Have you received offers to join Tech Know Quilters -- but were hesitating as you weren't sure what you would learn each month? Tech Know Quilters is a training program that teaches you how to master Electric Quilt 8 -- from the comfort of your home.
Here is an opportunity to see the exact blocks and quilts you will draft during your second month of training.
During Month 2 of Tech Know Quilters, you are given a choice between two different drawing classes. The choice is up to you. If you are not currently in Tech Know Quilters, sign up for the wait list to receive emails during the next open enrollment period.
One of the things we all want to be able to do is either draw our own blocks or recreate blocks from patterns we own. Using Electric Quilt 8 allows us to audition fabrics or even swap out one piecing technique with another. EasyDraw is the most useful set of drawing tools in Electric Quilt, as most quilt blocks are designed based on square grids. It also is the method that is closest to working with pencil and graph paper.
Option 1 Introduction to EasyDraw
Many of the blocks and concepts in this option were covered in my EQ8 Drawing Blocks book. So if you did the exercises in that book, you may be better suited for Option 2.
In the reveal video, check out the agenda for the Introduction to EasyDraw class along with the blocks and quilts you will be designing.
If you prefer to get started now, this class may be purchased ahead of joining Tech Know Quilters.
Option 2: EasyDraw Kaleidoscopes
I've talked to a number of you who are fairly proficient in EasyDraw. Quite a few participated in my Easy Peasy EasyDraw class back in the EQ7 days and drew some amazing blocks and quilts as part of the class. While the look and feel of EQ8 is very different than EQ7, the Easy Draw tools are actually very much the same. They are just residing in some different places in the new program.
So for those of you who are Intermediate EasyDraw block drafters, I wanted to create a more advanced class that focused on EasyDraw Kaleidoscopes.
In the reveal video, check out the agenda for the EasyDraw Kaleidoscopes class along with the blocks and quilts you will be designing.
If you are on the fence between Introduction to EasyDraw and EasyDraw Kaleidoscopes, go back through the first video and see how many of those blocks you can draw on your own (with no guidance from me). If that was doable -- then you are definitely ready for EasyDraw Kaleidoscopes.
For those currently enrolled in Tech Know Quilters, you also have the option of taking both classes. If you wish to do that, make sure to send us a note so you can receive a discount coupon for the second class.
Tech Know Quilters March Showcase
Tech Know Quilter members shared how they applied the concepts from their March 2021 class.
Tech Know Quilters is a membership of Electric Quilt 8 owners who are mastering Electric Quilt through online training. At the end of their March class, they were encouraged to apply what they learned during the month of March.
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.
I love having people at different stages of the EQ journey submitting designs. I am so proud of this group of quilt designers.
Electric Quilt has released an updated version of BlockBase+. BlockBase+ provides us with over 4,000 blocks from Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.
Last week I shared how I took the Magic Cross block from BlockBase+ and created personalized quilt in Electric Quilt.
We can now go back to BlockBase+ to export the templates as an SVG file. These SVG templates are compatible with all electronic cutting systems including Cricut, Silhouette and Brother.
This video will show you how to use them with Cricut Design Space and a Cricut Maker to easily cut out the patches for all your block.
Correction: In the video I mentioned that you needed 3 of the teal blocks. You actually need four of them. Fortunately it was easy to go back and cut an additional block.
I really adore my Cricut Maker for cutting fabric. With the pink mat (for fabric) and the rotary cutting tool, there is no special prep work required. Just lay the fabric on the pink mat and run it through your machine.
I was unable to locate the fabric collection I used for designing my quilt in Electric Quilt. So I ended up picking up some new fabrics at Twin Cities Quilting. The fabrics were from the Breeze and Elements collections by JoJo Coco Design for Dashwood Studio. These fabrics were brand new to the shop and I was able to score the first cut off the bolts.
I also needed a darker pink. I purchased the batik -- but when auditioning the fabrics in EQ decided it really didn't work. So a second shopping trip yielded a more dusty pink.
I also added the leaf print on the left for backing and the dark blue for binding.
The shop was not cutting fat quarters so I ended up getting 1/3 yard cuts. Which turns out to be the perfect size of working with the 12 inch mats for Cricut. I think 1/3 yard cuts are going to become my new default quantify for smaller fabric purchases.
Piecing the Magic Cross Block
Step 1: Combine two of the smaller half square triangles.
Step 2: Add the darker teal/blue to the bottom of the previous unit.
Step 3: To half the units add the lighter background to the top. To the other half, the darker teal/blue.
Step 4: Create rows per the diagram.
Step 5: Add diagonal rows together.
Here are my finished blocks.
Here is my finished quilt. I was able to use the same corner units from the block to cut the pieced border units on my Cricut Maker as well. I did end up rotating the pieces in Cricut Design space so there was straight of grain on the outside of the units.
I decided to quilt this on my domestic machine and decided on straight line quilting in the negative spaces for a modern look.
True confessions! I can't draw. At all! Never give me a blank sheet of paper and tell me to draw anything.
