Saturday, August 8, 2015

Electric Quilt 7

Went for a walk armed with my camera this morning but other than a family of raccoons who clambered up a tree when they heard us, and the squirrels dropping stuff from the trees, we heard and saw nothing of the coyotes.  Of course - I had my camera with me!   Little Sammy didn't stray very far from my side, especially when we were in the scary zone. I did think about carrying a big stick, but I didn't.

Here are some pictures from last week that I didn't get a chance to post yet.

When I got home from vacation and went to use the serger, I found this big nest of thread.  Nope NO ONE had used it. Must have been a mouse.

Thread nest on the serger
 I was making up a couple of pet mats - after the visit to the farm, I have decided that I will try my best to process all my stuff. Besides - it does look messy under the long arm.  I grabbed a pillow case that I would cut in half to make two pet mats.  Well instead of cutting it - I serge the center of the pillow case. As you serge - you can cut at the same time, so when I serge the middle - I also enclose the bottom of the top half. I hope that makes sense. Well - I must be out of practice because I had the pillow case the wrong way so instead of serging the bottom edge of the top half - nope - I serged the top edge of the bottom half so it was completely closed!   DUH!!!!!   Then I had to go back and cut off that line of stitching and serge up the bottom of the top half. An easy process if you do it right!

Ooops - serged the TOP edge of the bottom half leaving NO opening to stuff!

Two more pet mats - done!

I think I went through two bags of scraps to create those pet mats. And I found all this in the scrap bags.

Scraps, batik scraps and selvedges

Since I don't have the same amount of time that I had before, I have a couple of choices, I learn to be VERY efficient with my time or I have to give something up.  Not ready to give up stuff yet and besides - I will be able to "officially" retire at some point and then I can do whatever I want for me!

I did get most of my stuff from vacation unpacked and look what Susan gave me.  I just love the panels and have to come up with some interesting to make from them.  Thanks Susan!

Bike panel

Susan (who is just feeding my frenzy) spotted this infinity bike scarf in a shop. Texted me if I wanted it - yes and here it is.  Love it!!!!   Thanks Susan!

Inifinity bike scarf

I had to laugh when I was visiting Susan. Her husband, Cam feeds her quilt frenzy.  He helped put up the barn blocks that are on their buildings.  That was on QUILTSocial the previous week. And he recently went to a farming conference and came home with this bag.

Quilt bag
Seriously???   At a farming conference?????   Yep - it turns out that there is a product call Quilt Fungicide.  For Use in Controlling Diseases on Legume Vegetables, Cereals, Mint, Canola and Blueberries

With the help of his buddies and a bit of slight of hand, he came home with several of the bags and I got one!!!!   Now that is an understanding husband!

When I had arrived home from vacation, there was a LOT of Row by Row mail sitting in my mailbox.

License plate frenzy!!!!

I am almost embarassed to show this picture, but here is my stack of license plates to date.

Row by row license plates for 2015

Let's just say that there are a "few" more to come. At this point, I have no idea how many more - I need to do some organizing and there are a couple of trips to take care of as well.

I have had Electric Quilt for many years. I think I started with EQ4 and got every upgrade as they came out. Now here is the thing with this software - at least for me. I never took a class, I sort of read the manuals, used the help guides on-line, used to belong to an online group. I became proficient with the software, but in all fact, I have barely touched the surface of what can be achieved with this software.

Oh - if you are not familiar with EQ - it is a quilt design software.  And instead of just using the fabrics and colours that are standard in the package - you can import scanned images of fabric so what you see on the screen is what you get in real life. It used to bother me a LOT when I saw a pattern that showed a picture of a quilt made with EQ and not a real quilt.  You could tell the difference. Well not anymore - there are many patterns you buy and those quilt pictures are made with EQ.

Let's just say that I will be sharing a lot more stuff about EQ with you as I become more proficient with it. It appears that my job will heavily involve EQ since I am now designing my second quilt.  This one will be a free pattern so I will let you know when it is available.

In the past, if I needed to make up a quilt in EQ - I never brought in specific fabrics. I just used colours/fabrics from the program.  Afterall - I was more focused on what the size of borders and blocks should be and not really on creating a pattern to show other people.  When you do that - you get lazy.

However that is NOT the case now as I need to create patterns that others will make and hopefully use the line of fabric that I created the pattern with.

Here is what I learned about border prints.

Border print image that you can download directly from Northcott

When I am designing a quilt, if I just add that border print to my design, my quilt looks like the example below.  This is NOT exactly the look that I am going for.

Option one - just add the border print as is
Taking this one step further, I can rotate that border print fabric and I get this.

Border print is now rotated - still not what I want

I learned that if you crop the section of border print that you want   - in this case, the darker print and save that as "fabric", then I can use that image and not the entire border print image that was downloaded.

This is what I get when I insert that "fabric" into the border.

This is more like it!
 Wait a minute - if you look closely - you will see that the top and left borders have the "bottom" of the design to the outside of the quilt and the bottom and right borders have that "bottom" to the inside of the quilt. For the average user - this might be OK, but if you are going to do it right - you have to change that. I learned how to rotate that cropped border fabric image and then after each 1/4 turn, I saved it as a new fabric (so I have four seperate "fabrics" for the border) and when I placed it on the quilt - it was perfect!!!!

The "fabric" border, exactly how I would have sewn it!

And of course if you don't want mitered corners, you can always do butted corners which I hate with a border print.

Butted corners

I know that seems like a silly thing, but I was so happy when I figured out how to make that work.  Anyway I am not that great at reading manuals, although I am trying to work my way through a couple of manuals for the older software that I had.  Trust me - I've already learned a couple of great tips!  But I thought an even better way to learn would be to recreate a couple of quilts using EQ7.

I bought a pattern in the summer complete with a kit. It happens to be a pattern made with Northcott fabric. So I downloaded the fabrics into the computer and was teaching myself how to recreate the pattern.

Quattro Lune by Sue Beevers

I love this pattern but the lap size is 45 by 60. That is NOT a lap size in my books.  The style of pattern does not lend itself to just adding borders to increase the size.  I had been meaning to mess around with enlarging the pattern, but didn't have the time. Well I do now so that is what I am doing. I got a quarter of it done. While it is fun to learn by creating, it is even more useful to RECREATE something.  You are then thinking outside YOUR box and learning how other people think and different ways of using the EQ tools.

I have recreated one quarter of it so far and just in the process of adding part of my extra. Once it is complete, I will be able to decide if that is really what I want to do with it. It may just become an exercise in design and I will make mine exactly like the original.

Oh yes - another post for "50 ways to keep a quilter happy while on vacation" was posted yesterday.

On that note - I am out of here. Got loads to do today and must get started.

Have a great day!!!!


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