Saturday, June 28, 2014

Tech Sunday - Measure your Quiltable Space Height

I had a friend hit a small issue recently.  She had a customer that wanted a pantograph quilted very loosely.  What she did not anticipate is that she actually set the height of the pantograph larger then she could quilt.   The first row quilted, but she could not get the fill in row to quilt.  She wisely went back into Pantostacker and decreased the row height.  While she was able to resolve the issue without using a seam ripper, this is a great learning moment for all of us.  Now is a good time for us to figure out what Quilt Path thinks the measurement is between your Leveler bar and Quilt Top bar.  

The next time you are in Pantostacker, take the time to use the Ruler Feature to learn your measurement.  You will want to keep all design heights smaller then this measurement in the future.  

If you need information on how to use the Ruler Feature click on the link above.  It goes to a blog post that covers this feature.  

This post was first published at

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tech Sunday - How to Merge a Quilt Block

Today we are delving farther into the Quilt feature in Quilt Path.  To work along, under the Design & Create section, tap on the Quilt option.  This will bring up a basic quilt.  For this tutorial, click on the size button on the right and change your settings so that you have a quilt with 24x24 blocks that are 2 inches high as shown below.

The goal of this tutorial is to get you to start playing.  For my example quilt my outer board is six inches wide so I want to select the first three blocks all the way across the top of the quilt.  If I do this by clicking or tapping and holding and drag across the blocks I want to merge, you will notice that a pink box forms.  You want that box to touch and/or encircle the blocks you are merging.  If it touches a block at all it will include it in the merge. 
Once you do this tap on Merge.  You will get a large solid area where those 3 rows of blocks used to reside

Once you get the first are merged, you will want to click on Select and Unselect all or tap on the space you just merge to deselect it.  Then Highlight the next area you want to merge and continue the process.  
Here is another example of merge.  I have completed the merging the borders.  Not that you cannot wrap the borders so you will need to do borders like you would for a quilt that does not have a mitered border.   I have drawn the pink box around the 20 inch block at the center of my quilt.

When I tap merge I get a solid block.

Each of my blocks is a 2 inch square.  Starting on the outside of the quilt pictured below, I created a 6 inch border, (2) 2 inch borders.  Border made up of 4 inch squares and a 20 inch center square.  They only way you are going to learn this one is to play.  Remember to do unselect after each merge. 
Watch for a future Tech Sunday post were we will discuss pattern placement within these merged areas. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Tech Sunday – Borders Made with Block Designs

Earlier this month I used a block design called Fill 1 that comes with Quilt Path to create a border.  I shared the photo with the Quilt Path Users Group on Facebook.  Something became apparent, which I was not expecting.  There were people that had not thought about breaking up border spaces to quilt them.  This is something that I did all the time before getting Quilt Path.  It is a quick way to get a very intricate border treatment.  

To begin with I think it would be helpful to just talk about borders a little.  (I have even tried to draw picture with my mouse to demonstrate the borders.  Yes, they would have looked smoother if I had done them on one of my tablets, but I think you will get the idea and that is all I am aiming for right now.)  Here are some of the ways that I do my borders.    

                Borders with wrapped designs, like feathers that go completely around the quilt.  I am still doing these border treatments freehand.   I start quilting the border on the top left usually about six inches from the top border on the left side border, then I quilt up that border, across the top border and start down the right border.  As I am forwarding the quilt, I am quilting the inside of the quilt and the right border as I go.  I pin the left border to stabilize it until I get the bottom of the quilt.  Once I am at the bottom border, I quilt it and the work my way back up the left side to where I started.   I am waiting on the Border feature to be released for Quilt Path before I start trying to do this type of border with the computer. 

                Borders that have different designs in the corners.  Kind of like sashing with corner stones.  I draw a line that continues the piecing lines to make a virtual “block” out of the corner of the border.  Use a quilt block design in the corner and then use a pantograph on the long parts of the border.  When I do this with Quilt Path, I turn the quilt.   You could also use Virtual Longarm to break the side borders into “quilt-able” pieces and not turn the quilt.  I am just starting to play with this.  It has worked so far but it does increase your starts and stops, so that may be a consideration.  It also seems to take me longer than turning the quilts.    An example of when I would do this is if I am quilting a swag into a border, but don’t want something completely different like a star in the corners. 