As a result, I put off trying to draw applique in Electric Quilt for a long time. However -- it really wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. And I found that EQ gave me all these neat predefined shapes, so I didn't have to be a great drawer.
If you are drawing challenged, this video tutorial is for you. You will be amazed at how easy it is to create a bunny to welcome spring.
Would you like to create this quilt to celebrate spring?
The fabrics from this quilt were from the February 2021 Fabric of the Month Free Download on the Do You EQ website. The collection was Rose Whispers by Eleanor Burns for Benartex.
Here is my bunny from the video (created as an applique motif).
Here is the quilt.
If you would like to share a picture of your bunnies, I've set up a post on the Learning EQ Facebook group.
EQ8 Drawing Blocks
Would you like to learn the fundamentals of block drawing. Each chapter focuses on one of the EQ8 drawing styles. Learn how to draw the blocks below, plus many more!
Chapter 1 Drawing Pieced Blocks in EasyDraw
Learn how to set up the Precision Bar for drawing success, determine the best size to draw a block by examining the block’s grid, trace a photograph to create a foundation-friendly block, and more!
Chapter 2 Drawing Pieced Blocks in PolyDraw
Learn the difference between the EasyDraw and PolyDraw drawing styles, use the Clone and Rotate method for faster drawing, draw a block on each of the special grids, and more!
Chapter 3 Drawing Applique Designs
Learn to use the Draw and Shapes tools to create unique applique patches, use WreathMaker to make beautiful designs, modify a block from the library to make it your own, trace an antique quilt block, and more!
You may purchase directly from me (with the option of a signed copy) or from Electric Quilt.
I only ship within the US.
Are you ready to master Electric Quilt 8? Tech Know Quilters only opens enrollment a few times a year. Since we finished an awesome challenge, I decided to open enrollment through next Monday. But I have to shut it off on March 29, as we need to get everyone loaded in our system so you can start your journey to mastery next Friday.
Spring Fever Reveal
Drumroll please -- here my pieced and quilted project from the Spring Fever challenge. I have had a blast sharing the Electric Quilt tutorials with you over the past two weeks and have been so encouraged seeing your blocks and quilt designs.
If you missed the webinar on the mystery layout for the Spring Fever quilt you can catch the replay here. In addition to sharing how to draft the custom set layout in Electric Quilt, you will learn about the Tech Know Quilters membership program and the opportunity to join an amazing group of quilters in mastering their quilt design skills.
I also covered a couple of additional variations for this quilt and shared stories and pictures of quilts from current Tech Know Quilter members.
1637 Electric Quilt users joined the Spring Fever two week mystery/challenge. I suspect that for a number of you this was your first online quilt class. I hope it won't be your last.
This week there have been many of you posting your designs on Facebook. Let me include a few of them here.
Monquey Shines Kari, thanks so much for the thousands of hours you put into the blog, lessons, videos, and EQ in general. I've learned so much! In my version of "Spring", I was taken with your little kite tail, and wanted to lengthen it a little bit. Another member modified the primrose block, which I adopted, as well.
The videos will be available through the end of March. After that point, they will only be available to VIP members. You can still enroll and we will get you all the videos over the next 24 hours.
Tech Know Quilters February Showcase
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. You can sign up through Monday (March 29, 2021) during a flash sale. Read more here.
I love having people at different stages of the EQ journey submitting designs. I am so proud of this group of quilt designers.
Julie Pedersen For the Exploring Layer 3 Masters Class challenge, I chose to take an embroidery design that I made when I had an embroidery business and implement it in a quilt using Layer 3. Before this class, I hadn't known that my embroidery program could export a file that I could use in EQ8 when I am planning quilts. I also learned how to create my own quilting designs to play with possibilities. Thanks, Kari Schell for sharing with us how much EQ8 can actually do!
My goal this month was to finally finish the quilting of the scrap clamshell quilt that was begun during COVID pandemic times. I purchased the shoebox full of donated hand-cut fabric clamshells at our 2019 Time Flies quilt show sale. I can finally say it is done except for the label being sewn on. The hospital handed out Pfizer '1st dose' 1/4 sheet papers and I hope they pass out a '2nd dose' colorful paper again. I want to transfer photos of these onto fabric to include on the back to denote this as a COVID-19 quilt. I added snippets of color into the binding. As each 1/4" strip folds to the back, a mini-clamshell resides as a little surprise.
TKQ Masters Focus on the Quilting in this 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.
In February their challenge was to design a quilt that features the quilting in the quilt. The quilt could be a whole-cloth or maybe just a quilt with a lot of negative space.
Julie Pedersen This is a quilt that I am making for a baby whose dad just got his pilot's license and his mom loves hot air balloons. I added the quilting that I drew on the applique motif block table. It is freehand for the most part, except for the plane which I traced from a photo of the plane.
Spring Fever Reveal
On Wednesday evening we will be finishing up the Spring Fever challenge with a live Zoom meeting.
