SVG Files & Cotton Candy

Friend Julie and I have been talking about her relatively new Cricut. We are doing a sort of test of her Cricut for fabric cutting. She has been playing around with cards, but this started when I asked her if she had cut out fabric from SVG files. When she said no, I sent her an SVG file for the Cotton Candy pouch and said that if she cut one out, I would sew it for her. I kind of wanted to see how the SVG files would work.

Cotton Candy Pouch cut from SVG files
Cotton Candy Pouch cut from SVG files

Recently she sent me some pieces of a Cotton Candy pouch she had cut out for me. I am curious to see how these pieces fit together versus the ones I cut.

Now I have to sew them.

EQ Product Review

Am I in Judy Martin mode? Yes. I read her newsletter recently and found some great information, some of which I passed on in Various & Sundry #21. That post was getting too long, so here I am again.

I love her and would go to Iowa (not a bad state; been there at least 3 times, which is another story for another day) for a class with her in a hot minute. Her stars CD for Electric Quilt was awesome, but is now out of print. Lucky you, if you didn’t buy it the first time around, because EQ is bringing it back in a repurposed format by making many of her out-of-print star blocks available for download in their newly launched EQ Boutique site. They are taking the material from the Stars & Sets CD and putting it into what Judy calls families of blocks: Ohio Stars, Ornate Ohio Stars, Variable Stars, Compass Point Stars, and Spikey Stars (first five groups to launch). Others will follow.

According to Judy, the first five groups of blocks range in price from $8.99 to $11.99 and contain anywhere from 15 blocks to 22. Your first purchase comes with a free download of the software you need to play with the blocks.

If you already own the Stars & Sets CD, you do NOT need any of these collections.

Marsha McCloskey has also partnered with EQ in their My EQ Boutique. I have been wanting to make a Feathered Star block since I saw one made from dots in a magazine a few years ago. Now that I know the Triangle Technique and how to make different sizes of half square triangles, I feel more comfortable tackling that project.  I did actually buy her EQ Boutique Feathered Star collection, so I was able to evaluate the process.

After purchase, there is an additional piece of software that you download before you download the collections purchased. The software came with a collection of Rose of Sharon applique’ blocks. Too bad I didn’t know about that collection last week before I prepared Frances’ applique’ lesson! After installing and running the EQ Boutique software, I downloaded the collection I bought and it was difficult *for me* to figure out how to get the collection to show up in the EQ Boutique software. Finally, in tiny print on the download page, I read that you have to close the EQ Boutique software before you download the new collection. I did that, re-downloaded and the Feathered Stars showed up very well. Also, I really don’t want to learn new software when I am pretty well versed in EQ7. The EQ Boutique software has a great ‘Link to EQ’ function that shows up on your Start menu (windows) which actually links your EQ Boutique collections to EQ. I would rather just call it up in EQ7 and skip the EQ Boutique software step, but it doesn’t seem like that is an option. I also understand that not everyone owns EQ7 software.

Read more about the collections, the software, and the system requirements.

I do have to say that EQ is bombarding me with emails about new stuff every day and I am glad they were all at Quilt Market so I could get a bit of relief. I have just been deleting the emails. There is definitely a fine line between just right and too much!

Odds and Ends Thursday

Tips and Tricks

One of the email newsletters I read for my job is called ResearchBuzz. I know I have mentioned this site before. One day, I was pleased to find an article that would allow me to keep a steady stream of quilts coming to my blog reader.

Here is a sample of a quilt search:,modern

After creating the link above (by changing the tags at the end to suit your needs), paste this URL into your Bloglines or Newsgator or Google or whatever reader and it will send you back search results. I put the above search into my (newly refurbished) Google Reader and was immediately provided with several fresh looking quilts for my viewing pleasure.

I also wanted to see what was new and exciting in the basket quilt arena so I changed up the URL above to:,basket

I retrieved a number of basket quilts, but also some mishits. They were pretty mishits, so I didn’t mind much.

