TIME FRAME: January 18 – February 28, 2021

Please refer to the email we sent with instructions on downloading and installing the software from your EQ Account.

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The Goals for Testing BlockBase+

The goals of this beta-testing period are:

  1. To thoroughly test all aspects of the software on both Windows and Mac platforms.
  2. To watch for inconsistencies and hang-ups in usability and function.
  3. To make sure the quality of the software is comparable to other EQ software.

Reporting a Bug

NOTE: The location of the Report a Bug Feature has changed in Windows 0.1.2.0 and Mac 0.3.1.0.

We prefer you use the option in the program menus rather than bookmarking the web page and using the bookmarked page over and over again. When you use the link from within the program, your Beta version number gets pulled into the form, which is very helpful to us.

Windows:

If you find a bug, please report it by clicking File > Provide Feedback on the main menu.

Mac:

If you find a bug, please report it by clicking BlockBase Plus > Provide Feedback on the main menu.

We appreciate all findings, but the most valuable and helpful findings are the bugs that have reproducible steps. For example, if your BB+ locked up (crashed) when you tried to print all the templates for a block, but when you reopen BB+ and use the same settings to try and print all the templates for the same block again and it works fine, that’s not helpful. We need you to figure out the sequence of steps that made that crash happen. Sometimes this is not an easy task.

Please be very specific when reporting bugs. Upload screen shots if it will help us get a better idea of what you’re saying.

Bad bug report: A patch disappeared in template preview.
Good bug report: I’m editing the layout of the templates in the template preview for the block with Brackman ID 937.6, which I found after doing a “Published Name” search for blocks with “cat” in the name. I have the key block set to large, mirroring set to “mirror templates only,” and am printing all templates with the default block size and the default seam allowance on. I rotated patch B and moved it to another page and then it disappeared.


Changelog: Things to Watch Out For/Try

Please check out the items listed below, but most importantly, please play around in the program, trying anything that seems interesting, fun, or useful to you. We need to fully test all features of BB+, not just the ones listed below. Thank you!

BB+ Windows Version 0.1.3.0 and Mac Version 0.3.2.0 Release: February 25, 2021

Known Issues:

  • Marking blocks for the Category search is not yet complete. This means that Category searches will not yet return expected results. Date search is not yet implemented.
  • When centimeters is the default unit in Windows, image and SVG exports still export in inches.
  • JPG and PNG exports the top left corner of the block when the computer’s display settings are at 125% scale on Windows.

Print Preview:

  • Changed the way seam allowance corners are cut for Half Square Triangles and Quarter Square Triangles to match how EQ8 cuts them.
  • Fixed multiple issues with Zoom in the Print Preview Screens. Updated how the Marquee Zoom works to solve occasional crashing issues. Zoom options now become unselectable if max Zoom is reached.
  • Fixed an issue where the seam allowance on patches with curved edges would shift on printouts if the patch had been rotated and moved in Print Preview.

Rotary Cutting Charts:

  • Fixed an issue where Rotary Charts were displaying extra patches if block size was set to 15×15 inches.
  • Fixed an issue where the calculations for number of strips needed was incorrect for Half Square and Quarter Square Triangles in the Rotary Chart.
  • Centimeters are now always displayed as decimals instead of fractions in Rotary Cutting Chart when default unit is set to centimeters.

Templates:

  • Fixed an issue where the user would see a different number of templates depending on if units was set to inches or centimeters.

Foundation Patterns:

  • Fixed an issue where some labels on foundation sections were not on the sections.
  • Fixed an issue where the foundation pattern printed over the key block if separate units was unchecked in the print dialog.

Exports:

  • Fixed an issue where the size of blocks was limited to only 12 inches or 12 centimeters in the Export dialogs. Users can now enter sizes between 0.1 and 45 for image exports and sizes between 0.1 and 150 for SVG exports.
  • If you enter a number outside of the acceptable range in any print dialog the number will now revert to the last entry that was within the acceptable range.
  • File extension for JPG export on macOS is now correct. Fixed error on macOS where file could have two extensions if user entered the extension as part of the file name.
  • MacOS now warns if user is trying to save a JPG file with the same name as a file that already exists.

