Moda Fabrics + Electric Quilt = Quilt Design Coolness

I was shopping for charm packs today for a small quilt I’d like to make and since Moda markets all of these cool charm packs, jelly rolls, layer cakes and other whatnots, I took a trip to the Moda site to see what’s out there now, and what’s coming up. I discovered something totally cool, and I don’t know whether it’s new, or it’s been around a while and I’ve just missed it.

If you visit the Designers page on the Moda site, you’ll see a list of all (or most?) of their current fabric designers. Click on a name, like 3 Sisters, and another window will pop up and show you a bit about the designer, and their current lines for Moda. See those dots down below the fabric line logo pictures? You can click on those and see the fabrics.

Click on the light colored solid dot for an Adobe PDF file of swatches of all the fabrics in the line, or try the darker colored solid dot to download a .zip file of .jpeg graphic files of all the fabrics plus pictures of the FQ packs, jelly rolls, charm packs, layer cakes and sometimes a quilt image that go with the line. You can also click on the outlined dot to visit the Moda section at a site called Fabric Matcher. Fabric Matcher seems to be a site where you can “shop” for Moda fabrics and find patterns, and put them together and save them as a project, but I didn’t spend a bunch of time on that, since it doesn’t seem that you can actually buy patterns or fabric there, so I’m not sure what the point really is, and that’s not really the cool part anyway.

The cool part is that if you download the .zip file with the fabric pictures in it, you can import the fabrics into Electric Quilt and design quilts! The pictures seem to be actual scans of the fabrics, and are in scale with one another, so designing a quilt with the actual fabrics you want to use is really easy and looks great when done. See?

Quilt Design with Electric Quilt and Portobello Market fabrics from Moda

This is the Portobello Market line from 3 Sisters for Moda. I love these fabrics, so I stopped in at The Fat Quarter Shop and scooped up a charm pack and some other yardage to go with it, and I can make my quilt when it all arrives! Now if only all the other fabric manufacturers would catch on to this. What a great way to market and advertise the fabric lines especially in our current economy where every trip by car counts. If I hadn’t found this today, would I have bought $50 worth of fabric online? Probably not. I checked out RJR Fabrics and Michael Miller Fabrics, and if they have anything like Moda does, it wasn’t easy to find.

Do you know of any other fabric manufacturers that share such great images of their fabrics like this? If so, share so we can all go download the latest fabrics to play with!

P.S. I found another cool page on the Moda site, the What’s New page. If you go there, you get the same fabric line logo pics with the dots, only they’re arranged by release month instead of by designer. It’s a great way to see what’s on the horizon from Moda!

7 thoughts on “Moda Fabrics + Electric Quilt = Quilt Design Coolness

  1. I just discovered this too, via the EQ newsletter. I have always gone to a fabric manufacturer’s site and saved the photo of the fabric. Then I changed it to a small bitmap and was able to import it to EQ. Lot’s of pushups but it worked. It’s so nice of Moda to do all the work for us.

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  2. Nadine,

    The Fabric Matcher tool was designed by the husband of Sarah who is co-owner of Material Obsession – a cool quilt shop here in Sydney Australia.

    Of course, their shop website has Fabric Matcher too – http://www.moshop.com.au/.

    It’s a great gadget, isn’t it?

    Gillian

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  3. What a great service! Thanks for the tip; I’m off to download. No reason why my virtual stash shouldn’t grow along with the real thing now!

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  4. Isn’t it fun? The Cotton Loft http://www.quiltingcotton.com/ used to have downloadable EQ fabrics, couldn’t tell by looking if they still do that or not. Any fabrics can be downloaded, you just have to change them to a .gif file but you can use Irfanview to do that. Only takes a moment to batch process a whole bunch of .jpegs to .gifs. It’s free software, if you’re not aware of it, just Google it.

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  5. Paula, thanks for the heads up about the EQ newsletter! How the heck did I miss that EQ had a newsletter? Then again, maybe I knew at one time, but changed email addys, or cleaned house or something!

    Hi Gillian! I think it’s a great tool, and kudos to that man for developing it, but I just don’t see the point of it on the Moda site, to be frank. It makes sense at a site where you can actually buy fabric, but not so much at a site where all you can do is save fabric swatches and patterns. Why? Hope to see the Fabric Matcher tool on some US websites soon, so I can really try it out prior to actually ordering some fabric! I’d especially like to see it on more sites if the developer gets a kickback of some kind; good software development should be rewarded, for sure.

    Emma, glad you found it helpful!

    Hi Rian! I checked out the Cotton Loft, and they still do that, it’s just a really small link at the bottom of the page that gives the how-to bit. Just a note though: I didn’t have to convert the .jpg files to .gif files to use them in EQ6. EQ6 just imports whatever you have, as far as I can tell and worked fine on the .jpg files that I got from Moda, and other .jpg files that I’ve scanned in and saved myself!

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  6. Wow! I hope all the other fabric companies follow suit…I bought EQ6 JUST for the ability to work with scans of the new fabrics. Those experiments guide my purchases.

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