Free Motion Option of the Quilt Magician
Using the Free Motion option on the Quilt Magician you can create and save your own original designs. These designs can then be edited in the same ways that other patterns are edited.
While in the Quilt Magician Mode:
Touch the House > Free Motion.
You will see a field with crosshairs indicating where the needle is positioned.
On the right-hand side is START. As soon as you touch START the recording begins. It does not record time, but movement. You may record while stitching or not depending on your preference. The Quilt Magician will record until you touch STOP.
When STOP is touched, a SAVE option appears on the screen. If you are happy with the result touch SAVE. A New screen opens with a key pad to name the pattern.
If you are not satisfied with the result, simply touch START again and when you begin moving the new recording will appear.
When you are ready to save touch the SAVE option and then key in the name you prefer and touch the check mark to save.
To retrieve the pattern is it as with other patterns.
Touch the House èAdd Pattern. You will find the new saved pattern at the end of the pattern list. You are able to move your pattern to your preferred folder by the following procedure.
Touch House > File Manager
You will see a window with SPOURCE at the top left. Choose INTERNAL since that is where the pattern is. Then touch the blue search sphere at the right to find the pattern you want to move. A window with the list of patterns will open. Locate your new pattern at the end of the list and touch it. Touch the check mark for okay.
Now Touch the DESTINATION option in the lower left of the screen. Make sure the INTERNAL option is chosen because you are saving it to an internal folder. Touch the blue search sphere to find the folder where you would like the pattern to go. Notice you have an option to create a new folder. You may want to create a folder of your own patterns rather than placing the pattern in an existing folder. Choose the folder to place your pattern and touch the check mark for okay. You now have the options at the bottom of the screen to save or delete. Touch save and you should have a message saying SAVED.
If you would like to move the pattern to a USB stick, just choose USB instead of internal in the DESTINATION option.
If you are tracing a printed pattern that has repeats in it to convert it to a .qcc file in the Quilt Magician it is advisable to trace only one repeat and then add as many of the repeats you need on the quilt in the EDIT option.
What is the difference between Set Quilt Area and Pattern Box?
When you first turn on your computerized quilting machine the machine needs some mathematical coordinates to begin a digital map. This is called the area. The first thing the screens ask for is a couple of reference points. Once the machine has there points it sets a 1 inch grid.
If you take a close look at the grid in the background of your touch screen you will see that before you set the area the grid is large. After you set the quilt area the grid represents 1 inch squares.
I think what might be confusing is that the area on the screen appears in red. A pattern box will appear in red also. Edit boxes appear in green.
This is an area.
This is an area with a red triangle pattern box in it and a green edit box. If you had a pattern box with 2 patterns in it the green edit box would be around only one of the patterns. That would mean that particular pattern was the pattern available to edit. If you wanted the green box to jump to the second pattern in the box so that you could edit that other one, you would touch the next button in the edit menu and the edit box would move to the next pattern.
If you are alternating between computerized work and free motion you might be releasing the belts. Every time that you reattach the belts you must click on set quilt area again and give it some new coordinates. Just follow the prompts. You cannot get those belts on in the exact same place so you just reset the quilt area and the picture of your designs will be centered in the screen instead of off to the side or out of site.
The area is not for edge to edge work. You must set a pattern box for edge to edge work. If you try to use the area for pantograph rows you will eventually run out of space. As the pick up roller fills with fabric your quilting area shrinks. You need a pattern box that is smaller than the quilt area. When I set a pattern box for edge to edge I only set it up for 2 rows of whatever repeat I want. I can control the size of the pattern design just by doubling the height measurement and I can measure spacing between rows easy for the next set of row placements. I never will run out of room and bump into the rollers.
Remember—the quilt area is for the computer to set up a digital mini map and the pattern box is where you place your pattern design.
The Green Lock Icon Explained
What is the green lock icon for in the scale menu in computerized quilting?
If you click on the EDIT menu and then click on the SCALE button you will notice the green lock button in the upper right hand corner of your screen.
Lock button is in the upper right corner of this screen.
The slider bars on the top and right hand side are for manual scaling. The two slider bars are locked so that the pattern will stay in proportion if manually scaled. In other words, if you tap on the plus button (of either slider bar) the pattern will grow bigger but stay in a triangle shape as you see it here. If you click on the green lock icon, the lock will turn gray and is off. Then if you tap on the vertical slider bar plus, the pattern will grow bigger only in the vertical direction. If you tap on the horizontal slider bar plus, then the pattern will grow horizontally but not vertically. Sometimes we call this morphing a pattern.
