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!
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.
An 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.
An 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.
One 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!