Volume 1, Issue 1
May, 2010

Welcome to the first issue of STASH Talk, the Generations Quilt Patterns monthly newsletter. In this issue, you'll find news and information on:
  • Perfectly Imperfect: A Lesson for Quilters
  • The Color Palette Generator
  • EQ7: Electric Quilt's Upcoming Release
  • Inklingo: Never Need Templates Again!
  • TLC for Your OLFA Cutting Mats
  • When is a Quilt Not a Quilt - A New Gift Idea
  • STASH Talk Back!

Now, let's get started!

Perfectly Imperfect: A Lesson for Quilters

Every time I leave my neighborhood, I pass this tree.

The Imperfect Perfect Tree

It's a gnarly, old thing with crooked branches that leans severely. A deep scar is gashed through the center of its trunk.

If I had to draw a tree, this is not the tree that I would aspire to draw. I would want to draw the "perfect" tree.

But for all it's imperfection, I can't help but look at it in wonder each time I drive by and think that it's perfect...

...because of all its imperfection!

We, quilters, can take a lesson from this tree. We strive for perfection when we quilt. But we're ALWAYS so ready to point out the points that don't match, the quilting that's less than desirable, to each and every one who will listen. (I caught myself doing just that the other day with a new pattern. Sheesh!)

But give it time to age, and every quilt we make is precious to someone. That little quilt I had as a child. The one I had when I was sick really is pretty ugly and not stitched very well, but I love that old quilt just the same. It served its purpose well, just like that old tree does. Both have a place in my heart.

Imperfectly perfect...and, that's good enough for me.

The Color Palette Generator

As a beginning quilter, we're taught to use a focus fabric to help choose fabric for our next quilt. But even after gaining experience, many quilters are still flustered when is comes to choosing fabric and colors for a quilt.

What if you used a picture instead of a focus fabric? Joen Wolfrom wrote an interesting book on this very subject just a few years ago called, "Visual Coloring: A Foolproof Approach to Color-Rich Quilts".

Well, I've found a neat little (free) tool to use on the Internet to help you pick out the colors in your photos. Go to:

Color Palette Generator

Click the BROWSE button to choose and upload a photo from your computer to the site. Next click CREATE. In just a bit, you'll have your image displayed to the left and a grouping of the colors in the image to the right. Pretty nifty!

Now, if you're into choosing fabrics using a focus fabric, you may be interested in:

Scrappy Quilts: Let the Adventure Begin

Computers and the Quilter

Electric Quilt Version Release 7
Electric Quilt has recently announced their latest update, EQ7, set to ship mid-June.

EQ creates user friendly software and this release is no exception. They've added more HELP buttons to assist you. 22 PDF lessons are included for guidance along the way. A very nice support feature.

The EQ program has been a wonderful tool to use for designing and quickly coloring quilts. But with this upgrade they've added the capability to really play with your own images and photos. There is a menu, now, of over 45 different effects to apply to images. All used within the EQ program itself. Think of all the possibilities you'll have to truly create your own one-of-a-kind fabrics for use in your quilts.

The photo printing options are improved, too. Now you can print more than one photo on a fabric sheet to maximize the use of the more costly printable fabric. You won't have to waste a single inch!

EQ has enables you to take a picture from your computer and turn it into a one-patch quilt. All you do is choose a picture and choose the patch shape. The program converts the image into the plan for your own Picture Patchwork quilt.

EQ listened to its customers.

The activation policy on EQ6 left many users frustrated. Major changes have been made to make EQ7's activation policy much more user friendly than EQ6 (with its limited number of activations). For more information see:

Electric Quilt's About Activation & Deactivation

To sweetened the deal for us quilters, EQ has added some pre-shipping price incentives on the Electric Quilt website.

Upgrade before 5/31/10 and the pricing is as follows:

  • Upgrade from EQ5 to EQ7 - $130
  • Upgrade from EQ6 to EQ7 - $58
  • Full EQ7 - $142

After 5/31/10, the pricing goes to:

  • Upgrade from EQ5 to EQ7 - $150
  • Upgrade from EQ6 to EQ7 - $89.95
  • Full EQ7 - $189.95

If you purchase through the Electric Quilt website your credit card will not be charged until EQ7 ships. Do check to see if your local quilt store is matching these deals. Do review the computer requirements before purchasing to confirm the program runs on your own computer.