Normally we click on SMART SCALE and answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the proportion question. Every once in a while we will want to change a pattern and have a little more control. For instance, you might want to change a feather wreath into a feather oval.
If you ever have lost the SMART SCALE button from your machine screen, it means that you’ve selected the pattern box coordinates incorrectly. If you are in a hurry, you can use the manual slider bars to scale. Although normally we would go back and re-pick our pattern box and then re-select our pattern and correct the problem.
The green lock icon turns back on just by tapping on it. If you go into SMART SCALE mode it will automatically turn back on.
How do you reuse the same pattern in computerized quilting?
Take a look at this screen and you will see three selections in the drop down box under the pattern box button.
- Add Pattern Box is used when you are going to set a new location for a new pattern design. (Note: remember to select the bottom of the box first so your pattern will come up the correct direction.)
- Adjust Current really means Adjust the Current Location of the last pattern you had in the screen view. For example:
If you wanted to use this scroll triangle that is in this picture for more than one triangle in your quilt, you can simply by adjusting the location of this pattern. Here are the steps.
- Get the pattern in view on the screen. If the pattern is back a ways in your screens simply tap on the previous arrow to find it.
- Click on the home button.
- Click on the Pattern Box button.
- Click on Adjust Current (location).
- Follow the prompts for selecting the pattern box.
- Edit you pattern if needed.
3. Remove Current Box is the last selection and if you click on this, the last box will be erased and if it had a pattern inside that will be gone also..
If you have a quilt and the blocks are not all the same in size you have a choice on the scaling. You could scale each pattern to fit each of the different sized blocks or you could scale for one of the blocks and keep the pattern you first sized so that all the designs are exactly the same size. Sometimes keeping the same sized pattern all the way through will make the irregular quilt look more balanced.
The New Merge Button
Computerized Quilting Tips
If you can think of the term “merge” as “fuse,” you might have a better idea of what the merge button is for. There seems to be some confusion out there between the spacing buttons located in the repeat edit menu versus the merge button in the repeat menu.
Let’s take a look at some of the screens here and you will learn how to get your patterns to come together with spacing and what the merge button can do for your design work.
1. This is a computerized quilting tip, so naturally you would be working in the computer screens, so open the computer screens by touching on the yellow robot icon.
2. You will need to tell the computer where the cloth is located, so you will be setting the quilting area first. These screens come up by themselves, therefore just follow the prompts. This prompt indicated the upper left hand corner of your fabric. (All the way out.)
3. This prompt indicated the lower front right hand corner of your cloth. The older versions of computers need a three corner selection; the newer ones only two corners.
4. Take a look at the width and height indicated in this screen. If the numbers are 0 or if they do not appear to be true to the size you selected, then check your computer belts to see if they are loose or slipping for any reason.
5. Typically if you are creating a border, you would be putting in the corner pieces first and then you would be setting the long rectangle in between the corners. Take note of the tail of the corner pattern and how it sticks out past the corner piece so you can attach to it.
6. Using the Add Pattern button, you would pick the long rectangle that fits between the corners.
7. To demonstrate the use of the merge button, we are going to select a pattern that is a single segment. If you buy digitized patterns online, you will see many of these single segments for sale.
8. Here is what that single segment looks like when selected. Also you will note that the start symbol (green 0) is on the left and the stop symbol (red x) on the right must be in this order for patterns to connect. If you do not have the stitch path in this order you can use the reverse stitch path button located on the edit menu to reverse them.
9. Now we have to add repeats of this leaf segment. Click on the Edit menu. Click on Repeats. Notice that the slider bar only goes to 20. We need more than 20. How can we get more than 20? We can merge a few of the segments together into one single pattern and then we can use those multiples of that new size. Take a look at the following screens.
10. I also wanted to clear up any misunderstanding about the difference between merge and spacing. As you can see below that the green 0 and red x still appear between the pattern segments. This is an indication that the patterns do NOT touch and would have a jump stitch in between. If you touch the merge button now you will only fuse the pattern just as you see it. It doesn’t change the spacing; Spacing is changed in the repeat menu.
11. Notice the spacing bar on the right. You can draw patterns together by tapping on the slider bar and drawing the numbers into the negative. When the pattern pieces finally touch you will see the X and O disappear from between the pattern pieces.
