How do I love thee, let me count the ways…

26 Oct

Fellow Quilters,

Pop the champagne!  This is a week of anniversaries for me.  Yesterday was my 35th wedding anniversary – woohoo!

My 35th wedding anniversary - a night to celebrate!

My 35th wedding anniversary – a night to celebrate!

Hubby and I celebrated this auspicious occasion by cooking our own romantic dinner for two (pan-seared scallops – my fave!) and savoring them with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot.  While this may not sound so romantic to some, we both love to cook, especially together, and sipping on some bubbly while creating our gastronomic delight added to the fun.  Did you know that the traditional gift for a 35th anniversary is coral?

The traditional gift for a 30th anniversary is pearl, and today I am part of Electric Quilt’s 30th anniversary celebration through their Pearls of Wisdom weekly blog series. Pearls of Wisdom PC-headshot Congratulations to Electric Quilt! Each week, EQ features a quilt designer and shares the designer’s favorite tip – “pearl of wisdom” – for using the EQ quilt designing software.  I have gleaned some nuggets from these posts!  You can follow along through the EQ blog here and read my pearls of wisdom.

As a prolific quilt designer, I use the EQ software weekly, if not daily.  I can navigate through the program easily.  So, here’s the thing.  Like most software programs, EQ can do so much more that what I do with it (how many of us are actually using or even know all the features of some everyday software programs such as Word?).  I thought I knew the in’s and out’s of the program until I subscribed to the blog.  Through the Behind the Mouse blog, I receive mini lessons in my Inbox every week – the EQ8 Lessons with Yvonne, EQ8 Lessons with Lori, the EQ8 Block Spotlight, and more.  Did I mention that they’re free?!?  This continuing education is delivered directly to me – no effort on my part.  How awesome is that?  I used Lori’s tip from last week when I was designing a quilt the other day and it made my life easier – perfect!  If I ever have a situation where I don’t know how to do something in the program, I use the interactive Help.  More often than not, I find the answer there.  And if I can’t find the solution to my design dilemma, I can email EQ through the website and the personable team will respond promptly, almost always with an easy solution.  They are the best!  A shout-out to everyone on the EQ team 😊

Here are some of the unique ways I used the EQ program in the last week:

I published my new Cottage Sampler pattern, which I designed in EQ, and I did the diagrams in EQ.

My Cottage Sampler pattern includes throw and queen-size options

My Cottage Sampler pattern includes throw and queen-size options

This quilt features my Canoe Lake fabric collection by Banyan Batiks, shipping to quilt shops this week (woo-hoo!!).  Since there are 3 colorways in the collection, I wanted to use gray-scale fabrics in the diagrams.  For the 9” square mini panel fabric, I imported the line drawing of my design (the one that was sent to the mill to print the fabric) an used this line drawing as a “fabric”.

The diagram for the mini panel block uses the line drawing of the panel fabric image

The diagram for the mini panel block uses the line drawing of the panel fabric image

How cool is that?!?  PS.  I am super-excited to be hosting the Cottage Sampler Quilt-along starting December 29 – the sign-up is on the main page at Patti’s Patchwork and it’s free to join.  All you need is a copy of the pattern.

Sign up for the quilt-along at Patti's Patchwork

Sign up for the quilt-along at Patti’s Patchwork

At my guild’s charity quilt virtual sew day last Saturday I had each participant snap a photo of their block and email it to me.  I imported each photo as a “fabric” into EQ and quickly created a quilt image that very closely represents what our finished quilt will look like.

A proposed layout for my guild's charity quilt, created in EQ with pictures of everyone's blocks

A proposed layout for my guild’s charity quilt, created in EQ with pictures of everyone’s blocks

I then shared my screen during the sew day to show everyone our “quilt”.  The members were fascinated.

I am using EQ to recreate my guild’s block-of-the-month program featuring barn quilts in our area.  I look at the block (this month’s block is Goose Tracks), search through my BlockBase+ program that is linked to EQ to find the block, resize the block to our 18” size that we’re doing and ask EQ what size to cut the pieces – done!

I use the BlockBase+ program from Barbara Brackman (linked to my EQ) to find the block

I use the BlockBase+ program from Barbara Brackman (linked to my EQ) to find the block

Then I can write the instructions for the participants quickly and easily.

I just designed my next fabric collection, Color Play, using EQ.  I did the layout for several fabrics in the program and designed several motifs in EQ as well.  This collection is intended to be a learning tool for free-motion machine quilting and I will be doing a series of YouTube videos showing techniques on each of the components in the various fabric designs. It will be shipping to quilt shops next August.  The collection hasn’t been released yet but here is a tiny taste of it.

A snippet of my design created in EQ

A snippet of my design created in EQ

A snippet of the actual fabric

A snippet of the actual fabric from Color Play

So, I want to know, do you EQ?  Have you used this amazing program?  If so, what is your favorite feature of the program?  Let me know!  Post a comment below by midnight November 1 for a chance to win a fat ¼ pack of my Canoe Lake collection (mention your favorite colorway so I know which one to send you😊).



4 Responses to “How do I love thee, let me count the ways…”

  1. CateD October 26, 2021 at 12:37 pm #

    I have not attempted EQ, but have at least one friend who uses it fairly often. And I think these tips are amazing, planning to pass along all of this information. My top fav colourway is the one with the blues, greens, grays, not sure if there is a name attached to it. Always enjoy reading your blog.

  2. Petunia Pinner October 26, 2021 at 2:10 pm #

    I LOVE this program! Has helped me out of bind many times and love to design with it as well!

  3. Bonnie Larson October 26, 2021 at 4:08 pm #

    I have EQ, but have not used it much yet. Anything with blues calls to me.

  4. Kathy E. October 26, 2021 at 9:11 pm #

    Congratulations on 35 years of wedded bliss! Cooking together is certainly something to enjoy and appreciate! I am always interested in what others create with EQ and it amazes me. I do not have the program, but maybe someday I will. I love the Autumn Blaze colorway best of Canoe Lake. All are beautiful!

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