Taking advantage of marvellous Easter weather, I seized the opportunity to repaint my workshop before the impetus left me for another year. It must be more than 10 years since it was first done using watered-down leftover paint from the house. I almost has a set-to with the chap in the paint shop who refused to mix my original shade in masonry paint because that option was not available on the computerised mixing system. After a great deal of persuading, he reluctantly agreed to “tell” the machine it was just mixing emulsion and all was well. 3 tins later on in the week, I had built up quite a rapport with the paint-mix guy and he would greet me with a cheery, “Bongo Jazz 5?” I did not enjoy the task of covering the workshop walls that have been pebble dashed with granite chips. It takes ages to get paint into all of the crevices, it is hard work on my hands, I get absolutely plastered with pink paint and I detest climbing ladders. The only reason I did not quite finish the job off was because the paint shop actually ran out of paint and it will be a whole week until they get more supplies. The job that was even worse than painting the walls was attempting to paint the metal garage door a different colour when the weather had turned considerably colder and windier. I abandoned the chore in disgust, leaving a partly painted door that will annoy me until I get another warm, still day. My husband has suggested that I should smooth down some of the streaks with fine sand-paper but that will not be happening…
I dragged the EQ7 guidebooks out and muddled my way through a basic design for my tartan quilt. It does not seem like a very user-friendly or intuitive design program to me but I managed to produce a slightly wobbly diagram in the end. The useful thing is that EQ7 can calculate the approximate amount of fabric required so I placed an order with Oakshott, assuming that the online images would be similar to the shades that I was after. I love the fabrics that are shot with a different shade the best but 3 solids were also required. Hopefully there will be plenty left over to make some cushions of the Tartan Quilt’s simple central block in all of the colour combinations;)
I keep trying to find a straightforward way of producing my quilting sketches in a computer format. I think what I am actually trying to do, without investing heavily in expensive software, is a form of digitising. I find drawing with a pencil pretty challenging so using a computer mouse is even worse. I had taken photos of my quilt sketches for my book but these were ordinary Jpegs with pixels. What I would really like are professional-looking vector drawings. Muddling my way through tedious Youtube tutorials I downloaded free open-sourced drawing software called Inkscape along with the Quartz operating system. I managed to convert a photo of a sketch into an SVG vector file! I still don’t know the difference between a parabola and a spline but I was impressed with my efforts - not bad for someone who loathed computers when they first appeared in my school and proudly achieved an “Ungraded” O-level in Electronics.
What I have not yet managed to master is how to edit designs in Quilt Path. I can resize the designs but I cannot alter their proportions. I wanted a simple all-over Baptist Fan design on a customer quilt. Before I had completed the quilt, I decided that the gaps between the arcs looked too wide so I think that some additional freehand quilting will be necessary.
I was not originally planning to start that particular customer quilt and just work on a small bed runner for a boat bunk. However, it has now been added to the list of things to do before I pack for my trip to the USA in a week’s time. It is quite a long list, still the school holidays and I might also have to factor in some painting!