How to Use This Blog

Since we have lots and lots of videos here, you will need to know the best way of finding what you are looking for. Each post has the video(s) of the topic it is about. Sometimes there will be more than one video that is a continuation of the previous one. These videos will be posted together within the same post. To find what you are looking for, either use the search box or the list of categories posted in the right column.

The IQ system is constantly evolving, so please keep in mind that some of the older videos may show features that have been replaced by newer ones, or buttons that have changed position or names. However, the videos have not been removed because the methods demonstrated are still valid.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Quilting a circular tree skirt with your iQ

Another great tutorial by Patty Butcher showing how to set up a panto and then clip out a circle of the pattern in order to make a christmas tree skirt. This was created in response to a question asked by an IQ owner.

If you prefer to watch it on Youtube, use this link.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Adding width to a panto.

Patty Butcher recently made this video showing how to add width to a panto row.

To watch it on Youtube, use this link.

Monday, October 30, 2017

No-sew zones in a pantograph on a large quilt.

No-Sew Zones in a Pantograph on a Large Quilt.
Note: this gives an overview with some steps included. These notes came from the handout from my class about no-sew zones so I was demonstrating these steps. My chatter would have included additional information. If you are new to iQ, then these notes may leave you with questions - don't hesitate to ask those questions on the Friends Using iQ facebook page. 

When there is an area on a quilt that you do not want to stitch over with an E2E pattern, a no-sew zone needs to be created.
First set up the pantograph as usual.
Once the quilt is mounted on the machine, align the quilt image with the real quilt by using the top left corner as the reference point.
When the area you do not want to stitch over is in the part of the quilt you are about to stitch, you need to create a no-sew zone using these steps:
Add/edit block > add block > standard block > trace or mark on quilt
I prefer to mark the block then later define it as a no-sew zone because I can see where I need to split the pattern and then modify it if possible. If I chose no-sew zone instead of standard block at this first stage, the pattern would be eliminated immediately.

Note: If you want to stitch in the ditch around the no-sew zone, you can do this manually as you mark the no-sew zone by lifting the motors and using trace on quilt.

Before going any further, zoom in to look at where the no-sew zone crosses over the patterns.  Does it cover the whole height of a row? Does it cover part of a row?
When the no-sew zone completely covers a pattern row, spilt the pattern anywhere within the block you have just marked. This will eliminate most of the transitions because it has turned one pattern into two.
Follow these steps to split the pattern. Finished > add/edit pattern > split pattern. Touch the pattern anywhere within the no-sew zone and then split.

When the no-sew zone only partially covers a row, you may still want to split the row so that it can be stitched from the no-sew zone outwards. Alternatively, you may decide that leaving the pattern complete will work better. Look to see if the pattern can be modified slightly to go around the no-sew zone. You may be able to eliminate parts and keep the pattern stitching without a transition.
This photo shows how I adjusted an E2E pattern to stitch around a no-sew zone.
                                          (Anne Bright’s Animal Friends Elephant)
Having split the patterns and perhaps modified them, follow these steps to complete the no-sew zone.
Add/edit block > add block > no-sew zone > touch the patterns that are going to be cut by the no-sew zone > continue > select existing block and touch the block you marked > continue > finished

Now choose the transition you prefer. If you choose continuous, smooth can be used to modify the transitions.  Pay attention to how the pattern will stitch around the edge of the no-sew zone – if there is a lot of backtracking or the pattern is dense; continuous may not be the best choice.

If you want to use smooth to modify the pattern, select continuous as the transition for the no-sew zone then when you get to the Design/Sew page, choose add/edit pattern > smooth pattern > touch the row you want to smooth > continue.
Grab the start point with the stylus and move it close to the no-sew zone. Grab the end point and drag it close to the no-sew zone.
Zoom into the pattern where it is cut by the no-sew zone. Touch smooth and then tap the + sign. Notice how it smooths the sharp corners of the continuous transitions.
The other transition choices are tie off and jump stitch. With either one you can eliminate some jumps or tie offs by changing the threshold.  The threshold is in inches – if you change it to one inch, IQ will stitch any distance between where the pattern enters and exits the no-sew zone that is less than one inch, as a straight line. It will jump or pause for distances greater than one inch.
Your choice of transition depends upon the pattern you are using and your preference.
Setting the transition to jump stitch clearly shows where the pattern is cut.
Once the transition is set, continue until you get to the design/sew page and select sew quilt.

