Gone are the days when quilters had trouble decorating quilts or limited designs to work with. Thanks to innovation, there are now computer programs that offer thousands of designs for your fabric. The top ones like the Electric Quilt 8 even allow you to customize your design.
Moreover, the Electric Quilt 8 is the widely used quilt designing computer software in the industry. It boasts all the right features and tools for professionals and everyday quilters. With this software, you get thousands of new block designs. It offers even more as you’ll find out in our Electric Quilt 8 review.
The Electric Quilt 8 is known for its many important tools that make quilt designing a breeze. It allows you to create designs, preview fabrics, export your designs to social media, and do much more. We will explain all of the software’s features below.
The Electric Quilt 8 is a quilting computer software created by the Electric Quilt Company which was founded in 1991. The software has graduated from the first version to the EQ8 which boasts many improved features designed to make quilting much easier. This version features a convenient home screen that helps you to perform commonly used actions easily and quickly.
Also, the EQ8 comes with fabrics, threads, and blocks pre-loaded in every new project. You can easily and quickly delete these designs to create your start-up project. Apart from that, this computer software comes with a Serendipity Frame Block feature that provides many frame options to create beautiful designs.
Furthermore, the EQ8 makes all tools visible and larger for quick access. The tools are also labeled to help you quickly. We must also point out that this quilt design software allows you to zoom in and out on the worktable using the CTRL key as well as your mouse’s scroll wheel (if you’re a MAC user, you’ll use Command, not CTRL), making your job easier.
As we mentioned earlier, the EQ8 is not the first version of this product line. The EQ8 is the direct successor of the EQ7 which also offers many exciting features but is no match for the former. Specifically, the EQ8 comes with over 40 new and updated features, tools, and designs.
The biggest change from the EQ7 to the EQ8 is the updated user interface with a modern new look. The interface has also been redesigned for quicker learning thanks to clearly labeled tools and larger interface elements that are even customizable. As mentioned before, the new home screen directs you to the most commonly used actions easily.
Another new change is the changing of the name, PatchDraw in EQ7, to PolyDraw in EQ8. PatchDraw can be a bit difficult to master but the PolyDraw helps even beginners to easily learn how to draw patches with curved lines.
Also worthy of the note in the EQ8 is the Interactive WreathMaker. While the one in the EQ7 requires a lot of guesswork, that of the EQ8 allows you to preview your wreath designs and know what they would look like.
Furthermore, while the EQ7 involves right-clicking on the quilt and unchecking Outline Blocks, Outline Borders, and Outline Patches one at a time to hide patch outlines, the EQ8 adds an easy outline on/off button on the toolbar to do the job. Additionally, the EQ8’s Block Library features a total of 6,779 blocks, over 1,000 blocks more than the EQ7.
As we just discussed above, the EQ8’s interface is the biggest update because it makes the software arguably the most user-friendly option on the market. Everyone loves the software that allows them to get the job done easily and quickly and that’s what you get from the new interface. On the new-look interface, you now get a customizable workspace, large interface elements, guided designing, and helpful tips.
Another impressive function of the new interface is allowing you to customize it to to your taste. You can decide to make tips in the palette visible or hidden and do even more. The Preferences dialog lets you see the customizing capabilities.
Although the EQ8’s Block Library features over 6,700 pre-drawn designs for your quilt designs, the software still provides you full drawing capabilities to produce your preferred block design. You can even use the existing block designs to create new ones thanks to the Serendipity feature.
The EQ8 features 11 new Quick Quilt projects as well as 75 quilts that include table runners, t-shirt quilts, quilt labels, modern, and traditional. Any of these projects can be used as they are or as inspiration for your project. Designing your layout from the scratch gives you complete control of your project.
Fabrics preview is another important feature that helps any quilter do a great job. This feature displays the selected fabric swatch in a window, in any size of your choice. This allows you to view the fabric’s print on a larger scale and helps you improve the design if there’s a need to.
Size calculations are quite easy on the EQ8. Unlike previous versions where you find it difficult to know the dimensions of a border block, block sashing, or cornerstone, this version lets you get the size calculations with a click. You can click on the block and view the size from the print dialog.
The Patchmaker tools are quite impressive and they improve your design. With easy-to-use controls, these tools (Starmaker, Stencilmaker, and Poisemaker) allow you to create stars, quilting stencils, and posies. These new applique tools allow you to have fun while creating different shapes.
Another important feature is the Wreathmaker which offers an interactive preview that takes the guesswork out of making beautiful wreath designs. It offers several tools that allow you to select patches and repeat them to produce a wreath.
When you use the EQ8, you create an EQ project file that is stored in the Project Sketchbook. This version allows you to resize the Project Sketchbook, either larger or smaller. It also allows you to see every design’s notecard information without opening every notecard.
The EQ8’s libraries have been enhanced and updated. They feature a total of 6,779 blocks, with over 1,500 new blocks. Also, the libraries feature 6,278 new fabrics that can you can use in your design. Besides that, they feature 233 photos, including 183 new photos. You can also open the library for fabrics, blocks, or photos right from the worktable.
The template patterns of the EQ8 are also improved. A new “mirror” option supports text templates and fusible applique designs. There’s also a rotation option in the Print Preview that allows you to adjust the rotation in 30 degrees increments, instead of 90 degrees.
If you don’t want to start your design from the scratch and you’re not entirely satisfied with a pre-loaded design, the solution is to edit it to suit your taste. The EQ8 allows you to edit any block and design if you feel the need to.
The EQ8 allows you to add outlines and borders after designing your quilt. The outlines and border help with style choices and alignment. You can decide to hide the outlines anytime there’s the need with a click as we explained earlier.
Ratio saving allows you to resize blocks. You can either input a new width, allowing the height to auto-adjust, or manually resize the block using the ‘Adjust’ tool that lets you drag a corner smaller or larger. The height and width will then adjust proportionally.
As we suggested before, you don’t have to be stuck with the pre-loaded fabrics, you can add your own fabric. You can take a photo of the fabric or scan it and then import it into the EQ8. Deploy the scaling, cropping, and straightening tools to make your fabric look as accurate as possible.
Another thing the EQ8 allows you to do is export images. You can export a high-resolution image for a print publication or export a web image to post on a website or social media. You can link your Facebook account to the EQ8 so that you can share your designs with your friends.
The EQ8 allows you to print templates, rotary cutting charts, pictures of your quilts & blocks, and foundation patterns.
We’ve developed some helpful tips to ensure that you have a seamless experience when using the Electric Quilt 8. Below are things you must do when using EasyDraw in EQ8:
No one can deny the fact that the EQ8 is the dream of every quilter thanks to its array of features as detailed in our Electric Quilt 8 review. This quilt design software offers a user-friendly interface to get your designs done easily and quickly.