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Monday, August 6, 2012

Things I Learned From EQ The Mouse: Electric Quilt - Blockbase

The Electric Quilt Company has Blockbase back in stock.  This popular software had been sold out, for quite some time, but is now available in a re-printed version.  To clarify, if you already have a prior copy of Blockbase, you do not need to purchase this version (they are the same).  And, if you don't have a copy, I think you may want to take advantage of a special offer by EQ and order a copy, before this version is sold out!

Between 1979 and 1984, Barbara Brackman published eight volumes of pieced quilt patterns which was condensed into the "Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns".   This book is a pictorial index showing 4,000 one-inch black and white drawings of pieced quilt designs that were published from the 1830s to the 1980s.   This book has won various awards, and is still a very popular book with quilters and quilt historians!

Encyclopedia Of Pieced Quilt Patterns

Electric Quilt created the "BlockBase" software based on sketches in the Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.  The EQ Team took time to manually draw each block into this software giving you the power of using these designs.  Unlike EQ7, Blockbase isn't a software package that allows you to draw or colorblocks, as much as a standalone software tool that allows you to easily use over 4,000 blocks and print in any size you wish.    And, for those using EQ5/EQ6/EQ7 you can easily link to blockbase where you can select fabrics and color these blocks, as well as design quilts and other items using these blocks too!

BlockBase has virtually every pieced block published from 1836-1970 - over 4300 patterns, ready to print as patterns. The Electric Quilt Company has added hundreds of blocks to BlockBase to make sure it contains all pieced blocks from historic collections.


As a standalone software, Blockbase allows users to view all the blocks online, benefit from a robust search feature, and print blocks in any size that you want.

Blockbase comes with a CD where the software can easily be installed on your computer and run as a standalone program.  EQ5, EQ6, and EQ7 users can also easily link to the Blockbase library and pull in these blocks to their own quilt projects in the EQ software.  It also comes with a 106 page soft cover user manual that is well written and has great visuals.

Printed blocks have the option to print whole block designs in color, grayscale or outlines.  You can also use as templates, as numbered foundation blocks, with rotary cutting instructions.  And, bloggers, quilt guilds, designers and others can easily export as bitmaps or enhanced metafiles.  

For those cutting with Marti Michell's Perfect Patchwork Templates, Blockbase even identifies which blocks are perfect for these templates!

The robust search feature allows you to search for common blocks like stars, leaf, tree, flowers, airplane, butterflys, etc.  You can also search by State blocks, Anniversary or wedding blocks, Occupations (e.g. lawyer, doctor, teacher or 30 other occupations). And, of course, you can search by the name of a block (e.g. Orange peel, Mariner's Compass, etc.)

The notecard feature easily allows you to view information about a particular block.

Here is a very interesting fact:  With over 4000 blocks, if you made a new block every day it would take you 11 years to make them all.

For more info on this software, visit Electric Quilt.

At $69.95 this software is well worth the price, plus if you order BlockBase from the Electric Quilt Company, by Monday, August 20th 9am, EST, you'll get Free standard shipping to US and Canada!

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The Quilted Dog said...

I've never used any quilting software. I'd love to hear from quilters who have and what they like/dislike about such products.

BlockBase looks awesome from the company demo, but how often is such software truly used in planning quilts?

Diane Wild said...

I own Quilt Wizard and have used it a few times but it's frustrating to use in that I can't make revisions in the quilt design without starting over. This software looks exciting and I'm willing to give it a try based on your review and the demo video. I like the idea of the different size options. I just ordered a copy.

Rachel said...

Just curious if you know if they will come out witha mac version? I know they used to say you could make it work with emulation software, but, quite frankly, lol, that makes it beyond "plug and play" for me...

Anonymous said...

I have owned Block Base for many years. I love it!