of their larger “Jane quilt”. Since there were many different fabric themes, the biggest part of the challenge was figuring out how to put them all together.
For this exchange each participant picked a Dear Jane block (we eliminated many of the “easy blocks” from the options) and made 16 blocks (6” finished). These blocks were exchanged in May 2009 and by August 11 of the 14 participants had their quilts completed (in time for our first Dear Jane show).
Blue and Yellow Exchange
In 2001/2002 there were a series of exchanges with approximately 10-15 participants in each exchange. Each person chose a different block from Dear Jane and made one for each of the other participants.
This particular quilt was featured in the original Dear Jane software released by Electric Quilt in 2003.
Being a huge Dear Jane fan, I was super excited to hear that Electric Quilt was updating their Dear Jane software. The new version is compatible with EQ8 and can be purchased for either a MAC or a PC.
Dear Jane Project Tracking
My latest Dear Jane adventure is attempting the blocks at 2.25" finished size. I've been stalled on this for a long time (more than care to think about). I am not very happy about the quality of some of my completed blocks and trying to decide if I should redo some of them or possibly even abandon the project. But I pulled out my finished blocks and decided to use them to test the new Dear Jane project tracker feature included in the Dear Jane Add-on Software just released by EQ.
I laid each of my pieced blocks on a piece of foam core board and then just snapped individual pictures on my phone.
Everything else was done in Electric Quilt as shown in this video tutorial.
Dear Jane Add-on for EQ8
Electric Quilt has informed me that they have a special introductory price for the new add-on software through April 30, 2020 and gave me permission to share their offer with you. The regular price is $49.95. The introductory price is $32.47. You can purchase directly from EQ here.
With the Covid-19 challenges, I am staying put this Easter. I will still celebrate Easter--with online services hosted by my church. We are learning how to do church through Zoom and I appreciate still being able to see friends via this method. But I am looking forward to the day we can meet again in person.
When thinking about how I could share Easter with my family, I decided I would send the North Dakota clan an Easter postcard. I just got it done -- so it won't actually reach them in time. But hopefully they will enjoy the late offering.
In my video tutorial, I will share how to draft this in EQ8.
Here is the quilt from the video.
I chose to foundation piece the blocks. If you are new to foundation piecing, I share some of my favorite foundation piecing tips and products in this tutorial.
If you would like the foundations and some basic instructions for this project, please download the pdf instructions by clicking on the picture below.
EQ8 Drawing Blocks
The EQ8 Drawing Blocks book does a deep dive in drafting blocks in all the EQ8 block worktable options. This is a great way to master working with EQ8.
Purchase a copy of the book from On Point Quilter for $5 off. The price has been adjusted in the store to reflect the sale price. I would be happy to autograph a copy of the book if you wish.
Price: (normally $29.95) On sale for $24.95 through April 15, 2020.
Face Mask Production
Across the country -- and I suspect across the world -- quilters have been stepping up to the challenge of supplying face masks to hospitals, clinics, care facilities and essential workers who need to stay safe during this pandemic.
There are a lot of videos on how to sew these masks. I decided that the simple ones to sew made the most sense as more people can participate and they take much less time per mask to produce.
For my first set of masks, I followed the video tutorial provided Deaconess Hospital. My one modification was using two different fabrics for the front and back of the masks. I used a batik for the front as I had read that a tighter weave cotton is better than a loose weave. For the backs I used flannel. It is important that users not get confused and flip the direction of the masks as that puts them at a greater risk.
What to Do without Elastic
I am now down to my last yard of elastic and elastic is hard to come by. It seems we are all working on masks and have been exhausting the supply of this resource.
I read that you can replace the elastic with four ties. The ties will be cut 1-1/2" x 18" and double folded. Here is a video showing how to sew the ties.
For my next set of masks, I plan to follow the instructions in this video for sewing the ties and will replace the elastic as shown in the first video with these ties.
However, I think I will stick with using just two layers for my masks as that was what was requested by my local hospital.
Create a Cutting Chart to be Efficient in Fabric Usage
Since I want to be efficient in the use of my fabric and I have a very large collection of Fat Quarters -- I wanted to figure out how to make the best use out of each fat quarter. For any non-quilters -- a fat quarter is a piece of fabric that is approximate 18" x 20".
Using Electric Quilt, I create cutting charts for two fat quarters. Each set of two fat quarters will produce three masks with very little waste.
In my video tutorial, I will share how you can use EQ8 to create your own cutting charts -- either for yourself or to share with someone else working on masks.
