Saturday, June 7, 2014

WARNING! EQ LIES!

Have we become to dependent on technology?  Oh you bet we have.  For some reason we seem to think that computers and programs can't lie.  All I need to say is spell check your blog post, how many times do you click on ignore?  Take for instance the word sashing.  Spell check says it's spelled wrong but its not.   Nothing like good old paper and pen.  Maybe a little brain power, you can cheat and use a calculator also.    So let me show you what all the fuss is about.  
 Here's a simple quilt plan.  We'll be ignoring the last border which is how I show my bindings.  Of course I wouldn't make a one inch binding, but it'll show the fabrics well in layer one.

So the center will be (4) 12 inch blocks finished.  When you make them you square them up at 12.5 inches.  But after you sew them into the quilt you get a 24 inch block.  You see I just did simple math in my head without any assistance!  Correct so far!  That's 2 happy points for EQ!  You go EQ!  Making my life easy....WHOOHOO!  

Below  another simple border cut at 5 inches, finishes in the quilt at 4.5 inches wide.  So if we add the center block plus the border blocks we get 33 inches finished.  EQ is on a winning streak...Correct again!  Two more happy points!

Okay now lets add a second border of 1 inch finished.  That's right the finished medallion is now 35 inches finished.  But I want my next border round to be 12 inch blocks. (12.5 when your squaring them up after piecing)  By my paper and pen and by my calculator and brain.... 12+12+12=36 not 35.  Why is EQ not sending out an error or warning? UH-OH!   I'm taking away 1 point for bad behavior.  Maybe it'll fix it when I print out the rotary cutting directions.   Let's take a look and see!

Just wanted you to see they are 12 inches.  And the 59 inch finish.

 So lets go into layer one and see what happens.   Everything looks good.

Remember we need 36 finished (36.5 unfinished inches) in order to fit.  Well lets use that handy dandy measuring tool shall we?  Okay the (3) 12 inch blocks measure 36 and so does the border that buts up against it.  So it should tell me to cut at 36.5 for seam allowances right?  Looking good!  I think maybe this is where the computer brain kicks in and finds the mistake....

Forgive me for forgetting to circle the measurement but you can plainly see that it's telling me to cut at 35.5....WRONG!  You lied to me EQ!  This will not measure up in this quilt!   At this point I'm taking all of EQ earned happy points back and putting them MY pocket.

So how do I fix this little problem.  Its easy, just increase that 1 inch border to 1.5 finished and it'll tell you to cut at 2 inches.  Making 36 inches finished or 36.5 x 2 when cutting.  Just what I need to go with (3) 12 blocks!  Yeah for the multiplication table I learned in second grade!  Yeah for paper!  Yeah for me for catching the mistake and not cutting wrong!  Oh this quilt could have been made with the incorrect measurements by easing in, or I could have adjusted my seam allowances, but I really like to work as accurately as I can.  Not saying I don't make mistakes....boy do I!  I've a few to show you after I get this quilt top together, they aren't pretty but they are staying.  One tool I forgot to use in EQ was the yardage tool.  I'll show you what that looks like in a finished top tomorrow.
Now I want to say I LOVE EQ.  I use almost daily.  It has greatly enhanced my quilting abilities.  But I've learned the hard way that it's always a good idea not to trust it's math.  Maybe on the next version they'll enhance it's brain power to find such errors like the one above.  Can it be done, sure it can.  There are many programs out there that will warn of mathematical errors.  But until then.... 
  Do the math...measure twice, cut once.  

~Lea Anne~
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6 comments:

  1. Well, I've never been able to afford the EQ program so I have to use graph paper. At this point, I can't imagine taking the time to figure out how to use a new program and then have it give me incorrect results! It would be nice to have the features it offers if I just had the time. I know I would spend an inordinate amount playing. In the 80's, I did a bunch of blocks on graph paper, just messing around. You know, back then, we didn't have even a lot of quilt books to reference.Heck, when I started subscribing to Quilter's Newsletter, it was 4 or 5 sheets of copy paper, mimeographed! Anyway, I've been making those blocks up and I can't find the name for lots of them. I'm sure that I didn't "create" new blocks but I don't know their names. I think that I could probably use EQ to find the names. So happy piecing my high-tech buddy! I'll struggle along with graph paper....XO

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  2. I have had a similar experience with EQ I like the tool but can't blindly rely on it and at times it frustrates me .

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  3. just as well you had your wits about you, for someone quite new to quilting this could have been a disaster, have been thinking about EQ7 but somehow have not managed to justify the cost yet. Also not sure I would understand it if I got it.

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  4. Lee Anne - I had the same issue recently when designing a 20" log cabin block, where I inserted a window and door. (I was using my leftover fabric to design a back). Being new to EQ7, I thought it was the "fool behind the tool" but it was an EQ7 error. I agree with you to double check EQ7 math - measure twice, cut once!

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  5. You do have to be careful when you are planning to add pieced borders when working with EQ. Unfortunately the border function is set up to only take into account the width of the border and not the size of the blocks you plan to use in the border. The program asks you how many pieced blocks go into the border, not the size of the blocks. If you look closely at the blocks in your 12" border, you can see that the corner blocks are wider than the blocks in the center, a clear sign that your previous border isn't wide enough to get you to the proper size (checking the ruler along the top is a real good way to catch that). The program just doesn't have the capability to estimate the size of borders needed to fit a given block. It's not so much a program error as it is a limitation of how the software works.

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  6. I'm sure this is too late for this quilt, but maybe this will help you for future designs. I've just been playing around with EQ, planning a class, and I think I've stumbled onto the feature that makes sure border blocks stay square. For border style choose "tile squares". You need to know about how many blocks of the size you want will fit (border length divided by block size, round up to a whole number). EQ will keep the blocks square and will add a strip between the pieced border and the previous border if necessary to make the lengths work out. To avoid having to piece that extra sliver into the quilt, you can now go back and add that extra width (border width minus block size) to the previous border.

    That's ptretty much what you figured out independently of EQ, but this is how you'd get EQ to do it for you. Is it clear as mud?

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