Sheila Williams
Computer Quilting Software Consultant
Temecula, CA
Phone/Fax: (909) 302-9864



LATE UPDATED: 11/29/2000

To Pre-Order BlockBase 2 Click Here

1. What is BlockBase?

Answer: From Penny McMorris

BlockBase is a software version of Barbara Brackman's book, the Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns containing a pattern for virtually every block published between 1836 - 1970.

2. Are there any additional blocks in the new BlockBase?

Answer: From Penny McMorris

Yes. We've added about 400 new blocks to BlockBase, making the total almost 4000 blocks. Not all have been drawn yet, but we've recently added the Brackman category "Whole Top Designs."

3. If you have a purchased & registered copy of Block Base, does it qualify you for the update price for EQ??

Answer: From Penny McMorris

It *will* qualify you for an upgrade price on the new Windows version of BlockBase (not EQ4). The new BlockBase will be out in late fall. Registered users will receive upgrade information by mail.

4. Does anyone know if there will be a block book for Block Base? I know B. Brackman has a book of her blocks, but it sounds like BB will contain many more.

Answer: From Penny McMorris

You will receive a manual with the new BlockBase, but not a Block book. There are additional blocks in the program in order to complete collections, but the majority of the blocks are those that Barbara Brackman has categorized in her book, Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.

5. I am wondering if you will be able to search blockbase while you are in EQ4?

Answer: From Diane at Electric Quilt Company

The new BlockBase does have extensive Search options (Name, Brackman I.D. number, Key word, and Source to name a few). In addition, if you have EQ4 you will be able to use the BlockBase blocks in this program to modify the blocks and use them to create quilts. However, the search options are only available within BlockBase. If you want a set of specific blocks from BlockBase you can save them in a project and open that project within EQ4.

6. Will Block Base 2 work with Windows ME?

Answer: From Penny McMorris

We anticipate that BlockBase will be fine on Windows ME.

7. How is the new BlockBase different from the Sew precise software I now have?

Sew Precise contains 1100 (collections 1 & 2) blocks that are made for foundation printing. Some of the blocks are old traditional blocks, but over half of the blocks are non-traditional. BlockBase contains over 4000 traditional blocks that are from Barbara Brackman's book, the Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns. It also contains her research information about where the block was first published, all known names for all of the blocks, and hundreds of search categories that make it easy for you to find the block you want, or find any particular block and see others like it. Since these are old traditional patterns -- published mainly between 1836 and 1970 -- some of the blocks are foundation pieceable, but many are not.

8. When we get our new BB, what do we do with our old BB as far as incorporating it in EQ4?

Answer: From Penny McMorris

The new BlockBase program replaces the old BlockBase program. The new BlockBase will link with EQ4 automatically. You will want to delete the old BlockBase.

9. What is the latest information about upgrading and pre ordering BlockBase 2?

Answer: From Penny McMorris

Upgrades and Prepublication offers: UPGRADES: All registered BlockBase users will receive a BlockBase upgrade offer in the mail, discounting the program to a special upgrade price. (We don't publicize this price to non-upgraders, so I'm not posting it here.) Upgrade offers are being mailed first class -- and will arrive in mid to late October. Upgrade orders must be mailed in. Offer good until November 30, 2000. PRE-PUBLICATION: All other people on our mailing list will receive a pre-publication offer, discounting the program from the regular retail price of $69.95 to $55.95. Prepublication orders can be phoned, mailed, faxed, or e-mailed. Offer good until November 30, 2000.

10. Any idea of a price range for the new BlockBase 2?

Answer: From Penny McMorris

The suggested retail price of the Windows BlockBase will be $69.95.

11. Are the blocks in Block Base transportable to EQ4 to be used?

Answer: From Penny McMorris

Yes. BlockBase will link to the library of EQ4 and will be useable directly from EQ4. Since the new BlockBase will have new search tools, however, the easiest thing to do will be to make a BlockBase projects of the blocks you want to use, then open that project in EQ4. All of our programs are always stand-alone (meaning you don't need EQ4 to use them). But all of our programs are also EQ4 compatible (meaning you can use the blocks and fabrics in EQ4 to design with).

12. Are all the blocks that are in the Carrie Hall book in the Block Base program?

Answer: From Penny McMorris

The new BlockBase will have all the pieced Carrie Hall blocks (roughly 600, I don't have an exact count). The Carrie Hall book is slightly misleading, since it lists "over 800 patterns" on the book cover. We've discovered that there are about 975 different pattern names -- but not 975 truly different blocks, since many blocks have more than one name, and Carrie Hall made many blocks of the same design, found in different publications, in different colors. But Diane, from our office, is currently going block by block through the Carrie Hall book, to make sure we have all Carrie Hall pieced blocks are in BlockBase.

A side note: Barbara Brackman, author of the Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns (the mother of BlockBase) lives in Lawrence, KS, where the Carrie Hall blocks are stored at the Spencer Museum of Art. Barbara was one of the first modern-day quilt researchers to catalogue Carrie Hall's block collection. I first met Barbara in 1981 when I traveled to Lawrence to shoot a t.v. interview about Carrie Hall's block collection, and Barbara's Encyclopedia.

13. It would be nice if the new Block Base had a way of sorting out patterns. Lets say you want to see all the Kansas City Star blocks. That you could request Kansas City Star in the "search" and have all the Kansas City Star blocks come up as a group. Is this too much to ask in the program?

Answer: From Penny McMorris

Your wish is granted. The new BlockBase will let you search in all sorts of ways.

