Aug. 22, 2008

Photo Cards

Chris Willis shared with us her vintage photo cards she made with our printable fabrics.

Here are her instructions:

For those who are computer savvy, you can tint black and white photos using your imaging software and print them out in color on EQ Printables. But if you’d rather spend less time mouse-ing and more time creating, it’s fun and easy to tint black and white fabric photos by hand.

step 1: Scan a vintage black and white photo, or use your favorite imaging software to remove the color from a more recent photo.
step 2:
Print your images onto EQ printable fabric, four to a sheet for postcards. (The Premium Cotton Satin and Lawn have worked best.)
step 3:
Rinse as directed before using wet media to tint.
step 4:
Apply fusible web to the back of your image sheet then carefully cut the image away from its background.
step 5:
Fuse one or more fabrics to create a new 4” x 6” background for your image; fuse your image in place.
step 6: Stitch around all raw edges with invisible thread, if desired.
step 7: Now the fun part: hand tint your image. Experiment first with some of the background areas you cut away before marking on the image you plan to use. Use media that are transparent enough that your original photo image will show through; the idea is to tint, not cover the original. Apply your color in light layers. I use a combination of the following:

Prismacolor or watercolor pencils
Watercolor paints
Fabric dye pens or markers
Fabric paints (thin with gel medium or pure Aloe Vera gel; highlight with Lumieres at full strength)
Graphite pencil

step 8: Quilt and embellish your card as desired. Try echo quilting or stippling to enhance your tinted image. Use thread painting to enhance select areas, especially in hair or clothing. This is a great place to play with fun embellishments like Angelina, couched fibers, glitter pens … just keep your final card thin enough to go through the mail.

Thanks for sharing Chris!

Aug. 19, 2008

EQ The Mouse Hunt Contest Reminder

Only 12 days left to our “EQ The Mouse Hunt” contest. Everyone who enters gets a free project… so even if you just find one mouse you should enter. Winners will be chosen September 2, 2008.

See how to enter on the mouse hunt page.

Aug. 14, 2008

Celebrating another Mommy-to-be

EQ Co-op Jenny Joseph, Sara’s mother-in-law Denise & Sara

Baby Woodward is almost here! Only a few more months now and we’ll have yet another addition to the EQ family. In honor of her upcoming arrival, we threw a shower for Sara and we sure had fun together! Lots of pink and brown onesies with fashionable ruffles and skirts had us all “oohhing” and ahhhing” all evening and a couple silly games kept us laughing. We all shared our own signature dishes for an upscale pot luck dinner and enjoyed the perfect weather on the patio. There were some special guests at the party too; Heidi Kory’s little one, Derek, and the Seuberling Twins, Ben and Aly! Sara got some great practice time in :) All-in-all it was a wonderful celebration for Sara and her soon-to-be little one.

Margaret made a cute quilt with scalloped edges for Sara

There’s no better way to practice than when twins Ben and Aly are visiting.

Heidi’s son, Derek, models a baby cap Jenny knitted for baby Woodward.

Aug. 14, 2008

EQ6 Trapunto Quilts

I’m always amazed to see what quilters are capable of when designing in EQ. The artistic talent and attention to detail just “wows” me. Georgeta from Romania is one of those quilters. These are photos of her EQ designed trapunto quilt titled, “Dancing Feathers”.

“I chose to put under organza a light color fabric rather than a bold one. Maybe a bold and bright fabric shows up the trapunto pattern more clearly more clearly but I still chose to use a light green fabric. I am very pleased with the final appearance of the quilt. I love the subtle and smooth transitions between batting and background.”

See more of Georgeta’s work on her blog.

Aug. 11, 2008

EQ6 Keyboard Shortcuts

For those of you who are computer savvy and love to use keyboard shortcuts, I found an EQ6 archived blog post from Feed Dog you might be interested in. Feed Dog has assembled a list of keyboard commands you could use for the EQ6 program. To do this, you must first download the AutoHotKey software (as you’ll read). The Electric Quilt Company can’t tech support AutoHotKey programming, but we thought we’d pass on the tip for those of you who want to give it a try.

“Sure, there are some key commands (the help file and tips of the day list some), but it’s hard to keep straight what the Ctrl key does when you’re drawing a Bezier curve (turns it into a line segment), drawing a rectangle (makes it a square), or coloring a one-patch quilt (colors a whole line of patches).

