Electric Quilt, Inspiration, possibilities

Electric Quilt Doodles for June

Despite a lack of broadband at the Rural Office we have managed to get a Doodles page together for you this month and post it from the IT Suite at C&B Towers. Hopefully normal service will have been resumed by next month – how long can it take to fix a ‘fault on the line’??!

This month’s doodles feature two simple blocks. We’ve put them together on-point for the colouring page to download and given you an example in greyscale on the Doodles page. The other examples show the blocks just put together , not on-point, no sashing, just changes of colour and blurring of the block outlines.

See what you can come up with on your Doodle sheet. Here’s a couple more greyscale ideas to start you off.

June 2016 onpoint grey 2June 2016 onpoint grey

Electric Quilt, Inspiration

Electric Quilt Picks #1

Over the years we’ve built up an impressive collection of virtual quilts in our respective EQ files.  They have been used for classes, magazine projects and, of course, our EQ Doodle pages here.  During a recent high level conference at HQ we had the brilliant (!) idea of trawling our way through the files and replacing our Wordless Wednesday posts with Electric Quilt Picks.  So here’s the first one – let us know if you like the idea!  We may even get around to putting some on one of our Pinterest boards………..


Electric Quilt, possibilities

Electric Quilt play

We love ‘playing’ with Electric Quilt – hours of procrastination can pass quite happily while we convince ourselves it is really work.  And it is.  Sort of.  One of the things we have fun with is taking a standard block and deleting lines from it.  This time we’ve chosen an Ohio Star variation, often called Swamp Angel. If you open the Block Library

library buttonand then scroll down to the Nine Patch Stars block library

Nine Patch Stars library

and then select the Swamp Angel block and click on the button to put it in the Sketchbook. Then close the Library.

select block from library

Now you can open the Sketchbook and select this block. Click on ‘edit’ to put it on the drawing table.

select block in sketchbook

The block should now be on the drawing table ready for you to edit. As we are going to delete lines, rather than add them, you need to select the ‘pick’ tool – it looks like an arrow at the top of the left hand toolbar.

edit block screen

Once you’ve selected the ‘pick’ tool, click on the line you wish to delete – it should be highlighted.

select line to delete

To delete the line, just hit the ‘delete’ key on your keyboard. Then select the next line you wish to delete. If you make a mistake you just click on ‘undo’ – this is a button we always add to our top toolbar so we can access it quickly and easily rather than going through the menus.  It’s a distinctive blue arrow

deleting lines

Keep going round the block until you have deleted all the lines you want to and have made a new block.

new block

Save it in the Sketchbook and then click on the ‘Color’ tab at the bottom of the screen to colour the block in. How many ways can you find? Don’t forget to save each of them in the sketchbook.

first new block in colour

In the same way you can make a similar new block.  So select the original Swamp Angel block from the Sketchbook again and put it on the drawing board.

select original block again

This time we’ll delete a different set of lines.

select line to delete

Delete this line and select the next one

select and delete more lines

Until you have made another new block

second new block

And now colour this one and save it in the sketchbook

second block coloured

And while we’re at it – why not colour in the original Swamp Angel block too?

Swamp Angel coloured

Or we could colour it this way (and save it in the sketchbook)

Swamp Angel coloured again

Play around with colouring in the various blocks.  Try not to enjoy yourself – or get addicted!  Once you’ve done this it’s time to play at making quilts.  Why not come and play at making virtual quilts with us another day?

Electric Quilt, Inspiration, possibilities

Electric Quilt Part 2

We promised we’d show what happens when you play with the Random Recolor button so here it is.  Note that Chris has had a new computer with Windows 7 (bit of a mega step up from XP – Chris) so she is busy playing with some of its new things.  The screen shots you’ll see below now have little red (or sometimes blue) lines and loops drawn on the them to help you find the buttons we’re talking about.

So, first of all find the basic Log Cabin quilt we created last time (or you can use any block you fancy) and locate the ‘Random Recolor’ (sorry about the American spelling) button. Y ou may have to add it to your row of buttons by clicking on the little arrow at the bottom of the row to bring up a menu of all sorts of new and exciting things to play with.

find the random recolor buttom

This is what the button looks like – a magic wand

the magic wand button

Once you’ve clicked on the button you will get a new menu up –

recolor menu

Click on the ‘Random’ button for now – you can play with the others later. Then move the magic wand over your quilt and click –

recoloured quilt

If you like it, save it. Click again to get another colourway –

recoloured plus border

This time we coloured the border in as well.  Not sure it was the right colour … But we can just undo it and click again with the magic wand –

This time we’ve used the ‘Eyedropper’ tool to select one of the colours from the quilt to put in the border (the eyedropper is a tool we will look at again as we find it really useful) and then clicked with the magic wand again, because we weren’t sure we liked that colourway – (you can spend a lot of time not being sure of something!)

recoloured again with border

This is a better one. (Can’t you tell its Chris doing this one? – Barbara) What happens if we use fabrics instead of colour? Click on the ‘Map to fabrics’ button and then on the quilt –

map to fabrics

If you like it, save it. And now you can also have fun with the ‘Symmetry’ button again –

using the Symmetry button

It’s starting to look very different from the quilt we started with.  Save it the Sketchbook (highlighted above with a blue line round it).  While you’re here, why not have a play with the other buttons on the magic wand’s menu to change the hue, brightness or saturation of the colours.  The great thing is – you won’t break anything!

We love Electric Quilt – and perhaps now you’ve had a chance to play with these buttons you can see how endless hours of time vanish whilst making virtual quilts.  If only we could find the time to make some of them!

classes, Teaching

Electric Quilt class

We may have to limit numbers for our EQ classes but there is no limit, it seems, on the number of miles some folks are prepared to travel to get there!  Our eight students on Saturday had come from near and far – far being represented by Norfolk and Cumbria, nearer was Worcester and Hereford.  The Station is a great venue (you could even come to class on the train) with plenty of interesting space, so we used the Waiting Room to set up the laptops, projector and screen and had tea/coffee breaks and lunch in the Station Master’s Office. 

Chris had organised the day along similar lines to our last EQ class – detailed, follow-along handbooks for everyone and working step-by-step together through some more of the drawing tools and menus.  Lots of “oohs” and “aahhs” and other appreciative noises could be heard throughout as we explored all sorts of things – merge, frame, tilt, straight lines, curved lines, Wreathmaker, Patchdraw ………..

Jenny was pleased that she had made herself a new laptop bag – we all admired it and secretly made plans to make something similar ourselves –

With the imminent arrival of EQ7, we’re already starting to think about more EQ classes next year – details will show up in due course here on the blog and also on our website.  For latest information on EQ7 you can check the EQ website (www.electricquilt.com) or our very own Man from Rio (www.riodesigns.co.uk).