Archive for the ‘EQ7’ Category


24.3 More Choices

March 19, 2012

In my quest to make me crazy, I just had to look at two other completely different options for a quilt design for my Guild.

I agonized over the perfect alternate block for the footstool block to provide a choice for guild members to make.

I came up with two choices, and asked you about it.  And got some ideas which boil down to half and half or so.

First a listener suggestion that I am not going to pick just because I am stubborn about the original block, but this option is good too, trust me:

This gives the quilt an on point feeling. Good design. Seriously. But again, I’m stubborn.

So then I have the whole different direction with another 5 x 5 grid block to match the 5 x 5 of the original block.

This is using a grandmother’s choice block as the alternate block. Which I really like, this feels very Bonnie Hunterish scrappy to me.

No weaving here, no flow in that sense, but look what happens when the blocks match, a cool secondary design. Now the block looks much more squared up to me.

But I am trying one alteration to the grandmother’s choice block and see what works with it.

Which brings the black and the repetition of the quarter square triangles together and breaks up the ‘unintended sashing’ feeling of the last quilt.

There are larger sections of color now and there is an emphasis on jewel tones. The quilt flows differently too, but I think the secondary pattern can tie this whole thing together.

Still thinking here.

It helps to have two resources for 5 x 5 blocks but I have to admit, it’s not an extremely popular grid size to begin with.

Hoping that sharing this with you helps you see what kinds of things people think about when looking to create quilting designs. Not that I’m an expert by any means, but it’s the thoughts that I go through.


22.3 It’s called contrast, baby!

January 22, 2012

The super bright “hot flashes” quilt, a year later, is coming up dark.

Dark and warm at the same time.

Halloweeny & fally and warm looking.

I have been sacrificing all other projects, swishing away at all other quilt desires to gain a little more time in working on this quilt.

So I’ve been making progress.   Feeling like finally, I can see the top completion in sight in the (somewhat) near future.

Design Wall with Exothermic Blocks

I haven’t started much on the corner squares except for cutting out the templates.

I’ve gotten a good system and a good start on the side blocks being completed. Which makes me happier with the progress from this weekend than last.  But last weekend was a little bit different than the norm.

This weekend I didn’t have Saturday and Sunday to work fully (due to work schedules), and so I barreled on my progress on quilting rather than podcasting. Have topic, will record soon – need more time to work on details than I had.

This quilt has come up much darker than I thought, but at the same time, retained the same feeling.  The dark black and orange is repeated in the alternate & side blocks, while the fun bright blocks are scrappy and changing.

I really like the contrast this pulls out even though it’s dark.

But it’s also light because of all those bright yellows and such.

And the quilt has points, and curves and all sorts of lines to look at.

Here are some more progress pictures that I have been working on the past two weeks or so.

First I subcut my strips into strip segments using templates created from EQ7.

Then as I was cutting the subcuts into the pieces I needed, the template kept slipping away from my ruler.  On New Years, I cut INTO my templates accidentally occasionally, and I didn’t want to repeat that, so I used masking tape.

The edge of the ruler is at the edge of the template. This way I could see what I had already cut and line everything up clearly.

And I just had to move the ruler, this made the strips SO MUCH easier to cut without thinking too much (necessary after this week).

And you know those little corners, also necessary to cut, the tiny little pieces at the corners of the triangles, helped immensely in lining up my blocks later & keeping them without too many puckers.

This is all the discarded pieces making a pie shape on my cutting mat.

I don’t know for sure what I’m doing with these, but an idea is here regardless.  It’s a 10 sided figure it looks like. One of the ‘-agons’

This is a stack of pieces that I haven’t sewn together yet, but it seems like the best solution in the ‘semi paper piecing’ that I’ve been doing.

These become the side blocks. There is a little fudging that happens at the change of direction on the seam, but not a ton. Of course the tucking is minimized by the fact that my pieces are actually cut down to the exact size of the template. Go figure that’s how it works best. LOL.

