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Thread: Electric Quilt 7 - To buy or not to buy

  1. #1
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    Electric Quilt 7 - To buy or not to buy

    I find myself constantly adjusting patterns to meet my fabric needs. I also like to have an overall visual of what I am doing before I start to be sure it looks the way I want it to when I don't follow a pattern outright. I find myself spending a lot of time in photoshop piecing together what my proposed design will look like and then have to calculate if I even have enough fabric to do it. I am a somewhat techy person so decided to look to see what quilt programs were out there. The one I am hearing most about is EQ7.

    I have had the opportunity to try out EQ5 and found it extremely limiting, I could not find a way to design quilts that are not rows of blocks, for example would I be able to do something like these?

    http://melindasfabricshop.com/mm5/graphics/00000001/k3963.jpg

    http://www.robertkaufman.com/assets/...brateSeuss.jpg

    I don't want to invest the money if it is not going to meet my needs 100% as I will keep to my pen and paper/photoshop method for much cheaper.

    Thanks for your help!

    Edit to add: I guess what I am looking for is the ability to merge blocks together and then resizing each individual row or column (much like excel)
    Last edited by mm_dancer; 11-30-2012 at 09:51 PM.

  2. #2
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    I know that there are ways to design asymmetrical custom quilt tops on EQ7, but I've never done it myself. I think that quilts like the ones you linked to are a piece of cake, once you learn to operate the layouts. You might not even need the custom layouts for those. People design bargello and 60 log cabins and applique in EQ7 - really complicated stuff. I don't think I will EVER use all its capabilities.

    There is a forum on the EQ site and there's also a mailing list discussion and a yahoo group for asking how to do specific things with EQ - the people on those lists are extremely knowledgeable and helpful.

    Just the help files are terrific on EQ7 and there are a lot of tutorials on the site and on user sites, as well.

    If you like playing with programs like Photoshop or Publisher or Print Artist, you will pick up EQ7 pretty quickly - although there is a learning curve.

    But, you will probably also find that you enjoy making virtual quilts as much as you like making fabric quilts - no kidding - designing quilts is a hobby in itself. The ability to instantly change any given fabric, to scan in your own fabrics, to instantly change block or border sizes, to layer applique and/or quilting designs over the piecing - it's just SOOOOOOO much fun!

    When you add in the fact that it computes fabric yardages necessary and creates templates, paper-piecing foundations, rotary cutting charts, prints quilts, exports jpgs of your designs..... you'll be over the moon! It's given me wayyyyyy more than $160 worth of fun. And I think you can get it for $135 at Quilt in a Day, too.

    You say you're kinda tech-y, so I would vote that you will LOVE it!
    Last edited by thepolyparrot; 11-30-2012 at 10:01 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member kristakz's Avatar
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    I'm techy too (an engineer), so here's my take. I have EQ6, not sure what additional features EQ7 offers although I don't think there were many changes.

    The 2 quilts you show are pretty easy. The Seuss one is a row quilt, which is a quilt type in EQ6. Both horizontal and veritcal. And you can make each row any width you want. The other, I would do a a single block, plus a series of borders. Since you can add any number of borders you want, and design them with blocks or other features, that would work. I'm not sure you can have different size blocks in each row/column, however.

    But do like the program, and use it quite often - even drafting some quilts I've already designed, just for the fabric calculations. But it's not perfect. Here are a few issues I find with EQ. I think the border features are a bit limiting. I found that I can't always get the exact measurements I want for some reason. I try "tiled" borders, and it nicely adds sashing strips to make your tiles fit - but *it* picks the number of tiles, and always seems to go one more than I want to have. If there are too many blocks in your border, it's almost like the accuracy is off in the picture. I size a border, made of for example 15 spaced blocks, to exactly fit my quilt and it always looks like the last block is cut off.

    I dearly wish I could import a block (picture), rather than drawing from scratch. But you can edit any block in the library.

    Merging blocks works, but again has some limitations I don't like (or I just haven't figured it out completely). It's great for putting a block in the center of another. But you can only merge 1 thing into a block - you can't merge into a merged block (but you can merge that one into another, if that makes sense). So I made a "fractal" quilt - ever increasing (or decreasing, depending on your view) 8-pointed stars. But I can't create a lone star block with a different block merged into each corner.

    However, you can draw anything. If you can draw it on graph paper, you can draw it in EQ.

    You have several different options for quilt layouts, including strip quilts, on-point, "variable" blocks, and tumbling blocks. The only block shape I find limiting (and I have found a way around it) is the tumbling block layout. It is not designed to allow 6-pointed stars. I have no idea what to do with "variable" blocks (diamonds, but not flexible enough to plan a lone star quilt, for example). I do miss the fact that they have no 8-pointed quilt layout. But you can get around that with "make quilt from block".

    Edit to add: You can also design "custom set" - which means drop blocks anywhere on the quilt top. My only complaint with this option is that you have to drag the size of the block you want - and I can't get it to force a square (like you can do in powerpoint), so getting the block size correct is hard in my opinion.

    Note that I have not gone completely through the manual. It's possible some of my issues are addressed in there.

  4. #4
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    EQ6 and 7 are MUCH better than 5. The whole interface was changed for 6.

    I use EQ7 all the time and am still learning new things it can do. I agree with the others that there are limitations, but I do not have the patience to draw on graph paper. I love being able to flip a block instantly when creating a quilt layout, or insert a new border between two existing ones. I love being able to experiment with different colors and instantly see what the change does to a quilt. I think you would get your money's worth, and then some.

