Welcome to Day 25 of How to Earn $ From Sewing and Quilting! This week we are talking about Designing and Selling Patterns, and today we’ll having a look at some Quilt Design Programs.
(I am in no way affiliated to any of the programs I am going to discuss in this post)
When I first heard of computer programs that could help design your quilts I was so excited! No more drawing on a piece of paper and working out the math… The reviews said they would work out your fabric requirements for you – yay – , and do all sorts of other cool stuff. I had high expectations 🙂 Too high… actually, because I thought they would also help with writing up the instructions… sadly no… I was expecting the impossible!
Once I came back down to earth and made my expectations a bit more realistic, I still found that the programs were very useful 🙂
After that it just came down to how much time I put into learning how to use them… Here are two that I have played with:
Electric Quilt is probably the most popular and well known company to offer quilt design software. I first bought EQ6 when they were about to roll out EQ7 – they had a discount on the program and so I thought I’d give it a go.
Like I said above, my expectations were too high. I expected it to do magic… and of course it didn’t! You can’t just press a button to make it churn out perfectly written instructions!! (So sad….)
Once I got over that, I did play with it and made some very nice quilt designs… in fact I have made more designs than I have turned into actual quilts – anyone else do that?!
I found it quite easy to use and very intuitive. I like the block libraries and the fact that you can scan in your fabric to see how it will look in your quilt design. You can also download swatches from a lot of fabric collections and load them into EQ…. oh, and if you have a Go!, Accuquilt also has files for their applique dies so you can pop them into your quilt design as well.
This year I upgraded to EQ7 and am trying to spend more time learning how to use it. (And just this month, EQ8 is out!!! Do I upgrade?!)
Recently, I came across Kari Schell from On Point Quilter and took her free email course on EQ7. Most of it I already knew, but there were a few pointers that I picked up. I know she has a few more advanced courses and one day I will invest in them…
Of course there are lots of free tutorials on the web, so you can learn a lot on your own. AND Electric Quilt itself has soooo many resources – they have a blog called Behind the Mouse with lots of up to date information, free lessons, and also EQ University where you can pay for quality classes.
A fun thing to do is to have a “EQ Fun Day” – where you all bring your computers and design a quilt together, helping each other with how to use the program.
One day I want to sit down with Judy and her friend Pat, because they are whiz’s at EQ7!! There is so much more that the program can do and I know I am still not using it to its full potential.
There is not much information about Quilt Pro on the net… most people seem to have EQ. But, I bought a second hand copy of Quilt Pro at a garage sale and had a play with that last year. I can’t remember which version it was, but I assume it was an old one (it is back in Oz).
I installed it and found it very similar to EQ. I can’t think of any differences off the top of my head, but I think it is also a very good option if you want to design a quilt on your computer.
After having a brief play with Quilt Pro, I haven’t really been back to it because I upgraded to EQ7 and figured learning about one quilt program at a time is enough 🙂
My thoughts on EQ..
I am at the stage where I can design simple quilts in EQ and am confident with most of the functions. But I know there is much more to learn, and if I put the time into it, I could do much more with EQ.
At the moment I am focusing more on putting DD’s stitcheries into quilts, so I am looking at the applique features on EQ and putting simple blocks around the stitchery/applique blocks. I have been playing with the tracing feature and still need a lot of practice with that!!
I am finding that it doesn’t do everything I want it to do… and so I am also playing with other computer programs to complement EQ… I will be sharing more on those programs tomorrow.
I would definitely recommend EQ if you want to design on the computer. Just being able to swap blocks around to make different designs and patterns is great. It doesn’t take long to learn the basics and there is so much more this program is capable of if you put the time into learning.
I’ll be back tomorrow to look at Designing and Selling Patterns – Other Software to Use for Designing Quilts
PS Please remember I am answering your comments in the comment section below and not via email like I usually do. Sorry for the hassle, but I am hoping this month we can share ideas!
PPS The main page of this series is here along with links to each post for this series.
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