Find more info at ResearchBuzz.

Before he went off on his new adventures, Mark Lipinski showed the Half Square Triangle ruler from Creative Grids. I have been interested in it, but not enough to buy it before I could try it. Inspired by TFQ’s good example, I finally started to read blogs in a blog reader. This helped me to see a post on the Exuberant Color blog about using this ruler. There is also a video posted. This is a wacky looking ruler, but Wanda’s photos make it look really useful. It looks like it cuts off the bunny ears as well. My only concern is often I would use 2.5 HSTs?

Need to know the basics of fusing from the Expert? Did to refresh your skills or check the whys of what you have been doing? Melody Johnson posted a step by step guide recently. She includes a lot of details along with photos.


The Professional Quilter blog had a post about Print on Demand. The article starts out with the line “Many quilters have a book in them and don’t know where to start”. Isn’t that a great and positive way to start an article? It certainly caught my attention! Morna has links to several of the popular print on demand companies as well as links to more information. This is a brief overview type article, but it was a good reminder with resources for further exploration.

Journals and diaries are part of daily life for many girls and women. I have kept a journal for years and write faithfully nearly every day. These pages are, mostly, for my eyes only. Occasionally, I share drawings I have done, such as the drawing for the Original Bullseye border and the notes I took on the Cartier exhibit. NPR is working on a story called “The Hidden World of Girls“. they are asking for uploads of journal pages to their Flickr pool. These aren’t all the art journals we are used to seeing these days. These are the words depicting the angst of growing up and learning to deal with life. I am glad NPR is taking a look at this subject. What do you have to share?


Journal covers have been on mind lately. I think I will make a new one for myself and I have a desire to make a couple as gifts. While this topic was rattling around in the back of my brain, I saw a blog post on Kindle covers made with selvedges. I have always been intrigued with items made from selvedges. It really takes some commitment to use selvedges, because you have to save them! I also cut off a selvedge the other day and thought I should save it and send it or give it to someone working on such a project. I don’t know anyone and I don’t think I want to start such a project, so into the garbage it went. Finally, I relate journal covers with things like Kindle/Nook/iPad etc covers in my mind. I guess since they are all designed for added protection it makes sense. One of the nice things about the Kindle cover pictured is that it has a flap to close it. I will think about adding something like that to a future journal cover.

By the way, the Selvage Blog has a lot of interesting projects made out of selvedges including a great quilt, called the Blue Zinger by Jen Duncan, using a pattern I tried to make once. I’ll have to look up the name. This is a great blog in that there is a lot of interesting information and a variety of different projects. Even our own Quilt Rat showed up with a selvedge house!

Again with the blog reader, I saw Corky’s post on her class with Karen Eckmeier. I love the village projects she and her friends worked on. They remind me of those French and Italian villages clinging to the sides of cliffs.


Need some additional inspiration? The Harry Ransom Center has made a database of medieval and early modern manuscripts available on the web. These types of manuscripts were elaborately decorated and make for wonderful inspiration for borders and quilting designs. Not all of the pages have those elaborate illustrations. Some are just regular parchment like pages with script writing. You can see a slideshow of various pages on the first page. There is also a way to search. There are lots of scrolls, flowers and religious iconography.

Have you done your Rainbow Around the Block block for Anna Maria Horner’s project? In case you haven’t heard, she is collecting blocks to make quilts for people in Tennesse who were affected by recent flooding. A number of people have already contributed and AMH has a Flickr Gallery for your viewing pleasure. Check the link for directions and information.

I get depressed and want to completely quit making quilts whenever I see Red Pepper’s quilts. That [wo]man (??) makes quilts like I make toast. She is prolific and per pieces are gorgeous. A recent post shows a fantastic, absolutely, positively wonderfully GORGEOUS red and white quilt. No amount of new fabric is going to allow me to make that quilt. How does she do it?

