Electric Quilt 5
One of EQ5 strengths is the Sketchbook used to save all quilts, blocks, fabrics and colors with each quilt project archived under one file name.
Use the Tabs to go to Quilts, Blocks, Fabrics, or Colors.
Use the Button to customize the number of pictures visible, use the arrows to view all blocks, fabrics, quilts saved to the sketchbook, use the Edit button to change the fabric, block or quilt, use the Notecard button to add extensive notes as needed to each project, and use the Delete button to remove unwanted or unneeded items.
1 Quilt Worktable with 3 Layers:
Each quilt layer has a function:
Layer 1: Select Block for the quilt layout. Add color and
rotate as needed.
Use Layout and Borders Tabs to select the quilt layout design options.
The worktable is used for the creation of blocks and quilts. There are 4 different worktables that are accessed by using one of the drop-down menus. (See Menus and Toolbars for additional information)
Each worktable has two or more screens. ONLY 1 worktable screen at a time is visible to the user. You click the tabs to move from one Worktable screen to the next.
3 Drawing Worktables:
When you want to move between the block or quilt worktables, use the drop-down menus. First select your Worktable then select your Block or Quilt Choice.
An exciting option built into Windows and EQ5 is the ability to personalize your workspace by moving the toolbar's location. They can be moved to the top, bottom or sides of the screen with click, hold, drag and drop. This allows each user to find their best placement zone. (Hint: Keep the patch tools at the top, bottom, or right side because of to select the patch tool under the arrows opens to the left, see previous example). The Editing tools, undo, cut, copy and paste, allow for quick building of repetitive patches. The most helpful command is Undo. It can undo the last 10 times actions returning you to a previous choice.
Electric Quilt 5 menus follow the Window standard File and Edit menus that most programs follow today. Border and Quilt layout choices are selected using dialogue boxes specific to each.
Electric Quilt 5 has 3 separate Worktables for drawing blocks: EasyDraw, PatchDraw, and Overlaid with index tabs for identification and to access the Color section. Each Worktable functions differently, but each makes drawing certain types of blocks much easier.
The EasyDraw Worktable incorporates the advantages of a bitmap drawing system that allows all crossing lines to become new patches. The drawing tools are: line, arc, arc edit and grid. The grid draw tool speeds up the creation of 4, 5, 7 or 9 patch blocks by drawing multiple cross section lines at the same time. A dialogue box is used to customize the number of grid lines that will be drawn. The arc edit tool found only in EasyDraw is magic for creating complex blocks based on curves like fans and mariner compasses.
The PatchDraw Worktable incorporates the vector drawing system. The vector system draws a closed patch called objects as one unit. The patches/shapes can be overlapped making PatchDraw good for appliqué shapes. There are 15 different patches tool with several variations for triangles, squares, rectangles, circles, hexagons, teardrops, leaves, hearts, petals and more. The teardrops are a favorite for creating wreaths and feathers. Also find the line, bezier and bezier/line edit tools.
The Overlaid Worktable has two additional index tabs that allow you to open transparent layer of the EasyDraw and Appliqué (works like PatchDraw) at the same time. This creates 2 separate layers and takes the complications out of layering appliqué over top of pieced blocks.
Take care when drawing to leave no unconnected lines because when the block is saved, it erases all objects/lines/curves "not" closed. The Zoom tools will be a great help here. When using the Color Worktable, be aware that painting a patch often can cover up other patches and that a quick right mouse click will pop-up a menu for sending a patch to the front or back, use it as needed.
Electric Quilt has an excellent grid and guide options to help when creating blocks. Hint: check the advance draw feature under Preferences to activate the additional grid and node options to give you greater flexibility and control over drawing functions by adding the ability to turn off or on the automatic snap to nodes or grid. Knowing when to turn the grid off and on and a little practice and patience is the key to successful drawing of patches.
After selecting a Patch or Patches, find additional advance features to aid in drawing a blocks by clicking the right mouse button to pop-up a dialogue box selection box. Find advance draw features like rotate, resize, symmetry (for clones, standardized rotation, and flip options) and in the PatchDraw and Appliqué Worktables find the additional option of the Wreathmaker.