Touch the pattern on the left side of the no-sew zone and make sure the start point is next to the no-sew zone. Continue. Touch the pattern on the other side of the no-sew zone and again make sure the start point next to the no-sew zone.  The machine will stitch away from the no-sew zone on both sides. This eliminates any risk of the end of the stitching overlapping into the no-sew zone
My preference is to sequence the whole quilt when sewing pantographs but when there are no-sew zones, it is better to sequence only the rows that can be can stitched in one pass. The no-sew zones will be marked as you come to them when stitching. This will mean that you will have to exit out of the sew quilt page back to add/edit block in order to mark the no-sew zones, so sequencing only the rows that are affected and about to be stitched is more efficient.

If there are multiple no-sew zones in one pass, stitch the patterns between the no-sew zones first then the patterns at the edges of the quilt.

If the no-sew area is larger than the exposed part of the quilt, mark-on-quilt as much of the no-sew zone as possible. Mark the side and top accurately but simply mark a straight line across the base, away from the last row to be stitched in that pass. When you select the patterns to be affected, only touch the rows that are about to be stitched. Do not touch the row that may have a partial no-sew zone.

This shows the stitching sequence for the two rows.

When you advance the quilt you’ll mark-on-quilt the next part of the no-sew zone. It probably won’t match up on the screen with the part of the no-sew zone that’s already marked but don’t worry. You’ve marked accurately, so it will stitch accurately.

Monday, September 25, 2017

iQ Project #1. Part 10.

Simple Custom Quilting.   iQ Project #1. 2017

10.  The final 2 borders and the border cornerstones.

The quilt has been turned so that the final two borders can be stitched.  This makes it easy to adjust the full length of the pattern and stitch it in just two parts.
Having turned the quilt, it’s then necessary to turn the image on the screen. This project was a square quilt so it wasn’t really necessary to turn the image – if it had been rectangular it would have had to be turned. Whether it’s turned clockwise or counter clockwise is up to you. Pay attention to the way you turn the quilt on the frame and turn the image the same way. This is a good habit to get into for those times when a quilt isn’t symmetrical, for instance when it may have piecing on one end of a border.

Align the quilt map off to the side.
In the video I mark on quilt the top border with diagonals at the corners. Don’t do this – follow the better method below. 
The video does not show the pattern being stitched although I do talk about the different ways to sequence the patterns. Upon stitching I discovered that my quilt moved quite a lot so that made me think of a better way to both mark my blocks and how to sequence the stitching. Follow this new method instead of the way I do it in the video.

A better method for marking and stitching the border block on a turned quilt.
Add/edit block > add block > standard block > mark on quilt.
Start at the top left corner of the quilt. Mark along the top raw edge then come down the side raw edge until you are in line with the seam. Mark in towards the left and when you reach the stitching, mark points along the stitching, as shown here. (The green lines are my needle crosshairs.)
Mark along the seam line until you reach the stitching at the left hand end. Mark along the stitching out to the raw edge, as shown here.

Here is the completed block.
Copy the feather patterns from the map and move them to the new block.
Modify them as necessary, just as I did in the video. Match the center of the feather pattern to the center of the block and then move it down into position. Zoom in to check the distance between the seam line and the pattern.
Look at each end. Make the pattern to be stitched meet up with the marked end of the borders.
Change the width then use stretch, as shown in the video.
Here are my screenshots of the pattern in the new block, before and after modification.
The left hand end needed more modification than the right hand end. I changed the width then selected the left hand feather and used stretch to match it to the previous stitching. The distance was too great between the border and the pattern so I used shape shift to bring that portion down.

