I am departing from my normal Electric Quilt post this week. My tutorial will focus on using Cricut Design Space to prepare and cut out my applique block that was created in Electric Quilt 8.
I am now ready to bring the SVG files into Cricut Design Space where I will cut all of my fabrics. I also decided to draw the embroidery lines on my fabric using a washout marker before doing the cut. Adding the embroidery lines made the process much more complex. But the video will show you how to work through issues when what is showing in Cricut Design Space isn't exactly what you thought you sent it.
I then will share actually cutting the pieces on my Cricut Maker.
Before purchasing the Cricut Maker, I was google searching "how small can I cut fabric patches with the Cricut Maker". All the videos I could find on cutting fabric were doing mega large pieces. However, as a quilter, I wanted to be able to do really small pieces. I definitely put Cricut Maker to the test on figuring out how small was "acceptable".
Watch the entire process (with some speed up sections) with my Cricut Maker in this video.
Here is my finished 6" fish motif block. I am heading off to a very small retreat this weekend, where I plan to get a lot of critter applique stitching complete.
And if you were wondering -- I am able to cut pieces as small as 1/4 inch with the Cricut Maker. I could even cut smaller pieces, but when I went to remove them from the mat, they disintegrated as they are only a few threads wide.
Scroll down for the free video tutorial on converting the EQ8 critter applique motif blocks to an SVG file.
I'm pulling fabrics from my stash for each of the critter blocks. And I talked to a local quilt shop to arrange for fabric for the backgrounds and the pieced portions of the blocks. To come up with the required fabric yardages in EQ8, I deleted all the applique motifs (which is where I am using my stash) and re-pulled the yardage estimates from Print and Export.
I saw a post from a friend earlier this week who was asking about keeping small pieces of fabrics. If you plan to do 6" applique blocks -- the answer is yes. When doing a project like this, I can tell myself that it is good that I have that large collection of fabric.
Can you relate?
I am using my Cricut Maker to cut out all of the pieces for those 30+ 6" applique critter blocks. To prepare the blocks for the Cricut Maker, I needed to convert the applique blocks to SVG files. Electric Quilt does not have an export to SVG option.
However it is easy to do the conversion if you use a program such as Inkscape which can easily convert pdfs to SVG files. Inkscape is a professional vector graphics editor for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. It's free and open source.
Inkscape can seem overwhelming to use when you open it for the first time. However you only need to use a couple of tools within Inkscape -- so this really is a piece of cake. You can download Inkscape here.
Inkscape will allow you to create an SVG file which may be used in any electronic cutting system (Cricut Design Space, Silhouette Studio, or Brother Canvas Workspace).
So what is an SVG file? An SVG file is a graphics file that uses a two-dimensional vector graphic format. Unlike raster formats such as JPG, GIF, and PNG, an SVG image remains crisp and clear at any resolution or size.
There are a few tricks I have learned to make the process go smoothly.
I also decided to experiment with also adding in some of the embroidery lines in the file so I could draw them on my fabric when processing the fabric in Cricut Maker and not have to manually trace them later. (Note that drawing on fabric is different then print and cut.) If you aren't worried about adding those embroidery lines, you can plan for less than 5 minutes to convert a file from EQ to SVG once you've got the process down.
Learn my process for converting Electric Quilt 8 designs to an SVG file in this free video tutorial as I transfer my fish block from EQ to an SVG file.
If you would like to try this for yourself, feel free to use the two pdf files from the video. Just click on the image to access the pdf file which can be downloaded to your computer.
Next week I will share my process in Cricut Design Space (including cutting out all the pieces) for the fish block.
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.
Scroll down to see some new amazing quilts from Tech Know Quilter members as they share some of their favorite quilts completed in January.
From Electric Quilt to Cricut Design Space
I recently purchased a Cricut Maker and have been having fun learning how to use it. This week I watched a tutorial on using Print and Cut. With Print and Cut you can print an image on your home printer and then cut it out using a Cricut machine. The light bulb went on and I thought -- this is how we could feature those complex EQ8 designs that we will never get around to piecing.
Please tell me I am not the only one with a treasure trove of EQ projects that will never become a quilt or a wall hanging.