Deirdre has created a gallery of quilts at the recent Northern Star Quilt Show in Connecticut. Take a look and let her know what you think! Nice job!

Deirdre, being the awesome ‘Net surfer that she is sent a site called Pattern in Islamic Art. The images are WONDERFUL. If you aren’t inspired, I am not sure anything will inspire you! There are great ideas for quilts, quilting motifs and Creative Prompt Responses!

Suzanne Cabrera is a sketch artist whose blog I read intermittently. I have posted links to some of her drawings here before. Posts popped up in my blog reader today or over the weekend so  I went to take a look and found the most wonderful series of posts about her 30th birthday and the wishes for love and hope she sent out to the world. Take a look at the idea, photos of the event and responses. We couldn’t do this here, because we are too close to the ocean and we don’t want the sea life to choke on balloon parts, which makes me even more happy to see Suzanne’s celebration.

And if all of the above isn’t enough Vicki Welsh has recently posted her latest edition of Field Trips in Fiber. I love to make her list and am, alas, once again not on it. She surveys various blogs and puts up links to finished projects. I started to put links to each piece I liked, but I liked all of them so decided to give Vicki a shout out for her hard work on this list. Go and take a look at the beautiful pieces.


Remember when I mentioned that Art Quilting Studio had a new editor and I speculated on what happened to Jenny Doh? Well, she is now associated with She writes about the launch party and about the vision of CrescendOH. I love it when people jump from their safe life and take a risk. I wish Jenny the best!

Handmade Beginnings by AMH
Handmade Beginnings by AMH

We went on a family outing to Border’s the other day. I know how exciting that sounds! I had a gift card to use as well as a 33% off coupon. The child wanted to get the latest Artemis Fowl book, so it seemed like a good way to spend an hour together. I went to the craft section and looked at all the quilt books they had available. I saw the new Anna Maria Horner book there, Handmade Beginnings, so I took a look.

I have no babies in my life at the moment, and, thus, have no plans to buy this book, but, of course, I found two projects in it that I loved! One is a tote bag, which is large and has some dividers in it. It is called the Here We Go bag. The other project is a decorating project called Writing on the Walls. You pick a word and then through various means create the letters, attach them to stretched canvas and you have a wall decoration. This might work for the C*R*E*A*T*E project I have in mind. The AMH project is another way I could make that project work.

I took some time with the V&A exhibit ancillary materials. The blog is a marketing piece, but it is so well written and entertaining that it made me want to jump on a plane and go to the exhibit and damn the consequences. Lynn Prtichard gives lists of upcoming quilt events in the UK. I could be entertained with quilts for the whole summer if I were a lady of leisure. I am hoping that my quilt friend, LoveAnna, is getting to some of these exhibits. I watched the Caren Garfen video again and really enjoyed it. The website is really a treasure trove of information and photos. It is really the epitome of a web as I clicked here and there and really got lost in a world of quilts.

A survey of how much quiltmakers are spending was recently released. Terri (of quilt book mystery fame) pointed me to an article about the survey. Interesting that we are still spending. I am doing my part, for sure. 😉


Remember I visited the Decorator Showcase house? Lil Sissy pointed me to an article on the house that might give you a better idea of what it looked like and was about. The photos in the article also give you a lot more of an idea of what we saw. They do show off the rooms to their best advantage. The before and after photos are great, too. The other great thing about this article is that the reader really gets to see a lot of what we saw, sans the shoving of people out of the way!


Spam is becoming a huge problem on Artquiltmaker Blog. Does this mean I am popular? I never was in high school. Bleah on spam.  Generally, I, at least, glance through the posts to see if anyone inadvertently wrote something that my spam filter didn’t like. Lately, I have been getting 20, 30, 40 spams a day and have just been marking them all and deleting. Some tips:

  • one word replies get sent to the spam filter
  • embedded links get sent to the spam filter
  • nonsense series of letters and numbers get sent to the spam filter

If your message gets sent to the spam filter, because you are being cute or funny, future posts will need me to approve them and I may miss them in my wholesale deleting of spam. See here for more info.