But the work and thought to the non distracting alternate blocks is paying off.  My initial draw to the black fabric is the best choice, and three of the 4 initial fabrics I purchased for this quilt after making some of the blocks, they have found a presence in this quilt as well.

I am not incredibly fond of orange, and actually after working on this quilt, I want to dive into blues and purples a lot, but I KNOW it expanded my color pallete AND my stash.

I started the pieces of this quilt a year ago or so, and it’s only been hard driven to finish when I noticed my comforter is falling to pieces rapidly.

It’s definitely not one of those ‘quilt in a weekend’ type of designs, and has so many parts to it that of course it’s a slower, longer project than I normally finish.

But, it’s making me feel good to complete. And will be worth my time in the end. I am trying to figure out what kind of quilting designs will work best for this quilt or even if I want to go light or dark with the quilting on it. Or both. We’ll see, I have a long way to go until it’s quilted, but starting to see the end is closer than I think! 🙂


21.9 Here’s a side

January 8, 2012

I admit that I am relatively new to paper piecing.

I pretty much know the basics, usually only have to rip out the first stitch. Today I ripped out one that didn’t fit, and a 2nd that I had folded underneath.

Another thing that I did that I do not recommend:

If your paper piecing is too long to print out on EQ on one full page, do NOT, I repeat – do not, use clear packaging tape to tape the pieces together and stick the tape right dab in the middle of the sewing line.

No my needle didn’t feel gummy or have trouble, but when ripping out the paper, boy it was a problem. Some of the tape is still there, but only a very very little, so I’ll let it be.

But I am considering the best way to put the paper pieces together.

You can see I saved myself some problems by doing a few things.

  1. I sewed a strip set of the four graduating fabrics and cut all three pieces from that piece.  The bottom red/brown I originally intended to piece separately, but in the strip set it went, made it faster & uniform.
  2. By sewing strip sets and boxes, my cross wise grain (or lengthwise grain) ends up on the long diagonal side of this block, which is where a lot of stretch happens.
  3. I actually paper pieced the corners of this block, the black and orange middle points separately onto paper – which is where the tape problem is.

Now I had two options (or more) on how to piece this together.

First option is to sew the bottom pieces, then sew on the top orange piece, then using y seams, sew the middle orange pieces (the short legs of the triangle).  This was my first instinct, but not the one I took.

Nay, nay (says a funny comic)

The second option seemed so much better, so much more inspired by the brilliant quilting decision I made over NYSI to piece the middle of my curved block separately from the two outer pieces (here’s a bad picture beware)

So I decided today on my paper pieced block, that I would sew the top 3 sections together, then sew the bottom 3 sections together, and then sew both pieces together. Which was an … interesting choice to say the least.

This lead to some ‘interesting stitching around the corners.  And some bunching of the seams near the center piece.

But the piece is squared up all perfectly nice even along the diagonal. And I swear I did not cut it down.

So I do want to try again with option 1 on piecing this together and see if it’s any easier.  Essentially I’ll be doing the same thing with different lengths of stitches, but it’ll be good to try another way. Experimenting and all that.

And that’s all I did today — too much time taken up with other things.



21.4 False Advertising

December 14, 2011

I’ve been tearing my hair out this week / weekend.

Let me explain … no there is too much … lemme sum up.

  • I need a quilt for my bed see
  • I was in a defunct swap of hot flashes see  see
  • I made some choices about the design to have darker alternate blocks see
  • I threw away (for another project) the borders for this quilt see
  • I decided the black was too black reworked the design again see
  • I cut out tons of papers for paper piecing & made 1 block on retreat see
  • Then friday, “well I don’t like the grey”
  • Looking at new design
  • Then saturday, made a different block with my currently purchased fabrics
  • “that looks like poo”.
  • “Make it look like the picture  [EQ drawing]”. “That’s what I want”
  • Buying several orange fabrics that are now the right color.
  • Prewash batiks before cutting

Wanting to throw the whole thing out now.

