The optional Quilted Diamonds CDs work with Electric Quilt software, so you can print the diamond patterns instead of tracing on freezer paper.
I drew the original diamond patterns for Love & Friendship with a mechanical pencil and a ruler. Now I draw them in EQ by Electric Quilt. What fantastic software! It is an engrossing pastime, and a very pleasing blend of the computer age with age-old handcraft, shared with friends through cyber space.
The QD1 CD includes drawings of all of the diamonds of Love & Friendship, and the QD2 CD includes 101 new diamonds and sample diamond quilt settings, so you can color, edit and resize the diamonds, and print them on freezer paper instead of tracing.
For information about copying the files onto your computer, please see the FAQ.
A color instruction booklet is provided for printing and using the patterns on the QD1 CD only. The instructions for the QD2 CD are in the QD2 book. Please note that because all of the diamonds are drawn within rectangles, there are limitations on designing quilt layouts for diamonds in EQ.
The Quilted Diamonds CDs are not sold without a book, but if you already have the book, please email me for info.
YOU MUST HAVE ELECTRIC QUILT (EQ4, EQ5, EQ6, EQ7, or EQ8 or newer) TO USE THE QD CDs.
Electric Quilt is NOT required for Inklingo or Jane Austen’s Writing Table Quilt CD.
A word about technology In Jane Austen’s day, ladies did not have smartphones so they relied on “a little bit of ivory, two inches wide.” Ladies penciled their shopping lists and other notes on tiny ivory tablets, like the one above, which could be erased with a damp cloth. Nevertheless, I have looked to Jane Austen for advice about the QD EQ-compatible CDs, and I think she would recommend them.
Design Freedom with the Quilted Diamonds CDs
1. With the Quilted Diamonds CDs you can color the diamonds with the standard colors and fabrics in EQ, or with your own scanned fabric—using three or more fabrics instead of just two, if you wish, and make an assessment before you buy yards and yards of fabric. Ah! This is rational pleasure—and I think Jane Austen approved of that.
2. You can design simple settings It was an advantage that could not be too gratefully acknowledged, nor too speedily made use of (Sense and Sensibility, Chapter 36)—-although quilt layouts are limited by the fact that the patterns are all rectangles with a diamond inside. (You cannot get rid of the outer rectangle).
3. You can modify the diamonds (add or remove lines) to make them more complicated or simpler—which is entirely in keeping with the spirit of both Janes, and encouraged by me! I think both Jane Austen and Jane Stickle found great satisfaction when they added their own ideas to what had already been done by others. They would approve of your desire to be creative and do something new. The QD CDs are perfect for that.
With the Quilted Diamonds CDs, you can print the patterns directly onto freezer paper with an inkjet printer (NOT LASER!). It is very accurate and once you have figured out how your printer works with freezer paper, it is fast.
Personally, I often trace my patterns. What can I say? I like becoming familiar with the pattern by tracing it. I also derived great pleasure from tracing and coloring maps in elementary school, so please consider the source. (Remember peacock blue ink, and turquoise pencil crayons to outline the coast of Africa? I wonder if they still do that in school. Do they just click on the map on the Internet now?)
Even if you don’t print on freezer paper, you can print a copy of the pattern to carry with you when you are hand piecing on the go, rather than carrying the whole book with you. You could print a copy of each block from the QD CDs and use them as a journal of your progress. I shall never let that book go out of my own hands, said she. (Emma, Chapter 9)
With the CD you can print the patterns in any size you want–bigger or smaller than the ones in the book. YOU decide what is exactly the true size for rational happiness. (Northanger Abbey, Chapter 21)
There is a formula in the booklet that comes with the QD CD, and also in the book, Quilted Diamonds 2, so you can figure out the dimensions for any 60-degree diamond shape. For example, if you know you want to print diamonds that are 10 inches high, the print width should be set at 5.71 inches. (Yes, EQ will print to size to two decimal places!) It is easy to figure any size if you know the formula, working from width or height. If you want to print diamonds that are only one inch high, Monkey and I refuse to help you , but it can be done.
Many quilters use the features of EQ to print patterns for paper piecing. In all these cases, there are established usages which make everything plain and easy (Persuasion, Chapter 3), but I cannot advise you on this because I DO NOT PAPER PIECE. I enjoy hand piecing much more, and I don’t have a lot of time to sit at a sewing machine.
Monkey is a hand piecing snob, but I am on very friendly terms with my sewing machine and often use it for clothing construction. My little diamonds are made by hand, usually in the car, or on the couch, or on the front porch. I love the portability of hand piecing. I hope that if you enjoy paper piecing, you will find ways to paper piece diamonds, so that making them will be as much fun for you as it is for me. The CDs might help you with that.
Intro to EQ
Monkey noticed that when I drafted the diamonds, I did it with a ruler and a mechanical pencil, even though I had had EQ on my computer for almost a year. I had not taken the time to become familiar with the software (one false step involves her in endless ruin. Pride & Prejudice, Chapter 47) and I did not understand how powerful EQ is, or how much fun it is to use it. She was heartily ashamed of her ignorance. (Northanger Abbey, Chapter 14)
You might find that using the QD CDs would give you a nice way to start with your EQ software, if you have not done it already. I wish I had spent the 30 to 60 minutes it takes to learn the basic features when I bought EQ. I finally took one class, and had moments only of languor and depression, to hours of occupation and enjoyment. (Persuasion, Chapter 17)
I am not an expert in EQ—and the program is so rich in features that I don’t think there is anyone who knows it ALL—-but if you are looking for a way to start using EQ, the QD CDs might be the answer.
You should also use the books that come with the software!!! Nowadays we often joke “when all else fails, read the manual.” Jane Austen knew that provided that nothing like useful knowledge could be gained from them, provided they were all story and no reflection, she had never any objection to books at all. (Northanger Abbey, Chapter 1)
Quilted Diamonds CD Appearance
This is really the very worst reason for buying the QD CDs, but I will tell you anyway. They are cute. The CD labels look like fabric. They are very high tech CD-ROM made with some kind of space-age plastic but it looks as if you are putting a little round quilt block into the CD drive. Cool, eh? I told you it was not a good reason for buying the CDs, but it appeals to Monkey and to me. Jane Austen was a master of comic irony, and I think she would have been charmed by this.