Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been working with a new Watercolors Bali Pop from Hoffman Fabrics to design a quilt. This Bali Pop has 40 2½” x 43″ strips of Style #1895 Handpainted Bali Batik fabrics, and came with a neat color card with a list of all the colors in the Pop, including color numbers and names. Sweet, right?
I had an idea for the quilt in mind, so I fired up Electric Quilt to play around a bit. Once I had a rough design, of course I wanted to fill it in with fabrics that matched what I had in the Bali Pop. I knew that there were already some Hoffman batik fabrics in EQ by default, so I tried using those. The problem was, I couldn’t tell if I had exactly the right fabric swatches in the sketchbook on the screen compared to the fabric I had in the Bali Pop.** What’s a girl to do?
1895 Swatch Library
To make a long story short (weird I know, since I almost never do that!) to solve this problem I’ve created an entire Library containing swatches of all 372 of the Hoffman 1895 Bali Watercolor Batik fabrics for use in Electric Quilt. These swatches came directly from Hoffman Fabrics as images; I just used the files they sent me to create the Library in EQ. The swatches are labeled with the color number and name in the Library, and this information will also show up in the tooltip when you hover over the swatch in the sketchbook. You’ll always know exactly which color of fabric you’ve selected from the sketchbook.
You can download the Library and use these fabric swatches to design quilts and know exactly what fabric color you’re working with. Obviously, there’s the standard disclaimer: All computer monitors display colors differently. What you see on the screen may not exactly match each fabric when you see it in person. Use this Library as a starting point and a reference tool for designing with 1895 batiks in EQ.
**Note: I didn’t realize in the beginning that the Hoffman color numbers and names are shown in the note card for the fabrics in EQ (just not in the title of the fabric swatch), and if you search for the name and/or the number, you will find them. However, it’s difficult to see exactly what color you’re working with once you have the fabric in the sketchbook since the tooltips don’t specify the color numbers or names and as far as I’m aware, there’s no way to access the note card for a fabric from the Sketchbook of Fabrics and Colors when you’re working on the quilt screen.
Even if I had realized that the color names and numbers were in the note cards, not all of the current Hoffman Bali Watercolor fabrics are in EQ since Hoffman has added more colors in the years since EQ was released. In the end, I’m quite happy to have all 372 Hoffman 1895 swatches in one place with spiffy tooltips to boot, and now you can have them too! 🙂
How do I use it?
If you don’t know how to use a new library with Electric Quilt and you have a PC, read on. I’ve taken these instructions from the EQ website, and edited where necessary to apply to this library (just so the download and the instructions for using it are all in one place). I recommend Mac users visit this page at Electric Quilt and apply those instructions here (sorry, but that Mac thing is all pretty Greek to me and I don’t want to steer you wrong).
Quick PC tutorial:
In your My Documents folder, create a new folder called EQ Hoffman 1895 Library.
Click the link to download the Hoffman 1895 Bali Watercolors Library.
If your computer asks you to specify where to save the file, then save the file to your new My Documents > EQ Hoffman 1895 Library folder.
If your computer automatically saves to your Downloads folder, then after the download go to the Downloads folder, find the downloaded file (the file is called Hoffman_Bali_Watercolors_1895.FAB), and copy it. Paste it into your new My Documents > EQ Hoffman 1895 Library folder.
To link the library so that you can use it:
If you have EQ6 or EQ7*, you need to link the folder. Do the following steps:
Click LIBRARIES > Fabric Library > Link Library button.
Click Add, type in Hoffman Bali Watercolors 1895 and click Browse.
Select the My Documents > EQ Hoffman 1895 Library folder.
Click OK, then click Close.
If you get an error message “Not a valid directory!”, then you are linking to an empty folder! You must have the .FAB file in the folder.
Using the fabrics
To use the fabrics, go to LIBRARIES > Fabric Library. Scroll down in the list to see Hoffman Bali Watercolors 1895. Open that style up to see the two groups. Inside each group are the fabrics.
Click Add to Sketchbook on each fabric you’d like to use as you normally would for things from a library.
*I’m not sure if you can use this Library with EQ5 as I no longer have EQ5 installed on my computer. If you try it out, let me know if it works and I’ll update the post accordingly!
The fabrics in this Library file are current as of February, 2015. If there have been new fabrics added to the 1895 line that are not in this file, let me know and I will try to update it!
I’ll be sharing more about the new Watercolors Bali Pops themselves and about the quilt I’m making in future post. Meanwhile, I’d love to hear how you will use these fabric swatches in EQ! What will YOU make?