Sunday, September 22, 2013

Tech Sunday - Screen Scaling

When I first got my Quilt Path I noticed that the quilting did not look like what I was seeing on the screen.  If this is happening you will want to check your Screen Scaling.  All you need is a ruler that measures a 3 inch square.  I actually used one of Creative Grids rulers that is 4.5 inches square.  It worked great.  

From your Pantostacker screen, select the Help Button. 

The select Set Screen Scaling.

You will see the Get Screen Scale Factors screen.
You want to measure the outer box on the screen.  The first time I did it I measured the smaller square, but you want to measure the whole field.   Hold your ruler on the screen and pull the right side and bottom in or out to make that square a 3" square.  Then click OK.  

You screen will now show you a more accurate representation of what will be quilted.  

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Tech Sunday - Quilt Path Ruler

It is amazing how such a little feature can have such a big impact on what I do.  I use the Ruler button on quilt path every quilt.  Sometimes in multiple ways.  First off let's get to a place you can see your ruler button.  Open Quilt Path, and Select Design & Create - Pantograph.  Set your Safe Zone if you are on your frame or just click the two buttons if you simulating.

This takes you into Pantostacker.  A place we should all feel comfortable.
At the top center of the screen you will see a button with a ruler graphic.  Select that button.  

A pretty boring looking screen comes up.  It may not look like much, but it is very powerful.  Move your machine to where you want your measurement to start and click on the bottom left center button, then move your machine to the right and towards you a little and click on the bottom right button you will get a line on your screen.  This works in simulate mode as well.  If you are on your table use your finger or stylus to select the first point in the big white rectangle then select the left button and the select another point and select the right button.   You have 3 choices on what you are measuring.  Select the Block button you will see a rectangle.  Click the Length button you will see a straight line.  The Width button will give you a diagonal line.  You can toggle between the three buttons.   

Once you decide which measurement you want to use you click the Apply Measurement Button.  It puts the measurement in the Total Height and/or Total Width fields on the Pantostacker.  The Block choice enters both the Total Height and the Total Width, The Width button enters the total width.  The Length button gives you an message to that you need to use either the Block or Width to use Apply Measurement.  

So why do I think this is so cool?  First off I prefer to set an exact width when I am doing Pantos.  I like to decide exactly where that Panto is going to start and stop.  I started out with the recommended add 2 inches the the measurement I did with a measuring tape.  I personally think 2 inches of over quilting is a little much.  I got down to add half an inch.  Now I just use the ruler to tell it where I want it to start and stop.  

I can see this being used in a lot of different ways.  As soon as I get the chance to piece something for me, I want to do a row by row quilt.  I will then use the block ruler button to set the exact width and height of the rows and do each row differently.   

I can also use the width ruler to set up to do border to border quilting.   How about the borders themselves, especially if I actually turned the quilt.  

The possibilities are endless!  Which is why I love this feature. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Dream Big!

This time five years ago, I was writing a business plan.  It took me several weeks.  There was a lot of research done on my competitor's pricing.  I was still trying to decide if I really wanted to start my own business.  I didn't even know which longarm I was going to end up purchasing.  I really thought I wanted an APQS Millennium, but I had never actually touched one.   Market was fast approaching and I decided to go ahead and form the business so I could get my credentials in and attend Market.  My plan was to drive to Houston, kidnap my Mom on the way, and stay with my sister.  I thought I would actually purchase a longarm the next spring, this was just a research trip.

Market was a mind blowing experience.  I played on every machine on a frame, even the DSMs.  I kept sneaking back to the APQS booth.  I called Matt to tell him what I had learned and he said those fateful words... "I am sick of talking about longarms, if you know what you want, just buy it already."  I ran back to the booth and ordered my Millie.  I will forever be sorry for mowing down the people in my way, but I was on a mission.  Ha!  No one was mowed down, but I "may" have thought about it.

Everything worked out wonderfully!  I still love my Millie!  I have gotten to do some really fun things because of it.  My life is now completely crazy, but I love what I do.  I now know something I did not know when I wrote that business plan 5 years ago... Dream Big!  It is going to be so much fun to look at this new business plan in 5 years and see what I actually accomplished!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Tech Sunday - Importing files to Quilt Path

While Quilt Path does come with some digital designs, you will eventually want to add to your design choices.  Today is the day we look at how to get those designs into the software so that you can use them.  Quilt path can read from quite a few different file types.  The ones that I use are qli (Statler) and cqp (Compuquilter).  I have used both, my preference is to use qli if it is available.  

There are some import things you need to know before starting.  First off I never search the internet or download designs on my Surface.  I do that on my laptop or desktop and the save the qli file to a flash drive.  Must companies download a compressed folder.  Do not put the entire folder onto your flash drive. Quilt Path can not see inside a zipped(or compressed) folder.  Save yourself a lot of frustration and just transfer the individual file to the flash.  You should also think about where you want to save all the digital designs that you purchase.  For instance, I put them all in a folder on my network storage device so that I know that are all together and that I have a backup of that location.  I want to make sure I can get to them if I ever need to re-import one.  Once you have the single file on your flash-drive, safely remove it from your computer and take it over to your Quilt Path and insert it into the USB hub.

To bring the file in you need to be the Pantostacker.
On the top right select the Plugins button
Select the Import button
Now you need to navigate to your flash-drive.  Select the New Drive button, it will list all the drives attached to your tablet.  Like your computer, C drive is the hard-drive on the tablet itself.  My flash-drive is normally listed as D, but yours might have a different drive designation depending on which USB part you plugged your flash-drive into on the USB hub.     Once you select the file and select the Import button, the Optimize screen will appear.

When you click OK,  you will be taking to the Save Import screen.  You need to click in the file name field on the bottom right and then a keyboard will come up.
Once you select enter on the keyboard you will be taken to the save file screen. 
Not that on the bottom right the file name Hilton is displayed.  That is the file I am currently importing.  You will also see the path to where my Quilt Path is going to save the file at the very top of the screen.  But that is not where I want to put the file.  I like to organize my designs so that I can find them later so I would select the Patterns button and then navigate to where I do what the file saved.  Once I am inside the folder where I want Hilton saved I will select the Save button on the bottom right.  
Now Hilton is available for me to use on whichever quilts that I want to.  This is one of my favorite designs and is available at Urban Elementz!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Tech Sunday - It has to be plugged in...

My friend Sheri from Maxine and Me Quilting just got her AQPS Quilt Path on Thursday.  Like me, she has waited a long time to add a computer to her system and is really excited.  I went over on Friday to help her install the system.  Unfortunately, I had to leave before we finished the install and she got an error message when she tried to turn it on.  I have gotten the same message before when I have forgot to turn the carriage on so I was fairly sure something was not plugged in correctly.

Matt and I went back over today to see if we could figure out what was going on, because Sheri and her husband had checked all the connections multiple times and had had no luck in getting the system to work.  The husbands went to play golf, Sheri and I looked at the system.  All the wires were plugged in, I checked the board we had installed to make sure that the ribbon cable was firmly installed.  The only other place I could think of that we had not check was under the carriage.  So when the guys got home I asked them to help us get the machine off the frame so that we could check the carriage.

Yep, I think that plug that is not plugged in might cause an issue.  How did I miss that during the install.  Yikes!  Plugged it in, got the carriage and machine back on the frame.  And it works!

Moral of this story, check your carriage before you install.  It is a lot easier to prevent this issue, then to fix it after everything is back on the frame.