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linda@surroundedbyscraps.com
Portland, OR

503-997-8958

Handmade quilts and home accessories by fiber artist Linda Nussbaum. See samples of past projects as well as pieces available for sale and inspirations for custom orders. To see what is currently available for sale, please visit my Etsy Shop.

Trying Something New

Surrounded by Scraps

Trying Something New

Linda Nussbaum

It's no secret that I fell out of touch with the online community at some point last year. A few weeks ago I started noticing some great design graphics popping up on Karen - CapitolaQuilter's IG feed. She used a hashtag #qdad, which I tried in all my linguistic brain power to identify but eventually had to simply ask for the answer. "What does #qdad stand for??" The answer was embarrassingly straightforward, and one that many of you probably already know... Quilt Design A Day.

As a concept this is not new to me. But as an organized group with a Facebook page sharing themes and color palettes and inspiration posts I was completely oblivious. So I checked them out.

Image by Amy Gunson. Individual motifs by members of the FB group: Gillian Smith, Carolyn Canterman, Karen Foster and Allison M. Olander.

Image by Amy Gunson. Individual motifs by members of the FB group: Gillian Smith, Carolyn Canterman, Karen Foster and Allison M. Olander.

These quilters are doing some seriously cool things with design software!! The about page offers several software options depending on what machine one is using. At the time I first read the page I didn't have any design software activated on my computer. In November my tech-expert brother helped update my Mac OS to where we backed up the pertinent files, replaced my relatively old drive and ran the update. This made my already outdated Adobe Creative Suite 2 completely obsolete. It wiped out the old Parallels I was running (when it actually would run) for the sole purpose of using EQ7. It left me with options for new softwares I am not familiar with, or new versions of the previous softwares in formats I don't agree with (don't get me started on Adobe switching exclusively to Cloud-based subscriptions...). And then I remembered that Electric Quilt Co. finally released a Mac-friendly version of EQ7! I paid the transfer fee (about 1/8th of the cost of the new software) and downloaded the new version this morning. NO WINDOWS O.S. NECESSARY!!

Like almost any skill one learns, EQ7 is best when the gears are kept active, you keep pressing buttons whether or not you know what they do and basically continue to use as many features as you can. I have done none of these things. I find the tools I use most, become conversant with those and ignore all the rest. Anything I can't figure out in the program I can either find another program to accomplish the desired results or go back to my trusty paper and pencil. Today I decided to play with EQ7 for the first time in months using the daily inspiration photo and palette posted onto the FB page by Karen. I don't love my results, but I love that I gave it a try.

I also applied skills long-since gone rusty to something non-quilt related earlier today:

To be honest, this pair of rollerblades was the initial inspiration for the #UseItorLoseIt challenge... we're starting to straighten up the basement after months (years?) of it serving primarily as dumping ground and storage. Several weeks ago I saw these guys lying on the floor and thought, "I haven't used these in YEARS. I should go ahead and give them away (along with my unused tennis racket and lacrosse stick)." Then the thought crossed my mind that this would be a great way to exercise the dog since I HATE running and we steer away from off-leash parks. But first I have to get my sea-legs back, so to speak. A few spins around the patio and tripping up the bumpy driveway were very instructive. But the journey has begun... they get to stay here as long as I continue to work on using them. This might be a 2015 theme.

So here's to revisiting and sharpening old skills, applying to new endeavors. I think that's part of growing, right?