Sep. 17, 2015

Christa Watson’s Book Tour, free project & EQ7 GIVEAWAY!

Machine Quilting with Style by Christa Watson

This contest is closed. We’ve contacted the winner – check your email!

We are participating in Christa’s book tour for her new book Machine Quilting With Style. Read below to see how Christa designed her quilts with EQ7 and enter to win the program!!

We just love the quilts in this book! And yes, they were designed in EQ7!! EQ Artist, Teacher and Author, Christa Watson tells us about herself, her book and how she uses Electric Quilt design software to create such fantastic quilts.

I am super excited about my brand new book, Machine Quilting With Style. It includes 12 complete patterns along with step-by-step instructions on how to quilt them on your home sewing machine.

I’ve always enjoyed teaching others the entire process of making a quilt from start to finish, and it thrills me to no end when I help someone conquer their fear of machine quilting. For beginners, I recommend trying out some of the designs that utilize your walking foot for quilting. In the book I show several alternatives to plain-old stitching in the ditch. Once you are comfortable with the process, I encourage you to give free-motion quilting a try. It’s not as scary as you think and the key to success is letting go of imperfection (along with a little practice)!

Christa WatsonFor me, designing quilts is just as fun as making them, which is why I love using EQ7. Many times, I’ll have an inkling of an idea but am not sure where it will take me. I start by sketching out a basic block or quilt design in EQ. From there, I will make several variations – changing sizes, adding or removing lines, testing layout options, and building several versions of the quilt. In fact, I’ve created many different quilt designs that you would never know all originated from the same idea! I’ll also audition multiple colorways and love that I can easily import swatches of fabrics that I plan to use.

Recently I have been playing around with adding quilting motifs to my quilts, because I also like to know what the quilting will look like before I start!

Once I’m happy with the design of the quilt, then I’ll create a rough pattern to work from. I’ll figure out the math and write out the steps to make the quilt. That way I can follow my own directions, and pattern test the quilt as I go, making notes along the way.

 FacetsUsing EQ7 really came in handy when I submitted my book proposal to the publisher. I was able to show them all of my design ideas in full color and they approved every single one with great enthusiasm!

I’ve included images of some of the design sketches I created in EQ7, and you can see how closely they resemble the actual quilts in the book!

My personal favorite quilt from the book is Facets. I used some of my favorite solid colors and am excited that they will soon be available as a precut bundle through Robert Kaufman. Just look for the “Christa Watson Designer Palette” in October. In fact, I love these colors so much, I created another design using them called Puzzle Box. It was so helpful being able to use the Kona Cotton Palette directly in EQ while I designed! Of course this quilt would look great in your favorite fabrics, too!

Puzzle BoxI’m offering my design, Puzzle Box, as a free EQ7 download as my way of saying thanks to the EQ community who have supported me in my journey.

CLICK HERE for Christa’s free EQ7 project download, “Puzzle Box.”

CLICK HERE for the blog hop schedule, giveaways and to see all the quilts in the book.

CLICK HERE to get your copy of Christa’s new book, Machine Quilting with Style.


To win your very own EQ7 (for PC or Mac), leave a comment answering this question: If you had EQ7, what would your first project be?

(Winner will be chosen at random. Contest ends Friday, September 25th at 9am. One comment per person.)

Click below to see more of Christa’s EQ7 designs and how closely they match her finished quilts!

Lightning Focal Point Square in a Square

Love Christa’s style? Want to learn EQ7?

Sign up for Christa’s EQ7 class: Getting Started with EQ7!

EQ Academy 2016

Sep. 15, 2015

Week 3 of Marian Pena’s Row-A-Long! Free projects, tutorials and lots of prizes!

Are you ready for week 3 of Marian Pena’s Row-A-Long?

If you haven’t already check out the Flickr group, you can see people’s sewn projects. The Facebook group is pretty active and a great place to chat or ask the designers questions. You can also check out the previous week’s winners on Marian’s site,



Here’s who is posting today:

Anneka Kornelis at Stof Genoeg

Jennifer Ofenstein at Sew Hooked

Reeze Hanson at Morning Glory Designs

Carol Swift at Just Let Me Quilt

Marian Pena at Seams To Be Sew

(See the whole schedule here.)

Here are the prizes for this week:
Northcott Fabrics: 6-8 yards of fabric in 1 yard lengths
Fat Quarter Shop: 1 $25.00 gift certificate.
Aurifil:  Gleeful by Caroline Hulse 50 wt set of 10 – 225 yd spools
Craftsy: 1 class of your choice – 3 total classes
Nancy’s Notions: 1 $10.00 of gift certificate – 2 total certificates
(See a list of all the prizes here.)

Please visit the designer’s blogs to enter!

Visit Marian’s site for more details and to see the rules and guidelines.

And don’t forget, later this month we’ll be giving away an EQ7!

Sep. 15, 2015

Tool Tip Tuesday! – The Export Image Tool

Export Image

Use Export Image if you want to generate high quality images of your blocks and quilts to create professional images for you to use or, that can be used by publishing houses and commercial printers.

