As if I needed an excuse, the red fabrics just called out for a new design. EQ7 to the task! I have been playing with this for a couple of days now, off and on. This is the same type of process I use to design the Scrap Dance Mystery Quilts. Just playing with the design can eat up a lot of hours. I thought I’d show you the results of this design process and give you at tip if you have this software. I put red fabrics in randomly to the blocks selected, then added the blocks to the quilt layout. I like this first design, but there are so many tiny pieces that the block needs to be big or I’ll be dealing with 1-inch squares.Going to the layout view of the quilt, I can change the size of the block, and it will recalculate the size of the quilt including the borders I have planned. Here, I have five blocks horizontal and 7 vertical. I have the block size set at 15 inches, so the individual four-patch units and HSTs would be larger. It tells me right away that the quilt will be too big for the bed, at 105 inches before borders.
OK, so maybe make fewer blocks. If I make the tiny piece design in the 15 inch block size, the total quilt is calculated by the software is 57 x 87 inches including borders, close to a full size. It might be too busy a design, but in a single color might not matter.
If I change that to a 10-inch block, my four-patches will be made with just 1-1/2-inch squares, a bit small for me to deal with. Not that I can’t, I just don’t want to. So, how about I change the design to a cleaner look, with fewer small bits. I find a couple more traditional blocks, and color them too. Then, play with setting them. Setting 10-inch blocks 5×7 gives a nice bed size quilt 62×82 where the secondary design shines.
Setting 10-inch blocks 3×5 makes a nice throw, still shows the design nicely, but doesn’t use up a lot of fabric. But, if I make these blocks 15-inch finished, I get a 57 x 87-inch size.
Ah, decisions decisions!! I think it will be the 10-inch block set 5×7 in the second design. If you would like to do a quilt along, I’ll post the steps and fabric requirements for the blocks. We can do block A this month, Block B next month, and finish in January. I recolored it scrappy so you could think about it. Meet Scrap Dance Waltz! It is as easy as 1-2-3, and can you see the circles? Scraps are waltzing around the quilt.
One of the blocks is the same as one of the original Scrap Dance blocks, just with a slightly different coloration. While I am on this subject, I just want to say that it is not appropriate to try to figure out how a published pattern is made using this software for the purpose of not buying a pattern. Designers spend a lot of time on these, making sure that the pattern is good, then sewing and testing many more hours. I have actually had someone send me via email their coloration that they figured out in EQ from one of my published patterns. This person clearly thought that it was OK to recreate what I spent a lot of time on just to save the few dollars to buy my pattern. I was flabbergasted. Truly. I still am. When you buy a pattern from a designer, you aren’t just buying the instructions and fabric requirements, you are telling the designer that you appreciate the hours of design, writing, sewing, and work it takes to produce a pattern. Isn’t that worth the few dollars? I think it is. It is why I buy patterns from designers I admire, even if I think I could do it without one. Being a pattern designer myself has made me acutely aware of this. Thank you to all who have purchased one of my patterns.
See more EQ7 design tips today at Quilt Shop Gal #EQ25Celebration, along with more bloggers to visit for tips.
Tina of Quilting Affection – Designing Horizontal Panel Quilts
Carole of From My Carolina Home – you are here! Sizing Tips
Pamela of Pamela Quilts – Using EQ7 to Design a Label
Carol of FunThreads Designs – EQ7 Stencils and Thread Tool
Marion of Seams to be Sew – Scanned Fabrics in EQ7
Would you like to win a copy of the EQ7 software? Click on EQ and Timeless Treasures for a chance to win wonderful prizes this month, as part of the EQ 25th Anniversary Celebration: Wouldn’t it be fun to win a bundle of marvelous fabrics from Timeless Treasures or a copy of EQ7 software for your computer designing from the Electric Quilt Company? Just visit the blogs and leave a comment for these two businesses, to enter to win. Use hashtag #EQ25 for your tweets and Instagram if you do those for more ways to win.
On the red fabrics, I decided to wash them a second time. So glad I did, they ran again. I ordered some Retayne from Connecting Threads, and I am going to wash them yet one more time with the Retayne. Note that I am only using this on the fabrics alone, not a completed quilt. Retayne won’t help on a fully finished quilt, and might actually be a problem with different fabrics reacting in their own way, but it will stabilize the color on fabrics prior to cutting. Using the stabilizer on the pieces will show me how each individual fabric reacts with the Retayne, and I’ll be able to discard any that come out weird. I’ll do two rinses in hot water, and dry in the dryer. Then I will feel like I can go ahead with cutting and sewing.
Want to quilt along? We’ll get started next week. I am linking up this first announcement post in several places, but to participate with the quilt along, and get the free pdfs for the steps, please follow my blog. We’ll have a Flickr Group for progress, and maybe prizes later in the quilt along.