But I wanted the to poke keys for everything EQ6 does! Rarely able to resist a tinkering challenge, I called AutoHotkey to the rescue. Now whenever I run EQ6, I run my AutoHotkey script too (you can download it below), adding the following keyboard shortcuts to the program:

Alt+B: Change to block worktable
Change to quilt worktable
New horizontal quilt/EasyDraw block (depending on which worktable is active)
Alt+Shift+N: New on-point quilt/PatchDraw block
Ctrl+Alt+N: New variable point quilt/PatchDraw motif
Print quilt
Print fabric yardage
Print block
Print templates
Print rotary cutting sheet
Open Block Library
Open Fabric Library
Open Layout Library
[plus sign on the number pad]: Add block/quilt to sketchbook (when viewing the worktable)
[minus sign on the number pad]: Show sketchbook (same as F8)
Suspend (or reactivate) hotkeys (to enter appliqué text etc. without triggering the commands)

If you already have AutoHotkey or are curious about the source code, download the script here. But even without AutoHotkey, you can run the script as a stand-alone executable. Whichever version you download, just double-click on the file to run it. The commands should only fire in EQ6 (unless you’re looking at a web page with “EQ6″ in the title; I’ll fix this when I have a chance).

The key commands are free to use and adjust to your own preferences. PatchDraw tools are top on the updates list, along with better commands for starting fresh blocks and quilts—I’ll upload new versions whenever I have ‘em.

Hopefully other people will find the shortcuts useful—just being able to switch worktables without the mouse gives me a practically unholy delight every time!”

Although EQ can’t tech support the AutoHotKey solutions that Feed Dog as provided us, we felt it was a pretty cool idea to share. Thank you for the awesome tips Feed Dog! Great work.

Aug. 07, 2008

Extreme Quilt Makeover Contest!

Myra Harder and Cori Derksen of Blue Meadow Designs just told us about this really cool contest they’re holding and it’s totally worth checking out. Basically, they want you to submit your unfinished quilt projects where upon they will choose one as the winner. That quilt will be changed, finished, and returned to the owner with a fresh look! How cool is that!?

Here’s the explanation from their site:

The Concept
In the back of closets, hidden deep in drawers and tucked away from everyone’s sight, are unfinished projects that have gone horribly wrong. We all have them (Myra has a drawer full) and we all wish that they would go away. They seem like such a waste. These projects were once exciting and you were eager to dive in, finish and display them with pride. However…they went wrong and now when you come across them in your closet you cringe and try to ignore them. Well, we have a plan to help ONE of you!

During the 10 years that we worked in our local quilt shop, we spent a lot of time helping customers fix projects that were taking a wrong turn. Now, we want to offer the same help to one quilter out there. We have teamed up with a few of our favorite suppliers and together, we are out to fix one of the ‘hidden disasters’, and bring it out into the daylight.

Learn more at their blog.

Aug. 06, 2008

Digital Essentials… the first glance reviews!

We recently received an email from Sarah Smith, known quilt artist, blogger, and published contributor to popular quilting magazine’s to name a few. She’s read a review copy of Gloria Hansen’s new book Digital Essentials and had plenty to say about it!

“I just got a copy of it for review, and OMG…. I can’t imagine knowing even a fraction of what went into this book, but boy am a glad Gloria wrote it! I’ll do a full review on my blog next week when I’m back from teaching in Lowell, but having looked at the book already, all I can say is BUY IT! (Preferably from Gloria as royalties on books are not huge, so she gets some income from sales, but no matter what from someone! She’ll have it on her website in September.)

The books is astonishing in its depth and scope, but it is nevertheless
clearly printed, laid out, and is done with Gloria’s usual easy-to-understand (despite the fact that the subject matter can be daunting) style. Can’t wait to sit down and REALLY pore over it, and better yet sit at the computer (when mine is finally fixed) and play with Photoshop and her instructions. I was a bit daunted by the first chapter just because I find computer-stuff mind-boggling, but the chapter explains the difference in all sorts of technical terms, which you really have to have at the beginning…… and she makes it all understandable. Then it goes on to some amazingly useful and helpful things…. just from a quick look I’ve learned stuff already! The book will be good if you (a) take photos, (b) print photos, (c) print to fabric, (d) design quilts on the computer, (e) send digital photographic entries, (f) have photos on a website or blog….. plus useful things like definitions, an index, quick tips…

OK…this is getting long. Gonna stop. Bottom line: GO BUY GLORIA’S BOOK! List price is 29.95 for 208 jam-packed-with-useful-stuff pages…..

Cheers, Sarah”

Digital Essentials in now available for preorder from EQ so don’t forget to secure your copy!
Books will be ready mid-September.