Infrastructure Prize Sponsors, Giveaways, and Geo Pop Digital Download

Infrastructure quilt along begins next Monday, Sept. 9th so today is a great time to tell you about our sponsors! My co-host Heather Black (aka Quiltachusetts) has rounded up some fabulous prizes that will be given away on her blog each week.

Infrastructure Sponsors

Because Heather is super organized (like me) she’s scheduled out the prizes for the entire quilt along. Check out the schedule below and be sure to head over to each company’s website to give them some love!! I can’t wait for you to see what’s up for grabs each week!!

Click here for the Infrastructure quilt along schedule & supply list.
We can’t wait!!
Infrastructure QAL

Geo Pop Digital Images Available from Electric Quilt

For those of you who love and use Electric Quilt software like me, you can now download digital images of Geo Pop right into your program. Each month, my friends at EQ offer a images of a brand new line for free, so this is a great time to play around with the fabric swatches and make virtual quilts to you heart’s content!

Click here to get Geo Pop digital images.

Geo Pop EQ

From now until the end of the year you can use the promo code GEOPOP to receive 20% off their whole site, including 20% of the EQ quilt design software!

Learn to use Electric Quilt with my Free Handouts & other Resources

I love using Electric Quilt software, and I use the program for each and every quilt and pattern I design. I often get asked about the best way to learn the software, and the simple answer is to learn by doing. Whenever I need to learn a new technique, I google, “How Do I….. in EQ” and I always find a tutorial to help me out!

As an EQ artist and ambassador for the company, they’ve featured me in several of their ad campaigns over the years which is always fun to see!

If you want to learn how to use EQ I recommend checking out the class resources at ElectricQuilt.com. EQ offers yearly hands-on classes, online classes, as well as resources for teachers. You can also find workshops at most major quilt shows, or reach out to your local quilt shop or guild to see which teachers are in your area.

You can also reach out to the folks at Electric Quilt directly via their help line at techsupport@electricquilt.com. They really want to help you succeed in learning the software and using it to it’s fullest potential!

Electric Quilt 8

Electric Quilt recently released EQ8 with a much easier interface.

I’ve taught others how to use the software over the years, but with my busy quilting career I don’t have room in my schedule to teach it anymore. So I thought I’d do the next best thing: – share two handouts that my friends at EQ helped me create.  Check out the links below. They were written for EQ7 but are very similar to the functionality you’ll find in the newer version of EQ8.

Click here to access my handout – getting started with EQ
Click here to get my handout – designing modern quilts in EQ

When I taught EQ at QuiltCon a few years ago,  they showcased several of my EQ designed quilts in their booth. All of the quilts in my books and patterns were designed in EQ, including the two shown below, from my book Machine Quilting with Style.

Christa and EQ at QuiltCon 2017

Everything I make is first designed in EQ!

Electric Quilt is a very comprehensive program with a bit of a learning curve, but my handouts will help get you started. And trust me, the more you use the software, the easier it gets. For those of you who already have EQ, I also have a resource page where I’ve shared the files for several of my free quilt patterns. That way you can download the files, and open them up in EQ to change colors, layouts, sizes etc. Be sure to check out the additional links below:

Important Links

Happy quilting and learning!!

EQ Design Challenge – Win a Fat Quarter Bundle of Abstract Garden

I’ve partnered up with my friends at Electric Quilt once again to offer free digital images of my latest fabric line, Abstract Garden. You can use the images in Electric Quilt software to design lots of fun quilts!

Abstract Garden Digital Images

Click here to download Abstract Garden digital images for EQ.
(You must have the software installed on your computer for it to work.)

In fact, that’s how I designed my newest quilt patterns made from my fabric. Once I design a fabric line and the digital images are sent off to the mill for printing, I import them into EQ8 to use as a palette while designing. That way I can see exactly how the finished quilt will look before I ever cut into my fabric!

Abstract Garden Fat Quarter Bundle

2 random entrants will each win a fat quarter bundle of Abstract Garden!

Once you’ve got your images, it’s time to play! You can enter your design for a chance to win one of 2 Abstract Garden fat quarter bundles, courtesy of Benartex Fabrics. The contest runs the entire month of February so you have plenty of time to design to your heart’s content!

Electric Quilt Design Contest for Abstract Garden

Click here to get the digital images for EQ and enter the contest. I can’t wait to see your entry!

