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The IQ system is constantly evolving, so please keep in mind that some of the older videos may show features that have been replaced by newer ones, or buttons that have changed position or names.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.

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.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

iQ Project #1. Part 5. Placing the Border and Sashing Patterns.

Simple Custom Quilting.   iQ Project #1. 2017

5. Placing the Border and Sashing Patterns.

In this installment, the quilt map and plan is completed. This is the last time we will be working in demo mode.
I am not writing every single step because by now I think you should be able to know when to touch finished or continue. However, if you get lost, watch the video again, and if necessary, write down all the steps I take.
There is one place in the video where I could have done things differently so watch the video, then read these instructions to decide what you will do.

Starting at the main menu, retrieve your saved quilt map with the block patterns in place. (Hint: edit/sew existing)
Add pattern > block pattern > select the top border block.
Path pattern will be used to place the border pattern. Path pattern is a fast way to put a border pattern in place because it automatically combines all the repeats and they can be customized as a group to fit the border pleasingly.
First we need to place the pattern that will be the path that the pattern we want to sew will follow.
Select line in the geometric catalog.
Move the start end so that it snaps to the center reference point of the border block.
Stretch > anchor the S > touch the end point and move it until it snaps to the center reference point of the left hand end of the border block.

Finished > add pattern > path pattern > touch the line (the path)
Select Simply Feathered e2e from the project pattern catalog.
Note that iQ always puts in 20 repeats as the first choice. That’s too many for this project.
Reduce the number of repeats to 4.
Flip Y.
Notice how the pattern is placed too high up in the border. That’s because the start and end point of a pattern is always placed on the path. There are a few ways to move the pattern into the correct position but in the video I use modify path. This moves the path, but I cannot see the path pattern so it’s a bit of guess work as to how far I need to move the path. I tap, tap, tap the down arrow until I think it looks about right.
Alternatively, I could have selected Offset on the path pattern screen and moved the feather pattern down into position.
(Note: try both methods to see which one you prefer. If you see the pattern distorting at the start end when using offset, turn warp off. With warp on, iQ is trying to make the start and end point stay on the path.)
Pay attention to the end of the feather at the border cornerstone – it should not cross that diagonal line.

Finished > add/edit pattern > delete pattern, and touch the line to delete it.
Modify pattern, and touch the feather border pattern.

Use the grid, set to a quarter inch, to fine tune the position of the feather pattern. Zoom in and pan to see how it appears at the cornerstone end of the border.
Move the pattern until its position is pleasing to you. Make sure the start point is at the center of the border block and the end feather doesn’t cross the diagonal line in the cornerstone.
When you are happy with the pattern’s placement, touch finished.
Copy pattern. Select the feather border pattern.
Flip X. Move the copy so that the two start points snap together.
(Note: we will be stitching the border patterns from the center out to minimize fabric draw up.)

Copy pattern > touch both border patterns.
Rotate 90º and move them into position in the side border. Zoom in and pan around to check the position.
When you are happy, touch finished > copy pattern > select all 4 border patterns.
Rotate and move them into position.
Zoom in to check the corners and use the grid to check their distance from the inner edge of the border.

After placing all four border patterns, touch finished.
Add pattern > block pattern > select block and touch the top left sashing block.
Choose lob cont.
Use move and stretch to position it at the left hand end of the sashing block.
Finished > repeat pattern > touch lob cont.
X repeats > tap the plus sign until the top sashing is filled. Zoom in to check the intersection between the repeats. There should not be a gap or an overlap. (Note: if you see either, touch X distance while you are zoomed in, and alter it until the repeats match perfectly. iQ alters every repeat so you only need to stay zoomed in to one intersection. There’s no need to check the others.)
Y repeats > tap the plus sign until you have 4 rows.
Y distance > 12” > finished.

Add pattern > block pattern > select block > then get lob pattern again.
Move it and rotate it into position.
But wait – what could I have done differently at this point?
Think about the other choices I had on the add/edit pattern screen.

