Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Making the Switch . . . EQ7 to EQ8

So one of the most frequently asked questions I get is how do I design my quilts??   And the answer is, EQ!!!!    I will see something that inspires me and either take a picture of it or draw a quick doodle, and then I sit at the computer and draw it up in Electric Quilt.  I have been using EQ 7 for about 8 years now and love it!!!  I can't imagine doing what I do without it.    But I will admit, I have been hesitant to upgrade to the new EQ8 because I assumed there would be that whole learning curve time of figuring out a new program.   Well, I can say now, I totally should not have hesitated because I finally switched over to EQ8 and it is so awesome!!!! 

My biggest concern with making the switch was thinking I would lose all of my old EQ7 files.  Silly worry, they totally made it possible to transfer the files and it was a piece of cake. There was even a step by step tutorial on EQ's site on how to do it.    Which was good, because I realized as I saved each file, that I have over 200 quilt designs in this program!!!  Wow, that is a lot!!!  And I have to say, it was fun to get to see each of the quilts I have done over the years as I transferred them ;) 

 Oh, and on a total side note, If you are looking at the names of my quilts and wondering what's up with the extra numbers . . .I label all of my quilts in EQ with them to make them easier to find.   My Pattern files start with a 1 (and you can spy 3 new working on patterns without numbers yet :)   My Book quilts start with a 2 (as well as an Acronym of the book title).  Published quilts start with a 3 (and MAG for Magazine or CB for Compilation Book).  Quilt-Along quilts start with a 4, and Tutorial quilts start with a 5.  And if I am working on something new I just label it with a name that leaves it at the bottom of the list.    It just makes it so much easier to find what I am looking for in the 200 plus names of quilts ;)    Just a little helpful hint in case you use EQ as well. 

Okay, random side note done, back to the new EQ!!   I love the new Fabric Library in EQ8!!!   EQ7 didn't have a whole lot of fabrics in the program so I got really good at Importing whatever I wanted to work with.    Which of course, EQ8 still has so that is awesome as I love being able to see exactly what a certain fabric line will look like in the quilt design.   But EQ8 also has lots of Basic fabrics already imported!!   Like my favorite Moda Grunge, and Kona Cottons, and Bella Solids and the list goes on.  And I just love the idea of being able to design knowing exactly what color solid I am using and not having to match up my best guess from the computer to a swatch card when I am done ;)   

And that whole learning curve I was worried about, silly of me.   EQ8 kept the same basic structure of program, they just made it more user friendly.  So you can design the same way you did in EQ7, but now the buttons are easier to find and flow with more sense.   And what I really love, when I find something new in this program that I have no clue about (like the new create serendipity button) there are Tips with explanations right below it to explain the new feature to me.   So smart!!!

And speaking of new features, I have been having so much fun playing around with the new Polydraw feature.  It is like a CAD program where you are designing pieces rather than lines.   And the Clone and Flip Left and Right options make drawing so much faster.  Just draw one piece and then paste it to another spot.    So fun!!!  I have a feeling I will be exploring this section a whole lot more :)  

So ya, I am wishing I would have made the switch a while ago ;)    I am sure I will be sharing more of the EQ8 stuff I learn over the next little bit.    I am so glad I was introduced to EQ way back when.   It really is such a wonderful program for anyone who has a desire to design quilts!!  It was a total game changer for me, and I am excited to see what new features EQ8 will add to my creative abilities.   Oh, and just in case you are in the same boat I was, I was happy to find that you don't have to buy EQ8 outright if you already have a previous EQ program.  You can simply pay a smaller fee to Upgrade your already existing program.  Isn't that just so sweet of EQ!!!  

So ya, in summary, So glad I made the Switch and looking forward to lots more designing!!!  

And now I am curious, do any of you wonderful readers EQ???  If not, have you thought about a quilt designing software??  Just wondering :)  

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  1. I EQ. Started originally with EQ4 and have upgraded each time. I have upgraded to the EQ8 and like it, but not quite as good as you are doing many of the more advanced functions. After I had gotten mine, I broke my arm, and since I could not sew, I spend a lot of time going through the EQ lessons. I never got the hang of the Polydraw function but need to go back and study this, as I am an English Paper Piecer and would love to be able to draw some of the quilts I like to EPP. The problem I had was when I make a block with one shape, like a kite, and I can't get EQ to print out more than one of the I would need a whole page of that one shape in order to cut my own pieces. Have you don't anything like that?

  2. No EQ here, not a technophobe, but I "think" better and visualize better with a pencil in my hand. I'm sure that's what the Luddites say, too.

    Here's my question... when is the last time you backed up all those many, many files of important data?

  3. Teresa, not sure if this helps, but if you print foundation blocks of your block, under the Options tab you can select "print as many as will fit." Too bad the template print doesn't have that. You can use the "Report a Bug" option under Help for requesting a feature.

    I do use EQ8 and like it. I haven't used any previous versions.

  4. I started with EQ5 (it was old when I got it.) But now I am up to EQ8. I agree that things are easier in 8. I love the DoyouEQ blog. They often give helpful hints and teach how to do things.

  5. I received the EQ8 for Christmas last year. I'm not on it a lot but I have at least learned to use it to help me through designing a few quilts so far. I'm not only new to EQ but to also to designing entire quilts. I've being quilting for 20+ yrs but rarely have I done even alterations to others' designs (due really to just not having time). Now that the kids have flown our coop, I am allowing myself the investment of time and 'brain space" for the creativity--of course, EQ8 cuts the time immensely and I can't even imagine having to figure the math/cutting directions without it! The basics I picked up quickly but there are things I feel aren't user-friendly (so I can't imagine previous editions!) and I know there are more complicated features I haven't figured out yet. That being said, I still see it as a MUST for anyone wanting to design their own quilts. I know they offer courses on the program but I find them to be expensive, esp because the program itself isn't exactly cheap. Maybe someday if there is one in my area, I might consider attending but for now I guess I'll keep plugging my way through it and learning a little bit more here and there.

    1. Enjoyed your information. Does Eq8 have the capability of doing circles, animals or nature lauouts?

  6. I won EQ8 on a blog giveaway. I haven't learned a whole lot yet, but I have printed templates from their collection and made some quilt blocks. I've already learned something from reading your post.
    I love programs that you can upgrade and keep going. That's why I love Embird embroidery software.

  7. I have had EQ7 for years. It just didn't seem very user friendly. But this year I have sat down to try and learn/understand there directions. It's like talking to a doctor and he's not speaking in layman terms. I have designed some blocks on my journey to design a southwestern quilt! Still trying to figure it out. 😁

  8. Thanks for the tip on labeling the files depending on where they are going (book, pattern, etc) - brilliant!

  9. I EQ! I started with EQ4, upgraded to EQ5, and used EQ5 until a few months ago when I finally bought EQ8. I love EQ.

  10. Thanks for the info. I too have the EQ7: good to know I can just pay an upgrade fee! Have you found a good book for learning the program? I've experimented with it and have drawn several quilt patterns, but I know I must be missing alot of features since I am so computer illiterate!! :-) Hugs, H


Thank you so much for your sweet comments. I just love hearing from you!!
Have a Happy Quilting Day :)