EQ Design Contest Winners

I have to tell you how blown away I was with all of the entries into the Fandangle EQ design contest last month. EQ limited it to one entry per person which was probably a good thing, or we never would have been able to make a decision, LOL! EQ picked their favorite, I picked my favorite, and together we picked a joint favorite. So without further ado, congratulations to the winners below:

Overall Winner – Betsy’s Pinball

Betsy EQ8 entry for Fandangle

This quilt really spoke to me with it’s asymmetrical modern style. It’s really eye catching and I love how she took a traditional block – the Drunkard’s Path and created such a unique, fresh design!

MY Honorable Mention: Mel Beach Slice & Insert

EQ8 Design by Mel Beach

Mel’s design absolutely blew me away! I love how she incorporated some of the design motifs from the fabric into her unique and original quilt design. Check out the blog post she wrote about her process and several other design ideas. Each improv-looking blocks is actually an abstract pieced “F” (for Fandangle). How cool is that??

EQ Honorable Mention: Janet Barker Cut the Deck

Janet Barker EQ8 design with Fandangle

Here’s what Janet had to say about her fabulous entry: “My Cut the Deck quilt design uses a range of dark and light fabrics in the same color family. The teals with lime green accents fit the bill perfectly. The quilt uses easy strip piecing with sub-cuts to make up the blocks.”

Other Favorites

I have to give a shout out to a couple of other designs that really made my heart sing. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved ALL of the entries and it was so so hard to choose! We have some amazing talent out there in the quilting world and I was impressed by all of the original designs. I hope that several of the entrants decide to turn their designs into quilt patterns because they are all so good!

Willow Olson – Oh My Stars

Willow Olson EQ8 fandangle Design

 

Diane – Lisbonesque-like

Diane EQ 8 Fandangle Design

 

Pat A – Untitled

Pat A EQ 8 Design

 

Terri Nice – All that Glitters

Terri Nice EQ8 design

 

Darlene Cunningham – All The Ins & Outs

Darlene Cunningham EQ 8 Fandangle Entry

See The Rest of the Amazing Entries!

There were a total of 96 entries and they were all so fabulous! The ones I just showcased above are just a drop in the bucket of all the incredible designs that were shared.Do you know how hard it was for us to choose the winners?? The rest of them are still up on the EQ site so you can enjoy an amazing virtual trunk show. Be sure to read the comments for more about each entry.

Click here to see all of the remaining entries and grab a couple of fun freebie from me – a PDF pattern download & the EQ file to make a simple jelly roll quilt from Fandangle (or any other fabrics in your stash.)

Then click here to grab your favorite Fandangle fabrics to and get started on your next quilt! Remember to use coupon code SAVE10 at checkout!)

EQ design challenge

Thanks for playing!!

EQ Design Challenge: Design a Quilt with Fandangle – Win the Fabric to Make It!

For all of my Electric Quilt loving friends out there, I’ve teamed up with Benartex and EQ to bring you a fun challenge this month! Use any of the fabrics from my latest collection Fandangle to design a quilt you’d like to make using EQ7, EQ8, EQ Stitch, or EQ Mini.

Click here for complete contest details and entry.

Fandangle Fabric by Christa Watson for Benartex Contempo Studio

Fandangle collection by Christa Watson for Benartex Contempo Studio

Three winners will each win the fabric they need to make the quilt! Complete details along with the link to download the Fandangle fabric swatches are over on the EQ blog today, so check it out! The contest will run through the end of the month.

Electric Quilt 8

I personally love using EQ8 to design all of my quilts because I usually have to design and write all of my quilt patterns for any new fabric collection months before I get the fabric. EQ makes it easy for me to see exactly how my finished quilt will look before I even make the first cut!

Fandangle by Christa Watson

If you are on instagram, be sure to also share your designs using the hashtags #fandanglefabric and #eq8. I can’t wait to see what you create!

EQ design challenge

EQ8 Has Now Been Released and You can Win a Copy!

Have you heard the great news? After years of patiently waiting, a new version of Electric Quilt software was released, just in time for Christmas! I’m sure you are all busy with your holiday shopping so here’s a fabulous gift you could win for yourself!!

Electric Quilt 8

Click here to learn more about EQ8!

Meet EQ8, with an updated interface, new features, and the same great capabilities you’ve come to know!

