I made a couple of blocks and parts to help viewers understand the ideas I was sharing, and I liked them so much that I just kept on sewing. Then I decided to open up EQ8 design software and see what other possibilities lurked! I was not disappointed.
I made a video showing how I color quilts and then audition binding colors or fabrics in EQ8 quilt design software from The Electric Quilt Company. I’m not sure if everyone does this for binding or if it’s just me but I think it’s worth sharing!
Before I had EQ, I would attempt to design on graph paper. But inevitably I’d become frustrated with the time-consuming nature of that process. I still jot things everywhere and sketch out block ideas, but when I get serious about producing something, I open EQ8 every time.
Quilt design informs every part of my business at Stash Bandit.
Whether I’m designing a quilt for magazine publication, building a trunk show of original designs, or just sewing for pleasure and posting on social media, EQ is part of the process.
One of the beauties of EQ is that you can open it with a particular direction in mind, like this:
I want to make a Log Cabin quilt.
Or you can begin by playing and just see where it takes you! My first few designs were accidents that I recognized as unique. Now I have enough experience to design on purpose if I wish to, but I also know that nothing can substitute for playtime when it comes to creativity!
I’ve been making simple Log Cabin blocks recently, and I made good use of the Symmetry tool in EQ8. Above is a basic layout of Log Cabin blocks, but coming soon I’ll have a post showing you some more interesting possibilities that EQ discovered on my behalf!
If you’d like to give EQ8 a spin, use code EQ8STASHBANDIT for 20% off everything on the website at electricquilt.com.
Sometimes people ask me if it’s easy to learn, and my answer is this:
If you can handle email, you can learn EQ8!
Of course it’s helpful if you know your way around a computer, but I think it’s very user-friendly, and the features never end. I probably won’t live long enough to learn its every capability. I definitely recommend it.
I have a new idea for a quilt I really want to make, and it happened in a very roundabout way. First let me show you a mockup of the quilt that I designed in EQ8 quilt design software.
I think it would such a great quilt to practice machine quilting on! The blocks are easy and forgiving, and you can use any type of fabrics and it will look great.
I think I will do something special with the border. Stay tuned for that. So here is how this quilt was conceived.
There are things you can do to become a color-savvy quilter.
This series will help to expand your color skills so you can make more beautiful, more interesting and more successful quilts.
A color-savvy quilter knows that she must expand her definition of what any particular color looks like.
I am so excited to be part of this month’s #quiltblockmania with many other quilt designers. We all used the same color palette and designed blocks with a Halloween theme. You’ll want to check them all out—that’s 29 free blocks! Scroll down for links.
🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃
Just choose favorite 12″ blocks with a fall or Halloween theme. Alternate them with my Pumpkin Chain and like magic: amazing sampler quilt!
You can also change out the center portion of my pumpkin so that each chain block is different. I’m excited to share those center blocks with my newsletter subscribers between now and Halloween! Sign up for Oh Scrap! and never miss out!
GIVEAWAY! I’ve gathered some soft oranges, backgrounds and neutrals to help you get started on your own autumn scrap quilt with some of the blocks you’ll find during Quilt Block Mania.
Leave a comment before midnight on Thursday, Sept. 3 and I’ll pick a winner on Sept. 4. Tell me where you found another cool block during #quiltblockmania! The winner of the giveaway is Bev C in Florida! I have already heard back from her and the package will be on its way shortly. Thank you, everyone!
Here’s a printer-friendly pdf with instructions for Pumpkin Chain.