General User Interface Updates and Fixes:

  • Fixed an issue where the activation screen would reappear if user was not connected to the internet.
  • Edits to page set up selections (paper orientation, margins, paper size) are now remembered by program between blocks and when program is closed and reopened. These settings can also be reset by using the Restore Defaults in Preferences.
  • Fix an issue where Restore Defaults was not restoring the Font options to default settings on macOS.
  • User can now copy and paste License ID and License Password into the activation screen on macOS using keyboard shortcuts.
  • Fixed issues with scaling on macOS where the docking bar was covering the bottom of the BlockBase+ screen and users could not resize. Note: this continues to be an issue at the largest scaling size on macOS, which states “when using this scaled resolution, some applications may not fit entirely on screen.”
  • Fixed an issue where the default size of the block would be incorrect if units are set to centimeters and the user changed to a custom size and then back to the default size of the block in the print dialog.
  • Default category is now set to Category 10: Unequal 9 Patch Small Center
  • Fixed Block 3994, which was numbered incorrectly and therefore pulling the wrong publication data.
  • User can now double click on blocks to auto open the Zoom window.
  • User can use the ESC key to close all dialog boxes.
  • Reduced delay when viewing quilt layouts with complex blocks such as those found in the Wholetop Designs category.
  • General bug fixes and user interface updates.

EQ8 Windows Version 1.1.0.3 and Mac Version 3.2.0.3 Release: February 12, 2021

  • This update to EQ8 allows you to import the BB+ blocks as a library into EQ8. This Beta version of EQ8 was released to BB+ Beta testers who already owned EQ8.
  • KNOWN ISSUE: Mac users may need to uninstall EQ8 using the uninstall steps and utility found here and then reinstall using the EQ8 macOS Beta Download found in your account in order for the BB+ library to appear in macOS EQ8.

BB+ Windows Version 0.1.2.0 and Mac Version 0.3.1.0 Release: February 10, 2021

Known Issues:

  • BB+ is not yet linking with EQ8. This linking will let you import the BB+ blocks as a library for use in your quilt designs. We are still working on the update to EQ8 that will allow this linking to happen.
  • Templates with sharp points and curves have issues with the seam allowance.
  • Marking blocks for the Category search is not yet complete. This means that Category searches will not yet return expected results. Date search is not yet implemented.
  • There are errors in the calculations for numbers of strips needed in Rotary Cutting charts detailed view for half square triangle and quarter square triangle patches.
  • Using the + and – buttons in the Print Preview Zoom is causing occasional crashing on both Windows and macOS.
  • Some blocks are not pulling correct colors for patches in SVG Template Export.

Print Preview:

  • Fixed an issue where some patches or sections in Template and Foundation print previews could not be placed along the very top or far left margins.
  • Windows users can now adjust printer margins smaller than the default setting (if allowed by their printer) and be able to move templates to the edge of the new smaller margins. This is not yet working on macOS.
  • Fixed an issue where selecting Marquee Zoom and then clicking without dragging caused the program to crash. Additional Marquee Zoom issues still exist and will be addressed in the next version.
  • Fixed an issue in macOS where you could not delete templates that were split over two pages.
  • Fixed an issue where pressing Command Z caused macOS to crash to desktop. Please note, there is not an undo option in the print preview.

Templates:

  • Fixed an issue where selecting “no seam allowance” caused the program to crash when trying to print or go to print preview.

Foundation Patterns:

  • Removed the “Finish Numbering” button, which was unnecessary and causing confusion. Please read the updated help tips in the dialog for instructions. Some users may notice the text getting cut off in the help tips. We will address this in the next version.
  • Fixed issues with seam allowance calculations in Print > Foundation when the “separate units” box was unchecked.
  • Fixed seam allowance issues in Print > Foundation for non-square blocks that must be sectioned by the user, such as block 135.
  • Fixed an issue where incomplete and non-selectable patches were appearing in Foundation Print Preview.
  • Changes to font size and style are now applying to Foundation printouts.

Rotary Cutting:

  • Number of blocks in rotary cutting charts dialog options will now always default back to one when you switch between blocks or close the program.

