Jun. 04, 2008

EQ to the Rescue

My mom wanted to make a quilt for her little sister. Susie had just had a kidney transplant. Mom wanted Susie to be able to curl up on the couch under a cozy quilt that shielded her from the A/C and reminded her that she’s loved even when we’re on the other side of the US.

So, one night I get a phone call from my mom. “Andrea, sweetie, I don’t know what to do with the blocks now!

When I asked her what blocks, she said “I made Ohio Stars on a muslin background: 2 pink, 2 yellow and 2 blue. I have some left over colors and very little left over muslin.

Mom, do you have a ruler? Can you measure the blocks for me?

Sure, they are all 17¼ inches.

Eeek, those are huge. That’s 16¾ inches finished. And you only have 6 blocks? Not 9?

Well, yes, it’s supposed to be a lap quilt for your aunt while she recovers.

So, meanwhile, I open EQ6 and start entering numbers. I mulled over the odd block sizes, and the fact that we had pairs of blocks and not an odd number of them, as I worked. I started a new horizontal quilt layout and made the blocks 16.75. I knew I’d have either 3×2 blocks or 2×3 blocks horizontally and vertically. As I played, I noticed the blocks needed some breathing room, so I added muslin sashing.

No sashing

Then, I tried doing a border full of squares around the quilt out of the leftover colors. It looked cute, so I clicked FILE > Export Image and sent the image to my mom as an attachment.

She opened up the picture and said “It’s perfect! Now what do I do?

So, I went to Layer 2, set the Paintbrush to black, and clicked the Appliqué text tool. I kept switching between Layer 2 (and typing) and Layer 1 (to preview the Rotary Cutting charts). I wrote all the cutting instructions on top of the quilt and clicked FILE > Export Image again.

with words

I emailed her the new picture and she said “Oooh! I can do that.” She called a day or two later and said the lap quilt was done and she was binding it.

Aunt Susie loved the quilt and the fact that her sister made it for her. I just thought it was cool that EQ6 allowed me to help my mom via phone & email for a quilt where the math for the blocks wasn’t obvious.

Jun. 03, 2008

M'Liss Rae Hawley Gets Scrappy

“What is a scrap quilt? Ask ten quilters and you’ll get ten different answers.”
~M’Liss Rae Hawley’s Scrappy Quilts

There may not be one master concoction for a scrap quilt but M’Liss Rae Hawley certainly has some beautiful recipes to get you started! Her new book “M’Liss Rae Hawley’s Scrappy Quilts” is a fun guide for creating your own scrap quilts whether your a beginner or an advanced quilter.

As an experienced quilter, designer, author, and soon-to-be television host (M’Liss’s Quilting World on PBS), M’Liss is a very successful and talented woman. We are honored to be able to say that M’Liss is a long time EQ user and that her scrappy quilts were designed using the EQ6 program. We are excited for this great new book and we encourage you to take advantage of her designs and then get started designing your own scrap quilts in EQ!

M’Liss, we wish you all the best!

Jun. 03, 2008

Another ClubEQ quilt makes it into fabric!

Daphne Stewart wrote in about her ClubEQ design from the July 2003 Bargello Challenge. I remember this quilt when she submitted it. I loved the way the flower panels cut off the bargello. It reminded me of the Alps. The quilt is called “Evidence of a Senior Moment.” Here’s what Daphne says:

ClubEQ design

This quilt started as response to the Bargello challenge of July 2003. It was displayed #17. When EQ had the anniversary contest (as partners with QNMagazine) my husband and I went through my scrapbook of challenge and Round Robin quilts and decided this would be easy and fun to do. Stu shopped for fabrics with me and wanted it brighter and I’m glad I agreed. I never got tired of working with these colors. I also tweaked it a little more by adding my initials (Gordon had just taken us through another letter tracing exercise). To get everybody in the act, I emailed the pictures to Mickie Swall and she burned them to a CD for the contest.

Comes the dawn … my quilt wasn’t even in the top forty chosen for final judging. Sigh … The quilt was folded and put away — we don’t have wall space for a quilt this big and 50-some-odd inches is wrong for a bed throw, too — and I finally entered it in the Central Washington State Fair last autumn. Now the quilt is folded and stored with the blue ribbon it won.

Actual quilt

quilt detail quilt detail

Congratulations Daphne on your blue ribbon quilt.

Do you have a ClubEQ quilt that has made it into fabric? Send me a picture and your story to webmaster@electricquilt.com and it just might make our blog!

