Welcome to Design and Sew Lesson 1.  I look forward to hearing from all of you here on the blog page.   The lessons will be posted on the blog page the first and fourth Sunday of each month.  The dates of the lessons will be January 26, February 9, February 23, March  8, and March 22, 2020.

We will be constructing the quilt shown below.  Lessons will have information on the layout, block design, printing the lesson, printing the block pattern, printing the fabric requirements and more.  Below is an image of the quilt we will be constructing.  You may choose to do the same colors as I have or you can substitute your own colors.  I have shown the quilt and the  amount of fabric yardage you need in both full color and in grayscale. If you choose to make this quilt layout as presented, the over all size will be 56 inches by 56 inches.

At the end of the lesson there will be a video clip covering the content of that lesson.  If you learn better by watching a video, this will be a good aid for you.  The video can be found at the bottom of the blog post.  You may choose to watch the video first and then go back and work along with the written instructions after.  This may help to give you a clearer picture of what will be happening during this lesson.

You can also print the written lesson from the blog page to have on hand as you work though the design construction.  At the top of the blog post, you will find the print function for the lesson.  If you want to download it to the computer rather than print it, just click on the print option and when your printer selection box opens, select to save as a PDF to the computer rather than physically printing the lesson.  The choice is yours. (Watch the video at the end of this blog to see how I do this on my computer.)

Also on the EQ website blog page, scroll down to see the ‘subscribe’ section on the right side of the screen.  Fill in your contact information and place a check mark in each of the boxes. Click on ‘subscribe’ at the bottom of the box info.  This will now send you by email when a new posting will appear on the blog page.

Before we start this lesson series, open your EQ8 program and then click on ‘help’ >’about’.  The main screen will open with the version of the software that you have on your computer.

I have a PC and at the time of writing this lesson the screen shows the most up to date version for PC which is current version of EQ8 for Mac is at the time of writing this lesson.  If you don’t have the current version, please visit the EQ website www.electriquilt.com  and download the most current version for your computer. (The video at the end of the lesson on the blog page will show you how to navigate the Electric Quilt website to download the current version of the program.)

Let’s begin by preparing our Electric Quilt 8 program for our new DESIGN AND SEW series.  Just like you gather your tools in your sewing room to create a new project, you will also prepare your program for our project.

Double click on the EQ8 icon on the desktop  to launch the program.

The first thing we will do is name our project folder.  All the class lessons will use this one folder for the completion of the project.  On the opening page, click on the ‘new project’ icon on the upper left side of the opening screen.

Name your project DESIGN AND SEW LESSONS WITH YVONNE.  Be sure to click the OK in the bottom of the box to give the name to your project.

The name of the project can be confirmed at the top of  your screen.  The name will change from ‘untitled’ to the new name we have chosen.

Each time you open your EQ8 and select this project you should confirm you see the project name at the top of the screen.  We need to keep all our lessons in this one project folder.

You may have been using your program to design other projects.  You may have changed the preset properties of the program for those other designs you were creating.  EQ8 remembers your previous settings.  Therefore, to ensure that everyone is starting fresh with this project, we will change the settings for this DESIGN AND SEW LESSONS WITH YVONNE.  Once we set the new properties they will stay this way for the entire lessons needed to create this quilt.

On the main page of the program, click on FILE>Preferences.

In the pop up preferences box, click on the word ‘restore’ on the left side of the box.  Place a check mark in the center box next to ‘restore default blocks….’ and then click on the ‘restore default settings’ in the center of the box.  You will get another small box telling you the program will close and you will need to restart it.  Click on the OK in the bottom of the box.  Your program will close in order to set the new default program preferences.  Now we are all starting from exactly the same place with our DESIGN AND SEW LESSONS WITH YVONNE project file.

Re-open your EQ8 from the desktop launch icon.

Once the program is launched click on the ‘open project folder’ icon on the left side of the screen.

In the project helper screen, click on the DESIGN AND SEW LESSONS WITH YVONNE project name and then click on the OK at the bottom of the box.  Your named project will open ready for use.

