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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Transparency colors effect in EQ7 - a quick tutorial

Hi again everyone,

two blog posts in two days! - this has to be my record for all times... ha ha!
Oh well, one of these days I will learn how to better plan my blog posts and schedule them, and be consistent and.... you get the picture? Honestly, I have all these things in my head and in my sketchbooks and on bits of paper...I want to share it all (in many ways, not just here) but better organization (of little extra time that I have) still escapes me... As always, if you have any good tips, please share! :)

But back to our topics of the day.
If you read the previous post, I started this little experiment of creating the transparency effect with colors in my EQ7. Playing with primary colors was fairly easy because you know what happens when you mix red and yellow, or blue and red (see previous post HERE)... but if you want to use colors further away from primary, subtle shades, it becomes a bit more tricky to figure out which color exactly will bring the transparency effect.

Well, my trusty EQ7 came to the rescue there and I will show you how!

Let's start from the beginning.
First, to achieve this layout and have an easy way of coloring, - as well as possibly sewing later! -
I started with this layout: 3" blocks (horizontal setting) and 2" wide sashing between them:

The reason I did this, specially having a sashing (where there really isn't any VISIBLE sashing of course) instead of just a grid of same squares, is because I wanted somewhat "offset" overlap, not one with squares overlapping half way.
Here is how this would work:

Basically the sashing is a center of each of your individual squares, and four 3" blocks around it are the corners of that square - hope you can see what I mean above? I colored one square red and the other yellow and above the uncolored square will be the transparent overlap. It will be orange of course:

Now that is easy! And you can have another one - overlap yellow with blue:

So that was the easy color choice I was talking about. Now on to the more subtle colors and how they would "mix":
Here is one of those:

Pink and gray might not be a very difficult one, since of course the overlap will be some "grayed-out" shade of pink, but finding that exact color in the palette of solids that is provided by default in EQ7 might not be that easy... However, you can MAKE your own tints and shades in EQ and also the GRADES too!! GRADES means that you can do a gradation of colors going from one to another color and here is how:

1. Find one of the two colors you are overlapping - here I am showing PINK - and RIGHT CLICK on it with your cursor
2. Drop-down menu will appear and on it, you need to choose "Add Grades", like the photo shows, and click on that.

3. When you click on it, a certain gradation of colors will appear - on the left end of it will be the color you picked, (sorry, somehow a photo made my chosen color look more like orange than the pink I actually choose!), but on the right end of it will be some default color (yellow here) - so you have to change that.


4. Click on the little triangle that is right by the yellow color and a whole palette of colors will appear in a drop-down window (photo)

5. You need to look at them and try to find your OTHER color (in my case it was GRAY, remember?). Granted, this window in not big and sometimes it might be a bit tricky to find that exact color, but even it if is NOT exact but very close, you are likely to have what you want at the end.
6. Click on the color you want and...

VOILA!! The gradation of colors between your two chosen ones will appear!! COOL!!

7. Now you need to click on that "Add to Sketchbook" button you see on the bottom left of that window, to save all these in your palette.

It will show up at the END of your palette of solid colors (so don't panic if you don't see it as you look - you need to scroll all the way to the right and it will be there (photo shows it as last 10 colors in my palette)

8. Now you just need to pick one of the shades to color that "transparency square" - usually it is a color close to the middle between the two that works the best.

Here is my choice:

That was easy, right?
This way you can find that "transparency" color between ANY two colors you want!
But of course there is MORE you can do... :)
Remember when you did that first RIGHT click on the color and menu dropped down, there were more choices there? YES! - you can also do few more things to expand your solid color palette in EQ!

If you click on "Add Shades and Tints" you will get a nice light-to-dark gradation of that chosen color. In the photo below, I right-clicked on the ORANGE color that is right next to the upper left corner of the window and got this nice gradation:

If you click on "Add Tones" you will get a gradation of your chosen color (same orange here) with addition of more and more GRAY to it:

And of course what we did in this tutorial, adding GRADES - here is another example showing two quite different colors, that same orange from above and blue:

What a lovely, amazing set of all new colors!! Don't you agree?? I just LOVE this!!

Oh and if all this is not enough for ya - yes, you can add even more colors by choosing your own! There is one more choice in that menu - "Add Color" - if you click on that, you will get this and be able to make your color:

Slide that cursor up and down, left and right till you get what you like!! FUN!!

OK, so that is how I did ALL of my choices in the quilt above, and I ended up with a nice set of new gradations and colors at the end of my default solids palette, you can see most of them below:

Isn't this neat??
I am sure lots of you knew this already, and of course it is somewhere in that fabulous manual that comes with the program, but for many who are just starting to explore EQ7, or are not too keen on reading the manual -  I hope this is a good, quick tutorial on how to do this.

Of course, using this transparency way of coloring, you can achieve really neat effects in coloring some classic blocks too! Here is just a quick example of a simple star block (made from four Quarter-square triangle units, using a partial seam... I love this simple block - we can talk about this one and how to make it, later too!)