Announcing EQ7

Announcing EQ7
Announcing EQ7

I just heard the announcement for the new version of the Electric Quilt software, EQ7. This is an update to Electric Quilt 6.

I have used EQ since the dark ages of EQ3? EQ4? I can’t even remember. There are a number of things I like about the product, but the most important one to me is their customer service. I deal with bad customer service all day every day at my job. The EQ folks respond INTELLIGENTLY and TIMELY to emails. They even call if the email string is getting to complicated. I love good customer service and theirs is awesome.

I use EQ for designing a number of different projects: Flowering Snowball, Sorbet, 2009 Teacher pillows, the Pineapple, etc. I am not a very advanced user and have always wanted to take a class. It is still on my to do list.

I have tried out pattern/color keys using EQ6 and have had some trouble with the size of the file. I was successful with a Sorbet Color Key and I never really followed up to figure out my problem.

EQ7 Upgrade
EQ7 Upgrade

The other thing I like about the software is that there are marked improvements in the software with each new release. I buy some upgrades of other software and think “brother, what is so new and great about this release?” Not with The Electric Quilt. I often think I don’t need the new version and then when I see the list of features, I have to buy it.

I am pretty excited about the new version’s features, especially since my EQ6 copy is on my dead computer and I just haven’t wanted to deal with the activation process. There have been multiple times recently when I wanted to do something and have been disappointed not to have dealt with the reinstallation.

Quilts, Blocks and now PHOTOS!
Digital cameras will become a quilter’s best friend. EQ7 has dozens of ways to turn everyday photos into quilt ­­art images. Or crop and edit scanned fabrics right in EQ7 in minutes. And that’s just the start!

New Activation Policy
You’ll never run out of EQ7 activations! Activation and deactivation is as easy as two clicks of the mouse. Install on as many computers as you like and quickly transfer activations from computer to computer. This new policy gives you complete freedom to manage your own activations — and no dongle to worry about!

Easier than ever for new users
EQ7 is the most user-friendly full-featured quilting software yet.

  • Complete user manual
  • 22 printable full-color PDF lessons (115 pages)
  • Point-and-read info on each tool – now linked directly to Help topics
  • 10 videos targeted for beginners
  • 67 “How do I?” topics: printable stepped-out instructions for doing everything from printing English paper-piecing templates to drawing a New York Beauty
  • Built-in Help buttons are everywhere, targeted to the task you’re doing
  • New block tools for creating original blocks instantly without drawing
  • Blocks size themselves – just drag and drop on the quilt

Users upgrading from EQ6 will feel right at home
Exactly the same friendly interface, plus loads of new user-requested features.

  • 5000 copyright-free blocks
  • 5000 new scanned fabrics, plus grayscale textures
  • 120 new pre-designed quilt layouts
  • Snap blocks to a Quilt grid
  • Instant border blocks with greatly expanded Auto Borders
  • Print multiple photos on fabric
  • Create original fabric designs from photos, then print on fabric
  • Mirror and use myriad symmetries on photos
  • Use dozens of artistic effects, making everyday photos look like watercolors or Impressionist paintings
  • 79 new features in all

Netbook compatible
Works on netbooks as well as laptops and desktop computers.

I am sure there are a dozen more cool features. I love the digital / scanning possibilities.

You can find out more information at the Electric Quilt website or by calling: (800) 356-4219. No, I am not being paid to write this. Yes, they sent me a press release.


The Fine Print:

When will The Electric Quilt Company begin shipping EQ7?
We will begin shipping June 7, 2010.

What are the EQ7 and EQ7 Upgrade system requirements?
Minimum system requirements:
Windows® XP, Windows® Vista, Windows® 7 (32 or 64 bit), Internet access, 750 MB of available hard-disk space, CD-ROM drive. Netbook compatible. Internet required for activation, deactivation, and periodic validations.
Recommended: Monitor with screen resolution of 1024 x 768 or greater, Adobe® Reader®, sound card for demo videos.
Activation: Internet access is required for activation and deactivation. Unlimited installations. Activations can be easily transferred between computers. Two (2) computers may be simultaneously active.