The sketchbook will open and you can select what you want to work on in the project.  As we have not created anything yet, just close the box for now.

NOTE:  I use the ‘close’ option at the bottom of the box. You could use the little ‘X’ in the upper right corner of the box, but you may accidentally close the program instead of closing the box if you click on the ‘X’ at the top of the screen instead on in the box.  Just for safety, I usually use the ‘close’ in the bottom of the box.

Now that you have opened the existing project, you should see the name of the project at the top of the screen.  If you don’t see the name, go back and open the folder icon and make sure you click on the project title to select the correct folder.

EQ8 has some standard complimentary blocks in the sketchbook for us to use.  We will not be using these so we can delete them to clean up the sketchbook.  Click on the ‘view sketchbook’ icon on the far left side of the screen.

In the sketchbook screen, click on the blocks heading to see the built in blocks.  In the upper right corner of the screen click on the three little dots to get more options.  Select the ‘clear all unused blocks’ option and confirm that ‘yes’ you really want to do that.

Repeat this process by clicking on the motifs tab and the stencils tab and clearing all the blocks under each tab. When you have finished deleting the blocks from all three tabs (blocks, motif, and stencil tabs), be sure to click on the ‘close’ at the bottom of the box.

Don’t worry about removing these blocks.  When you create a new project and set the program preferences back to the default settings all the built in blocks in the sketchbook will return.

The default fabric library is still in the project sketchbook.  I want to add some more fabrics to the sketchbook.  The Electric Quilt website has many fabric collections we can download and install into our fabric library to use.

The default fabrics can be found in the sketchbook under the fabrics heading at the left side of the project sketchbook box.

On your computer, navigate to the Electric Quilt website. (www.electricquilt.com). On the opening screen, navigate to FREE DOWNLOADS>Free Fabric Downloads.

Scroll down the page to see all the recent fabric downloads.  I used the April 2019 ‘Solidish’ fabric palette for my quilt blocks.  Click on the download icon and choose either PC or MAC to download for your specific computer.

On my computer I get a .exe file download in the lower left corner.  Your computer may be slightly different as to where the .exe file appears on your screen.  Click on the file to open the installation.

The install wizard pop up box will appear.  Just click along on the wizard (next to finish) and allow the program to install your fabrics.

NOTE: You may need to restart your program project in order to see the fabrics installed in the fabrics library. 

Click on LIBRARIES>Fabric Library at the top of the screen.

In the pop up fabric library box, scroll down on the side and locate the Solidsh fabrics we just downloaded.  Once you click on the item, all the Solidish fabrics will appear in the box.  Click on the ‘select all fabrics’ at the top of the box and then click on the ‘add to sketchbook’ within the box.  Now all your fabrics will be added to your sketchbook ready for your use with this project.  Click on the ‘close’ at the bottom of the box.

Confirm that all your fabrics are indeed in your project sketchbook.  Click on the ‘view sketchbook’ icon on the left side of the screen.  When the box opens, click on the ‘fabrics’ heading on the left side of the box. Using the scroll bar at the bottom of the fabrics, scroll all the way to the end to see the fabrics you downloaded in your project sketchbook.  Close the box once you have confirmed that the new fabrics have been added.

Watch the video at the end of the lesson on the blog page at the bottom of the lesson page.

Congratulations!  You have successfully prepared your project with the ‘tools’ we needed to get started. 

In our next lesson we will begin to create our block designs.  We will be moving along slowly with the lessons so I don’t overwhelm you with all the learning presented in each session.  Be patient and work along to create each of the blocks and the quilt layout along with the pattern printing for each step.

If you have any questions, please post them in the comment section of the blog page on the EQ website.  I will not do individual email requests.  Everyone needs to see the questions and answers as they may have the same questions.

If you are making comments with a language that is not English please use a translator to post the question.  If you post in your own language, it takes me extra time to translate and answer in English in the comments.

Remember, the lessons appear on the EQ blog page on the second and fourth Sunday of each month.

Watch a Video Lesson!

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