I only needed to use stretch at the right hand end after altering the width..
Stretch can alter the scale of the pattern but when you use it to make minor adjustments such as this, the difference in scale is very small and not noticeable. 
Here is the whole border.
In the video you’ll see I have trouble using the measure tool. Since I was working at an angle, it was hard to see exactly where I was touching the screen and I didn’t get it right. When standing in front of the screen, I touch slightly above the measure tool’s end crosshairs in order to drag them to the places I want to measure. (I did do this successfully in an earlier video)

Sequence the feathers. After stitching one half of the feather pattern, align to the center (as done in the first video about stitching the top border) then move the needle to the stitched side, placing it over the stitching where it needs to match the yet to be quilted pattern. Set zoom to true size and look up at the screen to see if it is where it should be. (I do this in the video when modifying the pattern) If there is a big difference, back out to the modify pattern page and alter the pattern. If there’s only a tiny difference, be prepared to move the fabric slightly as the stitching approaches the end, Remember, the fabric will draw up.
Stitch the second half of the border pattern.

After stitching the feathers, back out to add/edit pattern > delete pattern > touch the feathers that have been stitched to get rid of them.
Finished > add/edit block > delete block > touch the border block > finished.
Add/edit block > add block > standard block > mark on quilt. Mark along the stitching and the outside edges of the corner.
Add/edit pattern > copy pattern > move the heart into position. Refer back to your quilt map to see the way you originally placed the heart so you can match that on the real quilt.

This screenshot shows my marked corner block.  You can see how many points I marked along the stitching – each small green square is where I clicked to mark the block. (That green vertical line is part of one of my needle crosshairs)

Stitch the heart.
Back out and mark the other corner block, move the heart pattern and stitch it.

Advance your quilt and mark and stitch the bottom border in the same way.

Here is the video. Ofcourse, it's the last part of the project - not what I say in the video! 

If you prefer to watch it on youtube, this is the link.  

Monday, September 18, 2017

iQ Project #1. Part 9.

Simple Custom Quilting.   iQ Project #1. 2017

9. The bottom border.

There’s no video this time because I think there’s no need to demonstrate modifying the border pattern to fit the real quilt, but here are the steps with reminders about which tools to use to make your pattern fit the real border. I am not including complete step by step instructions, but you can refer back to the first installment where we stitched the top border for help.

1.    Retrieve the quilt map and align it off to the side of the real quilt.
2.    Mark on quilt the real border block. Remember to mark the ends on the diagonal just as we did in the first installment.
3.    Copy the border patterns. There are two with each one starting at the center of the border.
4.    Move them into place, matching the center of the pattern to the center of the block. Use the down/up arrows to move it into the correct position, close to the inner seam line. Use the measure tool to check the distance.
5.    Zoom in and pan along the whole length of the border to check the distance between the seam line and the border. Move the patterns up or down as necessary to get the majority of the pattern in the correct position.
6.    Look at each end. Does the pattern reach the diagonal line at the ends of the border block? If it overlaps, and it probably will, alter the width. Do not use stretch here because that will alter both the height and the width and could change the scale of the whole pattern too much. Change the width and keep panning from one end of the border to the other to check the pattern. (Refer back to the video of the first installment if necessary.)
7.    Pan along the whole border while zoomed in to find places where you might need to use shape shift to move parts of the pattern. Alter the size of the effect circle to suit the size of the piece of pattern you want to alter.
8.    Check that the pattern’s center is still at the center of the width of the border.
9.    Pan along one more time when zoomed in. Zoom out to look at the whole border – does it look good?
10. Once you are happy with the way your pattern looks, proceed onto the stitching sequence page and set the patterns to stitch out from the center, first one half of the pattern, and then the other. Select stop to cut threads as the transition.
11. When the first half has stitched and the threads have been cut, let the machine move to the start of the other pattern but watch where it stops to take the single stitch. If it’s not exactly where the first pattern started, touch the realign button. Select the start of the pattern on the screen as your reference point, and then move your needle to where you need the pattern to start. (I had to do that in the first video)
12. When all the stitching is completed, remove the quilt from you machine. Turn it 90ยบ and re-mount it so the unquilted borders are at the top and bottom.  

There will be a video for the next installment where we will finish the quilt.

If you need to watch the video to remind yourself how we quilted the first border, select ‘project’ in the side menu and all the installments will be sorted so you can find that first video easily.

If you have any questions, please e-mail me or ask at the yahoo iQ forum, on facebook, or at MQR. I check all 3 daily.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Eliminating jump stitches.

In this extra project video, I show how to get rid of jump stitches that are built into a pattern. I replace them with the stop to cut threads transition.

This is the link to watch it on Youtube.

iQ Project #1. Part 8.

Simple Custom Quilting.   iQ Project #1. 