- You can search by reference, such as Kansas City Star or Carrie Hall, and all of these blocks will appear.

- You can search by a word, typing in Star, for example, and all blocks with the word Star in the title will appear.

- You can search by keyword, choosing from hundreds of words -

- Perfect for making state quilts, quilts for your favorite teacher, minister, hunter, pilot, gardener, etc. Searching for teacher, for example, brings up all blocks that would make a great symbolic theme quilt for a teacher, such as "Schoolhouse," "Schoolgirl's Puzzle," and "Kindergarten Block."

14. Do you recommend the BlockBase 2 program upgrade?

Answer: From Barbara Vlack

My testimonial

I think you all know how much I love EQ and how much I've used EQ. I have been using EQ since version 1. Let me tell you I knew EQ3 inside out and backwards and hesitated a _little_ to get into EQ4 because I knew I'd have to invest some time into learning some things all over again. Well ... to go back to EQ3 now is like going back to the Dark Ages, because EQ4 is so much better and easier to use. The displays in EQ3 are like dot matrix printer stuff compared to ink jet or laser printing. That's not at all to bad-mouth EQ3 (it launched a new career for me!) ------ it's just that with EQ4, "we've come a long way, baby."

The same will happen with BlockBase. I have seen the new BlockBase, and I think you will be impressed.

The graphics are wonderful, the colors are wonderful, the library is resource-full. There are many more blocks in BB2 that were not in BB1 because of some changes in EQ4. The drawing tools are better, so you will see some complex blocks in BB2 that were impossible to draw in EQ before now. And you'll see polygon blocks. And whole quilt designs that are in Brackman's book but were not in BB1. If you like Feathered Stars, which, IMHO, are among the bears to draft, they're in there! If you want to see some pretty impressive Wedding Ring variations, they're in there. If you want to see Hexagon blocks that are really hexagons, you'll find them.

You will be able to search for blocks not only by name and catalog number but also by source and era. There may also be some blocks in BB2 that were not in Brackman's Encyclopedia, because EQ sought out complete collections and found some blocks that Brackman didn't document. The Kansas City Star Pattern collection is one example. The Carrie Hall pattern collection is another. And Nancy Page may be another.

The descriptions of the various categories of blocks are a little more helpful in BB2 than in BB1 because they are illustrated. After seeing BB2, I went back into BB1 and had the same impression I had when going back into EQ3. It's dot matrix city all over again. It was great while it lasted, but there is now something better.

You will not be able to draw blocks in BB2 as you could in BB1, but that's what EQ4 is for! To go back into a little bit of history, BB1 came out when EQ2 was active and EQ3 was on the drawing board, literally. Drawing tools, especially ones that let us draw curves in EasyDraw, that were incorporated into EQ3 were developed with BB1. We don't really need to draw in BB2 since EQ4 is with us and there were no new drawing tools developed for BB2.

You will be able to assemble blocks in BB2 into project files and import those projects into EQ4. If you want to collect several blocks from a particular era, let's say the 1930s, you could put them into one project file in BB2, import them into EQ4, design away, and even change some of the documentation on the Notecards.

I believe Diane answered earlier this week that searching for blocks in BB2 would be more efficient within BB2 itself than through EQ4. EQ4 will not have the extensive search capabilities for BB2 blocks that you would get by going through BB2 directly.

Would I recommend the upgrade??? YOU BET! Is it worth the $30 upgrade price???????????? Well, compare this with the Carrie Hall pattern book with printed patterns of only one size for around $34.95. BB2 has close to 4000 patterns that can be printed out to any size.

Q: Is it worth the full market price of over $60??? A: How many books with only patterns would you buy to equal BB2? You would probably spend a lot more on books and magazines. Remember that you can print out any of the nearly 4000 blocks in BB2 to any size. Printouts can be with templates or foundations (when appropriate).

BTW, BB2 has _pieced_ blocks, not appliquéd, though there may be a few overlaid-style (appliqué on top of pieced) blocks (such as Honey Bee and Grandmother's Engagement Ring). BB2 is based on Barbara Brackman's "Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns" and the operative word is "Pieced".

15. Do I have to own EQ4 to own BlockBase 2?

Answer: From Sheila Williams

No, BlockBase is a stand alone program, which means you do not have to own EQ4 to own BlockBase 2?

16. Will BlockBase 2 run on my Windows 95 or 98 computer?

Answer: From Sheila Williams

Yes and Windows ME.

17. Will I be able to print templates for all of the blocks in the program?

Answer: From Sheila Williams

Yes you will be able to print templates on all of the blocks in BlockBase 2.

18. Will I be able to print Paper Piecing patterns for the blocks in the program?

Answer: From Sheila Williams

If the block design is appropriate for paper piecing, yes you will be able to print Paper/Foundation Patterns from the program.

19. Will I be able to print rotary cutting directions for the blocks?

Answer: From Sheila Williams

Yes, BlockBase will give you rotary cutting directions for all patch blocks.

20. What are the computer requirements for BlockBase?

Answer: From Sheila Williams

Windows 95, 98 or Windows ME

CD-ROM Drive

At Least 20 MBs of disk space

21. Will BlockBase 2 have the Kansas City Star block in it?

Answer: From Sheila Williams

Yes it will. It will also have Baltimore Museum of Art, Nancy Cabot, Canada Quilts, Chicago Tribune, Coats and Clark, The Farmer's Wife and Better Homes and Garden, to name just a very few.

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