Sunday, November 10, 2013

new to EQ? me too!

When I stumbled upon a marked-down copy of EQ7 earlier this spring, I couldn’t help my slightly-addicted-to-online-shopping self.  Up until that point, I’d done a bit of research and found an awesome paper piecing tutorial by Joanna of Shape Moth and quite a few helpful videos on YouTube so really the only thing missing was the program itself :D  (One click and virtual swipe of the credit card quickly solved that!)

I started toying around with it almost immediately, but still have so much to learn to be anywhere near as proficient as the likes of Joanna and Kristy of Quiet Play.  So imagine my surprise when Heidi over at EQ asked if I wouldn’t mind sharing my two cents on the software as part of their recent “New to EQ” feature?*  To the extent that lack of expertise is a qualifying factor, I certainly get high marks :)

So, what's there to love about EQ7?  Lots.

It’s made for quilters.
As much as I love my Creative Suite (shout out to any other long-ago aspiring copywriters out there), there’s something to be said for a program dedicated to one particular thing.  Especially when that one particular thing is quilting.  I think my heart skipped a beat the first time I whipped up a layout for my ‘shott{ing} stars design.  Not only is it super easy, but it also helps to quickly pair an image with a idea that turns out to be less than intriguing in real life (e.g., “Hm, what if I set the blocks on point?” “AH! That looks terrible.”  Crisis averted.)

Customizable pattern printing.
Printing patterns can be as easy or involved as you want it to be.  You can just click print, and voila, pattern printed.  Or, you can customize the line thickness, seam allowance, and even the font of the template labels.  As a former (#oldhabitsdiehard) Photoshop junkie, I *love* that I can easily generate seam allowance-free templates and block images using EQ, and then just as easily take those files and layer them into my go-to Photoshop pattern file.  (Having developed my pattern designs pre-EQ, that seamless transition is a major plus in my book.)

Support.
Last (for now), but certainly not least, a product is only as good as the people who stand behind it.  Lucky for EQ users, they’ve got great folks backing them up.

Now the only thing left for me to do is figure out what I need to do to get it running on my new mac so I can officially lay my poor old PC down to rest …preferably before it dies on its own.  (Side note:  I did recently read that EQ will be releasing a made-for-mac version in the near future (!) but I think I'll have to hold off until they come out with an apple-friendly Blockbase).

In the meantime, keep an eye out for more EQ posts in the works about framing blocks (à la forest and starry sky), and traditional designs inlaid with mini-blocks (à la diamond-studded DWR).  Because why not mix things up?  Stay tuned!

So, do you EQ?  Photoshop?  Paper and pencil? (All of the above?!)  Tell me, what's your design tool of choice?


*****
*In the interest of full disclosure, the kind folks at EQ have offered a few books in exchange for my thoughts.  All the same, the opinions expressed in this review are 100% unswayed by said literature.
*****

17 comments:

  1. Graph paper and pencil for me. I'm afraid that, once I had finished a design on EQ, I would not make the actual quilt!

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  2. I use Illustrator primarily, and some graph paper as well. When EQ comes out for Mac (and I find a coupon!) I'd probably purchase it to try out. :)

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  3. Big times are coming! Can't wait to see what you do with it. I have a "design wall" read piece of batting on the wall for a week now and I love it. I do make some drawings from time to time but I usually change things up while working on a project.

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  4. Usually I just imagine what I want and lay it out and hope that it all comes together. I have just invested in graph paper and coloured pencils (I know. Very adventurous of me!) and have been drawing out my thoughts to scale. Before I had scribble that often was untranslatable, but I'm on it now! I would love a fancy software, but I could spend that money on fabric instead ;-)
    E xx

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  5. Whoa. I thought that getting out some paper and a pencil and a ruler was high-tech, given that often my design tools of choice are the back of a receipt or a napkin and a half-dried-out pen from the bottom of my bag! I love the idea of learning a new skill, but I also think it's a little intimidating! It's so exciting that you're having a go with it and I can't wait to see the things you come up with!

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  6. I always use paper and pencil, but I've thought about investing in EQ. the only problem is that I do most of my work from a Mac. So, I'm patiently waiting for a Mac version of the software, which I hear is coming soon!

    :) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

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  7. I bought the EQ last weekend at quilt festival and comes tomorrow!! Perfect timing!

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  8. Where did you get a marked down copy?? I bought EQ6 a couple of years ago, and just months later they came out with 7./ I have never learned how to use the one I have. But I don't know if I need to update.

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  9. I bought EQ5 when it first came out and have never upgraded. It's perfect for envisioning a design and messing around with it before committing to fabric. My favorite features: ability to painlessly generate templates with seam allowances, ability to import images of the actual fabrics I'm going to use (and even fussy-cut them!), calculating fabric requirements on the fly (although it always seems to overestimate, especially when long strips are used for borders). I haven't really seen any new features of EQ7 that interest me, so I'll stick with my old EQ5 for now.

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  10. This is great! Thanks! I've been thinking about EQ7 for a while but I hesitate because of the price. I'm also totally old fashioned and I enjoy using graph paper. Maybe sometime :)

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  11. I own EQ7. I try to use it, but typically end up right back in Photoshop. I find it has some limitations that generally makes it not as effective as Photoshop/paper. I keep trying though - just in case it is a user issue. :)

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  12. I have been toying with buying EQ. It is now on my Christmas list. Thanks.

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  13. It's good ol' paper and pencil for me. Long ago I wanted EQ, but they've never made it for the Mac. If you can get it to run well on your Mac, do let us know, because then I might drop 2 hundreds on that instead of fabric :)

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  14. I have EQ7 but haven't used it much yet...I like seeing the tutorials around when I get chance. I hope to spend more time getting to know the program....someday soon.

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  15. I use EQ almost exclusively because I'm a paper piecer even for tradtional blocks. I always wanted to be able to draft my own blocks in EQ, but struggled. I can't thank Shape Moth enough for her tutorial!!!!!!!!!!!! Most of my work is created from images and not original. I start by converting the image into a very rough draft pattern by hand with pencil and ruler. I upload that rough draft into EQ and make my pattern. I usually have to edit a couple of times before I can section and number. I love that I can print a pattern in any size. I printed my lastest pattern at 24x28".....

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  16. EQ7 on Xmas list so after Xmas I can get started. Also ordered some EQ with me books to help me get going.

    Can't wait.

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  17. Bought my own Christmas presents from my husband (he bought the Janome 15000 for me) so now I am reading. learning, studying. I get a lot of fabric and ideas from missouri quilt co and she has helped me understand what I am attempting to do, and I have joined a quilt guild and go to several bees a month. I even made 2 BOM's and finished some quilts for the grandkids (would I do those again.. OH NO- they were awful by comparison to what I hope to make in the future)

    So, I am a new quilter eager to learn.

    Nana B, in Texas

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so... you're thinking about commenting, are you?

if you don't mind my saying so, please do! i love hearing from new quilting friends! good or bad, let's hear it ;)

p.s. I'm so sorry, but I've had to disable anonymous comments due to sneaky spammers. I hope you understand!