8. Placing the second row of horizontal sashing.

This video doesn’t need many notes. I mark on quilt the sashing block, and then copy the horizontal sashing patterns. I use stretch and shape shift to make them fit nicely in the sashing block. I also talk about when I use distort, shape shift and magnet tool.

After completing this part, I think everyone should be able to complete all the sashing and block patterns, but if you have questions or need me to clarify something, please ask here or e-mail me so I can make another video before getting to the bottom border.

Monday, September 4, 2017

iQ Project #1. Part 7.

Simple Custom Quilting.   iQ Project #1. 2017

7. Stitching the first row of block patterns and vertical sashing.

In this installment, I use distort and shape shift to modify the patterns so they fit in the blocks on my real quilt.
You’ll see that I have a serious tension issue at the start that cured itself. I have found that with the change of seasons, and thus temperature and humidity, my elderly machine does this. I had stitched a bit before making this video and thought the machine was warmed up enough, but surprisingly that was not the case. I chose to ignore the bad tension. You might also notice that my machine’s speed changes - that’s because I accidently brushed against the speed dial when I was working on modifying the patterns. I did not check the dial’s position before starting to stitch. The lesson here is to always glance at your speed setting when iQ prompts you to do so before touching that start button on the sew quilt screen. I changed the speed slightly whilst iQ was stitching.

Now onto the instructions.
Retrieve your complete quilt map and align it away from your real quilt, just we did last week. This time I aligned it off to the right hand side.
I marked the centers of the next row sashing corner stones, then did these steps :
Add/edit block > add block > standard block > mark on quilt.
I marked points around the block as many times as necessary to show the true block on the screen. This is important.
(My remote clicker has a small usb receiver plugged into one of the ports on the top of my tablet.)
When I got to the end of marking my block, instead of taking the needle back to the start, I simply touched close block.
Finished > add/edit pattern > copy pattern. I copied 2 vertical sashing patterns. It didn’t matter which two I copied as they are all the same. I zoomed as necessary.
I moved the copies into position in the sashing block. I snapped the start point of the pattern to the top reference point of the black, then touched stretch. I anchored that start point, and then moved the end point until it snapped to the bottom reference point of the block.
I used true size zoom to inspect the pattern and saw that it needed some modifications.
I touched the double arrows to find shape shift.
Look at the size button – I changed that to 3” before the video started because I had been working on the other sashing patterns. After checking the preferences, as I do in the video, change your effect circle size to 3 inches. Modify your pattern – if you don’t like your modifications, touch undo. Change the size of the circle and try again. Sometimes it can take a few tries to get the result you want – try working with a large effect circle and a smaller effect circle to see which modifies the pattern to your liking. You can undo up to 10 steps so don’t worry if your pattern starts to look really bad. If it gets completely out of shape, you can always delete it then copy the patterns from the quilt map and start again.
If your shape shifted patterns looks very strange, check that you have smooth on. If it’s off, touch the button then touch the plus or minus sign to change it to on.

Note: when you get to the next sashing, copy the patterns from the quilt map, not from this sashing which has been altered and thus will be more difficult to modify for the new block. Always start with an unmodified pattern for the best results.
As you watch my machine stitching, this is where you’ll see that terrible tension. It didn’t happen again. You’ll also see that that first double stitched line wasn’t right on top of the previous stitching. This shows how my quilt had moved because I had my hand on the surface.  Lesson number 2 – do not touch the quilt until you are absolutely sure you need to!
Don’t worry about making mistakes like this – we learn so much from our mistakes (and I’m obviously still learning!)

Having completed the first vertical sashing, go on to the next. Mark the sashing block, copy the patterns from the quilt map, move them into place and modify them as necessary. Stitch them. Move on to the next sashing, then the final sashing. Always work on one block at a time – mark the block, place the patterns and sew them immediately.

After completing all the sashings, delete the sahing patterns and the sashing blocks, and then move on to the 10” blocks.
I started with the block at the right hand side. I marked on quilt the block, and then added a diagonal line to help me position the heart patterns. I copied the two heart patterns for that block and moved them into place.
I studied how the patterns related to the diagonal line and found I only needed to rotate the patterns. If your patterns need more modification, use distort and/or shape shift. Just play around – if you make horrible mistakes, simply delete the patterns and copy them again.

