We love the chance to spread news about our EQ Artists. Check out Marlene Oddie’s new book, “You can Quilt! Building Skills for Beginners.” I asked our good friend Marlene to tell us a little bit about the book, herself and her experience with EQ7. Read our Q&A below:
EQ: Congratulations on the release of your new book, You Can Quilt! Building Skills for Beginners. Tell us about it!
Marlene: The book is a great resource for learning skills and lots of great tips for a wide variety of piecing techniques and various shapes. It all started with Leila Gardunia’s Skill Builder Sampler Quilt-a-long (QAL) and her use of Rosie the Riveter for her QAL blog button.
EQ: Before we discuss your experience with EQ7, tell us about yourself!
Marlene: Engineer by education, project manager by profession, and now a quilter by passion. I had a career in financial services and finally realized I wanted more out of my life than just a career. It took quite a few years to adjust my modus operandi. I worked in the non-profit sector for a while and met Mr. Right! We got married in 2009. That reality made it possible for me to pursue my passion and I started my quilting business – KISSed Quilts.
EQ: So, how did you first find out about EQ quilt design software and what made you decide to try it?
Marlene: My sister gave me EQ5 for Christmas many years ago. I used computers at work and in my early days of quilting as an adult (after 9/11) I wanted to design. Having software that was intended specifically for designing quilts seemed like something worth trying.
EQ: Did you teach yourself to use the program or did you use tutorials, lessons etc.?
Marlene: I used the manual a bit to identify specific instructions for doing what I wanted to design. As I continued to create new designs, I kept learning more parts of the software. I remember in 2009 at Houston Market learning about the EQ and Rose of Sharon contest. It required using the appliqué function. I hadn’t used it yet, so the contest gave me a reason to figure it out. One block got selected for the book and another for the DVD.
EQ: How did you design quilts before you had EQ?
Marlene: Graph paper, but to be honest, I hadn’t quilted much before getting EQ.
EQ: What role did EQ7 play in the making of quilts for your book?
Marlene: EQ7 played a significant role in the making of Rosie’s BOMb – my original quilt that was part of the QAL (shown in video on left). It went on to win an AQS ribbon at Quilt Week Des Moines, 2013 and it is there that I met Leila in person and we decided to pursue the idea of making the QAL concept into a book. When I started the QAL, it was about half way through the QAL. Since I wanted Rosie to be the focus, I used EQ to draw all the blocks and to work on colorations that would complement the poster image in the center. Since I had drawn all the blocks in EQ, I could easily create a variety of settings. (Check out Marlene’s process here.)
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?
Marlene: Rough it out in EQ7 with the default fabrics, etc. As the idea solidifies, then I’m willing to spend the time to get the fabrics to scale into EQ7 and color it more precisely. When it is a custom layout, then I’ll work on creating the sizing and setting the blocks accurately.
EQ: Do you have any favorite tools or features of the program?
Marlene: Just the basic concept that I can visualize my idea without cutting anything.
EQ: Well congratulations again, Marlene! Tell us, after attaining such a great accomplishment, what advice do you have for others who are looking to reach similar achievements
Marlene: Create, create, create. The more you use the tool the more you learn about it. Every time you have a new idea, give it a try!
EQ: Thank you so much for doing this interview with me! Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you, your book or your design process?
Marlene: I have enjoyed teaching EQ7 to others, empowering them to create designs on their own.
Although there are actually 37 blocks available in the book and DVD that is included, there were many layout settings that were not. We continue to create new ones and they are all posted at www.skillbuildersampler.com. I hope beginners and long-time quilt piecers alike will find tips and techniques that are helpful.
Some of your readers may remember me from winning the EQ7 2012 Layout Design contest with my Spinner quilt. That concept became reality through exploring new ideas in EQ. So much fun!
Thank you to EQ for providing this tool, enabling users to quickly visualize concepts and share the idea with others.