In this tutorial, I will share exactly how I modified and exported a design in EQ to make it cutting friendly. Then I will take you through setting up a project using Cricut Design Space along with the rest of the process to create the love to quilt design that would be suitable for putting on a canvas tote.
If you would like to see the EQ tutorial for drafting the teeny, tiny heart block used in the video, click here.
The font I used in the Love to Quilt design was Angelica Script Font. I obtained it from Creative Fabrica. This website offers a free font every day and this was one of the fonts they offered for free earlier this year. It is called a Modern Calligraphy Font.
If you are debating whether a Cricut is in your future, you can download a free copy of Design Space here and follow my process to create your own Love to Quilt design.
Tech Know Quilters Apply What They Learned in January
Tech Know Quilters is a membership of Electric Quilt 8 owners who are mastering Electric Quilt through online training. At the end of their January class, they were encouraged to apply what they learned during the month of January. We had a fair number of completed projects this month -- showing how they have moved from design to construction.
Kathleen McCorkmick I was taking the calendar class. I have decided to print a copy of my current calendar on display for my computer. (print as pdf, then convert to jpg to bring into EQ) I like having my real calendar up in the background! This is one I made for the challenge, of Portland Head, ME.
During January, I introduced a new class in which we drafted 12 different calendar quilts. Here are some of the blocks and quilts from the class.
Calendar Quilts Master Challenge
Tech Know Quilter's Masters members have been in Tech Know Quilters for at least 12 months. They are committed to expanding their use of EQ through design. Their challenge for January was to create their own calendar block or quilt.
Some Other Fun Designs
Tech Know Quilters will also post designs as they work through their monthly lessons. Some will follow the design exactly as laid out. Others will choose to exercise their creativity muscle and expand upon the lesson.
My current plans are to open enrollment to new members at the end of March. Invitations to join will be sent out to those on the wait list. Learn more about Tech Know Quilters and sign up for the wait list here,
Irish Eyes Sale
Penguin Mug Rug
Last week I shared about cutting my applique patches using a Cricut Maker. This week I decided I needed a new Mug Rug and decided that with the ease of cutting out designs with the Cricut Maker, I would create a mug rug that featured some seasonal applique.
The penguin in my mug rug came from the EQ library -- so this was a fun and easy project for Electric Quilt 8.
Transferring Designs from Electric Quilt to an Electronic Cutting System
Problems: After writing the tutorial last week on transferring designs from EQ to my Cricut Maker, I ran into a couple of issues. I found out that designs resize when moving from Inkscape to Cricut Design Space. (They also resize when bringing them into Silhouette Studio as well.) I also discovered that when I imported designs into Cricut Design Space, the patches did not always show up on the import.
I've signed up for a class/membership on using both Cricut Design Space and creating SVGs in Inkscape from Erica Martin. I had watched a number of her free tutorials in December and knew Erica would be super helpful in finally moving my Inkscape skills beyond basic hacker -- and to be be able to confidently use Cricut Design Space. She very graciously responded to questions on my problems and assisted me in identifying the best way to address them. I would highly recommend her membership if you are interested in mastering Inkscape and Cricut Design Space. Here website is svgandme.com if you would like to check out her tutorials and membership.
In my bonus tutorial, I will walk you through my updated process for transferring designs from Electric Quilt to Inkscape to Cricut Design Space. This will also work if you are using Silhouette Studio or Brother Canvas Workspace.
Free Penguin SVG File
Piecing the Penguin Mug Rug
Today was Day 1 of a quilt retreat. In addition to catching up with friends and lots of great stories and laughing, I managed to sew up the Penguin mug rug as shown here. The background squares are cut 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" and the "ice" is cut 9-1/2" x 1-1/2".
For the applique, I ironed SoftFuse on the back of my fabric. Removed the paper and with the fusible size down, placed on a Cricut Green Mat. I cut all the pieces using the rotary cutter blade on my Cricut Maker with the material setting Fused Fabric.
After fusing the applique to the background, I used a blanket stitch on my machine to stitch down the pieces.
For quilting, I did some stitch in the ditch around the applique shapes and cross-hatching through the grey background squares.
The mug rug finished 9" x 6" (before binding).
Electric Quilt Expert and Educator and Pattern Designer.
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