Minimum system requirements:
Windows® XP, Windows® Vista, Windows® 7 (32 or 64 bit), Internet access, 750 MB of available hard-disk space, CD-ROM drive. Netbook compatible. Internet required for activation, deactivation, and periodic validations.
Recommended: Monitor with screen resolution of 1024 x 768 or greater, Adobe® Reader®, sound card for demo videos.
Activation: Internet access is required for activation and deactivation. Unlimited installations. Activations can be easily transferred between computers. Two (2) computers may be simultaneously active.

UPGRADE VERSION of Electric Quilt 7 This upgrade version of Electric Quilt 7 will install only if you are a licensed user of Electric Quilt 6 (EQ6). Visit for other upgrade requirements.

What is the activation policy?
EQ7 has a new activation policy, created as a result of user feedback.

Activation: Internet access is required for activation and deactivation. Unlimited installations.
Activations can be easily transferred between computers. Two (2) computers may be simultaneously active.

Quilter’s Podcast

I knew that Annie did podcasts, but I came across them just now and thought I would make a note of them for the future.

clipped from
clipped from

Program 119 – Interview with Master Machine Quilter, Diane Gaudynski

Running time: 01:04:19 Size: 29.5MB

I hope that you’ll enjoy this wonderful interview with Diane. She offers so much insight and inspiration to every quilter. Pay special attention to what Diane says, as there are tips and hints sprinkled throughout what she shares.

blog it

Hanging Quilts

I was glad I stopped by melody Johnson’s blog today as she is talking about how she hangs her quilts. Very interesting!

I hang my quilts from a system that uses a shelving standard screwed to the ceiling, and S hooks and fishing line looped over the ends of the rod. Or in this case, actual picture hangers.I have to have a way to hang many sizes of quilts, and I change them out often. This system is hardly noticeable since the eye usually sees the quilt first.
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Visual Journals Meet Technology

Deirdre passed this link on to me. Pamdora has written a post about journals. In it she links to YouTube videos of artists sharing their visual journals. I did look at a couple of the videos.

The videos show page after page of the artists’ drawing books. It is cool to see what they are drawing, because it gives me ideas for what I can draw if I ever become regular in working on a visual journal. I was bolstered in my efforts by looking at Paula Scher’s video, because she draws letters in different ways. She decorates the shapes and encloses them in different vessels. What a simple idea for getting starting on a visual journal journey. Start with the basics!

Her fonts get more elaborate as the video goes on and the audience begins to see the border treatment that she does on the pages of her journal. Her work kind of reminds me of writing your name over and over on your notebook in 6th grade.

Celia Squire, a London artist, does very detailed pictures of what looks like the world around her. The figures are elaborate and rich. The details made me want to look closer. I really like the first page of the woman sitting at a cafe table.

Stefano Faravelli’s journal is wonderful. Pamdora writes “A beautiful travel-style journal that folds out out into one long composition.” Her words do not do justice to the fantastic watercolors on each page or the cleverness of the way the pages fold out to one long painting. I really like the way he has incorporated words into his compositions. perhaps I don’t need a visual journal, because Stefano has done what I want to do!

One of the things I hadn’t thought of until I saw Remy Bardin’s journal were foldouts and pockets. I could make little secret hiding places in my visual journal. Perhaps I should call it the mythical visual journal?

The videos are accompanied, except for Paul Dewis, by a strange clapping/rustling of tracing paper sound. I turned off the sound on my computer, so I could concentrate on the art.

It is obvious that these artists:

  • are in the habit of creating visual journals
  • have the perfect supplies
  • are committed

There are many more videos of this project. Go take a look. You will be inspired!

What a great idea.