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Apr. 99: Claudia Wade writes about how she is using Creative Impulse and Repligator and Electric Quilt designs to create innovative new quilts. She has included great examples!

Expressive Quilters' Newsletter
Supporting The Expressive Quilter In Tradition, Innovation, Art & Computer Quilting

Issue 5: April 1999 continued
Editor: Sharla R. Hicks
Newsletter index for all issuesTable of contents for this issue


Part 2


By Claudia Wade


*Editor's Note: Repligator was voted 1999 Winner of the Best Graphic Shareware Industry Award. To download your preview shareware copy after reading the article, visit the review page by clicking on any underlined Repligator in article or go to Slide Show Available.
Repligator is another exciting graphics program I've been playing with recently. It is an entirely different kettle of fish from Creative Impulse. It contains no design elements of its own; you must import your original design from elsewhere. You can use a scanned photograph or drawing, a sketch from a drawing or paint program or a quilt or block design from a quilt program as your starting point.

Repligator works by taking your original design and mutating it using one of its filters into something entirely different. Like Creative Impulse, it takes practice to control and predict the effects. It's so effortless and fun! Not every resulting design is beautiful or worthy of making into a quilt, but I use it as an idea generator.

I've found that it is a good idea to start with a very simple design, because Repligator will quickly make it more complex. If I want to end up with a design that is even remotely possible to sew, I need to make it simple in the beginning.
Here is an example of something I might start with--- a very simple applique quilt designed in Electric Quilt 4.

Figure 8
Once this design is imported into Repligator, I can choose to let the built-in Wizard choose design transformations for me or I can choose which transformation I want directly. There are 28 possible transformations available, with many variations possible within each transformation.
The transformations have interesting names, like: Wood, Bubbles, Clouds, Explode, Mad Painter, Relief Map, Primitive Art, and Mosaic. Repligator has humorous aspects. For example, when choosing the Mad Painter effect, one can adjust a sliding bar in a dialog box for how many brush stokes one wants in the picture, how wide and long the brush strokes are, and how mad the painter is!
One of my favorite transformations in Repligator is called Marilyn Warhol. One of the possible looks for the Marilyn Warhol transformation to the above quilt is shown here:
Figure 9
This would be fun to try to accomplish in fabric. I might try a combination of sewing techniques including piecing, applique, fabric painting or stenciling and embroidery. I would not use the Repligator image as a final pattern, but rather as an inspiration for free form cutting, piecing and applique; or, I would interpret this design more conventionally into Electric Quilt 4.

Each effect in Repligator can be adjusted to a certain extent by user-controlled settings, which are fun to play with. The resulting transformed images can also be combined with the original image in various ways. This is called vignetting or mixing. These effects allow the original image to appear to be layered above or below the transformed image, as in Figure 9 above.

If you don't mix or vignette the image, your original image can be transformed into something completely unrecognizable. For example, the following is a simple pieced quilt designed in Electric Quilt 4.
Figure 10
Repligator's StarDust effect mixed with the original image produces the following design:

Figure 11
But, if I choose the Mosaic effect and don't mix it with the original image at all, I'll get a much more abstract effect:

Figure: 12
As you can see, Repligator has a great deal of potential for creating interesting artistic designs for patchwork, applique, and many other crafts. Here are some other examples of designs I've created using Repligator. All of these designs were originally created in Electric Quilt and then manipulated further using Repligator.
Figure 13
Figure 14
Figure 15
Sometimes I use a paint program to finish or adjust my final designs. I may decide I only want part of a design made in Creative Impulse or Repligator. In that case, I will open the saved image in a paint program and crop it to just the part I want. I also sometimes use a paint program to draw freeform machine quilting lines on a quilt image, which was created, with Electric Quilt 4, Creative Impulse, or Repligator. I can then use the drawn lines like a map when I'm actually quilting my quilt.
It seems to me that I've barely scratched the surface of computer quilt design. With these wonderful programs, including Electric Quilt 4, Creative Impulse, and Repligator, on my computer, the big challenge is to find the time to make them. Finding interesting designs is not a problem!
Repligator and Creative Impulse each have a Slide Show Available


Introducing Claudia Wade 

If you have any questions for Claudia Wade, you can contact her at For more information about Claudia, continue below.

