Anyone who knows me as a real life quilter and designer has likely been present at one point or another when I have hopped up on my high horse and paraded around the quilt studio proclaiming that I would never use EQ (or similar software) because it is cheating. Ah, the good old days when I was so far superior to so many quilters who had succumbed.
It's really no secret that I bought EQ at Market in the Spring; after all, it isn't like I insisted on wearing a paper bag over my head when I visited the booth. Jen Eskridge, who was a new found quilt designer friend and someone I greatly admire, convinced me that yes, it was of course cheating, but I totally had to own it. Then she appealed to my cheap side by offering to let me in on her bulk purchase, and I let my inner bargain hunter take over. I share all this to prove that Jen Eskridge is an accomplice in this situation, and I am far from completely at fault. I may have pulled the trigger, but she totally drove the getaway car.
Until last night, though, despite owning it and having had it installed on my computer, I remained an EQ virgin, unsullied by quilt design technology. And therefore still on the far superior bandwagon. But at 9:14pm on 10/23/10, I fell off. Hard.
It is totally cheating. And it is totally awesome. After one evening of playing I feel like a whole new world has been opened, one in which there is hope of designing a quilt start to finish in one day (or, dare to dream, an evening) rather than the current painstaking "idea to conception to quilt shop to design wall to mini-tantrum to writing to more writing to attempting to draw diagrams in publisher to finally 2 to 3 months later an actual pattern." I feel like putting free patterns on my website may be possible if I can design things quickly; I won't be so invested in them by the time they are written that I can't just give them away for free. I feel like when Quiltwoman.com asks designers for quick turn around stuff, I have a fleeting hope of submitting something. It's a whole new world, and I have Jen to thank for convincing me I belonged there.
Not that I plan to rely on EQ exclusively. I love seeing things in my head and playing with fabric til I get it to look like that picture too much to go directly to it every time. It's how I do some of my best work and I don't see myself changing that completely. But I am starting to see how I can work in some EQ to enhance, rather than stifle, my design technique, and that excites me.