Learning new things

Mastering EQ8 (a quilt design software program) is one of my retirement goals.

I have a basic working knowledge of EQ8 software. Pre-COVID, I took a class where I learned all sorts of shortcuts and hacks…which I promptly forgot because I didn’t use those particular features again. I’d originally planned to take an in-person refresher course locally or at one of the larger regional quilting shows. When the in-person options didn’t work out, I purchased a couple of EQ8 at Home classes offered by the Electric Quilt Company.

Online classes are quickly becoming my go-to when a class isn’t offered locally. Digital instruction has really improved since my grad school days. Once you get the hang of the virtual classroom set-up, it’s really easy to follow. I like that I can refer back to the instructional videos at any time to review topics covered. I can complete the course on my schedule. I don’t have to worry about travel costs. Course fees are usually quite reasonable.

Today, I worked my way through 1/2 of the first class. It was a welcome refresher to all things EQ8. I did learn a couple of new things as I went along. I’m a Mac user. In the past, this software program focused on PC users. Usability has definitely improved for Mac folks, especially if you use a mouse! It was really helpful to view the video lessons on my iPad while I did the actual activities on my laptop. I’m glad the instructor shared this tip in her welcome video.

EQ8 allows me to audition fabrics virtually before cutting anything out. I can also see how changes in border and sashing sizes/designs will impact the overall quilt. The program ballparks fabric requirements (which often have to be tweaked depending on your preferred construction method). It also allows me to create graphics that I can import into instructional materials I use during my classes.