To view a wedding quilt that Claudia made, click here!

I asked Claudia to tell us a little about herself and this is what she wrote:

When did you start quilting?
How long have you been quilting?

I started quilting in 1978 or 1979, about 20 years ago. What got me started
was a major how-to article on patchwork on the front page of the women's
section of the Chicago Tribune. It included a pattern with instructions. As
much as the quilt biz has grown enormously since then, I can't imagine an article like that appearing in a regular newspaper now! I went out and bought all these solid color cotton/poly blends at JC Penney because there were no quilt shops, and I bought CORDUROY for the backing. It never was finished and, believe you me, it's just as well!

Do you teach or is this just for yourself -- or anything else in this vain.

I taught one sampler quilt class 16 years ago and decided that teaching wasn't what I wanted to do. I have benefitted from taking classes over the years from some wonderful teachers: Jinny Beyer, Trudie Hughes, Caryl B Fallert, Ellen Eddy, Ginny Avery. A very pivotal class for me at the time was Jinny Beyer's Quilt Symposium at the Smithsonian Institution in April 1982. We saw lots of wonderful old quilts from the Smithsonian and DAR Museum collections. But the gist of it was a drafting class. That was where I learned how to categorize blocks by grid pattern and pretty much draw any pattern I saw.

A rotary cutting class I took with Trudie Hughes about 1986 or so enabled me to start making quilts with accuracy faster, although I'm still really slow, because I work full time and I like to work slowly because it's more relaxing for me that way. I've also started dying some fabric.

I quilt just for myself and family. I really enjoy the process. I'm inspired by places, often places I've never even been to. I like to read about cities, states and countries and get a feel for the mood of a place. I also am inspired by movies. My next major quilt, for example, was inspired by the movie, "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil."

What is your Style (it obvious contemporary but do you have a special name you like to call it)

I guess you'd call my style Contemporary. I used to make mostly
multi-fabric scrap-type quilts from aditional patterns. Thanks to EQ, I'd design the settings and borders for myself so I wasn't dependent on patterns or books. As much as I love the graphic impact of the old two-color quilts, it bores me to use a limited number of fabrics in a quilt. I like to be making decisions about design or fabric up until the end of a project.

I work strictly by machine, both for piecing and quilting. In the last year or so, my style is becoming freer and more non-traditional. I love the fact that EQ4 lets you add assymetrical borders. That is going to help me a lot.

Where do you live?

I live in a far northern suburb of Chicago, almost in Wisconsin.

Any other personal details like other hobbies and interests.

I work as a Teacher's Aide in a computer lab in a large public suburban high school. I help students and teachers with computer tasks that they might not know how to do, such as graphs in MS Excel, file conversions, or whatever. Our school was one of the first in the area to offer Internet access to students, so I've learned a fair amount about how to do Internet research.

Anything you want to say about your family.

I've been married to Bob Wade for almost 29 years, since just a few months after I graduated from college. The rest of our family consists of our daughter Jessica who is 25 and a newly married to our son-in-law Thomas Morris. They live in Columbus, OH, and they're both graduates of Miami University, Oxford, OH. Our younger daughter, Bridget, is 22 and a student at the University of Illinois/Chicago. They are all really supportive of my quilting. They give me quilt fabric for Christmas and birthdays, etc. I love it when people choose quilt fabric to give me....I feel it really enriches my stash to have someone else do some of the choosing!

Anything else you want to say?

Just that I feel that computer quilting is going to be even bigger and better in the future than it is now, as people get more experienced with their computers and the programs get better and better!

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