Did you know that Jina Barney uses EQ7 to design patterns for Riley Blake Designs? She also has her own pattern company called Butterfly Kisses. Read about her experience with EQ and check out the beautiful quilts she designs with it! She even offered two free PDF patterns from Riley Blake Designs and Penny Rose fabrics!
EQ: Hi Jina! I’m so interested to learn about your journey with EQ7 (especially since you design INCREDIBLE quilts for Riley Blake Designs)! I can’t wait to hear how EQ7 has helped with them. Tell us a bit about yourself!
Jina: I learned to sew at an early age while growing up in Australia. As a young girl, I loved to make doll clothes. I learned to knit and sew many other craft projects, and was always busy creating something.
When I was a teenager my father provided all the patterns and fabric I needed to sew my own clothes. As I was raising my own children I began sewing clothes for them and became known as a trendsetter with the unique fashions and accessories that I would sew and create.
In 1989 I started a quilt group that still meets at the same time and place when it was started 28 years ago. Quilting became a quick addiction. My quilting is known as bright, unique, edgy, and precise. My quilting designs have been featured in many magazines and I have taught and created addictions among many women who have learned the art of quilting.
Sewing is my love and passion. I was a seamstress first and then a quilter. When I was hired to be the design director of Riley Blake Designs I needed to learn to design virtually. EQ7 was my program. I was not computer savy. I figure if I can learn this program anyone can.
EQ: How did you design quilts before you had EQ and what was that like?
Jina: Sometimes I would sketch something but I mostly would play with the fabrics and design as I go. It would be amazing to see what I actually started with and where I finished. Sketching and putting lots of time into drawing can be frustrating when you want to change something and you have to start over.
EQ: How did you first find out about EQ and why did you decide to try it?
Jina: When I was hired at Riley Blake Designs this was a suggested quilt designing tool in the industry.
EQ: Describe your first encounter with EQ7.
Jina: I promise I am not computer savy so this was completely new territory for me. Designing virtually is a different way of looking at fabric because the designs read differently on the screen. I was used to playing with fabric in my hands and crossing my fingers that my vision in my head would work out the way I had planned.
EQ: How did you learn to use Electric Quilt?
Jina: Trial and error. I read the manual and practiced. The manual is very well done and easy to read.
EQ: What do you currently use EQ for and how often do you use it?
Jina: I use EQ for designing all the quilts for Riley Blake Designs and Penny Rose Fabrics and any other requests for special quilt projects for magazines or companies that we work with. I also use it for designing for my pattern company called Butterfly Kisses. Each new fabric line that we do at our company, which is about 6 fabric lines a month, has a free quilt that supports and showcases the fabric line.
EQ: Describe your typical design process.
Jina: The fabric collection is where my design process begins for the designs I do for Riley Blake Designs and Penny Rose Fabrics. Depending on the colors and fabric prints, they are what dictate which design and layout I will use.
As for my pattern company Butterfly Kisses, ideas come to me when I see or visit a country or area with buildings and rugs that have patterns that inspire me. Once I can get my ideas into the computer then I can start playing with color. That’s the beauty of EQ7 is you can get all those ideas from your head to the computer and keep saving them and go back and edit when you have more time. Sometimes my ideas come so quickly that if I don’t capture them I miss out on inspiration. A lot of times designs make sense in my head but EQ7 helps me make mathematical sense of what my brain can’t do quickly and precise.
EQ: How has using EQ7 changed your productivity?
Jina: EQ has become so proficient and productive. From beginning to end I can design a quilt in under 30 minutes, sometimes more time and sometimes less time. It only takes a minute to load the program with your fabric files. Then you pick the block, then the layout. The EQ7 program has saved me so much time and made the process very simple.
EQ: What advice would you give to someone who is on the fence about trying EQ7?
Jina: EQ7 is a quick and easy solution to designing quilts. The program is very easy to learn and the instructions have been written very well. The quilts can be easily exported out into files that can be printed in high resolution.
EQ: Thank you so much for doing this interview with me, Jina. Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you, your quilts or your design process?
Jina: What an incredibly rich and wonderful world we live in to be able to take advantage of technology that enriches and simplifies the design process.
Don’t forget! Riley Blake Designs is our featured sponsor this month. Enter to win 21 yards of fabric before April 25th!