Click FILE > Export Image, or click on the Export Image  tool on the Project toolbar. An Export Image dialog box will appear for you to name the file and select a format.

Navigate to the folder you want to save your image in.

In File name, type a name for your image.

In Save as type, click the drop-down menu to choose the type of file you’d like to save your image as: bmp, jpg, gif, tiff, or png.

Once you’ve selected a filename and format, another dialog will appear for you to make more selections determined by the format you’ve selected.

BITMAP, GIF and PNG Dialog

 All of the dialogs require that you set the size for the image.

Note: If you are exporting a quilt from the quilt worktable, the dialog will display a checkbox for Keep aspect ratio. When this box is checked, only one entry needs to be adjusted, either Width or Height. The other entry will adjust automatically. If you are exporting from the Block worktable, this checkbox does not appear.

Resolution options are 75, 150, 300 and 600 dots per inch. If you are creating images for web sites, 75 dpi is the ideal selection. For most other printing, 150 dpi will be adequate. If you are generating images for publication in magazines or other commercial ventures, then one of the higher resolutions would be best.

It’s important to remember that resolution selections strongly affect the size of the file that gets generated. For example, a bitmap file of a 4 by 4 inch quilt at 75 dpi will generate a file of much less than 1 megabyte. That same quilt at 600 dpi generates a file that is 16.5 megabytes!

You can choose to outline the patches and blocks of the quilt separately using the checkbox options.

JPEG Dialog

 If the JPEG file format is chosen, one additional setting is available under Options.

JPEG quality: This setting affects the size of file that gets created. It causes a trade off between compressed file size against the quality of the saved image: the higher the quality setting, the larger the JPEG file, and the closer the output image will be to the original.

Low values will produce fuzzy images. High values will produce sharp images.
Suggest value: 50
Allowable values: 0-100.

TIFF Dialog

 If the TIFF file format is chosen, two additional setting are available under Options.

Compression: Choose between None and LZW. This setting affects the size of file that gets created. LZW is a compression scheme that will create a smaller file size.

Depth: Choose between 24 bit or 32 bit.

24-bit is often referred to as Truecolor. It uses 8 bits to represent red, 8 bits to represent blue, and 8 bits to represent green or 256 levels of each of these three colors. Combined this equals over 16 million colors. This approaches the level at which the human eye can distinguish colors for most photographic images.

32-bit color actually refers to 24-bit color (Truecolor) with an additional 8 bits as empty padding. The reason for using empty space is that all but the newest modern computers process data internally in units of 32 bits; as such, using this amount for each pixel can allow optimizations. In other words, this option won’t make the image look different, but it may run more smoothly on your computer.

Exploding Blocks

If you’d like to explode your blocks check out our lesson on Exploding Blocks & Quilts for Patterns.

• If you’d like a reminder of this and other tools in EQ7, check out the  Display Dynamic Help tool.
• To print this: Click the title (Tool Tip Tuesday! -  The Export Image Tool) and then print as normal.

Sep. 14, 2015

A new Stash! Get your holiday fabrics!

EQSO Holiday

Just in time for the holidays – EQ Stash Online is here and full of over 1,000 fabrics for all your seasonal projects!

Download Now >>

Here’s a sample of fabrics that are included:


Sep. 13, 2015

EQStitch Sunday Stitch #7

There is an old expression ‘The Devil is in The Details’.  Loosely translated, if applied to machine embroidery, it means that the finished project may look good, but the process of the stitching may not be satisfactory.  The details of how you digitized a design are as important as the finished project. 

Think of a red work design.  It is all one color and ideally will stitch from one element to the next without a lot of tie off stitches or jumps.  The back of the work will look as smooth and finished as the front of the work.  Yet, we have all come across designs that look great but stitch very erradically jumping from one spot to another.  How annoying!  The smoothest stitch out considers the ‘pathing’ of the design.  With EQStitch we can use basic shapes and set them to path correctly to avoid these jump stitches.

1.  Open your EQStitch program and click on the stitch worktable icon on the properties bar at the top of the screen.

2.  Click on STITCHING>New Design>Embroidery to select the stitch worktable we want to use.

3.  Click on the ‘drawing board options’ icon on the properties bar to open it.

Click on the heading ‘embroidery edge setting’ and set them to be a ‘bean stitch’.  

Click on the heading ‘embroidery  fill setting’ and set them to the ‘no fill stitch’ option.  

Be sure to click the ‘OK’ in the bottom of the box to set the new preferences for your artwork design.

4.  Click on the ‘polygon’ tool on the toolbar and hold  the cursor down for a second to see the fly out menu.  Select the square box shape from the fly out menu.

Move the cursor over to the drawing board area and while holding down the control key (CTRL) on your keyboard, click/hold/drag/release to form a box in the upper portion of the drawing board area.

5.  Click on the ‘pick tool’ to select it.  While holding down the control key (CTRL) on the keyboard, click once on the center cross hairs of the square shape to get the rotation handles to appear in the corners of the square.