For those enrolled in the challenge, the videos will be available through the end of the month. (VIP members will get lifetime access and will receive information on their lifetime access in early April.)
Even if you were unable to join the challenge, you are still welcome to participate in the reveal where I share my layout along with my pieced quilt using these cute little blocks. I will also be talking about Tech Know Quilters and announcing a flash sale for those in the challenge or on the wait list.
Check out some of the drafted blocks and quilts (and even a few pieced blocks) below.
Release of Block Base Plus
Electric Quilt announced the release of Block Base Plus this week. Block Base Plus is based Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns. This book is the perfect resource for identifying 4000+ historic blocks plus the names and publishing information. I've been getting questions about the new software and wanted to share a few of my favorite finds after spending some play-time in Block Base Plus.
I decided to check things out by selecting a block that wasn't a standard square or rectangle size as they can sometimes be the most problematic when creating a usable quilt and extracting construction information. So I chose Barbara Brackman's Block 201 named either The Pyramid (by Yvonne Khin) or Sugar Loaf (by Nimble Needle Treasures).
#1 Historical Information About the Block
Information on the block is easy to read (so much better than the original Block Base) to assist in determining both who published the block and the time frame of publication. This is helpful in determining if I need to do additional research on potential copyright issues.
#2 Ability to Export an SVG File
Since I have been cutting out some patches on my Cricut Maker, this was probably the most intriguing of the new features. The SVG export will also work with Silhouette Studio or Brother Canvas software.
This feature will make it super easy to cut out the blocks using an electronic cutting system. We are given options to cut out the block image (without seam allowances) or to upload templates (with a seam allowance) and choose between export all or unique templates.
To test the SVG export feature, I decided to export both the block and the templates from Block Base Plus and then did two imports into Cricut Design Space (my preferred cutting system as Cricut has this amazing rotary cutting tool). (And for those that were following the Cricut controversy this past week, Cricut has agreed that we will continue to receive unlimited free uploads into Design Space.)
I was pleasantly surprised to find that both SVG files uploaded at the correct size -- something of a miracle as I had been reading about problems with the newest updates to Design Space that were causing problems with sizing.
However, I also appreciated that EQ also includes a test square in the template export so we can double check that the sizing is correct before cutting out a lot of fabric pieces. This is always important to test, because who knows what will happen in the next release of Design Space.
I also used this upload as an opportunity to test the newest feature to Cricut Design Space -- Offset. Offset adds extra space around a patch -- basically think of this as the ability to add a 1/4 inch seam allowance. It doesn't give you the blunt corner lines like the Block Base templates -- but I still appreciate this added functionality.
#3 New Printing Options
In addition to the printing options we find in Electric Quilt 8 (block, foundation pattern, templates and rotary cutting), EQ moved rotary cutting in Block Base Plus to a whole new level. In the rotary cutting dialogue box, we can input the block size, seam allowance, number of blocks and usable width of fabric.
If we select Detailed View, Block Base Plus will provide us the number of strips of fabric, size of each strip and number of patches in each color. No need to do all those calculations by hand. We also have the ability to save the output as a PDF (without having to select a different printer).
I will admit that I am really loving this added functionality and look forward to the possibility of it being added to EQ sometime in the future. A girl can always wish for more. :)
#4 Integration with Electric Quilt 8
Electric Quilt did an update for the PC and MAC users that must be downloaded and installed if you wish to link Block Base plus to EQ8. And you are definitely going to want to do this. The most current versions are 184.108.40.206 for PC and 220.127.116.11 for MAC. Read more about the updates here.
One of those pleasant surprises is that Electric Quilt redrew many of the non-standard blocks using PolyDraw and Applique tools. This is particularly beneficial for the blocks that are not square or rectangular in format. Often these will fall into the 01 One Patch and 02 Non-Square Blocks categories in Block Base.
The original Block Base had these blocks drawn in EasyDraw -- which meant they had a background around their irregular shape. This background could not be removed and auditioning the blocks in a quilt layout was problematic.
In my video tutorial, I will share how I added the #201 Block Base Plus block to an Electric Quilt Project file, set it in a Custom Set layout and then modified the block for an entirely new quilt.
Here are the adjusted blocks from my EQ file.
Here is the Modified Sugar Loaf Quilt.
For those interested in purchasing Block Base Plus, Electric Quilt has a new release sale through the end of the March. Make sure to use the code MUSTHAVE25 when checking out.
Spring Fever Challenge Showcase
I have been having a delightful time seeing all the challenge blocks posted on the Learning EQ Facebook group. Here are just a few of them.
A few creative designers have been playing with layouts for their blocks.
Some have even started to piece the blocks.
It is not too late to join the fun. We can get you caught up with all the blocks in the next 24 hours.
Spring Easter Egg Designs
During last weeks blog post, I shared how to create a foundation friendly egg and then use the merge block feature to highlight a special block. Lots of you posted pictures of your designs in the Learning EQ Facebook group -- which i am sharing here.
Electric Quilt Expert and Educator and Pattern Designer.
On Point Quilter