Welcome to the Quilting Board!
I agree with the EQ software! Great place to learn.
Wayne & Gabriele, the married quilters.
If you can't afford to purchase EQ new you may be able to find a used older copy for sale from someone that is upgrading. There is a Yahoo group where members post used sewing items for sale and you can also check here on the board in the sale items area. You can post an ISO (in search of) request and wait for someone to respond. I have found many items this way.
I started out with graph paper and colored pencils but find EQ so much faster and it does the fabric calculations for you. In addition you can rearrange and use different colors with just a few clicks. I sit and play with it during the evening while DH is watching TV.
Last edited by ncredbird; 01-17-2013 at 05:10 AM. Reason: mispelled word
I agree the best way to go is with software. A design program will do all the math for you, you can flip, rotate, resize, auto change colors, and use a fabric library of your own fabrics. Coloring and changing graph paper quilt designs can take a few hours for each change. A program like EQ can do it in seconds so your creativity can flow.
Check used book stores for quilt books printed in the later 1970's and early 1980's. Many delt with the basics of designing blocks.
I had purchased the Quilt Design Wizard @ Jo-Ann's and used my 50% off coupon so it ran me $15.00. It's not nearly as elaborate as the EQ6/7 but it has enough basics and it helps me figure out measurements ...