Before stitching, I needed to check that my preferences, or local configurations, were set for backstitching because there are some jump stitches built into this pattern.
I sequenced one pattern then touched sew quilt to get to the page where I can alter those settings.
I set my back stitching length quite long so you can see the machine doing them. Personally, I don’t like that double backstitching, especially with this high contrast thread. If this were a piece I needed to look really good, I would have modified the pattern and eliminated the backstitching. I’ll show how to do that in an additional video.
After setting my preferences, I backed out of the sew quilt page so that I could sequence all the block patterns I wanted to sew.
I choose jump stitch as the transition between the two patterns.

I moved onto the center block next, marking the block and copying the center pattern.
This time I used distort. I always go to true size when modifying patterns with distort and use the little reference points of the distort box as guides. This gives me consistent spacing from pattern to pattern.
After using distort, I panned around and used shape shift to alter one side of the pattern where it came too close to the seam (edge of the block).
The image on the video is zoomed in at this point so you can clearly see what happens to the pattern. What you can’t see is that I chose shape shift, and then altered the size of the effect circle (you can just see me altering it by using the keypad).
This allowed me to move that part of the pattern away from the block.
On the stitching sequence page, I swapped the start/end points so that the pattern would stitch the outside first before going to the wreath.

Note: Look at the close up of the pattern at the end – the tiny circle in the center should have touched the petals. Mine doesn’t probably because I was going too fast. I think slowing down iQ would have improved this stitch out considerably, so that’s lesson number 3 for this installment.
Let’s see if I remember those lessons in the next installment.

 Now here's the video.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Answering some questions about the project.

An iQ owner following the project asked some questions on facebook. Although I answered her there, I thought it might be useful to others to answer them here too. I have paraphrased some of the questions.

1. You mentioned burying the threads, do you like to bury threads always or does it depend on the quilt or only on custom quilts? 
I nearly always bury thread ends simply because it gives me the best results. I tried back stitching and doing tiny stitches very close together, but they always looked lumpy and very noticeable, and they would always come loose when I picked at them. I've buried threads since getting my machine in 1997. I bury them as I go and it takes me very little time. These days, I can do them faster because I'll bury while iQ is stitching.

2. What kind of thread are you using for this project? 
I am using a polyester thread. It's a cone I must have acquired along the way - it has no makers name, so is a bit of a mystery. It might be Priced Sew Right overlock thread that a friend gave me.

3. I noticed you have your IQ speed and detail set high, if I sew at those speeds the thread breaks.
Pay no attention to where I have the speed and details set. You all know your own machines and where they stitch well. Set them to suit you and your machine, and to get the best results. If that's significantly slower than mine, that's o.k.

4. What size needle do you usually use?
I use an MR4.0 for everything. 

5. If you smooth the pattern as mentioned in the video, do you delete the original or keep it?
I would probably keep the original, saving the new one with a new name, which may be the original name with smoothed added to it.

6. Do you always do a quilt map with the patterns?
No. I only make a complete quilt map when I am making a quilt from scratch. Sometimes I know which quilting patterns I want to use and design a quilt to suit them. I make the map, then piece the quilt. That's the other way around to the way we usually work - choosing patterns to suit an already pieced quilt.

7. Do you ever mark on quilt and then place the patterns as you go?
Yes, that's the way I usually work on custom quilts. I do go through my pattern catalogs and move any I think I might use on the quilt into their own catalog, just as we did at the start of this project.
I then keep a copy of the patterns on my working screen so I don't have to keep going back to the catalog. I copy those patterns just as I'm doing in the project. (That method might make a good video after the project is completed) For this project, I thought it would be good to include making a quilt map.

8. I noticed that the patterns didn't need altering that much when copies were moved to the real quilt block.
I expect to be altering the patterns more as we progress. My quilt is far from perfectly pieced, plus the fabric draw up will distort it more as we work through. I expect the borders will need modifying the most.  

Monday, August 28, 2017

iQ Project #1. Part 6. Stitching the first border and sashing..

