I’m often asked how and why I use Electric Quilt 7 when most people see me as a wildly improvisational, no rules kind of Gal!! I started my quilt life as an art quilter–after learning how to quilt.
My first formal workshop was with the wonderful Regina Benson who did two things for me. Regina showed me how important the basics were–that I needed to learn to sew fabric and use my machine and other tools so that my end product was what I imagined it would be. And, to make sure that my art quilt or bed quilt didn’t fall apart! Secondly, she sincerely encouraged me to always follow my own vision as a quilt artist. This was hugely important as a confidence builder for me. I’ll always be grateful that my first quilt teacher was so thoughtful and caring.
What is EQ7?
Electric Quilt 7 is software –it is a quilt design software program available for PC’s and Mac. (Sorry–I don’t think you can use it on a tablet or iPad….) It’s been around for many years–in fact, I remember owning a really early version several years ago and giving up learning how to use it. Well, that was then, and this is NOW! EQ7 is now really very user friendly and the company has many online tutorials to help you practice and learn. If you are fairly comfortable with using your mouse or touchpad, and you know how to use basic programs like Word, you can learn EQ7 software. Notice…I did NOT say that you need to know any ‘drawing’ programs.
Why and How I Use EQ7 Software to Design a Quilt
There are two ways to use the program. The first approach is to use a block layout and there are many to choose from. You choose your layout and then add blocks that are in the block library OR blocks you design yourself.
Here’s a layout I started with for a 4 patch block quilt.The first drawing is just the blocks–no color added. I added a broken border all around the outside and one long border on the left. EQ7 software gives you lots of options.
Next, I started playing with different color/fabric options. Here are 2 versions of this quilt. The one on the left was drawn in EQ7 using the ‘standard’ layout. The one on the right is where even more fun can happen. I created a new quilt using the Custom layout. This means that instead of the blocks going into a predetermined grid (like the one on the left), I can place my blocks anywhere at all on the quilt.
Playing with color options and fabrics and layout possibilities can become addictive. I’ve made as many as 25 different versions of the same quilt –and I may only actually translate one or two into fabric.
So, even if you’re a ‘pencil and paper’ sketcher, I would suggest you check out EQ7. It ‘s a great way to ‘make quilts’ without having to–well– actually MAKE the quilts.
Happy Modern Quilting!