Yes, I could have selected copy pattern and simply copied one lob from the top sashing and rotated and moved it into place, then used repeat pattern as I did in the video.
I also could have copied the whole row, rotated it and repeated that row.
Or I could have copied all the lob patterns and rotated them all then moved them into position.
You can see that there are several different ways to get the end result you want. No one method is right or wrong, it’s simply what works best for you and, sometimes, which method is fastest, or which one you think of at the time. It was only after finishing the video that I realized I could have used any of these other methods.
If you want to try out each method, follow what I do on the video, then delete all the lob patterns and try another method.

The final step is to place the double heart pattern in each corner of the border.
Copy the double heart and move it into position, altering its scale to fit the space. The diagonal line and the grid will help position the pattern to your liking.

When you like it, copy, rotate and place the copy in the second corner. Use the grid and snap grid to position it.
Finally copy both the hearts, flip Y and move them into position.

Save the quilt with a new name. This allows you to keep a copy of the quilt with only the block patterns so you can audition other border and sashing designs.

We will start stitching in the next installment so if you want to sew along with me, you need to have the quilt top ready. It might be a good idea to mount the quilt sandwich and completely baste the three layers together so that you can take the project off your machine between installments. Ofcourse, you could also wait until the end to do the stitching.

Monday, August 14, 2017

iQ Project #1. Part 4. Placing the Block Patterns.

Simple Custom Quilting.   iQ Project #1. 2017

4. Placing the block patterns.

Want to watch the video on Youtube? This is the link.
This post does have some step by step written instructions to follow but please watch the video first.
If you are new to iQ or new to doing custom quilting with iQ, watch it three or more times before working on your own project. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me.
I do not write every single step (I omit telling you to touch the finished button, for example) but give you a good guide. It should be obvious when you have to touch finished or continue.)

There is one place in the written steps that improves upon the way I do something in the video – you might want to follow the better method note rather than copy what I do in the video at that point.

So, let’s get started!
At the main menu, choose Design/Sew Quilt, then Edit/Sew Existing and retrieve your quilt map.

Add/Edit Pattern > Block Pattern > Select Block  - touch the top left hand 10” block.
Select the project pattern catalog and touch the feathered heart.
Zoom in and turn your zoom lock on.
Finished > Add Pattern> Block Pattern > Use Current Block – select the geometric catalog and select line.
Move line so one end snaps to the top left corner of the block.
Stretch. Touch the end you just moved to anchor it in place. Grab the other end of the line and move it until it snaps to the bottom right corner of the block.
Select – touch the feathered heart. Rotate 45º.
Move – move the heart until it is centered over the diagonal line. Note that this pattern is not symmetrical so ignore the bottom feather when moving the pattern into place. Turn on the grid to a quarter inch to help you place the pattern and equal distance from all 4 sides of the block. Scale it up if necessary.
(Note – the pattern has to please you – if it’s a little different to mine, that’s o.k. You may not want it to be quite as big, that’s o.k.)
When you are happy with the placement and scale of the pattern, touch finished > Add Pattern > Block Pattern > Use Current Block > select project catalog and choose double heart.
Scale it down, rotate it and move it into place using the diagonal line and the grid to help. Zoom in when necessary.
Finished > Delete Pattern – select the diagonal straight line and delete it.

(Better method note: it might be easier to leave the diagonal line in place and copy it along with the other 2 patterns. Then, at the next step, after rotating the patterns, you can simply make sure the diagonal is snapped to the upper right and lower left hand corners of the block for perfect placement rather than having to move just the 2 patterns around as I do in the video. Delete the two straight lines after doing that step)

Copy Pattern(s) > touch both the patterns, or select all.
Rotate the patterns and move them into position using the grid as a guide. Zooming in really helps too.

Copy Patterns > Select All > rotate. Grab the center reference point that lies between the 2 patterns and move them until that point snaps to the center point of the middle block of the bottom three.