“Which Hat?” at Pretty Piney
Black Cat at Inquiring Quilter
Ring of Pumpkins at Always Expect Moore
Haunted House at Powered by Quilting
Three Treats at Sew Brainy
Bat at Slice of Pi Quilts
Day of the Dead Skull at Duck Creek Mountain Quilting
Gypsy Wagon Fortune Teller at Orange Blossom Quilt
Monster at Seams to be Sew
Patchwork Pumpkin at Quilted Diary
Stacked Pumpkins at Perkins Dry Goods
Spooky Star at Block of the Mo .com
Leaf Ghost at Off the Wall Quilt
Leaf and Vine at Quilt Moments
Frankenstein at Around the Bobbin
Bat by Heidi Pridemore
Candy Corn by Quilt Fabrication
Dark night by Cotton Street Commons
Pumpkin by Sew on the Go
Pumpkin and Bat by ScrapDash
Pumpkin Chain by Stash Bandit
Happy Jack-o-lantern by Patti’s Patchwork
Foundation Pieced Creepy Eyes by Amarar Creacions
Spooky Trees by Aunt Em’s Quilts
Upside Down Witch by Appliques Quilts and More
Scaredy Kitty by Tacy Gray
Sun-Boo-Net Sue by Blue Bear Quilts
Spider by Oh Kay Quilting
Candy, Pumpkins, and Witch Hat by Utah Quilt Appraiser
If you’re unfamiliar with the software, just sit back and enjoy the view and don’t worry about feeling a little lost. When you actually have the software, you start from the very beginning and learn one small step at a time. Everything builds on something you already know!
Here, we are jumping right into the meat of things and it may feel like drinking from a fire hose! Rest assured that there’s plenty of free help to launch you into coloring, designing and playing with EQ8.
To get started, use code EQ8STASHBANDIT for 20% off everything at electricquilt.com. Doesn’t that sound like fun?
Do you see those big white spaces in the quilt on the video? Here’s the plan:
In just a few more days, I’m excited to be part of Quilt Block Mania, where 30 designers will have original block designs posted on their websites at no charge. Each block uses a similar color palette and has a Halloween theme. There are some incredibly adorable designs!
My block will go into one of those spaces.
But wait! There’s more! 😉
Each week, I’m going to release another companion block so that before long, you’ll have a whole set of them! And I designed it so that the other blocks in #quiltblockmania will fit in the spaces where you currently see the Log Cabin Pumpkins (a pattern which I’m also going to release).
So you’ll have lots of options and enough free quilt block patterns to keep you busy until Christmas!
Make my day and do this:
One of the things I love about EQ8 quilt design software is that it can help me “scratch an itch.” When there’s a quilt I adore but know that I probably won’t ever make, I can create it virtually with EQ!
Every month on the EQ blog, there’s a feature called Block Spotlight. People are encouraged to design something with a featured block. EQ editors give a few ideas to prime your creative pump and it’s like calisthenics for your creative muscles.
I was happy to see that the August Block Spotlight is Prickly Pickle. It’s from the block library within the software—one of thousands you can use to design your own quilts—and I can’t wait to see how people use it.
A bell went off in my head when I saw the block, because just that week I had seen the photo above and fell in love with the colors in that quilt. The old, softly muted reds, blues, pinks and creams against the faded gold are heavenly.
There is one problem: I don’t know where I grabbed these photos so I can’t properly credit the owner. If they are yours, please let me know.
Since I love that vintage quilt so much, I colored my Block Spotlight in a similar way. And that was really scratching an itch for me!
I adore this quilt but I won’t ever make it. So coloring it and making as many virtual blocks as I wanted to were a wonderful substitute.
When I play with a quilt design, I use the solid colors available in EQ instead of the fabric swatches.
At this point in the process, I’m not thinking about fabric as much as I’m considering the big picture of the color recipe and the values (lightness or darkness).
I will say that I do know my fabric stash well enough to be certain that I could find these in it. I would have to buy the gold fabric, but with virtual, that’s not a problem! See the advantages?? 😊
I love to color things randomly. There are some parameters (a set of colors) but they are loose and the whole thing can flow freely.
It was as much fun to color it in EQ8 as it would be to sew it—maybe more!
And this is what I love about scrappy vintage quilts! They are the most carefree, exuberant and entertaining quilts around.
What I wouldn’t give for the time to sew this! Would you ever get tired of looking at it? Seems there would always be something new to discover! And to demonstrate that the gold is the bomb, look at what happens with a neutral background.
I think it dies. The colors and randomness are still interesting but they don’t hold up the way the gold background does. But you know what?
That is just one person’s opinion!
And that’s the beauty of the quilting world: You are in charge of what you like and what you don’t. If you like it, you can do it!
I wondered about an indigo background. With EQ it’s just a click or two to check it out.
I tried several different blues because blue is funny and I think it’s a hard color in a scrap quilt. (Red is the easiest!)