You are welcome to use my cutting charts.
With two one yard cuts of fabric, you can cut out enough ties and mask panels for 12 face masks.
How many masks are you hoping to complete?
Critter Motif Update
Tech Know Quilters Open Enrollment Update
It has been a busy week. I just finished a very limited open enrollment for Tech Know Quilters and will be welcoming an awesome group of new members into our community next week.
Are you curious what Tech Know Quilters is all about? I did a live webinar on Thursday where I shared more about the group, shared stories and testimonials from current members, and fielded questions from attendees. You are welcome to watch the replay here.
We are still cleaning up the registrations and will be sending out welcome letters for April classes on Monday. Although enrollment has officially closed, I will take any late registrations through today (March 28, 2020).
Read more and enroll here.
Critter Motif Live Events
Have you been stuck at home this last week? I realized that being home and listening to news programs is not very helpful to my mood and I have been missing my daily visits to the ice rinks (my exercise of choice). I've also been missing much of my normal live social interaction. After a couple of days of feeling sorry for myself, I decided to engage more with my EQ8 community by going live every day. This ensures I have at least one adult conversation each day. You are welcome to join that conversation.
As of this morning, I have 10 posted videos with 10 different critters. During the "stay at home" period I am planning to add to the collection.
If you would like to join a live session or watch any or all of the old videos, make sure to follow my Facebook page. I will typically post an announcement 30 minutes to an hour before going live. The first couple of recordings were direct cast on Facebook -- but I started having problems with engagement between Zoom and Facebook, so I just decided to do them on Zoom. The good news with Zoom is that participants can un-mute and ask questions or provide feedback.
Note: The videos are un-edited -- so they are longer than tutorials on my blog or in my classes.
As a bonus to my Tech Know Quilter members, I will be offering them my Critter Motif EQ8 file at the conclusion of my live events. Just an added incentive to join during the March 2020 promotion.
Drafting a Horse Motif Using EQ8
Here is the drawing from the video.
I hope to see you at one of my live events next week.
Saturday -- March 21, 2020 is National Quilting Day. With many of us staying put to help fight the cornavirus threat, there might be some extra time to get a little bit of extra quilting done.
There is lots to inspire you in this blog post.
(1) I will share my process for embellishing a canvas bag using my Cricut Maker and a fun block created in EQ8. My first effort with both vinyl and transfer material.
(2) Tech Know Quilter members will inspire you with some of their (and my) favorite accomplishments during February. Tech Know Quilter's is a paid membership program for those wanting to receive training an ongoing support in their masterly of EQ8.
(3) Tech Know Quilter Masters members will share their results of a challenge to design a foundation friendly pattern based on a photo.
Creating a Love to Quilt Bag
As a quilter, I find that I can never have enough bags. We all need a place to store those in-process projects. And it is so convenient when we need to grab a project to work on during the next guild meeting meeting. I even have a group of bags all set to go for my next quilt retreat.
If you can relate, I have a new bag idea for you. It is quilt related -- but there is no quilting involved.
Two weeks ago, I created a design and transferred a block I drafted in Electric Quilt 8 to Cricut Design Space. If you missed that tutorial, you will want to catch it here.
The video tutorial this week shows my process for adding the design to a canvas tote.
The supplies used in my project are as follows. Please note that links are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission on any purchases.
In my video tutorial, I shared that I used my laser printer -- rather than the inkjet printer recommended for transfer sheets. I only used the iron for 10 seconds in each area during the transfer to the canvas. I did not notice any melting during the process and was pleased with my ending design.
I am thinking that this might be a good item for the boutique for my quilt guild -- and am already thinking about who I could gift with the bag.
Or maybe I should find another of my Electric Quilt designs for the next bag. Lots to think about.
Tech Know Quilters Apply What They Learned in February 2020
Tech Know Quilters is a membership of Electric Quilt 8 owners who are mastering Electric Quilt through online training. At the end of their February class, they were encouraged to apply what they learned during the month of February.
Tech Know Quilters is open to new members only a few times a year. Thee will be an open enrollment offering next week -- but just for those on the wait list. You can sign up for the wait list here.
Masters Pictoral Foundation Challenge
During February TKQ Masters Members had classes in Advanced Foundation Piecing. They were challenged to take a photo and create a foundation friendly pattern inspired by their photo. I think they did a phenomenal job.
Here are some additional projects created by Tech Know Quilter members -- they are a very talented group who are doing amazing things with Electric Quilt 8.
Electric Quilt Expert and Educator and Pattern Designer.
On Point Quilter