Jun. 02, 2008

Winners of our STASHtimation Contest

Thanks so much to everyone who submitted a guess in our STASH contest. We received almost 1000 entries.

So just how many fabrics have been scanned since 1999 for Stash Editions 1 through 18?

Here are the winners with their lucky guesses:

1. Teresa Casanova 91,557 off by 6
2. Sheri Whiteley 91,555 off by 8
3. Denise Roussel 91,554 off by 9
4. Ellen Bureson 91,550 off by 13
5. Cheryl Greenleaf 91,522 off by 41
6. Maryanne Martyr 91,515 off by 48
7. Brenda Travis 91,500 off by 63
7. Mary Cain 91,500 off by 63
9. Linda Broadbent 91,469 off by 94
10. Peggy McGinn 91,400 off by 163
11. Linda Erickson 91,326 off by 237
12. Joyce Chevarria 91,146 off by 417
13. Cindy Erickson 91,111 off by 452
14. Pilar Donoso 91,000 off by 563
14. Verona Procyshyn 91,000 off by 563
16. Jane Kirschke 90,970 off by 593
17. Sharon Metzger 90,600 off by 963
18. Virginia McKenna 90,500 off by 1063

In honor of the 18th edition of STASH, we will be mailing out a free copy of STASH Spring 2008 to these 18 winners.

Thanks for entering! You may have encouraged us to have another contest like this soon!

May. 30, 2008

A Refreshing Technique

When I found this quilter/artist, I just HAD to share with all of you. There are no EQ6 tips or flashy show-and-tells. Just what I found to be a much appreciated reminder…

Dena Crain is a Mixed Media Artist from Kenya. She as advanced degrees in in design, anthropology, and textiles and has studied art quilting in both the USA and South Africa. I came across her name on a Mixed Media Class schedule after Spring Market in Portland. When I found her website, I was nearly mesmerized by her hand painted quilts and techniques.


In reading her descriptions it became apparent that Dena’s quilts were in no way traditional or typical. She uses a very organic creation process that moved me. In combination with appliqué, embroidery, beading, and hand painted patterns, Dena quilts with little to no plan or intention. She simply begins with plain white fabric and black thread. Listen to how she explains the process:

“I have no preconceived notion of what is about to appear. I make no sketches, no drawings, no plans in advance. I take a few deep breaths, relax, and then I begin moving the fabric under the needle, drawing lines as I sew. With free motion sewing techniques, each stitch can fall anywhere within a full circle around the previous one. Where it falls is determined by some personal inner mechanism about which I know little. Like those who practice ‘automatic writing,’ I am practicing ‘automatic drawing’ while in a near trance-like state of mind.”

~ Dena Crain

Dena’s enlightening way of creating sounds almost therapeutic, doesn’t it? I think it’s easy to get caught up in the notion that the quilt you are designing must be flawless and well planned. Often we see precision and symmetry in quilts where hours upon hours of preparation are visually apparent. But Dena’s approach was a comforting refresher that we need not always have a precise finished product drawn out in blue prints with step-by-step instructions. And even more, what a beautiful way to remind us all that maybe mistakes aren’t always mistakes but rather some personal inner mechanism we’ve left on auto-draw.

May. 30, 2008

ClubEQ quilts aren't just virtual!

We got this email from Rhonda Dayton a few days ago about a ClubEQ quilt she had done in 2004. Here’s the picture of the original EQ project:

EQ project

Rhonda writes: “I attached a picture of “Sewing Lesson” completed. This design was one I submitted for April 2004 Challenge. Several quilters from all over the world have email me about it, and asked to see it when it was completed. My mom (Jan) finished it about 2 years ago and it is now in my possession. Good things come to those who wait.

Actual Quilt

Wow. I remember this quilt back in 2004 when we did the Black Appliqué challenge. Kudos to both you and your mom for the design and actually finishing it!

Do you have a ClubEQ design that has made it into fabric? Email me at webmaster@electricquilt.com and I might just put it on the blog too!

May. 29, 2008

Have You Entered the ClubEQ Challenge?

Barb’s newest challenge is: “Create a label for a quilt. You may use the Appliqué Text tool to write a generic greeting or description on the label.”

It’s been 5 years since we had a labels challenge, and it was pretty popular then.

Don’t forget to create your quilt label and submit it to penny@electricquilt.com before the July deadline.

All participants will receive a secret link where they can download all the quilt label projects from the other participants at the end of the month.