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Simply Quilts Presentation Gallery

Computer Quilting in the 21st Century
An Overview of Quilting Software by Sharla Hicks

Episode 908

Click Here to go to the article:

Computer Quilting has come of Age!
What does it have to offer you the quilter?

by Sharla Hicks

Quilt Designer: Sharla Hicks
Sharla was the person who did the quilting software demonstrations on Simply Quilts. Below are the her quilt examples shown on the show and techniques she covered when talking about each quilt.

Quilt Programs used: Quilt-Pro, Electric Quilt and PC Quilt


Explore fabric and color combinations

Rotating Blocks in a Quilt Layout

Exploring hidden designs in a one block layout

Layers and Repeating Motifs in Quilting Software

Tiffini's Quilt
Explore color, fabric and block placement

Broken Dreams
Use quilt layout to explore
rotating blocks for design variation

I Love Chartruse
Explore design of a single repeating block

Use layers
to control overlapping stencils,
pieced blocks and applique.

Use quilting software to develop
circle motifs


Tiffini's Baby Quilt
Fabric and color palettes are avaialbe in each quilting software.
This allows experimenting with fabric and color placement in the block and quilt.
Customize fabric pallettes by scanning fabric and adding to the quilting software's fabric library

NOTE: Sharla used Quilt-Pro to select the blocks and explore block combinations for this paper piecing quilt.
All features found in Electric Quilt, Quilt-Pro, PCQuilt, VQuilt, and QuiltSoft

Broken Dreams used rotation tools
to explore rotating blocks for design variation

Rotation Tools are available in the quilting software programs
that include block design and quilt layout.
These features can be found in
Electric Quilt
, Quilt-Pro, PCQuilt, VQuilt, and QuiltSoft

Explore design by breaking the boundaries of the block using a repeated block layout

I Love Chartruese was designed by exploring the patch elements found in the Kaleidoscope block. I explored the shapes in the quilting software, then I constructed the individual shapes with strip piecing. After finishing the patch, I went to the design board played with the same shapes I had discovered when playing on the computer screen.

This can be done in any quilting sofware that includes a quilt layout like Electric Quilt, Quilt-Pro, PCQuilt and VQuilt.

Explore creating repeating images that go around a circle.
Excellent for wreath, quilting stencils and unique applique


The repeating motif tool has different names in the various software titles, but it allows you to take a single motif like the butterfly, cat, or jingle bells and create a repeating motif around a circle. Electric Quilt, Quilt-Pro and PC Quilt all have this really fun design tool.

Use Layers to keep pieced blocks, applique and stencil apart for easier control

Electric Quilt and Quilt-Pro
have a layer feature for the block and quilt design

The ability to try out a quilting stencil on a quilt is a great tools provided by quilting software. When you combine that option with the ability to use layers which keeps the different sections of quilt separate. Usually the quilting software has 3 layers. One for the pieced block (bottom layer), the applique design (second layer) and the top layer (stencil layer.) The following quilting software has the Stencil Feature: Electric Quilt, Quilt-Pro, and PCQuilt



Story behind the quilts and the designer

Sharla Hicks, an expert in computer quilting, was asked to do the Quilting in the 21st Centurn by HGTV in 2004, it is now part of the repeat programs that airs 2-3 times a year. She is the webmaster and owner of the company called Soft Expressions and your are visiting her website now. The above are a few of the quilt examples and techniques she explained on the program.

Sharla has a 25 year background in the quilting world as a teacher and quiltmaker. Her interest are wide ranged from computer quilting to art quilts. Her expertise is using the sewing machine and computer to maximize her potential as an art quilter.

Sharla's Bio, Click Here
Sharla's Quilt Gallery, Click Here
Additional information about Sharla, Click Here


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Click Here to go to the article:

Computer Quilting has come of Age!
What does it have to offer you the quilter?

by Sharla Hicks

Reviewed Quilting Software, DVD & CD Index

Electric Quilt Products
EQ Flagship Program
Electric Quilt PC
Quilt Wizard (Beginners)
EQ Stand Alone
Stash (fabric scans)
Dear Jane Design
Quiltmaker Collection Quilting Designs
Stitched with Love BK/CD
EQ Paper Piece
EQ Foundation Sheets
EQ Printables
bulletFoundation Sheets
bulletInkjet Fabric Sheets

Quilt-Pro software
Foundation Factory (PC & Mac)
Standard Editions
spacerCarol Doak Edition
spacerCompanion Bk
Block Factory:
Mac Quilt Software
EQ for the Mac
Foundation Factory

Digitized Machine Embroidery Index
BulletIndex to Digitized Designs CDs
BulletJenny Haskins Mag, Bks, CDs
BulletIndex list of books with Design CDs
Quilt Label Software
BulletVirtual Quilt Labels Plus
Other Quilting Software
BulletBooks with Design CDs
CDs for Quilters
Too many to list individually
BulletIndex List for Helpful CDs
quilt techniques, musics, embellishment CD & more

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