A New Toy!

Photo courtesy of Electric Quilt

I’m a fan of Electric Quilt (EQ) software, having used it for many years. It allows me to design my own blocks and quilts, try out layouts and color combinations, and print yardage requirements. And star blocks of all sorts are just about my favorites, so when I saw recently that EQ has a new add-on featuring star quilts, I was sold!

The “Star Power” add-on is based on an out-of-print book by Judy Martin. I’m not sure how I missed this book, but I do not own it. (Are you hearing another excuse to buy the add-on?) The add-on includes all the blocks AND quilt designs from the book. Once the add-on is part of your own EQ you can edit the blocks and quilt designs or make your own quilt designs using Judy’s blocks.

The add-on includes many beautiful star blocks.  (In fairness, the basic EQ program has a lot of star blocks as well.)  I gravitated immediately to Judy’s collection of “simple stars” because I’ve never made stars like this!  Here’s an example, exported from EQ (with a few color changes by me, of course).

Block by Judy Martin, modified in EQ8 by me

And once I’d seen those blocks, I integrated them with a chain block that came standard with my EQ8 software, changed colors a few times, added some borders, and generally fooled around with it until I had this:

Quilt design in EQ8 by me; star blocks designed by Judy Martin; chain block is part of EQ8 block library

The add-on includes a number of stunning designs by Judy, most of them more dramatic than my simple design. Here’s an example:

Example courtesy of Electric Quilt

I’m looking forward to making more star designs in EQ8 and then some quilts from those designs! 

Do you use EQ?  Other design software?  I’d be interested to know.

Please note:  This post is NOT sponsored by EQ; I choose products to review for this blog based solely on my own opinion.


15 thoughts on “A New Toy!

  1. I’m glad for you to have found this EQ8 enhancement that fulfills your love of stars. That’s wonderful! Though I have and occasionally use EQ8, I find it challenging to use for the type of quilts I like to make – those that are not typical block and sashing, or medallion style. For asymmetrical, off-set, and wanting different-sized blocks in one quilt, it’s difficult to make it work. I typically start with EQ8, work out that I am unable to work it out, and end up drawing my design on paper. Not effective or efficient.. and I’m fairly adept with technology. It would be great to own Photoshop or another such design-specific software, but I can’t justify the expense when it’s only for personal pleasure. So, as it relates to “pleasure,” I’m glad you’ve found your sweet spot with EQ8.

    • I have trouble with setting irregular blocks in EQ, though I think it’s just because I haven’t taken the time to learn how to do it well. There are numerous classes available but I haven’t taken the time for those either. I consider EQ to be like Excel in that whatever I want to do is probably there somewhere if I can figure it out. Now that you’ve got me thinking about this, I may actually take an EQ class! I know Cheryl Brickey has taught them at QuiltCon, but there are other opportunities. Hmmm…

  2. I have never used software to design quilts. I used to use software to draft weaving patterns but in weaving, you have to make sure the structure of the cloth will hold, as well as considering what it will look like on the surface, and you plan your weave thread by thread.

    Of all your pretty stars above, the ones I like best are the ones that look like they are intersecting — the two yellow and maroon ones, and the one that has two shades of purple. I was thinking, if the whole quilt was made of those, would I feel like it needed the variety of the other triangle combinations? But I don’t think so, I think I could happily look at a quilt with just that one variation. 🙂

  3. Very cool. Are there restrictions on use of Martin’s blocks? IIRC, she put restrictive copyright text in the books that I’ve seen of hers. I used to own the stars book, I think.

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