Move the cursor over to a rotation handle and click/hold/drag/ release the handle to rotate the square so one point of the square is on the vertical line of the drawing board.

 Using the pick tool, click and drag the rotated square so the tip of the square is exactly on the center point of the drawing area.

6.  Click on the ‘WreathMaker tool’ on the properties bar at the top of the screen.  In the pop up box, set the number of units to 6, cluster spacing to 50% and resize cluster to 100%.  

Click ‘OK’ in the bottom of the box to set the new design property.

Click on the ‘center selected segments’ icon on the properties bar to center the entire design.

7.  Click on the stitch tab at the bottom of the screen.  If  you set your drawing board properties correctly, you will have your squares show with bean stitches only.

8.  Click on the ‘simulate sewing’ icon (sewing machine) at the top of the toolbar to select it.  

Click on the ‘play sewing forward’ arrow on the properties bar and watch the design ‘stitch’.  

Pay close attention to where the design starts and stops for each segment.  Mine started on the outermost edge point.  This means lots of jump stitches at the machine!!!  I do not want this.

9.  Click on the artwork tab at the bottom of the screen.

Click on the ‘shape tool’  to select it.  Move the cursor over to the square shapes and click once on the innermost corner to select the edit node.  Be sure you only have one node selected and not the line segment.

Once the inner node point is selected, right click to get a second menu.

Click on the words ‘set start stitch’.  This will move the starting point to the inside of the shape.  

Repeat this step for each of the square shapes.

10.  The start point is now in the center area of the design, but it is still not a continuous sew pattern.  The jump stitches are shorter, but still not eliminated.

Use the ‘shape tool’ to select each of the inner points of the squares and click/hold/drag/release the point so it lands directly in the center of the drawing board.

11.  Click on the stitch tab at the bottom of the screen.   Click on the ‘simulate sewing’ icon on the toolbar.  

Click on the ‘play sewing forward’ icon on the properties bar and watch the design stitch.

Add your completed design to the sketchbook.

You can now see you have a continuous stitch design with no jump stitches.     These details will allow you to have a smooth stitch out of your design and it will look good both on the back and the front of the fabric.

Sep. 08, 2015

Week 2 of Marian Pena’s EQ Row-A-Long! More projects, tutorials + prizes!

It’s the second week for Marian Pena’s EQ Row-A-Long!

Today there are five new rows, more tutorials, and lots more prizes!

You can see what people are creating in the Flickr group, and for more information you can check out the Facebook group too.




Here’s who is posting today:

Amy Heaton at Country Junk’tion – Summer

Carol Steely at Fun Threads – Spring

Lorna McMahon at Sew Fresh Quilts – Fall

Anneka Kornelis at Stof Genoeg – Filler Row

Marian Pena at Seams To Be Sew – Winter

(See the whole schedule here.)

And here are the prizes:

Northcott Fabrics: 6-8 yards of fabric in 1 yard lengths

Fat Quarter Shop: 1 $25.00 gift certificate.

Sulky: 1 six-pack Cotton thread contains 6 spools at 500 yards per spool

Connecting Threads: 1 $25.00 gift certificate

Sew Fresh Quilts: 3 Fox and Friends Pattern

Craftsy: 1 class of your choice – 3 chances to win

Nancy’s Notions: 1 $10.00 of gift certificate – 2 chances to win

(See a list of all the prizes here.)

Please visit the designer’s blogs to enter!

Visit Marian’s site for more details and to see the rules and guidelines.

And don’t forget, later this month we’ll be giving away an EQ7!

Sep. 08, 2015

Tool Tip Tuesday! – The Line Tool

The Line tool

The Line tool draws straight lines one segment at a time.

To Draw a Line Segment

1. Position the cursor where you want the segment to begin.

2. Press the left mouse button to anchor the initial node.

3. Drag the mouse and the line will follow from the initial node.

4. Release the mouse to drop and anchor the end node.



The Line Tool Precision Bar

With the Precision Bar turned on, click the Snap to Grid Points  button. This will snap your line segment to the grid points on the worktable drawing perfect line segments. You can also activate Snap to Grid Points through the Drawing Board Setup on the Block worktable, or the Drawing Board and Hoop Setup on the Stitching worktable.


All segments of the drawing must connect with each other and the drawing must connect with the block outline . When EQ finds the points where segments touch or intersect one another, it can define the patch. But EQ can’t define the patch unless it can find these points.

Incorrectly Drawn
One line segment is not connected to anything. The part of the line that is not connected will disappear when you go to the Color tab.

Incorrecly Drawn
No lines from the inner design touch the block outline. The block outline is your block, not a drawing table to draw inside of.


Correctly Drawn
All line segments touch each other and the block outline.

• If you’d like a reminder of this and other tools in EQ7, check out the  Display Dynamic Help tool.
• To print this: Click the title (Tool Tip Tuesday! -  The Line Tool) and then print as normal.