Friday, February 19, 2016

I'm EQ Happy!

I've been stretching my brain lately with some learning on my Electric Quilt (EQ) program.
EQ is a program that allows the user to design blocks, quilts, etc., on the screen.  I have dabbled in this for some time, going through versions 5, 6, and now 7.  Each new version builds on the previous one, and can usually be purchased as either an upgrade or a new program if you want to start.  Actually, I started with a program from another company, but it soon became obvious to me that I needed to jump on the EQ wagon for the best options for my needs.
Up until recently, EQ was only windows-based.  Which was fine as long as we had the desktop computer, and I even at one point loaded the program onto Bob's window laptop, so it had more portability.  But I've been loving my MacBook laptop for quite a few years, and I take it wherever I go, and was always a little sad that I couldn't conveniently take my EQ with me in case inspiration struck.  Yes, there were a couple programs out there that let you run windows things on a Mac, but reading some of the reviews from people using that for EQ made me hesitant to even go there.
But, lo and behold, those EQ people finally got the Mac conversion up and running!  So I had been planning to purchase the EQ7 upgrade for Mac.  I read good reviews of it, but held off on purchasing because I wasn't in need of it at the time.  Plus, I did read some reports that people had a hard time getting the download to work and working with the files.  Those are very basic things, and I didn't want to run into those problems and have to feel ridiculous asking for someone's help to make it happen!  EQ does have really good support on their website, plus I always have my tech guy, Dan, on speed dial.  And he is always very patient and helpful with my computer questions.

Here's an example of pulling together some ideas for a design for Quilt MN 2016.
Then last fall, at Houston Quilt Market, I discovered a woman who offers EQ coaching.  This sounded like something with my name on it!  I had gotten proficient at using EQ6 for my everyday designs, which helped me out with some of my pattern designing and writing.  But I knew there was a lot more potential in the program that I just didn't know how to use and hadn't taken the time to learn.  So I signed up with Kari from the On Point Quilter to get her help.  We have now had 3 online class sessions together.  Learning how to use screen sharing capabilities was another little learning opportunity, but with her instruction I have succeeded.  Here's an example of something we did in our last little class--

I learned how to take an image from a fabric sample (on the left), move it into a quilt block and try to "fussy cut" or position it to make a kaleidoscopic effect.  Those little giraffe heads aren't all positioned perfectly, but it's a good start!  With a little more time and patience I could manipulate them properly.

Now all of this might not seem like anything remarkable when compared to the amazing images and graphics that are possible with today's technology.  But for me, it means a lot.  It means I learned how to purchase and download the EQ upgrade, learned how to screen share for my lessons, even learned how to do screen shots and put them into this blog!  What's next?!  And what are you doing to stretch your brain today?!

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