I remember agonizing over my first purchase of Electric Quilt. I loved quilting and had a ton of patterns and books – more than I could ever use in my lifetime. Can you relate?
I wasn’t completely convinced I needed the software. However, I also realized that those purchased patterns were not always accurate and there were quilts that I saw in magazines and at shows that did not have patterns. And I didn't necessarily want to make an exact replica of the quilts from patterns I had bought.
Once I started using the software, I knew I couldn’t live without it. I quickly found that I recouped my investment in the software through significantly fewer PIGS (projects in grocery sacks). You know those quilts that you thought would be your next masterpiece. But as you got started piecing them, you realized something wasn’t quite right.
I knew from my own struggles that the initial purchase of Electric Quilt 8 can be a challenging decision. As a result, I want to help you resolve whether the software will be useful for you.
In this blog post I will be sharing with you:
Six Reasons to Purchase Electric Quilt 8
After purchasing Electric Quilt and working with it (and teaching others how to use it), I've come to realize that Electric Quilt 8 is hands down the best tool I have purchased for creating both blocks and quilts.
Full disclosure. I use it personally, but I also teach people how to get the best use of the program. I am pretty sure you know which side of the fence I will come down on.
But I want you to go into this with your eyes open. So I will also be sharing some of the objections to buying…to help you make the right decision for you.
#1 - Audition Your Favorite Fabrics
When is the last time you bought a pattern because you loved the quilt on the cover? And then realized that the fabric is no longer available. Or maybe it doesn't work well with the other colors in the room you are hoping to use the quilt in. If you have trouble visualizing what your favorite fabrics will look like in your quilt pattern, you are perfectly normal.
Before Electric Quilt, I lost count of the number of times I purchased some fabulous fabrics, cut them up and realized (after the point of no return) they wouldn’t work with my selected quilt pattern.
With Electric Quilt 8 you have the option to audition fabrics before your first cut. This can even be done before spending money on fabric.
#2 - Never Manually Calculate Fabric Yardage Requirements Again
One of my favorite features of Electric Quilt 8 is the ability to obtain fabric yardage requirements with a push of a button. If you use fabric from the Electric Quilt library, it even will provide you with a fabric reference number to assist you in purchasing the fabric at your favorite quilt shop.
Bonus: A new feature in Electric Quilt 8 is the option of printing the number of Fat Quarters needed for your quilt.
#3 - Modify Blocks and Quilts from Purchased Patterns
Have you purchased a pattern and realized there are things you would like to change? Maybe the block needs to be tweaked to use your favorite ruler or die set. Or maybe the sizes or layout needs to be adjusted so the quilt can work for your bed -- and then of course you need to adjust the yardage requirements to accommodate the new size.
Good news! Electric Quilt 8 has three different sets of tools for drawing your own blocks or redrafting a block from a picture.
EasyDraw tools are similar to working with graph paper and pencil, just like you use to do.
And if you want to draw a more complex design, PolyDraw tools also allows you to create pieced blocks that are not based on a standard graph paper type of grid. Think circular or kaleidoscope types of designs.
If you are into hexagonal quilts, PolyDraw also provides us the ability to create interlocking blocks.
And if you love applique, you will definitely be interested in the applique toolkit. I have not found an applique project that cannot be drafting using Electric Quilt 8.
However, before starting to draft your own block, you may want to check if your block is in the Electric Quilt block library. With the release of EQ8, Electric Quilt added 1400 new bocks to their already extensive library. Giving us a total of 6500 blocks to choose from for starting our next quilt.
But if you cannot locate your favorite block in the library, there is no need to worry. There is the option to import a picture of the block and trace it. This is probably my all time favorite feature of Electric Quilt 8. This is an area I love working with Electric Quilt users on and an area of focus in Tech Know Quilters - a paid membership program for Electric Quilt 8 users.
There are also options to add more blocks to the library through collections such as as Block Base Plus based on Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns. Choose from collections by Judy Martin, Marsha McCloskey or even Dear Jane. And the beauty is that all of these blocks will be able to be modified by you within Electric Quilt 8.
Within Electric Quilt 8, they even have added a group of Serendipity tools that provides a fast way to create entirely new blocks based on a previously drafted block. I find this is a great option for creating brand new original quilt blocks on days I am not feeling super creative.
#4 - Select Your Favorite Construction Method
Many potential Electric Quilt 8 users wondering if the software will assist them in constructing their block. Electric Quilt does assume that users are familiar with basic quilt construction techniques. The software will not teach you how to applique, foundation piece or even piece together rotary cut patches. It will also not provide you step by step instructions typically found in a purchased quilt pattern.
However it will provide you with a variety of tools to facilitate cutting fabric and even the foundations to paper piece your blocks. The method of construction is your choice.
#5 - Save Money
Electric Quilt Expert and Educator and Pattern Designer.