I have to share a fun behind the scenes story. Back in 2016 when I met the owners Dean and Penny for the first time while teaching at EQ Academy, I was impressed not only with their business sense, but it was heartwarming to see how much they cared about their customers. I asked if they would be releasing an updated version of the software since the previous version, EQ7 had been launched way back in 2010.

EQ8

Even those these images say “coming soon” they are actually here now!!!

Dean’s answer really impressed me. He told me that he’d only release a new version if there was a market need for it. He said he didn’t want to follow in the footsteps the big software companies who release new versions year after year just so they could gouge their customers. He wanted to make sure that any new product the company created had enough value to justify the cost.

Click here for the EQ8 FAQ.

I love how thoughtful they were with releasing this software. Those who already own EQ6 or EQ7 can upgrade to the version at a lower cost, and those who haven’t ever owned it before can easily purchase and download it online without having to wait for anything to arrive in the mail.

EQ8

This is my favorite thing about EQ8!

I’ve recently installed my version of EQ8 and just started designing new projects for upcoming patterns and online classes. So far it’s even easier to use than EQ7 and the interface is much more intuitive.

EQ8Once you start using this software, it will be hard to design without it!

Your Chance to Win!

My friends over at Electric Quilt are generously giving away a copy of EQ8. It comes both in PC and Mac versions and both version also include a comprehensive help manual already installed in the software.

This giveaway is open through the end of the month, November 30, 2017 and is open to all. Simply leave a comment on this post and I’ll choose one at random and notify the winner via email.

 

EQ Row Along Starts September 1st

Do you enjoy making row quilts? Some blogger friends of mine are hosting a row-along in September and I invite you to join them! You do NOT have to have Electric Quilt software to join.

EQ-Seasons-RAL-Button

Here are the Details:

Doesn’t that sound fun?

 

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!

Free EQ7 Downloads – Including Many of My Designs

One of the things I love about Electric Quilt software is being able to share some of my designs with others that use the program. Recently, I added two more of my designs to EQ’s Projects Download page.

Be sure to check out my Jolly Jelly Roll quilt (which was my first-ever quilt along):

Sugar Sweet Jolly Jelly Roll Quiltand my Ultra Modern Dresden paper pieced block: (which I haven’t made… yet!)

20140411_modern_dresdenFor more free EQ7 downloads, click here. My projects are all listed most recently, but there are literally hundreds of free designs for you to try.

While you are there, be sure to check out the bio’s of all of the other EQ7 artists!

I love EQ – Do You? Electric Quilt Software is One of My Favorite Tools

I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed Electric Quilt (EQ) software until I stepped back and counted all of the projects I’ve designed recently using this program. All of my quilt alongs have been designed in EQ7, plus several of my award winning quilts.

Electric Quilt Software

I thought it would be fun to post some before and after pics of my most recent projects that were designed in EQ7.

Since I love designing and using solid fabrics so much, it’s fun to see that the finished quilts look pretty close to the original designs. Sometimes the color placement may vary but you get the general idea.

Here’s Modern Trees, my current quilt along project:

Modern TreesModern Trees


String of Pearls, recently awarded an honorable mention at MQX:

String of PearlsString of Pearls


Charming Chevrons, Blogger’s Quilt Festival winner and displayed at QuiltCon:

Charming ChevronsViewer's Choice


Colorful Chevrons (more about this quilt tomorrow!):

Colorful ChevronsColorful Chevrons


Hugs ‘n Kisses, made for my sweet daughter:

Hugs 'N KissesHugs 'n Kisses


Sea of Squares, an experiment in straight line quilting and designing with charm packs:

Sea of SquaresSea of Squares


I’ve been designing quilts in EQ7 from way back in the days when it was just EQ4! They’ve come a long way in improving the program and I look forward to future enhancements as well. As with anything, the more I use the software, the more proficient with it I become.

EQFor the latest upgrade, I sat down and read the manual and followed along with the tutorials before I began designing. One of my favorite features is the ability to import pictures of any fabric that’s out there so I can see exactly what my project will look like before I start.  I also like how easy it is to design a custom quilt (hint – I like to design it as a single block and then size it to scale).

P.S. – if you enjoy designing your own quilts, be sure to stop by my blog later this week when I announce my next weekly giveaway – it’s a doozy!