I saw a wonderful quilt by Sandi Griepenstroh at guild last week in navy and lime green. So I tried something in those colors. (This is why you should be snapping photos during your guild meetings! Color inspiration from here to kingdom come!) Then I had another idea.
Above, the petal shapes are mostly filled in with color. I wondered what would happen if…
I made the insides of the petal shapes the same color as the background. Voila! Totally different look. Now it’s as if you’re peering through curved window panes.
And because I got so excited about this block, before I left it behind, I softened the colors into something I might actually sew, with a more reasonable number of blocks.
Because you never know.
To get started with EQ8 from The Electric Quilt Company, use code EQ8STASHBANDIT for 20% off everything on electricquilt.com. That’s a nice savings! Ends Sept. 30, 2020.
To see what others designed with the same block, visit Block Spotlight! And if you’re an EQ user, jump right in to the fun and design something yourself. If you’re not a user but you want to be, use the code above to get started.
This blog post originally ran in October 2019.
This is Yule Glow, my latest design for McCall’s Quilting and their Nov/Dec ’19 issue, on newsstands now.
If you found me because of Global Quilt Connection, you might wonder! Here’s my story.
I spent 11 years as an editor for Quiltmaker magazine, where I wrote pattern instructions and product reviews. I shot how-to videos and wrote a variety of articles related to quilts and quiltmaking. It was a dream job!
I was the online voice of Quiltmaker for most of that time. In the early days, we were figuring out what it meant for a business to be online, along with everyone else. It was exciting, exhausting and fun!
Some of the editors helped promote the magazine by giving trunk shows of the quilts from our pages. I loved doing that, and I got good feedback from quilt groups. So when my time with Quiltmaker ended, since I’d been making quilts for 30 years, I started Stash Bandit and began sharing my own quilts in trunk shows.
I’d been teaching quilters here and there as requests came up over the years, so I added classes to my lineup as well. Writing for a pattern magazine is a form of teaching, so it seemed only natural.
The second part is that I still design and make quilts for magazines. That helps me spread the word about Stash Bandit and leads to calls from quilt guilds. It’s fun to see your work in a professionally styled shot in a national publication! And it’s always a happy day if your quilt makes the cover. Never gets old.
And the third part of my business that I’ve just added this year is helping other quilt-related businesses with social media. I manage this area for a couple of entities and I love doing it. And it’s fine with me if my name is not publicly associated with that work. I’m an introvert and I don’t love the spotlight so much.
The most visible of those is working as brand ambassador for HQ Stitch by Handi Quilter, a line of three (fabulous) domestic sewing machines. I love the machines, and it’s my job to use them and write about them. Which I happily do every day! Learn more: HQ Stitch on IG @hqstitch and on Facebook/hqstitch.
One area that I have not forayed into is the pattern business. After a trunk show, people naturally ask me where they can buy the patterns for my designs. I don’t have a great answer!
It takes a lot to bring a pattern to the market. I’d spend a lot of time and money to do it. And then you have to sell an awful lot of patterns to cover all of that before you start making a profit. And that is just one of the reasons. The others are probably not interesting to a blog reader!
I would much rather show people how to make their own unique quilts by understanding how fabrics work together. I’d like to help them unlock their creativity and be fearless in making something outside their comfort zone. So that is how I work and where I place my focus:
I use scrap quilts to help others understand fabric, color, design and quilting techniques.
Some patterns remain available from the various magazines. And a few are freebies on my own website.
So that’s a bit of my story. It’s nice to meet you!
I’ve started offering virtual trunk shows and classes in 2020. I’d love to bring one to your quilt group! Get in touch and…
You could help me out here by leaving a comment if you’ve been to a class or trunk show of mine. A few sentences about your experience would help others to know what they’re signing up for. Thank you!
I’m excited to have several trunk shows and classes available for booking as virtual learning! We can’t gather for meetings, conferences and all-out quilting parties but we can be together using modern technology, and what’s not to love about sewing in your own space with all of your tools close at hand?!
Visit my Virtual Learning page to learn more, and if you have questions, please reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org. Always happy to hear from you!
I teach a multitude of concepts by using scrap quilts sewn mostly from my stash. You can make this kind of quilt, too! I love showing willing learners how to combine unlikely fabrics they already own to make a dynamite scrap quilt.
Get in touch, and…