Today’s post ends our Top 10 Favorite Features list! Click here to see all 10 features.

#1 – Enhanced User Interface!

A Look Back

Electric Quilt software, developed by EQ President Dean Neumann, was first released as a DOS program back in 1991. The quilting world quickly took to this new way of designing quilts. The software was first introduced on The Great American Quilt, a PBS television show hosted by Dean’s wife and co-owner of Electric Quilt, Penny McMorris. Here’s a clip from the episode introducing Electric Quilt 1. Keep in mind…everything was done on the keyboard, as computers did not use mice yet! Can you imagine? :)

Evolving Technology

Over the years, Dr. Neumann continued to add features to the software based on the needs of our customers. The software became more and more full-featured and brilliant with each release; and more people started using EQ for casual and professional designing.

As technology changes, how we use and expect to use technology also changes. With EQ8, we wanted to focus on making the software more user-friendly and more intuitive for beginners. Making visual enhancements to the interface was our main objective, while also including more help within the program. All of the incredible features that Dean programmed over the years are still included with EQ8 and are what make Electric Quilt software such a wonderful quilt design tool. With EQ8, these inventive features (plus new and enhanced features) are more easily accessible than ever before.

Here’s a look at how the EQ interface has changed over the years.

Electric Quilt 5 (EQ5)

Electric Quilt 7 (EQ7)

Electric Quilt 8 (EQ8)

Change is Good

We know that change can either be refreshing or frustrating, whether it’s a new operating system (Windows 10!), a new sewing machine, and even EQ8. Muscle memory makes it hard to adjust since our minds have been trained to do things a certain way for so long.

For those of you who have been using EQ software for many years, first of all THANK YOU! We couldn’t have gotten to this point without you. Secondly, we hope you have upgraded to EQ8 and have given yourself time to get to know this new interface. If you still have EQ5, EQ6 or EQ7 on your computer, please open it up and just look at the Quilt Worktable. Imagine you have never used EQ before. You’re looking at a blank layout. Do you know what to do? Now open EQ8. Do you know what to do?

While many of the changes to EQ8 are geared toward beginners, even our advanced users have been thrilled with the new interface. Features that used to be hidden within menus are now pulled to the forefront. We’ve gotten emails from some customers who are excited about a *new* feature. Ironically, that feature was not new at all. It has been in EQ since EQ6 but was something they never knew existed until now. Making all of these options more accessible opens a lot of doors for you as a designer.

If you’re a power user, we know this new interface may slow you down a bit at first as you get used to the changes. But look at this as an opportunity to explore parts of the software you’ve never used before! If you’ve had previous EQ software versions but could never quite figure it out, EQ8 is perfect for you. If EQ8 is your first Electric Quilt software…welcome!

Download this free project for EQ8!

An Inside Look

Here are a few of the visually enhanced elements within the software.

The EQ8 Home Screen: This is a great way to get started with your project.

Worktable Ribbon: The Layout and Borders ribbons include icons representing the layout and border styles that are available. This takes the guessing out of the game! (Click the images below to view larger.)

Tools: The tools are now larger and include labels! This makes finding the right tool a lot easier.

When you become proficient with EQ8, you can change your toolbox so the labels are hidden. You can do this in File > Preferences > Display.

Palette Options: For many of the tools, new options appear in the palette that are specific to the tool you have selected. You’ll find these options on the Quilt Worktable with the Adjust tool (shown below), Randomize tool and Rotate Fabric tool. On the Block Worktable, you’ll find these options when you have segments selected with the applique Pick tool (shown below), and many other tools.

Overall: An inviting new look! (Click the image below to view larger.)

If you haven’t purchased EQ8 yet, please check out what other people are saying about the new EQ8 software!

See the complete list of features on the Electric Quilt website.