I only did a quick coloring here, with only two transparency combinations, (hey I can play forever, but really need to finish this tutorial and post it! he he), but you can see the possibilities, right? :)

Oh and then the fun of actually picking FABRICS to MAKE all these beauties for real... Solids or prints that read as solids - what would be your preference? Hmmmm...

I hope you enjoyed this little trick that your EQ7 can give you and please let me know if you have any questions or show me what you create - I would love to see!!

Have a fabulous Wednesday,

#EQ7  #EQ7tutorial  #transparency

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Summertime hiatus is over...a quick tutorial coming!

Hi everyone,

somehow I got sewing-lazy these few weeks and hence, not much to talk to you about!
Summer is beautiful around here, albeit a bit more chilly than usual and if you ask Mr. Marley, that is just how he likes it!
Here he was one happy boy coming back home with us - us from work, him from a doggy daycare. Yeah he is one loved, spoiled pup... No, I am really not one of those dog lovers who goes overboard, but ever since we lost our darling Rocky, Marley is home alone all day and doesn't move much...and he needs good exercise. So besides walks every day, he goes once a week to romp with his friends all day long and he loves it. I also see that money spent as his health insurance. :)
When you live in area like Buffalo where winters can be long and cold, you cherish your summer. You spend lots of time outdoors. And if you are a nature and photography lover like me - you have your iPhone running out of photo storage in less than 3 months! Crazy woman... But here are few beautiful photos for your inspiration - we went hiking to Little Rock City park in Salamanca NY.

Amazing rocks...

Just beautiful...
Little ghostly, saprophytic plants (plants that don't make chlorophyll like most plants do, (hence, no green color anywhere!), but rather live on other decaying plant material)
Amazing moss:
Or mushrooms:
And then there were some almost alien-looking fungus too:
Oh and some ghostly rocks as well:

Just look at this beautiful, beautiful forest! I have to say, these colors and all is something that always, ALWAYS makes me smile... Not to mention our lovely pups (Marley and grand-puppy Oliver) and of course my handsome youngest son too... (just a little bragging here! )

We had some wonderful time and at the end, this is how the ride home went:
Two snoozing pups on my lap!! Loved every minute of it. :)

Speaking of loving every minute - babysitting!! Our beautiful little granddaughter is growing every day and of course more and more beautiful by the minute! Today is her little "quarter-birthday", she is 3 months old!! I can't even begin to tell you how much I love that little girl and how much I cherish every minute spent with her!

Yes she loved that above-the-stroller toy that we got for her... This smile was when we put it on first - hooray!! 

So see now why I got a bit sewing-lazy?? Not looking for excuses here, but there are certainly some totally cute reasons, don't you think? 

But hey, in reality, there isn't a day at all that I don't do SOMETHING fabric, sewing or design related...really. If nothing else, I would browse internet, Facebook, blogs and other treasures during some quick break or right before falling asleep - a little spark of inspiration can come from just about anywhere, right? 
So during one of those journeys I saw this simple modern beauty created by one of the pioneers of modern quilting, Bill Kerr and Weeks Ringle:

This above is just a screen shot of the web page that you can find HERE .
Weeks and Bill have a whole book on this, a good one too - Transparency Quilts: 10 Modern projects.

Isn't it amazing how just by good choice of color you can depict the magic of transparency with fabric? 

But this quilt triggered a whole domino effect for me - I immediately remembered that quite some years ago, I took an excellent class on just this - achieving transparency with good color choices! Class was by Judy Blydon at Vermont Quilt Festival. I still remember enjoying the class, being so excited and inspired by all of it and then....somehow during all these years I seem to forget all that? Isn't that sad?? 
How do we get quietly "lulled" into a repetition, routine, same old, same old...and forget exciting things we learned, tools that we have to create?? I was quite struck by that. 

Decided then and there that I must "dost-off'" all this and dig deeper into my own creative tool-box, into my own creative soul! Really!!

OK, nice promise Marija, noble thoughts...but what is one to do? Well, to begin with, I immediately double-clicked on my EQ7 icon and started "sketching"... I wanted to make my own quick transparency quilt, just to see if I can do it...

What do you think? Good transparency effect? 
Tried in some other colors too:

Have to say that first one, having mostly primary colors, was fairly easy in terms of finding that "transparency" effect color. You know, if blue and yellow square overlap, mix (or transparency effect) should be green. Red and yellow should have orange overlap... right? 
But this second one, having this specific set of purples and greens was not that easy. However, looking around my EQ7 tools I found a fairly easy way - HOORAY!!!

Of course I will share it with you, so a quick tutorial on this little EQ7 gem is coming tonight! I promise! :) 

That should also resume my "Each one, teach one" series of tutorials (long overdue, I know...), although I am thinking to move it maybe to another day? I noticed quite a few blogs having Tuesday as a tutorial day, so maybe to "spread it around the week" a bit? What do you think?

Let me know your thoughts on any of this - learning new things, forgetting what you learned, transparency as an effect in quilting? 

Thanks for spending some time with me, I will be back later tonight!! :)
Have a wonderful Tuesday,