                Divide the border into blocks.  (I would not quilt the green lines in the screenshot, I would mark them and use them to place the motif into the area.) This is how I did the quilt that I talked about earlier.  When I Quilt “fancy” border treatments, I leave a ½ inch unquilted at the edge of my quilts.  That way when the binding is attached you see the entire motif, or feather.  The measurement of the quilt is 66 inches.  So once I take ½ inch off for each side, I am dealing with 65 inches.  The border happened to measure 5.5 inches so I could use 5 inch blocks.   I used an air erasable marker and marked the outside corners of my blocks before loading the quilt.  And then set the 13 blocks across the top border individually.  As I worked down the quilt, I quilted the blocks in both side borders and the center of the quilt.  I did not quilt the Stars themselves or the two inner borders, so I pinned them to stabilize them.   I had decided to freehand the two inner borders and the start points so I wanted to get all the computer quilting done before I worked on them.  That way I could turn off Quilt Path and disengage the belts.   

I love the way the outer border turned out.  If you happen to be in Raleigh, the quilt is hanging in Wish Upon a Quilt.  It will be in their booth at the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo, in Raleigh, next week.  

When you start thinking about custom quilting, you are not limited to border designs that have been created for you.  Start looking at block designs.  Many of them will create secondary designs when they are placed next to each other.  For example, when you place Fill 1 next to itself, you get a circle design.  You can also play with alternating designs to create a unique border.  Try alternating the size of you blocks.  I could have done something like alternating 2.5 inch blocks between 5 inch blocks.   The possibilities are endless! 

This post was first published at

Friday, June 13, 2014

I have the keys!!!!

Back in April I mentioned another project that was taking my attention away from Tech Sunday posts.  I finally got the keys to my first retail space!!!  This weekend will be spent cleaning and painting.  I am hoping to have it all spiffy before the big shipment arrives next week.  Exciting things are happening!
It used to be a granite showroom.  It has one swanky bathroom. 
Can't wait to get it all sent up and ready for visitors! 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Tech Sunday - Virtual Longarm

Have you been wondering how to do border with Quilt Path?  Or how to quilt a custom quilt in it's entirety?  How about just wondering what was up with the Quilt option on the Home Screen?  What is Virtual Longarm?  Those are some of the questions that came up when I asked the Quilt Path Users Group on Facebook for ideas for Tech Sunday posts.  They are all awesome questions!  And at first I was elated, FOUR future posts idea! Woo Hoo!  Then I started researching.  They are all related!

There will be a couple post to cover this, I am starting with Virtual Longarm.  That way the people that can figure out how to use the Quilt feature can start using the feature quickly.   To make sure that everyone can use the tutorial I created a quilt that can be opened in Quilt Path.  Finally it gives us a little more time for the Border feature to be released.   To really get fancy wrapped borders to work we need the new feature.  But this will let us break up side borders so that we don't have to turn our quilts, while we are waiting.

You will also be seeing more of the information of my post in PDF files.  I am doing this because people have asked if there is a way to get a printable copy.  I am such a tech geek I never even imagined anyone would want to print the information.

There are two files for this tutorial.
Duckie Quilt
Virtual Longarm

Duckie Quilt is something that I threw together to see if I could make a quilt in the Quilt feature.  Dog bone border with ducks in the blocks.  That is what happens when you do not plan ahead!  Just to show I am a good sport, I quilted a smaller version of the Duckie Quilt.  I can now tell you that if you decide to quilt this, you want to make the blocks smaller.   To use Duckie Quilt you will need to download the zipped file.  Inside it you will find two files, copy them into you Quilt Path - Quilts folder.  Then you can go into Design & Create - Quilts then Select Quilt.  Go into the Quilt folder and open Duckie.

Once you either have Duckie in the Quilts feature, or have designed your own quilt, start with the Virtual Longarm tutorial.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Tech Sunday - How to Cut a Block in Half (Advanced)

Last week we talked about how to cut a design in half using PatternCAD.  Hopefully you have played with the tutorial, because this week we are going to talk about a block that is not as easy to cut in half.  Any time you have curved line that crosses the point where you want to stop the block, but does not have a node at that point, you have to redraw the line.

I created a second Tutorial to cover this topic.

How to Cut a Block in Half - Advanced

Thanks again to Janice, for asking the question that gave us this teachable moment!