Add Pattern > Block Pattern > Select Block – touch the top middle block.
Select CQ feather square 7. Move it into position, matching a corner reference point with a corner of the block. Scale it up to fill the block.
Copy Pattern > select CQ feather and move the copy into place in the left hand side empty block.
Copy Pattern and select both CQ feather square patterns.
Move them into place.

Add Pattern > Block Pattern > Select Block – touch the center block.
Choose Simply Feathered motif and move it into place. Scale it up if you feel it’s necessary.

Add Pattern > Block Pattern > Use Current Block – select spiral and scale it down to fit in the center of the simply feathered motif.

Look over everything to make sure nothing needs modifying, and that everything looks good to you, then select save quilt/pattern > save the quilt. Give it a name and save it in your project catalog.

Next time we’ll add the sashing and border patterns.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Creating a 1" straight line panto.

How to Create a 1" straight line grid across your quilt using the Intelliquilter computerised system. Alternating directions and continuously stitching. How to use the Panto assistant on IQ.

A video by Tracey Browning.

Go here to watch it on Youtube.

Some help with motor alignment

Erin explains how to physically align the iQ motors in this video.

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

Monday, August 7, 2017

iQ Project #1. Part 3. Preparing the Patterns.

Simple Custom Quilting.   iQ Project #1. 2017

3. Preparing the Patterns.

The next step in this project is to find all the patterns we are going to use and place them into in a project catalog. This will be a temporary holding catalog, created simply to make finding the patterns we are going to use easier. At the end of the project, it will be deleted. The new patterns we create will be placed in this catalog. If you want to keep the new patterns, they need to be moved to another catalog at the end of the project, or at any time during the project.

All the patterns we use in this project are on your iQ.
They are : intf2 (Keryn Emmerson)
CQfeather square 7 (Keryn Emmerson)
Heart (Patterns by Helen)
Lob, or Lob cont. (Patterns by Helen)
Spiral 2 (Patterns by Helen)
Simply feathered border, and border corner (Wildflower Quilting)

I will not be writing complete step by steps for this installment, but just an outline of the steps. You will need to watch the video for a complete description of how to move the patterns and how to create the variations.

If you prefer to watch this video on Youtube, go to

First, search for and move copies of each pattern in turn into a catalog named (space)Project. Putting the space before the name places the catalog at the top of the library list, which makes retrieving the patterns faster.

Return to the main menu and start new. Block pattern. Go to the preferences (local configurations) and set both to disabled.
Make a10”x10” block.

Choose heart. Reduce it to 100%.
Move the start/end point.
Copy the heart, reduce the copy to 80% and move it so that both start/end points match.
Combine, and save.

Delete double heart.
Add simply feathered border corner. Copy. Rotate 90º. Move the copy so the start matches the end of the original.
Copy both. Rotate 90º twice, move them into place, making a complete motif.
Combine and save.

Delete simply feathered motif.
Add lob. Add pattern, select arc-2 from the geometric catalog.
Place arc-2 on top of lob. Move it by grabbing the start point and matching it to the S/E of lob. If arc-2 isn’t the same length as lob, use stretch – anchor the start point, then grab the end point and snap it to the right hand end of lob. (this isn’t in the video)
Combine. NOTE: if you see a pink line when you combine these two patterns, you need to swap the start/end point.


This installment is now complete. There is no need to save the block, just exit out.

Additional Note:
A new user reminded me that new IQ's have some included patterns saved in the catalogs in a different orientation to mine. Arc-2 is an example of that. I have it saved as a horizontal pattern so when I selected it to make lob cont. it came into my block horizontally. In most iQs, arc-2 is at an angle in the catalog so that's how it will be placed in the block. If that happens to you, touch the start point of arc-2 and move it until it snaps to the start/end of lob. Select stretch and select the start point as the anchor.Then touch the end point of arc-2. Zoom in, then move the end point so it snaps to the right hand end of lob.
Hope that helps.