When I mention EQ7, fellow modern or art quilters say, with some condescension, “I don’t make that kind of quilt” or “My quilts are too original for that kind of software”. But here’s my secret: I use EQ7 primarily for Color Auditions. Yeah, auditions. You know, when you put 4 or 5 different color combos on your design wall to see which speaks to you? Or when you haul out the colored pencils and make half a dozen color iterations? You can do that preview in EQ7 with just a few clicks – and no fabric, pencils or paper are consumed in the process!
EQ7 brags about being able to import different ‘Fabric Libraries’, to see exactly how your quilt will look. Many love this, I think mostly those who make traditional quilts. But not me! That feature could disappear tonight and I wouldn’t notice! What I want is to see pure colors together, not the motifs on the fabrics.
I’m still on a steep learning curve for EQ7 (and for Adobe Illustrator, which answers other parts of my design needs). There is probably a way to import additional colors into EQ7 or to make custom colors that don’t disappear – and I can’t wait to learn how to do this. In the meantime, I make do with the basic colors.
Here’s how Color Auditions work with a traditional block from EQ7’s block libraries. This is Flying Squares.
Here are the Flying Squares into a 4 x 4 grid.
Now for the fun part. What different emotional feelings can I give to the quilt with different color combinations? Here are some colors that have a Garden feeling- yellow centers, white petals, green background. Not bad. But a bit blah.
What if we vary the background color just a bit, adding a neighboring blue-green in a checkerboard grid?
Making half the centers red instead of yellow adds even more interest. For a different feel, what if we replace the neutral black with orange, opposite green-blue on the color wheel? And make the white flower petals into a more neutral brown?
Nah, I’m not liking that. How about back to the blacks and whites, but with pinks instead?
Totally different feel, no longer like a garden at all. But lively! Or, how about if we make the background squares alternating black and white, using brown ‘petals’ with blue and green centers.
Totally different again. But nah, not all that appealing. I could explore this version further by leaving the black and white background and varying the centers.
I kinda like this quieter version. It has a soothing, almost meditative feeling. And here’s a final version, substituting orange for the white background squares.
Bringing in red, and pale orange centers makes a warm and energetic,version, with a feeling like flames or autumn.
All these versions took me about 5 minutes to do IRL. And what I’ve show here is just scratching the surface of Color Auditioning using EQ7.
To make one of these quilts, my next step would be surveying my fabric stash to see what fabrics (prints or solids) I had that approximated each of the colors. Frequently that will lead me in yet another direction or dimension, and the final quilt won’t look much like the final EQ7 version- but it was that EQ7 version that allowed me to decide where to start.