The Wreathmaker is a repetition tool that allows for the creation of designs going around a circle. This is one really fuuuunnnn tool!
After you are on the Quilt Worktable you have 3 tabs to access to the Quilt Layout and Border dialogue boxes to set the settings.
Each layer has its own set of tools. Note that the new tape measure is active across all the Layers.
Enhanced Block Libraries
There is a color and grayscale version for each block in the library. This is the best of both worlds, color or grayscale depending on how you like to work. EQ5 has the largest libraries of blocks in quilting software. EQ support programs: BlockBase (Barbara Brackman's block research) and the SewPrecise CDs (paper piecing) bring several thousand more blocks to EQ and your fingertips. Adding support programs and identifying blocks from BlockBase and Sew Precise! is easy as the categories and headings will be the same as they appear in the support programs. See our Save $ EQ Packages that include Sew Precise and BlockBase.
There are 3 styles of blocks created to make designing a quilt easier.
Search is very helpful in finding related blocks by name, reference or notes.
The EQ 5 Fabric palettes includes scanned fabrics from designer fabric lines current at the time of the EQ5 release. Earlier palettes from EQ3 and EQ 4 Palettes are separated from the EQ5 palettes, helping to narrow down your search when selecting fabric palettes. If that is not enough fabrics, look at the EQ support CDs called Stash. Stash brings you the most current lines of fabric on the market each spring and fall. For more information on Stash CDs, click here.
Open the fabric palette choices from the library and select your favorite fabrics to be added to the Sketchbook. The Sketchbook is used to save all related blocks, quilts, fabric and colors for each project.
Electric Quilt even calculates your fabric requirements that can be printed out and taken to the store.
Scanning and Importing Fabric Files
Electric Quilt 5 fabrics are bitmap images. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Bitmaps are standard industry picture files; therefore, bitmaps allow the EQ user to scan their own fabrics, use other programs bitmaps, and go to the Internet for fabric samples and convert them to bitmaps to add to the library. For information on how to optimize fabrics bitmaps for quilting software and convert fabrics from the Internet to usable bitmaps, go to the Computer Quilting Bytes articles on Fabric for Quilt Software Libraries.
Export and using e-mail to exchange projects
Export a Snapshot: Save a bitmap (a single object file that cannot be edited, only resized by other programs. Or copy rile to the Windows chipboard to paste into programs like Word. Hint: The easiest is to use the clipboard to copy and paste quilts and blocks from Electric Quilt over to your favorite word processor for personalized stationery, announcements and cards using the Windows Clipboard. The clipboard eliminates needing to remember where you saved the file and using the import features of the other program.
Export a Metafile: Exporting a metafile saves the each object drawn to create a block. This allows you to move EQ blocks to graphic and desk top publishing type programs where you can ungroup and manipulate them. Only an outline of the objects will be exported.
Optimize File Size for E-mail: This option reduces the size of the project files for smaller attachments to be sent via e-mail.
See the menu to the right for the print options available to the Block and Quilt.
Documentation of Quilt and Block information
Use the Sketchbook Notecard to add your reference source, a short description, and other important information you want to keep with the project file. These notes save with the sketchbook and cannot be printed out, but can always be accessed when needed with the project file. Hint: If you wish to save notes that can be printed, type them in a desktop publishing program and save the file location in the notes so that you always know where they are.
Operating System requirements
Compact Installation (90 MB free hard disk space) Includes a small embroidery library and an extra fabric library of scanned fabrics organized by color. It does not include help videos.
Typical Installation (244 MB free hard disk space ) Includes a large embroidery library and two extra fabric library files of scanned fabrics, over 3000 scanned fabrics. It also includes help videos.
Note to Macintosh Users: Runs on Macs using Windows emulation software such as Virtual PC. "You can run any quilt PC program using Virtual PC if you are using a newer Macintosh, such as an iMac, or Macintosh with a 603 180 MHz processor or better." -Gloria Hansen, co-author of the Free Stuff on the Internet series.
Note to Windows 95 Users: Windows 95 does not have the necessary system files to run the Help files or the Help videos properly.You may be able to play the Help videos outside of the program. All other program functions should work fine.