[This contest is closed.]
Carmen was nice enough to offer a free EQ7 project for everyone AND a copy of her new book to one lucky person! Details are at the bottom of the post.
As much as we like to find beautiful quilts that were designed with EQ7, we really like to find whole books of quilts designed with EQ7! We heard about EQ user, Carmen Geddes’s new book “Ten Quilts for Ten Sisters” and just had to interview her about these quilts.
Read below to find out about Carmen’s TEN sisters, her design process and how she got hooked on EQ!
EQ: Congratulations on the release of your new book, Ten Quilts for Ten Sisters! Tell us about it!
Carmen: Thanks so much! I’m very excited about my first book– we self published, so I have really learned a lot! There are actually ten girls in my family! (only seven brothers, but that is for the next book!) Each quilt is named for one of my sisters. I think the quilts and the sisters are just beautiful! The book is based on the technique of piecing the quilt on top of Tensisters Easy Piecing Grid –a lightweight iron-on interfacing panel with the grid printed on it. It comes in three finished sizes; 1″, 1 1/2″, and 2″ squares. Easy assembly with amazing results!
Carmen: I am number 12 in my big family- the first seven were girls, so I grew up surrounded by brothers! I did get pretty good at arm wrestling! My mother’s talents were many! Gardener, violinist, seamstress, knitter, and quilter. She instilled a love and a bit of reverence for quilts in me– they took a lot of work! I’ve always loved sewing and creating. I have 5 children of my own- I loved sewing for them, so of course, I decided to make a business out of it. I had a home based kids’ clothes company for five years while my kids were growing up. When my oldest was in high school, I became a free lance educator for Husqvarna Viking sewing machines. I learned so much and got to meet so many amazing, talented people in that job! I taught all sorts of things, but realized in those years that my real love was quilting. I began to focus my teaching and designing exclusively to quilting. I’ve taught at many shops, quilt groups, and shows around the country. It’s just like being around all my sisters! Developing my own products has just been a natural step in this fun adventure! My family helps me a lot, but my husband of 35 years, Patrick is my biggest helper and fan! We are so lucky to have our kids and our nine beautiful grandkids live nearby!
EQ: So, how did you first find out about EQ quilt design software and what made you decide to try it?
Carmen: When I became an educator for Husqvarna Viking, I was at a training week at the company headquarters, and an Electric Quilt representative came to teach us about this amazing quilt designing software! It was EQ5 and I was completely hooked! I’ve kept current on each of the versions, though I consider myself a complete beginner!
Carmen: After the one day training I had- I practiced with the lesson books that came with the software. They were beautifully illustrated and easy to follow. I also watched the tutorials and followed them step by step. What I loved is that I didn’t need to know much about the computer to work the program. And I didn’t need to know everything about EQ before I could use it to help with my quilting projects! At first, I mainly used it just to resize blocks– just that one thing changed my quilting world!
EQ: How did you design quilts before you had EQ?
Carmen: I’m laughing out loud— I used a blank piece of paper and drew crazy sketches and had mathematical equations written all over the page that I could hardly make sense of! Didn’t everyone do that?
EQ: What role did EQ7 play in the making of quilts for your book?
Carmen: EQ7 was a huge part of my quilt designing for the quilts in my book! All the quilts are based on squares! EQ7 let me go back to designing quilts like many of the quilt makers of days gone by– one square at a time. It allowed me to see how big the quilt was going to be, with or without borders. I could change sizes quickly and easily from a 1″, 1 1/2″, or a 2″ finished square, which is what the quilt patterns in the book are designed with. Using EQ7 helped me think out of my comfort zone– I changed fabrics, colors, and design elements of quilts really quickly and easily.
EQ: So when you get an idea for a quilt, what’s the first thing you do and how do you use EQ7 to complete it?
Carmen: Since all my quilts are based on squares, I wasn’t thinking in terms of piecing block by block, so I go into the layout and select the amount of squares I want my quilt top to have, horizontally and vertically. For example, 45 X 45 squares. I choose the block size to be 1″, 1 1/2″, or 2″ finished. And then I click on layer one, choose the paintbrush and start to design. Anything that is pixilated; floor tile designs, cross-stitch designs, photos, the sky is the limit! The quilts in this first book are really about the old, vintage quilt patterns that most of us just wished we could make! I also exported the graphics from EQ7 for my pattern layouts and quilt pictures. It was great! I love to do things that look like they were difficult, but actually were really easy!
Carmen: These are very simple things, but like I said, I’m a beginner! When I first began using the program years ago, my favorite was the ability to change the block size. I would take a block like the Log Cabin for instance, and make one block large enough for a lap size quilt! One Block Wonders, I called them! They were my go-to quick quilts. Now, I really like the ‘draw patches in a straight line’ feature. I can draw a whole chain of color really quickly. I also really like ‘swap all colors’. I can change the whole look of a quilt in a click!
EQ: Well congratulations again, Carmen! Tell us, after attaining such a great accomplishment, what advice do you have for others who are looking to reach similar achievements?
Carmen: Thanks so much! I would say, if I can do it, anyone can! I meet so many talented quilters every day– they inspire me and share their love of all aspects of quilting. So my advice would be to share what you do with others! Attend your local quilt group, share your work by putting your quilts in local shows, teach a class! Write a quilting book! Everyone has something to share. That’s the essence of quilting, I think– sharing.
EQ: Thank you so much for doing this interview with me and providing a giveaway! Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you, your book or your design process?
Carmen: Well, I do like gardening and dutch oven cooking! The family reunion is every fourth of July at my house, so if you show up, everyone will think you are related somehow! I’d love for people to check out my website and YouTube channel. I am available to come and teach for quilt groups, shows, and retreats. Thanks for having me as your blog guest!
A big thank you to Carmen for doing this interview and providing a book giveaway!
Enter to win “Ten Quilts for Ten Sisters” by Carmen Geddes!
Leave a comment on this post to answer this question:
Which of Carmen’s videos is your favorite?
Visit her YouTube channel to view them!
Winner will be chosen at random. Contest closes Wednesday, September 9th at 9am ET.
Free Project from Carmen Geddes
Click here to download a free Mosaic quilt from Carmen.