Electric Quilt 8 (EQ8) is a software program for designing quilts. I’ve used it a number of times and thought I’d share some of my thoughts.
This Morris Tulip Quilt is the first quilt I made using EQ8. I reproduced the quilt in EQ8 from an image I found in the book THE BEST QUILTS FROM THIMBLEBERRIES written by Lynette Jensen. In the book, Lynette calls this quilt “Tulip Stand”. Reproducing the quilt in EQ8 made it easy to resize the quilt and “color” it as I wanted.
There are many things I like about using EQ8 for quilting design. This post covers a few of them.
The ability to import fabric swatch images into EQ8 is one of my favorite features of the software. By importing the fabric swatch images into EQ8 I can see exactly how my quilt will look when finished.
When I was designing the Morris Tulip Quilt I had a good idea of what fabrics I wanted to use. Our home is furnished in the Arts and Crafts style. Moda Fabrics has several collections containing Arts and Crafts style fabrics. One collection is the “Best of Morris” collection. I simply went to the Moda Fabrics website and downloaded the fabric swatch images from the collection. Once downloaded, I imported them into EQ8.
Once the fabric swatch images were imported into the EQ8 software all I had to do was click on the fabric swatch image to “color” the block with the fabric of choice. To me, the ability to see what the finished quilt is going to look like with my selected fabrics is priceless.
Many of the fabric manufacturers have links on their websites that allow users to download fabric swatch images. The link to fabrics I used in this quilt can be found here.
The Electric Quilt Company also puts out “EQ Stash” updates. These updates to the EQ8 software contain various fabric swatch images for newer fabrics that have come to market. The updates are available three times a year from the Electric Quilt website. Adding the updates to the EQ8 software involves only a click. The cost to purchase the updates is minimal. The download page for the updates can be found here.
A second feature of EQ8 that I really like is the ability to print piecing templates right from the software. The templates are precise and I can specify what size (or none at all) seam allowance I want to use with the templates.
EQ8 also provides yardage requirements for each of the fabrics used in the quilt. This includes borders, binding, and backing. Knowing how much fabric to purchase makes shopping easier.
Lastly but not least is the support and training you get from EQ8. I’ve called the EQ support people twice and both times the phone was answered promptly and courteously. Both times my question was answered thoroughly.
Speaking of training, there are several learning options with EQ8. When I purchased the EQ8 software I also purchased three companion beginner books to learn the software. Turns out I didn’t need all three books. Half way through the second book I was already designing my first quilt. To be truthful, it took about four hours to learn the software well enough to design my first quilt.
If I were to do it over again, I wouldn’t bother to purchase the beginner books. The books were very helpful and extremely well-written but I’ve since found the Electric Quilt Blog. The EQ Blog “Behind The Mouse” as it is called is jam packed with information about how to use Electric Quilt. The lessons are totally free and very well-made. The Lessons come in the form of articles and videos covering topics ranging from beginner to advanced. If you were to work along with the lessons, there would be little or no need to purchase additional books or training.
If you are planning on purchasing Electric Quilt you may want to wait until it is on sale. It is frequently on sale at the Electric Quilt website for 20% off. I think it is also available on other sites.
If you like quilting and can operate a computer I would encourage you to give Electric Quilt a try . For those who make many quilts or design quilts for clients, it is almost a must have.