First published February 21, 2009 but thought it was worth another airing for those who missed it, and are not using Electric Quilt as well as they would like.
When I bought my first computer the supplier delivered it, unpacked it all, set everything up, plugged everything in, showed me how to click on buttons then left me with the words, ‘ Unless you actually drop it the computer won’t break. You can lose stuff, but it will still be there. When you get into trouble, call me!’
I lost stuff, found it again and one day even deleted Windows. I made a coffee, and read the manual, and took a deep breath. (All computer programs came with real manuals once upon a time.) I decided to see how far I could get before I called the dealer. I still haven’t called him!
Clicking on things to see what happens will not break a computer, or EQ6, which is one of the few programs which still have a real manual. My advice is to just sit in front of the computer for as long as possible over a week or two and play! If you learn something, then practice the new skill a bit before moving on, you will remember it better, especially after a break.
Practice may not make any of us perfect,
but it will certainly help improve our skills.
As you master a new skill and practice, challenge yourself to add something new to the quilt. Chose things that you want to add, that you may want to use in a real quilt. If you don’t like half square triangles and don’t want to use them in real quilts you don’t have to use them in virtual quilts.
Don’t expect wonderful quilts in the first five minutes, but don’t be surprised at how quickly the quilt designs improve. When you can’t work out how to do something click on the help button, watch one of the videos and read the manual. The most important thing to remember is that you are not wasting fabric or thread, it is only costing you time. Time is the important material in virtual quilts, and designing real quilts before you start cutting fabric, which is when it also starts costing real money!..
Always remember too, there is no rule which says you have to make every quilt you design. Treat each quilt you design as another lesson learned, not a pattern for a quilt you have to make. I have already added about 150 virtual designs to my blog, and have about 300 in files waiting, all designs which I have no inclination to make into the real deal, or write-up instructions for them to publish as patterns for virtual quilts.
Whenever I hit a dead-end I had a coffee break,
read the manual, and had another go.
Don’t tell anyone, but I still have a coffee break and drag out the manual occasionally.
In the last twelve months I have at last started to feel comfortable working on the quilt layer in EQ7, and have been redrawing early block designs to make them a lot neater and more accurate than they were. I have learned that I can save quilt layouts with layers so I don’t have to lay out everything in Layers 2 and 3 out every time I want to use them … or I can start with a saved layout and make changes instead of starting again.