12. Merging small pattern pieces and saving them is very helpful if you have a need for more than 20 segments of the pattern. As you can see in the picture below that even when we have used the 20 repeats we still need a little more. Auto fill will work for some patterns to accumulate more than the 20 needed repeats. Some patterns work best if you can merge several segments or repeats together and then use the repeats slider bar to add repeats. In this case I choose to gather 5 repeats, get them sized and attached to one another and then use the merge button to fuse them into a single unit.
See the space remaining to fill? You have a decision to make. Should you scale in non-proportion to stretch the pattern to the end? Should you go back just one segment and auto fill? Or should you merge/fuse several segments into a single pattern piece and then repeat the segments? This lesson is for… merge.
13. Choose a number of segments based on how many repeats you think you might need to cover the entire border rectangle. Does that number divide easily by 2 or 3 or 5?
You can also look at the screen and guess by the background grids spaced at 1 inch.
14. In this lesson I choose 5 repeats of the straight leaf design and merge them together. Then I can add repeats of those five to cover my pattern box.
This screen below is bigger because it is important that you realize these segments are not 5 pieces any more. These 5 pieces have become 1 pattern. Often at this point I will save this single pattern piece, so that I can use it working my way down the side of the border.
15. For the most perfect fit, I will scale in non proportion one last time and then use the Auto Center button to get the pattern right in the middle. Earlier in this lesson I had you take note of the tail end of the corner pattern. You can get a perfect match on that tail by bringing your machine needle to where you want that pattern to start. Then click on the Edit menu. Then click on Properties. Then click on Set Start Point. You have just matched up your two points and the pattern will begin to stitch from that point after you have enabled the needle and touched the green start button.
How to Record a Pattern with a Computerized Quilting Machine
On the TinLizzie18 computerized quilting machines, it is very easy to record your own pattern. It saves you all the trouble of digitizing the pattern in software.
Following are the main steps and a few tips to help you with the process of getting a pattern into the pattern catalog by free motion recording.
You might have a hand drawn pattern, or one that you found in some other field of design that you wish to have in the quilting computer. It is easier to record a pattern that is in the 6 to 10 inch range than one that is teeny tiny. You may also want to record your own free motion backgrounds or feathers. Remember, you can blow up or shrink down any of the patterns you record with the edit features on the quilting computer. Be sure when recording that you lap the start and stop over a few stitches if it is a block or closed pattern. If you are recording a pattern that you want to connect, for instance, repeats in a pantograph, you must remember to start and stop on the same leveling plane so the ends will connect when you add the repeats together. You can record from the front or from the back of the machine. You can be stitching or you can trace without stitching. You can use the laser light if you wish, or you can just trace using the needle on the machine the same way you would use a pencil.
Click on the Home Button.
Click on Free Motion record.
The following screen is the one you should see next.
Click on the start button and it will turn into a stop button. The recording is now measuring every move. You can pause and rest as long as you do not move or touch any buttons. The recording will not show that you paused. Take as much time as you need.
If you are actually sewing, you do not need to add the tie-offs as the computer will automatically add those to the pattern along with all of the normal prompts.
The intersection of the cross hairs on the screen is the location of the needle, as it is measuring from the needle.
When you finish stitching or tracing, just click on the stop button.
Then click on the save button.
Next, you’ll want to name the pattern. Be patient, as the keyboard takes some time. Your pattern will be located at the very bottom of the pattern catalog. Remember, you can take patterns out with a USB stick and put them back in the file where you would like to store them.
Quick Tips on Free Motion Recording
- Make sure the belts on your computer components are set perfect for tension. If the belts are too tight they will “hum”. If you belts are too loose they might not track accurately. The long belt that goes end to end of the machine frame is called the “X” axis belt and should have not more than 4 inches of top to bottom play in it. The black belt on the side of the machine and is the smaller belt of the two is called the “Y” axis belt. This black side belt is too loose if it sags down. When you get it just tight enough so that it is straight then it will most likely be just right. There seems to be a happy point where the machine is tight enough to track and pull itself accurately and loose enough so that you can push it with the belts attached and record a good pattern.
- If your pattern looks choppy in the picture in the pattern catalog after you have recorded and saved it then your computerized system is due for an update. The update is generally free and you can download it yourself on the Quilt EZ.com website.
- To find out what version you already have so that you can compare on the Quilt EZ follow these steps:
- Click on the Home Button
- Click on Set Up
- Click on Updates
- Click on System Info and write down the number in your version both software and firmware.