The Electric Quilt Company is 30!

The Electric Quilt Company’s Story – How It All Began

We’re celebrating 30 years! Since the pearl is the traditional symbol for 30 years, we’re sharing EQ Pearls of Wisdom from our friends! See all Pearls of Wisdom posts. We hope you enjoy the tips and tricks you learn along the way and discover some new quilters or catch up with your favorites! Also, we’d love to hear about YOUR journey with EQ so feel free to tell us your story in the comments on any post! A big THANK YOU to all our customers for your support over the years. We’re looking forward to many more!  :-D

This week’s featured friend: Kari Schell!

Tell us a bit about yourself Kari!

I am an Electric Quilt junkie who loves not only designing in Electric Quilt, but teaching others about this amazing program. I have a newsletter and blog post that frequently includes tutorials on using Electric Quilt 8. You can find more about me at my website.

Quilt designed by Kari in EQ

When did you start using Electric Quilt and how has it changed your quilting life?

In my late 20s, a friend persuaded me to take a quilting class at a local chain store – which introduced me to using a sewing machine as I struggled through my first quilt. After being bitten by the quilting bug, I began looking at quilts and thinking about how I would like to make it different. I tried using graph paper to sketch out my designs which quickly frustrated me.

In April 1999, I heard of a program called Electric Quilt and thought that might be able to help me. EQ4 was pretty basic compared to EQ8, but I finally had a tool that I could use to redraft blocks from my purchased patterns and magazines.

As I began to use the tool, I found that I got more and more comfortable branching out and trying new things that weren’t included in a pattern or picture. I would do a lot of “what if” playing.  This really is one of the best features of EQ. The more I played, the more I gained confidence not only in using EQ, but in my own creativity.

This eventually lead to teaching Electric Quilt originally for a local quilt shop and then designing blocks of the month, shop hop patterns and even a quilt for a quilters cookbook.

I eventually formalized my business with the name On Point Quilter and created a website. I started blogging weekly and began producing videos sharing how to use Electric Quilt.

With the release of EQ8, I made the decision to focus my quilting business on educating quilt lovers to using the software I had come to love and use every day. I introduced Tech Know Quilters (an online membership that provides both training and support for those desiring to master Electric Quilt). I also published my first book Drawing Blocks with Electric Quilt 8.

Northwood Loon Batiks designed by Kari in EQ

What is your EQ “Pearl of Wisdom” for EQ users?

There is not one button to print all the printing options for a quilt. Instead you need to select each of the components of the quilt and select printing options for that component.

  1. Select Print and Export.
  2. Select Yardage for fabric yardage charts and Quilt for diagrams of the quilt (with or without fabrics).
  3. For block specific information (including borders), click on the block.  You are able to choose from the following options for that particular block.
    • Block (diagram of block with or without fabrics)
    • Templates (with or without seam allowances)
    • Foundation patterns
    • Rotary Cutting charts

Best Practices for Printing and Exporting:

  1. Print out two copies of the quilt, one with fabrics and the other without.
  2. To the quilt diagram without fabrics, add references to individual block instructions.  Consider this your master diagram.
  3. Print out block specific instructions based on you planned method for piecing the blocks.  On those print-outs, note the number of times that block is used in the quilt along with the cross reference to the master diagram.

What are you up to now and what do you have coming up?

I’m currently hosting the Summer Games Challenge which includes Electric Quilt tutorials to design a series of sports blocks. The blocks are a way to celebrate the Olympics. This free challenge is designed for both beginners to Electric Quilt 8 and those that would like to expand their bock drawing skills to a whole new level. My goal is to encourage you to spend a small amount of time using Electric Quilt each day to allow you to become much more comfortable with the software.


Kari’s giveaway is a free project for EQ!

Download the project here!

Paper Snowflakes by Kari for EQ

Hope you enjoyed this “pearl” of wisdom. Feel free to share your EQ story or a “pearl” of your own in the comments! Stay tuned for our next post!

View all Pearls of Wisdom posts >>