But I still need a quilt for the bed.

Have to get over a hump in creating & be all Nike “just do it”.

The picture evidence of my quilting frustration

Here’s a picture to the block that I finished per the original design.

And here’s how it looked in the middle of the brighter blocks.

Which this block I could live with, even if the ‘grey isn’t all that great’. BUT, it took FOREVER to do – LOTSA pieces.

So I switched to a different block.

I have to admit, due to the color value of the drawing in EQ & the value of the actual fabric, there IS a difference.

A “false advertising” of the block on EQ compared to real life due to the amount of flash I had on the fabric when transporting it into EQ.

Here’s the advertised colors in the quilt (due to the flash):

The quilt has a ‘bright orange’ center to the ‘trumpet block’ as the alternate block.

When I took my fabric pictures for the EQ7 quilt, I didn’t do a good job at managing the color value of the actual fabric.

Silly me.

The two ‘reds/orangereds’ are actually more of the same color.

So I really was advertising incorrectly.  So if I can now just find the “perfect orange” to get the correct orange.

I did some shopping on the weekend (took me way too many days to get all these pictures managed – this post is in the works for like 4 days – ugg) & bought way too many oranges

…. in addition to the oranges I bought on line ….

And perhaps I found the perfect one:

This is my replacement orange block:

My quilt picture shows the dark orange in the middle, but I just might go with even lighter orange to give it a little bit of pop.

I just have to make some “half 4 patch” blocks for the corners & I am almost there.

And I have to sew curved seams.

Shouldn’t be too bad, can’t take near as long as it does paper piecing the grey block.

If I had only gotten the correct value in EQ to begin with … this never woulda happened. Ugg.

Be careful with your flash if you’re going to show the EQ drawing to anyone & want to actually base your colors to what you see in EQ.  Otherwise you may be falsely advertising too.



20.2 Evolution of Exothermic Wonders

October 2, 2011

Ugg.  I love / hate the design process.

Here’s a short version of a story I’d like to tell more elongatedly.

I made a weaving, rectangular, quilt design in February that matches current decor perfectly.

“Eh it’s boring”. That quilt is still in pieces, ready to be put into rows, ready for me to decide a clever weaving border for it.

… Then there’s been my recent smaller square quilts that I’ve been doing …  in addition to the hurricane quilt that hasn’t been touched since I’ve been trying to baste it to remove the oil stain on it (might not remove it all the way, it’s starting to add more character to the hurricane story I’m building around this quilt).

and more … “eh, squares are really just not my thing”, “I’m not digging that color”, “can’t you put in some more exciting blocks” ….

hmm …. okaaayyyy ….

So I was working on the alternate blocks on electric quilt for my latest quilt, Exothermic Wonders, current version that you’ve seen below.

This is what I started with. the variation I liked the most of what people also liked the most.

But I ran out of black & so did the store.  So I got some lower contrast, darker orange /red-orange fabrics for alternate blocks, and I finally put the fabrics into EQ7 this weekend, thinking as long as the blocks are fairly low contrast, there is still the main design.

Here’s one version:

But here’s the version I liked even better that that one:

I was working out how much fabric would I need for the alternate blocks as I was designing them, so I removed the outer borders from the electric quilt design, which, I have had completed for at least a month or two.

And finally, from over my shoulder:

“Hey, I like that!”  “I could see that quilt if you take out the pink ones because they’re too distracting, but I like that.”

And this was said without the borders, so I quick put the picture above on the screen and say, you mean this one?

“No.  I don’t like the borders.”  “Do it without the borders.” “Well, it’s your quilt, and you can do it how you want, but I like it without the borders – too distracting.” “This new design is simple – more symmetrical.” “The borders look too much like the quilt on the inside, same style”.

So if I listen to this request, I get a quilt that is ACTUALLY wanted, but then … not large enough.

