If you own an Electric Cutting System (such as Cricut Design Space, Silhouette Cameo or Brother Scan N Cut), you have probably figured out that the easiest way to create perfect shapes to cut on your system is having an svg file that includes all your cut shapes.
And if you own Electric Quilt 8, you may also realize that svg is currently not a format that files can be saved in within the program.
What is Inkscape?
The extra piece of software I used for creating the SVGs is Inkscape. 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.
Creating an SVG File for an EasyDraw Block
I was working on a greeting card yesterday and wanted some diamond shapes cut out of Gold Metallic Specialty Paper. I knew that I could quickly draft a block in EasyDraw that had my diamonds at exactly the shape and size I wanted.
In the video, I will take you through my process to draft them, convert them to an svg file using Inkscape and then bring them into Cricut Design Space for cutting.
Best Tips from the Video
Electric Quilt Tips
Cricut Design Space Tips
Here are a couple of cards I created that incorporates these diamonds. Thanks to Cheri Stojkovich whose You Tube video inspired my card.
Nature's Prints has been my favorite stamp set in the new annual catalog. Here are a few other cards I created from this set.
If you questions about some of the additional supplies in these cards, feel free to drop me a note.
FYI - When you buy something I recommend, I may get an affiliate commission — but it never affects your price or what I pick.
Scroll down for the Vintage Bicycle Girl Panel Quilt EQ8 Tutorial.
Tech Know Quilter March Showcase
One thing I hear over and over again is -- I didn't know you could do "that" using Electric Quilt 8. One thing that holds us back from truly using Electric Quilt 8 is just not understanding that this versatile software can help you create any type of quilt. I think you will be inspired by the quilts created by Tech Know Quilter members using Electric Quilt 8.
Tech Know Quilters is a membership program focused on mastery of Electric Quilt 8. We have members at all stages of their Electric Quilt journey.
If you would like to join this amazing group of quilters, you can sign up for the wait list here.
Karen Eddie Neal This is a tie quilt I designed in EQ. The actual quilt is on the right.
Masters Pattern Writing Challenge
In March, a number of Tech Know Quilter Master's members responded to the challenge to create their own pattern. In the Master's classes for February and March we covered some basics of pattern design. In addition to working in Electric Quilt 8, we also covered using Word (PC users) and Pages (Mac users) along with Inkscape to create illustrations and instructions for our patterns. We spent a lot of time on drafting pattern diagram illustrations.
Numerous members commented that they had a much greater appreciation for all the work that goes into creating a pattern. Kudos to those of you that are writing and publishing patterns.
Here is some of what was shared during the lessons.
Logos and Covers
Vintage Bicycle Girl Panel Quilt
Did you know that you can print your own "panel" and incorporate it into a quilt. The image in today's quilt was obtained from the Graphics Fairy. It was resized to fit on one sheet of paper and printed on fabric.
If you need some help on how to print on fabric, you can check out my video - Secrets to Successfully Printing Words on Fabric.
To use this image in your Electric Quilt project, download the image and save in your My EQ8>Images folder.
In the video tutorial you will learn
Here is the quilt from the video.
Piecing the Vintage Bicycle Girl Quilt
Cut the Vintage Girl panel to three equal size units (3" x 8-1/2").
To quilt I did swirls around the outside of the quilt. I stitched in the ditch around the graphic and I filled the background space with "Fracture Fill" -- a pattern within Art and Stitch's Creative Fill library. With my Intelliquilter, I used both No Sew Zones and Clipping blocks for this part.
Happy Mother's Day.
Update on the Critters Quilt
The motors came back from IQ and I was able to finish quilting (using the designs auditioned during last weeks blog post). If you missed the post you can see how to audition images in an EQ design -- without redrafting them in Electric Quilt here.
If you live in Minneapolis, you can still catch the quilt in person at the Maple Grove Quilt Show at the Maple Grove Community Center. Show end at 4 pm today (April 29).
Calculating Yardage for Binding
I've been quilting for a long time. And I will admit that I typically calculate the number of binding strips manually and multiply the number times the size of strip I like to work with. I personally create my best bindings with strips cut 2-1/4" that are folded together. I sew on the top side of the quilt and fold over to the back. Then either blind hem stitch -- or when I am in a hurry tack down by machine.
For those of your that like the math, here is my formula.
(1) Add width and length of quilt
(2) Multiply x 2
(3) Divide by usable fabric per strip
(4) Round up to next whole number (this is the number of strips you need)
(5) When purchasing fabric, I will add 1 to the number (just to be safe)
(6) Multiply number of strips times the size of the strip.
