Why I Love Electric Quilt

First things first, my friends at Electric Quilt did not sponsor this post in any way. 🙂 However, they recently featured me in an ad campaign for a couple of magazines (McCall’s Quilting May/June and American Patchwork & Quilting June issue) so I thought I would share a little bit more about why I enjoy using their software, plus show a few designs that are a blast from my past. I’ve come a long way!

ElectricQuilt_sm

I bought the first version of the program way back when it was EQ4. Back in the days when I was teaching a lot locally (before I discovered modern quilting and realized people would buy my patterns), I used EQ to draw diagrams which I would use as handouts for my classes. The user functionality was somewhat limited and I printed everything in black in white,  but I was able to do pretty much whatever I needed to for my class presentations.

20150320_eqsketch1An early EQ5 sketch where I took a commercial pattern, redrafted and resized it.

I have to admit that I’ve never used the calculate fabric function, because I prefer to do my own math. But, I use most of the other functionality and especially love to be able to import swatches of fabrics and print off full color images of my designs. I also save images of the quilt and individual blocks in photoshop, and then manipulate them to use when writing my patterns.

Over the years I’ve upgraded to EQ5, then EQ6, tried it for awhile on a Mac using parallels, upgraded to EQ7 on a regular PC, and am finally using the EQ7 Mac version natively and I love it. Although it’s still written for windows, there is no difference in functionality between the standard version and the Mac version that I can tell.

20150320_eqsketch2An EQ6 design I made for my oldest son once I learned how to import fabric swatches directly into the program. He sketched the space shuttle and I turned it into a quilt with wonky stars.

I have to tell you I am by no means an expert EQ user. However, I did force myself to sit down and go through the manual, page by page and try out all the tutorials. I’m a learn-as-needed sort of person, so now whenever I need to learn how a particular function works, I just go through their help system, and check out the tutorials and lessons on the EQ site. When all else fails, I google what I’m looking for and will usually run across someone’s step-by-step blog tutorial.

I also really like how many other EQ users will share some of their project download files for free to other users. I’ve also shared quite a few, and you can find my free downloads here.

20150320_eqsketchtempleOne of my early EQ7 experiments where I redrew a paper pieced block to f it inside of a larger frame and added applique lettering. This was a gift for a dear friend & church leader.

So far EQ7 has served me well, and I now use it to design every quilt I make. I will have to disappoint some of you though, and let you know I’ve decided not to pursue teaching classes on how to use it. I did think about this for awhile, but honestly, my time is limited and I’d rather spend it teaching piecing and quilting classes rather than software classes. But the good news is that there are tons of online classes at EQ University that you can check out.

Yes, purchasing EQ software is an investment in both money and time, but for me it was totally worth the cost!

15 thoughts on “Why I Love Electric Quilt

  1. Louise says:

    Christa, do you feel that you can go as modern as you want with this product? I have been thinking about it for years but prefer a very modern look. Thank you and I too enjoy your blog. It is always very informative.

  2. Tina in NJ says:

    I’ve been using EQ since version 1 as well. I use it constantly to design my own quilts and to write up the Block of the Month for my guild. Someday I’ll play with appliqué design, but for now, it does almost everything I need it to. I’ve had friends over to test drive it and they’ve all bought it.

  3. Jane says:

    I still haven’t particularly worked it out yet. Limited time, I suppose, and the interface isn’t as intuitive as I’d hoped. I’m sure I’ll get there eventually.

    I love the mock ups of your earlier quilts. It’s interesting how much your style has changed.

  4. Cheryl says:

    I totally agree about EQ being worth the cost and time investment. I have used it since the beginning – 1992 NQA show at Bowling Green OH. I do use the fabric calculation for the number of patches of each fabric, then do my own math from there. BTW I really enjoy reading your blog!

  5. Barbara Howe says:

    I have used this “computer assisted design” program for many years, and I find that it is quite useful. I have made everything from king quilts to place mats using it.

  6. joan says:

    Good to know, I just ordered EQ7 the other day. I had 4 and hated it. Likely cause I never sat down and really used it. I am sure hoping that 7 is more user friendly! I know I will be depending on EQ University for sure!

  7. Jayne Willis says:

    I’m still figuring it out! I know if I would plant my butt in the chair for a few days I would become much better at it! Time is always an issue, isn’t it?! There are a lot of users and its fun to see EQ designs (for me)!!

  8. Connie Campbell says:

    Like you Christa, I love EQ and have been using it since version 3 or 4. The difference between older versions and Electric Quilt 7 is unbelievable and it is so much fun using it.

  9. Janet says:

    I love my EQ7 and thank my hubby often for gifting it to me! I recently used it to audition fabric. I drafted a quilt from a pattern in a magazine, scanned in my fabric and Tada! I LOVE the fabric calculator- because I only had 2 yards of each fabric, I was able to quickly see which I could use for borders. There is so much help online and the manual is great too!

  10. Melanie McNeil says:

    I use EQ7 on both PC and Mac, and like you, I haven’t noticed any difference in functionality. I don’t design most of my quilts in it, as I rarely design a whole quilt at once. Instead I design as I go, improvising throughout construction. However, it’s a great way for me to try a border treatment (and since I mostly make medallions, they are largely borders!) or a color combination. In other words, I don’t use it as my primary design tool, but it is part of my tool kit. And yes, I love it, too!

  11. Josie McRazie says:

    I got mine about 6 months ago. I find the fabric is not very accurate and I prefer to do my own math! It has its good and it has its bad!But I’m still learning!

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