So I need to make more of the middle blocks (that are done & have been sewn together since July, & cut since April), and then, what the heck do I do with all the borders that are also already done? I suppose I could do the back with them, or have a bonus quilt from it?

That, and to do the alternate blocks the way they are, I require more fabric anyway.  But I DO like the stability of the alternate blocks as they are.  (Actually slightly lower contrast than what’s shown here also)

So here’s my new design, assuming I don’t revert back to the border one.

Which I do admit, I like (right now).  But this means a lot of paper piecing for the alternate blocks.  Hopefully I’ll like the end result.

Tried putting the borders as alternate blocks, and I almost liked it too, less work, but more scrappy, and I do like how non-scrappy these alternate blocks are.

(sorry about the poor quality, it looks better before I post the design, don’t know what’s going on with that).


17.8 Exothermic Design Wall

July 26, 2011

This design wall is HOT like the temperature outside.

I finally decided to work on my border and was going to go with the design I posted on Sunday.

And I didn’t want to do the math involved with the setting triangles for my blocks.  So I made the black blocks slightly bigger than what I needed, eyeballing it!

Which gave the most amazing stained glass look to my blocks, which I just adored!

So I sewed the borders blocks together.

I still have 10 more to go for the design but I’m making progress!

And I’m just loving this so far!

So I finally decided to put my specially purchased fabrics into EQ7, and here’s what I anticipate, is my final design!

I made the corners into the design, wasn’t sure why I hadn’t already done this, to tell the truth.

The only thing I might do from here would be to add another black border on the outside edge.

Now I have to go calculate my fabric strips, finish up the border blocks, start on the sashing and the cornerstones, and the stripped borders.

Feeling pretty good about it, and feeling pretty hot!


17.7 Reality Check

July 24, 2011

I wrote an e-mail to Nonnie about my podcasting experience through a survey she had sent out on Big Tent.

When it got to the editing section, boy did I really analyze the use of my time on podcasts.

I will not bore, err, scare, err intimidate, err enlighten you with the lengthy list of things that I do for a podcast, unless requested.

The good news is that other podcasters don’t spend anywhere near the time that I do, and so if you’re ever holding back with podcasting because of what I say, just know that I am NOT the norm.

Just know that if you’re a slow poke, perfectionist that tends to say the wrong words, stutter, trip over your own tongue, puts together (sometimes) lengthy blog posts, and wants to discuss a topic that has to be researched, that you’ll likely have the same frustration experience as I do.

Overall it was a good reality check.

… in other news …

My computer was being a pain this morning so I got to sewing… two days in a row.

This weekend:

Pinwheels for me.

Pinwheels for others (some of them).

Rulers on the wall. (yes first time hanging them)

Exothermic something (the orange and yellow quilt) flags, sewing the blocks together – finally.

Center of the Disappearing 4 patch sewn together.

Reality check on D4P:

This disappearing four patch is meant as a practice piece, but I don’t know if it’s useful at this size.  Will not tend to hang on the wall, but already took apart and tried the technique.  Will see if this will work as a lap quilt with borders.

And I worked on both the harlequin quilt top in EQ7 (which gave me my current blog background), and the Exothermic quilt borders.

Reality check on Exothermic:

I spent a TON of time looking at the borders, which were meant to be a solution for using the leftover bits from making the blocks.  The blocks I was left with was:

Well the black isn’t in the block yet, so I had to work out the size the block would be first.

But the direction of the strips limited my initial exothermic quilt design a bit. the strips I thought would be more going along the bias instead of jutting out like this.  Which means something different to the design symmetry of the piece.

I came up with what I feel is a reasonable solution:

I think I finally got the black and silver border to be the correct width to give the blocks outside the correct height / width.  That took me a long time.

Not so sold on the corner squares in the absolute outer edge, but I am waiting to see if I love this layout or not.  Hard to gauge without going through the trouble of putting in all my fabrics.