If you own Electric Quilt 8 -- or are thinking about purchasing it -- one question you are probably asking is "Can I use my favorite fabrics to design in Electric Quilt 8?".
The answer is "yes". Electric Quilt has provided us a lot of options for bringing our favorite fabrics into EQ8 and using them in our designing.
Some of my favorite fabric sources for my Electric Quilt 8 projects include:
Fabrics Pre-Loaded into EQ8
The Electric Quilt 8 colors library has 50 different sub-libraries. So all you need to do is select your color and EQ will provide you will fabrics that match your choice.
The Manufacturer Basics section contains fabrics from 15 different fabric manufacturers. These collections tend to stay in production for multiple years. Examples of this include:
In the Electric Quilt Library, there are 30 different collections under the themes category. This includes various types of fabrics (think plaid, dots and paisley), a variety of reproduction fabrics organized by color and novelty fabrics (organized by categories such as holidays, animals, kids, etc.)
Fabrics from manufacturer websites
Did you know that there are over 50 fabric manufacturers selling cotton fabrics for quilters?
They all post images of their most recent fabrics and collections on their websites. With a few steps these fabrics (and sometimes entire collections) can be downloaded and imported into Electric Quilt.
Photographs of your own stash (using either a scanner, camera or even your phone)
Stash fabric collections are released by Electric Quilt three times a year and are available for only $7.95 each. Each product installs over 1,000 of the newest fabrics, provided by participating fabric companies, right into your EQ Fabric Library.
The first release is typically around the time of Spring Quilt market and the 2nd, around Fall Quilt market. The third collection is usually all batiks.
Free Fabric of the Month
Free monthly fabric collections of a recently released fabric collection are curated by Electric Quilt and are available on theDo You EQ website.
The January 2021 free fabric download is Coco Chic. It was created by Reed Johnson for QT Fabrics. Reed Johnson is a member of Tech Know Quilters (an online training program for Electric Quilt 8 users) and we are super excited to share his first ever fabric collection.
Learn how to download the free fabric collection from EQ and add it to a project in Electric Quilt in this free video tutorial.
Here is the link to the Do You EQ website to find the collection referenced in the video.
Once you have downloaded the collection, create a quilt from the collection and upload an image of your quilt on the Electric Quilt blog. Your quilt must only use fabrics from the Coco Chic collection. In addition, on solid color may be used.
Two lucky winners will receive a fat quarter bundles of the fabric collection. Only submissions prior to January 31, 2021 will be eligible.
Introducing Reed Johnson from Blue Bear Quilts
I mentioned in the video that Reed Johnson is a Tech Know Quilter member. I asked if he would share his story with us and am super excited to share this with you.
"Discovering I have a creative side brought me to the quilting world. I was a trial attorney for 35 years, which was a very stressful occupation.
In 2000, I visited the quilt exhibit at the Florida State Fair and said to myself “I bet I can do that.” I started quilting as a means of stress relief and to express my creativity. I am primarily self-taught, but have taken several courses from professional quilters. I was hooked. I love picking out the fabrics, cutting out all the shapes and watching the quilt top come together.
With Electric Quilt, I discovered the art of designing quilts and found a new love. After a soul-searching trip to Israel, I took a leap of faith and retired early. I pursued quilt designing full time, and Blue Bear Quilts was born. Blue Bear is a blue, furry stuffed bear I made in a quilt shop class and he won a blue ribbon at the Florida State Fair.
I want to encourage novice quilters and inspire the younger generation to seek quilting as a hobby, so my designs are primarily for the beginner to intermediate quilters. They are colorful and easy to piece together, offering a modern twist on classic patterns. Many of my quilt patterns are designed to be used with an Accuquilt cutter because “better cuts make better quilts.”
Being a certified Quilt-in-a-Day instructor, my favorite part of teaching is helping quilters gain confidence in their abilities and seeing the joy when someone learns a new skill or technique. Many of my students say they enjoy my calm demeanor and patience. I have nationally taught many quilting and Electric Quilt classes.
Receiving some industry acknowledgment, I won the Accuquilt Block Design Contest as the Fan Favorite in 2016, the Grand Champion in 2017, and the runner-up in 2018.
I have designed patterns for QT Fabrics, Timeless Treasures Fabrics and Clothworks Fabrics, Row by Row and new Accuquilt dies. My first fabric line; a collaboration with QT Fabrics, is called Coco Chic. This fabric line was inspired from authentic 1920’s fabrics from the QT Fabrics achieves.
Blue Bear Quilts is my company where I have designed and published over 30 quilt patterns.
I was supposed to teach on a quilting cruise to Alaska, June 6, 2020, until all cruise ship travel was cancelled due to the Coronavirus.
Many of my quilts have been published in Love of Quilting, Quiltmaker and McCall’s Quilting magazines."
Here are a couple of patterns (designed by Reed in Electric Quilt 8) that are available for sale on his website. Click on the pattern to be directed to the product in his store.
Reed noted that "As a quilter and a designer, I love using EQ 8 for its ease in laying out quilt patterns; its ability to calculate yardages and being able to import the fabrics that I want to use into the program. This way I can see what the quilt will look like before I even cut a single piece of fabric. I love how the program allows my to print rotary cutting instructions, along with the ability to print templates and foundation piecing if I desire. I love the ease of being able to draw new block designs."
I also asked Reed to share how Tech Know Quilters has helped him as a pattern designer.
"Enrolling in Tech Know Quilters has been a Godsend for me as it has expanded my knowledge of what the Electric Quilt program is capable of. Being a member of Tech Know Quilters has allowed me to expand beyond the basic layouts in EQ and to be able to do custom set patterns, draw appliqué patterns, work on blocks with curved piecing and learn many shortcuts that allow me to operate within the program efficiently.
Kari’s videos are a great way to learn what she is teaching in the lessons and you can play any parts you need to over and over again. Her lessons and videos are easy to follow and if you ever need more assistance, she has many help sessions where you can ask her questions.
It is fun to take part in the Facebook groups to see all of the marvelous creations that other quilters make from her lessons."
Electric Quilt Expert and Educator and Pattern Designer.