I've been a happy user of EQ6 and hadn't planned to upgrade. But with the addition of the all the photo features, I'm all in and have placed my order.

Inklingo: Never Need Templates Again!

Holy Guacamole! This is really cool!

Inklingo shapes printed on quilt fabric

Quilt fabric printed with Inklingo

Inklingo is a computer based aid to quilters developed by Linda Franz, author of "Quilted Diamonds" and several other quilting books.

I found Inklingo while preparing for an upcoming interview with Linda that will appear on the website. I dove in and here is what I found.

With Inklingo and a few supplies (freezer paper, ink jet printer, quilt fabric and a shapes collection) you'll be able to print the stitching and cutting lines for a variety of shapes directly onto your quilt fabric.

Think of triangle paper. What if you could print the stitching and cutting lines directly onto your fabric with an inkjet printer? That's what Inklingo is like.

There's no paper to remove. You print just what you need. At home. No running out of the pre-printed papers. Linda's even added the lines to make trimming off the dog ears easy.

And it's not just for triangles either.

Different shapes are organized into "Collections" containing different sizes. There are collections for: hexagons, diamonds (both 60 and 45 degree), octagons, Storm at Sea, Winding Ways...just to name a few. If you're interested take a look at the List of Inklingo Shapes Collections.

It gets better.

Virtually all of her products are down loadable. Yep, that means you needn't travel from store to store looking for the shape collection you need.

But let's talk about that ink jet printer ink for a bit. Linda's a smart cookie. In each of the collections, she gives you 20 different print colors to choose from, and not one of them is black - the hardest one to remove. Directions are given for washing out the ink jet printer ink (yes, most of the colors do wash out). She suggests you use the lightest color ink that you can to avoid any problems.

Will it take a lot of ink?

No. The lines are very fine...just enough to follow to stitch on.

Inklingo is great for BOTH hand piecing and machine piecing and even applique!

But it still gets better.

Like I said, Linda's one smart cookie. She knows that seeing is believing.

On her website, you are invited to download a free shape collection. It is her 4.5 Inch LeMoyne Star which contains a 45 degree diamond and the appropriate square and quarter square triangle shape to complete the star. You will go through the shopping cart but not be charged. The shopping cart is just her mechanism for getting the downloads to you. I've used it. It works exactly as she says it will. In fact when I did the shopping cart, I took everything that was free.

There is a free "Getting Started" download, as well as the first chapter of her book, "The Inklingo Handbook".

I could go on and on, but why not visit her at www.lindafranz.com.

Just remember to investigate all the tabs on her Navigation Bar, especially don't forget "Support". There's all sorts of extra goodies tucked away there.

After you've had a chance to check it out, do let me know what you think!

TLC for your OLFA Cutting Mats

One of the most used, and most overlooked tools in our quilting arsenal is our rotary cutting mat. I had the opportunity to talk to Mr. OLFA, himself, Charlie Haney of OLFA Deals.

He recommends periodically soaking your mat(s) for 15-20 minutes in a solution or 1/4 cup white vinegar to every gallon of cool water. You'd do this in a very large container or bathtub so that the mat lies flat. Charley is quite specific about using cool water. Your OLFA mat, he said, loves moisture and it's a good idea to soak it like this every so often to extend its useful life.

To clean your mat while soaking, use a squirt of a mild dishwashing soap (like Ivory) and clean the mat with a mushroom brush (soft is the key). This gentle scouring helps remove any leftover fibers caught in the cut marks which would prevent these cuts from healing.

Remember to keep you mat flat and away from heat. And don't use it as a coaster for your coffee cup!

When Is a Quilt Not a Quilt?

When it's a Voice Quilt!

This product has come up recently in two separate conversations, so I found checked it out.

A voice quilt is like a music box, but it contains a collage of voices--the thought and sentiments of a group of people to be heard again and again.

For more information, visit:

The Voice Quilt

STASH Talk Back

This newsletter is all for you, so your input is very important to us. Do you have comments, feedback, or perhaps suggestions for future issues?

Contact Us with your input. We welcome and look forward to it!

If you received our newsletter from a friend, you can easily sign up for your own by visiting the:

Generations Quilt Patterns Newsletter Sign-up Page

Well that wraps up this first issue of our newsletter. I hope that you found something of interest. Expect our next issue the week of June 8, 2010.

Thanks for reading and Happy Quilting!


Julie Baird

©Generations Quilt Patterns, 2010

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