Simple Custom Quilting.   iQ Project #1. 2017

6. Stitching the first border and sashing.

The quilting begins in this installment and you’ll see that my stitching is far from perfect. I’m not worried because this is just a project – it’s a practice piece. If yours looks like mine, then I hope you’re encouraged to just accept it. If yours looks better than mine – hooray!
I am using a high contrast thread that shows both the good and bad clearly. I chose to use it so that the stitching would show up well on the video. You can choose whatever thread you wish. My small quilt is made with old fabric that I don’t care about. I can see my finished project will be a very good, and elegant, pet bed or small picnic rug. 

This is a longer video because it shows everything I do. It is nearly 40 minutes long. If there are parts you need to refer back to when working on your project, make a note of their time so you can quickly find them. For instance, I start working on the sashing at about 25 minutes. I talk about the dwell settings starting at 21 minutes.
There are a couple of places in the video where the image breaks up a little but they do not interfere for very long so I chose not to edit them out. They do not make you miss anything. Also, you may here me speaking softly once or twice – this is of no importance either because I am just talking to myself, saying my thoughts out loud, so don’t worry about trying to hear what I’m saying.  

So let’s get started with the notes. As before, I am giving you a basic guideline, not every single step. If you have questions, you can refer back to the video, comment here, or e-mail me.

Start up your iQ and retrieve your project, using add/edit existing.
You are asked to touch a reference point on the screen – I touched the top right hand corner of my project. When asked to move the machine to that reference point on the real quilt, I did not move my machine to the top right corner of my quilt. Instead I moved my machine to the top left, beyond the edge of my real quilt.
I do not want to work with my project map directly over my real quilt. I want to be able to copy the patterns from my project map and move them onto my real quilt blocks. The real quilt will not be perfect. If I try to mark my real blocks on my project map, I will become very confused.

Add/Edit block > add block > standard block > mark on quilt.
Mark the top border block, tracing along the seam line between the border and the sashing and making a diagonal line, or miter, at each corner. Mark as many points as necessary to truly reflect the block on your tablet.
Add/edit pattern > copy pattern(s). Touch the two feather patterns in the top border.
Move the copies over to the border block, using the arrows to move them precisely into position.
Use the measure tool to check the distance between the bottom of the pattern and the seam line.
Use zoom true size to get a good visual of how the pattern is sitting in the border block.
Pan to each end to make sure the pattern isn’t crossing over the miter.
In the video, I only had to move my patterns. If you find that when your pattern is the correct distance from the seam line, it overlaps the miters, touch width and then the minus sign to shorten the pattern. Stay zoomed in to one end as you do this. Pan over to the other end to make sure it’s correct.
When you are happy, touch finished > finished > sew quilt.
Touch the pattern on the left as the first one to stitch, then touch the other half of the border. Choose stop to cut threads as the transition.
This border will be stitched from the center outwards. This minimizes the fabric movement. However, before stitching the second half, touch realign and follow the directions to make sure the pattern will start exactly in the center. In the video, I let the machine move to the center before realigning. If it had moved to the correct starting position on the quilt, I would not have needed to realign.
I made some changes whilst iQ was stitching. I had not checked my tension before starting so it is less than perfect. I also found that my quilt was vibrating, which was probably due to the fact that my machine has been moved from its normal position recently.

After completing the top border, add/edit pattern > delete patterns. They’ve been stitched so they are not needed anymore.
NOTE: do not ‘select all’ when asked which patterns do you want to delete. Selecting all will delete all the patterns on your project map!

Leave the block for now.
Finished > Add/edit block > add block > standard block > mark on quilt.
Take a marking tool, and mark the center of each cornerstone of the top row of sashing on your quilt.
When you mark on quilt the sashing block, mark it so that it dips down to the center of each sashing cornerstone. This will help when placing the patterns.
When you have finished marking the sashing block, look at the screen. Has it overlapped the border block? If it has, that’s showing how the fabric moved when it was quilted.
You can delete that border block now.

Add/edit pattern > copy pattern > touch the first row of sashing patterns – you need to touch all 6 because they are not combined.
Move the copies to the sashing block. Zoom to true size and pan along the row to check their position. Use move and/or stretch to move the patterns into place.

Stitch the sashings from the center outwards. Watch as they stitch. If the double stitched line doesn’t seem to be perfect, press down on the quilt slightly to move it to make the stitching go where you need it to be.

There is no need to save this quilt when you exit out and shut down. Your complete project has been saved already.