Exports:

  • SVG export now has an option for exporting templates with seam allowance. Includes a 1” scale square for ensuring that patches import at the correct size.
  • Fixed sizing issues with SVG export. Users should select the dots per inch that is used by their SVG reading program (click the help button in the SVG Export dialog for a list) so that templates and blocks import at the correct size.
  • Fixed an issue on macOS where exports did not include patch lines when “Show patch lines” was selected.
  • Fixed an issue where exporting a JPG on macOS was causing a crash.
  • JPG and PNG now exports full block instead of just top left corner on macOS.
  • Fixed an issue where the size of blocks was limited to only 12 inches or 12 centimeters in the Export dialogs. Users can now enter sizes between 0.1 and 45.

Favorites:

  • Blocks will now disappear from the Favorites viewer if you click the “Remove from Favorites” button while in the Favorites view. Previously you had to exit the Favorites view and then come back for block to disappear.
  • When clicking the “View in Library” button from the Search or Favorites tab, the selected block now always displays on the screen when the program jumps to its Library.

Search:

  • Fixed an issue where searching for a multi-word term in Published Name Search displayed too many results.
  • Fixed an issue where adding a space in front of the term in the Published Name Search box caused the program to crash.
  • Fixed an issue on macOS where users could not type a space into the Published Name Search box.
  • Added a Help link to the Search tab. Note the Help pages for each of the different types of searches are not yet finalized.

User Interface:

  • Fixed multiple issues for users whose system language is not set to English. Users can now change seam allowance width and should not see visual errors in Print Preview screens.
  • The ability to view the block in a few quilt layouts (Quilt Layout option) is now fully implemented on both Windows and macOS.
  • User can now resize the window on macOS and this custom size will be remembered when the program is minimized to dock and then brought back out as well as when the program is closed and reopened.
  • Updated file and help menus on both platforms. MacOS now has options appearing in locations as expected by macOS users.
  • Enabled the ESC key for closing dialogs and windows on both macOS and Windows.
  • Added “Brackman ID:” label in front of numbers in header on all printouts.
  • Fixed an issue where block 3994 was mislabeled and pulling the wrong publication data.
  • Various typo corrections throughout the print dialogs, tool tips, and help articles. Please note, help articles are not yet finalized.
  • Other small bug fixes and User Interface updates.

Windows Version 0.1.1.0 and Mac Version 0.3.0.0 Release: January 26, 2021

This version contains updates to the User Interface and other general bug fixes. Changes of note include:

  • The notecard panel should now remember what size you have adjusted it to and should remain at that size when you reopen the program.
  • When you save as PDF, the file name will now autofill with the Brackman ID number.
  • The 1-inch scale square can now be moved and copied on the Foundation and Templates print previews.

Original Beta Release: January 18, 2021

Printing Features

BB+ allows you to print rotary cutting instructions, foundation paper piecing patterns, templates, and reference images for all 4,000+ blocks from Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns. We have added a number of new features to the dialogs including a detailed view for rotary cutting charts, the ability to print all templates instead of just unique templates, new ways to reorder patches and sections in foundation paper piecing patterns, and much more! There are also a number of new features in the print preview for all four printout types. Please test these different printing features as we have updated how they work with entirely new code from EQ8.

New Seam Allowance Design

We have changed the way we are clipping the corners on the seam allowances in template and foundation paper piecing printing. Please try cutting out and sewing some of the blocks with these new templates. We want to ensure that the clipping is still producing accurate seam allowances and final blocks.

Mac Version

This is the first Mac software that we have entirely written in-house rather than converting from PC to Mac. Users will receive access to Mac and PC versions simultaneously upon purchase. If you happen to have both a PC and a Mac we would appreciate you testing it on both to make sure there aren’t issues in one that are not found in the other.

We are planning on supporting the following macOS versions: Mojave, Catalina, and Big Sur. If you have a new Mac (released after November 10, 2020) with the M1 chip, please test on that Mac and note in your bug reports that you are using an M1 chip computer.

Saving and Exporting Features

You can now save a PDF of your printout directly from the print preview window.

Exporting of images is available for PNG and JPG files.

Basic export to SVG files has been implemented (see known issues below). If you have a digital cutting machine or another program or machine that reads SVG please test this feature.