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Last year when I visited the US a friend gave me some fabric that had been “Inklingoed” with diamond shapes. It had all the cutting and seam lines accurately marked. I was really impressed.

Then when I joined a designers’ email list I “met”  Linda Franz the creative mind behind Inklingo and she agreed to do an interview with me. (In the interests of full disclosure, during the interview process she invited me to be an affiliate and I accepted but I had offered to do the interview before this). I’m sure most of you have heard of Inklingo but for those of you who haven’t, it allows you to print patchwork shapes on fabric with an ordinary Inkjet printer.  It means you get totally accurate pieces and you also get the maximum number of pieces from any piece of fabric. Linda has just been granted a patent for her invention which is quite a milestone.

Q. Linda congratulations on getting the patent granted. What does this mean for Inklingo?
A. Thank you, Munaiba. You are right. The patent is a big step for Inklingo. It makes it possible to attract partners and investors, so Inklingo will be able to grow faster. That’s good news for quilters who want more shapes, and for designers and shops.
There are thousands of “Inklingoists” in at least 58 different countries now. Inklingo quilters tell their friends, and they tell their friends. Your interview will help spread the word too. Since Inklingo makes it much easier for new people to start quilting, there are several reasons that is good for the whole industry. For those who have not heard of Inklingo, here is a video which explains everything in 80 seconds. LOL Well, maybe not everything, but Monkey and I think it is worth the time. If you turn on the sound, it will probably make you laugh too.

Q. You said to me once that my Andalusian tile quilt was a good candidate for Inklingo. How so? I thought there were only certain shapes that one could use Inklingo for?
A. You are right. The curved triangle is not an Inklingo shape yet, but I am adding new shapes every few weeks, and there are hundreds available already many of them curved (See the Index of Shapes)
Your Andalusian tile quilt is lovely and it is terrific that you found inspiration in the Alhambra. Don’t you think it would be exciting to make a 14th century design inklingoable for 21st century quilters? It could be made available in Inklingo format as soon as you have your pattern ready. The curved triangle shape in your Andalusian quilt could be provided in 3 pieces (as in your quilt), or as a single shape, or both ways. The curved triangle shape in your Andalusian quilt is similar to the existing Inklingo
Apple Core Shape Collection which is is another tessellated design found at the Alhambra.

By the way, the shape we call Apple Core is another tessellated design found at the Alhambra. If you print the cutting lines, stitching lines, matching marks and crosshairs on the fabric with Inklingo, no template is necessary.  The curves can be stitched with a running stitch by hand or by machine. Curves are much easier to align when there are accurate matching marks printed on the fabric. We could do it in any size you like.

Q. I’ve noticed in your instructions that you say to wash the fabric before you print the Inklingo shapes. Is that an absolute requirement? I ask because I only ever wash fabric if I’m going to applique with it and not always then.
A. The reason for washing the fabric is to remove the sizing so the freezer paper sticks better. To feed the fabric through an ordinary Inkjet printer, we iron it to freezer paper. If the freezer paper loosens from the fabric in the printer, it causes jams. (99% of jams are caused by the freezer paper separating from the fabric in the printer. It is simple to avoid jams.) I do not have good success with fabric that has not been washed. You can try it and see what you think.
However, even before Inklingo, I always-always-always-always washed all fabric before I used it. I know someone who worked in a fabric factory and she convinced me that the chemicals and pesticides on new fabric are not good for anyone. Beyond that, I want to know in advance whether the colors will run and make sure the fabric has shrunk, if it is going to. Most quilting fabrics shrink more in one direction than the other, and uneven shrinking is not attractive to me.
It doesn’t take much effort to wash and fold the fabric. I do not iron it until I am ready to use it, and it is enough to swish small pieces or strips of fabric in soap and water and blot dry, if laundry is not convenient.

What’s in it for you dear reader?

This is a long and interesting interview and so I’ve split it into two. Part 2 can be seen tomorrow (hopefully, if I get my act together 🙂 ). But just in case you’re itching to try this out. Here are some links: first to the Quick Start Page, second to some free of Inklingo shapes here and here and third to some instructions. So just click on the links to download.