Electric Quilts

Written by Rebecca Russell
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Computers have truly changed the way Americans live. Information is gathered from the Internet, encyclopedias are now contained on CD-ROMs instead of 26 hard-bound volumes, and letters are now typed and sent through the information superhighway instead of the local post office. Even the traditional art of quilting has gotten a technological face-lift through a program called Electric Quilts.

Creating Quilt Patterns on the Computer

As you might imagine, quilts are not pieced together without a great deal of forethought and planning. Each quilt follows a pattern, which is carefully drawn and shaded with the correct fabric colors. Almost every handmade quilt available started out as a drawing on a standard piece of white paper.

Electric Quilts is special software that allows quilt patterns to be generated by computer. The program has a large database of traditional patterns, which can be manipulated and arranged in any way the quilt maker desires. The final result is printed out, rather than painstakingly sketched to scale, as it has been done for hundreds of years.

Some may claim that this kind of development will ruin a tradition that has been upheld for generations. In reality, as with many computer programs, Electric Quilt will not work unless the user has a basic knowledge of patterns and how they go together. It simply makes the planning process go a bit faster so that the quilt maker can sooner begin his or her latest project.


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