  5. #5
    Junior Member Freddie's Avatar
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    I have EQ6 and just ordered the upgrade for EQ7 a minute ago. I love the software, but I am not sure how much difference there is between the two of them. They have a special right now at their side for both the upgrade and the regular one. I also saw the EQ7 listed on Quilt for a day for a good price.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by kristakz View Post
    I'm techy too (an engineer), so here's my take.
    Funny you should mention that, I am in my final year of engineering right now

    Thanks for all of your input, I was just mentioning the program to my mom (who also quilts) and she said that her friend from her quilt group said to her a week ago that she should look at EQ7 for me for Christmas as I tend to tweak my own quilts all the time.

    Now I have been using some of the advice here to attempt to duplicate the Dr Seuss quilt that I posted a picture of (in EQ5 as its all I have access to). I figure out how to get the rows in and sized (I didn't see an option to add sashing so I just added a 1 inch strip between each row. Where I am stuck is adding the blocks that are in rows 1 3 7 and 9. I tried drawing a block with a one inch strip and the rest blank. Now when I am trying to add it to the quilt it is telling me to click SHIFT and draw it, but I don't see a ruler anywhere so I can't figure out how to get it exactly 9 inches with the 1 inch strip. What I tend to do most is start with a quilt pattern and change things to fit my needs, so I want the blocks to be the correct sizes, not just any arbitrary size I happen to draw. Also once I get that block drawn to the correct size I want to be able to duplicate it over and over and not have to redraw it to 10 inches again, is this possible?

    My mom said she will ask at her quilt group if anyone with EQ7 will let me have a go with it. I have bought software in the past (not for quilting) that looked like it was exactly what I wanted but I rarely touch it due to limitations. Software is far too expensive to lay around not being used.

    Thanks again for all of your input!
    Megan

  7. #7
    Senior Member kristakz's Avatar
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    Sounds like you are using a custom quilt layout? In EQ6, you can select, copy and paste a block you've already put into the custom quilt. Select it with the arrow pointing at a dotted outline, not the basic arrow (It's the second option in my drawing toolbar). You can also resize blocks with this. Under "View", I have "Quilt rulers". That will help with sizing. Apparently EQ7 lets you set a specific size and drag/drop the block (I got a PM from dunster with this info), so that is a definite improvement.
    Here's a quick look at my EQ6 screen. I have the "selection" option picked (on the right), and did a copy/paste (ctrl-c; ctrl-v) of the block.
    Name:  Picture1.jpg
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  8. #8
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    I am kind of hijacking my own thread here, but I took the advice given and attempted to recreate the two quilts I gave as examples in EQ5. I have gotten most of the details on them but a few things that are not working for me.

    1) The Seuss one, I got the rows all spaced correctly but in order to get a block to set into the row I had to change it to make the centre row a 1x1 quilt and added the rest of the rows as borders with the left and right sides set to zero. This way I could make the rows with blocks using the border setting of "blocks". I couldnt figure out how to vary the sizes of blocks within the border though so ended up setting it to 5 and drawing a block with a border on the left and right. This worked to visually create the quilt I want, but would not be very useful for yardage and cutting because the vertically sashing is now two side by side of the same color, which is not what it would be in reality. The other thing I can't get is the dimensions of the blocks. I put the line down each side on the block at 0.5 inches so that two of them side by side would make 1 inch, but as you can see in the picture the two combined is smaller than the 1 inch horizontal sashing (I am assuming this is because the block is designed at 12x12 and is set into a 10x4 block, but even doing the ratio analysis I would need the line to be at 0.67 inches which it would not let me do, it would only let me draw at 0.5 inch intervals)

    2) The Peanuts one. I did as suggested and made it a 1x1 quilt and added several borders, but similar to the Seuss one several blocks that are side by side would indeed be cut from one piece of fabric, I am trying to find a way to merge those side by side blocks into 1 and can't seem to get it (even with extensive Google searches). Again the centre block's dimensions are off, I don't understand why I can't change the size of the block in "work on block" to the size I want and then add the lines at the correct dimensions. Is this feature available and I am just not finding it??

    Thanks again for all the input!
    Megan
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    Last edited by mm_dancer; 12-01-2012 at 05:33 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member kristakz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mm_dancer View Post
    I am trying to find a way to merge those side by side blocks into 1 and can't seem to get it (even with extensive Google searches).
    I don't think it is possible. I generally use the fabric amounts as a guideline only, knowing that EQ doesn't do the most efficient layout - but it's an upper amount, so at least I won't run out of fabric if I buy what EQ says.

    Quote Originally Posted by mm_dancer View Post
    I don't understand why I can't change the size of the block in "work on block" to the size I want and then add the lines at the correct dimensions. Is this feature available and I am just not finding it??
    It is definitely possible in EQ6. Work on the block, then go into "block -> Drawing Board Setup" and set the block size. You can also adjust the snap grid here. I find it a bit annoying - you have to set the number of snap points, rather than saying, for example, snap every 1/4". But it does work, you just have to adjust it every time you change the block size.

  10. #10
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I have had EQ since EQ was on floppy disc and used DOS. LOL. I will continue to buy every update, it's that good. Do I use it a lot? No but when I do want to use it, it's worth it to have. I have Quilt Pro, Foundation Factory, and most all the EQ programs like Block Base. Dear Jane, etc.
    .
    Last edited by BellaBoo; 12-01-2012 at 06:52 PM.
    Got fabric?

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