Here is my manual binding calculation for an 80 x 90 quilt.
Note that 22.5 inches is the equivalent of 5/8 of a yard.
On Line Calculators
There are a number of websites that offer calculators for us that essentially go through this calculation process without needing to do the math. Here are a couple of examples.
If you own Electric Quilt 8, you have the option of creating your own binding calculator. No need to rely on an online version -- or go through the math.
Why is creating a separate binding calculator necessary?
When creating my quilt projects, I typically will set the binding size at .375 - which is 3/8". This mirrors what the front of my quilt looks like after the binding is finished.
However it doesn't result in accurate yardage as Electric Quilt will assume that the strips will be cut .875 (7/8 of an inch). Essentially it will add the seam allowances to the "finished" size as shown in the designed quilt. They have no clue that I am doubling the fabric and folding it over to the back side of the quilt for the finishing touches.
So I need to be able to tell EQ the size of my strips in order for the program to work its magic and tell me the correct amount of fabric needed for my yardage.
Create Your Own Binding Calculator
See how to create your own binding fabric calculator project in this short tutorial. You will be amazed at how easy it is to set up. And once it is set up all you need to do is open the project and insert the size of your finished quilt. EQ does everything else.
The first example in the video shows that for the 80 x 90 inch quilt we will need 5/8 of a yard. Notice that it matches my manual calculation above.
To test the EQ8 Binding Calculator, I decided to manually calculate the yardage for the 2nd quilt in the video. This was a smaller quilt (one that was 30 x 20). Here is the manual calculation which shows I need 9 inches (1/4 yard).
Exactly the same as the Electric Quilt 8 calculator.
Give the calculator a try and let me know what you think in the comments section.
Unfortunately I have not finished quilting the quilt. I have done minimal machine quilting in the last three years and when I put the quilt on my longarm, I found a problem with my computerized system. After some communication with Intelliquilter, they decided that I needed to upgrade my motors, which meant sending them off.
While waiting for their return, I decided that I could still select the quilting designs. I found some designs that were loaded on my Intelliquilter that looked like they would work for the corners for the center blocks and the large rectangles for the border blocks.
However, the only thing I can download to my computer is a picture of the designs. Both designs were created by Helen Baczynski for Intelliquilter.
I could always trace the designs as applique motifs in Electric Quilt and set them on my quilt. But sometimes we don't always have time for that.
So I thought I would share a short-cut in my video this week. Rather that creating motifs we will use pictures of the quilting designs for auditioning the designs on the quilt. I won't be able to change the "color". But I will still be able to figure out size and whether it will look good in my quilt.
Here are the close-ups of my auditioning.
Yikes. "Only" 84 spaces to fill. Can I get this done in time for the show? If I do, I will post pictures on next weeks blog post.
Maple Grove Quilters 2022 Quilt Show
And creating the piece allowed me to focus on the upcoming Easter celebration.
See how to create your own foundation friendly Easter landscape quilt in my video for the week.
Coloring the Quilt
In my initial rendition, I played with colors instead of fabrics. Using the colors in the inspirational photo, I added some gradations in EQ. Then I took a few of the colors from those gradations and did a search for fabrics in the library. I included all EQ libraries in my search, knowing that I wanted primarily batiks and tonal prints. To keep the video under 10 minutes, I did not include this process in the video. However for those in Tech Know Quilters, take a look at Lesson 12 in Working with Fabrics for a better understanding of grades and Lesson 13 Randomize for transitioning from colors to fabrics.
Here are my final fabrics if you would like to look for something similar. I probably downloaded over 100 fabrics. Did randomize to convert the colors to fabrics and then then swapped out fabrics that I didn't like in the quilt. Once the quilt was done, I did a compress project file size to eliminate everything that wasn't in the quilt.
Make sure to save your block before adding the applique. Once the applique is added, Electric Quilt will tell you that the block is too complex for EQ to automatically section and number. You always have the option to section and number yourself. But if you saved the version before the applique, it is already done for you.
Here is the sectioned foundation from the video -- all done by Electric Quilt 8.
Here is the quilt from the video.
Do you have a favorite Easter quilt that you have designed in Electric Quilt? I would love to see pictures. (It doesn't need to be this one.) Please feel free to post in the Learning EQ Facebook group.
Electric Quilt Expert and Educator and Pattern Designer.
On Point Quilter