Friday, March 16, 2012

Computers and quilting

So far, this is a good day; I've had a success both on the computer side, and as a quilter.

Computer successes always make my day

Since the purchase of my new computer with Windows 7 (I know 8 is already out), almost a year ago, I have been grousing about the fact that my favorite photo software, Corel PhotoPaint 8 no longer works. I guess this could be my sacrifice in the name of progress. It was a very old program, and according to all I've read online, the upgrades are lacking. Besides, I refuse to buy a program twice.

My PhotoPaint served me well. I did everything on it, from stitching two pictures together to creating a panorama, to inserting and removing portions of images, changing colors, to generally manipulating images to their best potential. I have been lost without it.

Not long ago, I downloaded a few online photo programs, and even purchased one that was billed as much more than it actually was, but useful nonetheless.

I really wanted Adobe Photo Shop, but there is just no way I could ever afford that. Just recently I decided to download GIMP, which everybody says is a great PhotoShop replacement, and it is free.

Today I decided I wanted to upload photos of six quilt blocks, two at a time, that I had just completed for Craftsy's Block of the Month. I had no idea how to combine the three pictures into one photo. My old program used a feature to 'stitch' them together, but GIMP didn't recognize the 'stitch' command. It didn't take too long before I learned to do exactly what I wanted. This is the result at right.

Computer success allows me to show my quilting progress
I love how this quilt is coming together. Purple is another of my favorite colors. I completed these six blocks last weekend, but only after I sorted all the fabric in my stash. For years I had been buying fat quarters here, a yard there, mostly always fabric that is on sale. I realized that I had quite a lot of purple fabric. Since I really love monochromatic quilts, I decided to use it for this one. This is considered a modern quilt because it uses newer methods to create traditional patterns as well as some new ones. I think the bottom two are my favorite--the string blocks. They are so easy, but look so complex. I just love how they turn out. For these blocks, I just used scraps from another quilt I had made.

String blocks are beautiful sewn together into a quilt, no matter what colors they are--whether they are made with different color strips and types of fabric or the same.

I love this quilt of the month project at http://www.craftsy.com/. I can't wait to see what the April blocks will be. It is a free class, with instructor Amy Gibson.