Designing With Quilt Panels, a free EQ8 Tutorial Series – Part 3

Today we start playing in EQ software to make custom quilt designs.  While this is part 3 in our series of tutorials for designing for panel quilts, we’ll be designing a variety of quilt layouts for awhile.  And, I hope you will join me and play in your EQ software and have fun learning as you play!

WARNING: I’ve had problems, thus this post has been released later than planned. I had frayed wires for my laptop power cord, causing me to get a new power cord ($50 – ouch). And then WordPress decided to release a new editing tool (block editor) which is going to take me awhile to learn. Thus, if have any feedback on clarity to this tutorial, by all means email me or leave a comment letting me know what you may be having problems with, or needs to be better written. I will happily try to help you, as well as update this tutorial to try to make it easier to follow.

!5 Minutes A Day EQ8 tutorials, by QuiltShopGal quilt panel series

Ready to create our first custom quilt layout for our panels?  Ilona, a newbie to EQ software, created this panel quilt design in EQ8 SW and today, our tutorial, is going to show you how you too can create such a design and quilt!

actual quilt top

In this lesson, you’ll learn more about working with fabric quilt panels and how to use EQ software to create unique designs for any panel.  But for this part of our panel design tutorial series,  we’ll focus on using this panel (aka  panel B) is also a 24″ panel,  from  Henry Glass Fabrics 

This sweet panel contains 7 cute dog theme blocks:

9051P-88__16192.1560799181

Ilona shared measurements with us for this panel:

  • center block measures  22” wide and 26 ¼” long when finished at the edge of the dog bone frame (no red included in the finished block, cut from this panel).
  • 6 dog blocks measure 6″ x 6″

Let’s begin the steps in EQ to incorporate these panel blocks into our design: 

 1.  OPEN EQ8 software

2. CLICK FILE > OPEN PROJECT > select the file we created in part 1 of this tutorial series (EQ8 Tutorial For Quilt Panel Designs) and CLICK OK

3.  PROJECT SKETCHBOOK pop up window will appear.  CLICK CLOSE

4.  Click on the QUILT WORKTABLEQuilt worktable

5.  Click NEW QUILT > CUSTOM SET

New quilt custom set

note:  You may have to click the double “>>” to be able to scroll to view the “Custom Set” option.

6.  Click LAYOUT where we will set the size of our quilt (these dimensions exclude the size of your borders and binding.  To clarify the “Layout” size is not the size of your finished quilt).

For this quilt we are going to be working with our 8″ x 8″ finished blocks, as well as adding coping strips to our previously created 6″ x 6″ blocks.

SET LAYOUT Width  40″ width and Height 48″

layout 40 x 48

7.  CLICK on the DESIGN tab.design

We will now add 3 of primary block sizes to our quilt layout.

CLICK on the BLOCK TOOLS Block tools and SET BLOCK set block

CLICK ON THE VARIABLE STAR BLOCK using your mouse to CLICK, HOLD, DRAG and RELEASE this block to the upper left corner of your QUILT LAYOUT.   This sets our 8″ x 8″ variable star quilt block to our quilt design layout.

set block 1 to quilt layout

Repeat the steps to set the blocks for the 6″ x 6″ square and the 22″ x 26.50″ block

set block 1 to quilt layout part two

8.  Click on the 6″ x 6″ block, Click CTRL “C” (copy) and Click CTRL “V” 5 times.  You should now have 6 of the 6″x6″ blocks on your quilt layout.

quilt layout duplicate 6 inch blocks

9. CLICK on the ADJUST TOOLadjust tool and click on one of the 6″x6″ blocks to select it.

Use your mouse to CLICK, HOLD, DRAG, and RELEASE each of the 6″ x 6″ blocks to approximately place as shown below:

quilt layout 6 inch blocks approximate placement

10.  Click on the Variable Star Block, an 8″ x 8″ block, Click CTRL “C” (copy), and Click CTRL “V” 11 times.  You should now have 12 of the Variable Star Blocks on your quilt layout.

quilt layout 8 inch blocks set for 12 blocks

11.  CLICK on the ADJUST TOOLadjust tool and click on one of the 8″x 8″ blocks to select it.

Use your mouse to CLICK, HOLD, DRAG, and RELEASE each of the 8″ x 8″ blocks to approximately place as shown below:

quilt layout 8 inch blocks approximate placement

Using the ADJUST TOOLadjust tool you can click on any of the blocks to CLICK, HOLD, DRAG, and RELEASE to better position each block as desired.  We will definitely be doing more adjustments as we continue to work on this quilt design.

quilt layout 8 inch blocks approximate placement step 2

12.  Click on the ZOOM IN tool.  zoom in tool  Use your Mouse to CLICK in the upper left corner of your QUILT LAYOUT and CLICK, HOLD, DRAG, and RELEASE a bounding box to enlarge the area around the upper left blocks as shown below.

zoom in tool quilt layout

The white space (aka grid background) is area on your quilt block that has not yet been filled with blocks.  As we have odd sizes of blocks, we need to create new patches (aka blocks) to fill in these blank spots of our quilt design.  To start, let’s focus on the difference of the 8″x8″ block vs the 6″ x 6″ block.  If we created 1″ coping strips around the 6″ block we could easily turn it to fill an 8″x8″ area.   While there are a variety of ways to design how these two block sizes will work, for our tutorial today, we are going to use my simple approach to adding coping strips.

13.  Click BLOCK WORKTABLEBlock Worktable

We will create the “coping” strips to upsize our 6″ dog panel blocks to make it easier to match  up with our 8″ x 8″ blocks.

Click NEW BLOCK > EASY DRAW  and set the BLOCK WIDTH = 6″ and BLOCK HEIGHT = 1″

Click COLOR > SELECT > select a fabric or color of your choice (I selected a blue fabric)

SELECT THE PAINTBRUSH TOOL Paintbrush tool and CLICK on your block to set the color.

14. CLICK the ADD TO SKETCHBOOK button.add to sketchbook

15. Click NEW BLOCK > EASY DRAW  and set the BLOCK WIDTH = 1″ and BLOCK HEIGHT = 8″

Click COLOR > SELECT > select a fabric or color of your choice (I selected a blue fabric)

SELECT THE PAINTBRUSH TOOL Paintbrush tool and CLICK on your block to set the color.

16. CLICK the ADD TO SKETCHBOOK button.add to sketchbook

17. Click on the QUILT WORKTABLEQuilt worktable

18.  Click on the SET BLOCK tool.  We will now set these blocks with 1″ height and 6″ width to help our 6″ x 6″ blocks better align next to 8″ x 8″ blocks.

set the 1 inch heigh by 6 inch wide blocks

Use your mouse to CLICK, HOLD, DRAG, RELEASE this block to where you want to set it on your quilt.

You can use the ADJUST TOOLadjust tool to click on any block which you need to better position where you might want to.

Click on the block and press your CTRL C (copy) and CTRL V (paste), followed by using your ADJUST tool to drag the block th where you need it.  Repeat till you have these coping strip blocks as follows:

set 6 inch coping strips

19.  Click BLOCK WORKTABLEBlock Worktable

We will create the “coping” strips to upsize our 6″ dog panel blocks to make it easier to match  up with our 8″ x 8″ blocks.

Click NEW BLOCK > EASY DRAW  and set the BLOCK WIDTH = 1″ and BLOCK HEIGHT = 8″

Click COLOR > SELECT > select a fabric or color of your choice (I selected a blue fabric)

SELECT THE PAINTBRUSH TOOL Paintbrush tool and CLICK on your block to set the color.

20. CLICK the ADD TO SKETCHBOOK button.add to sketchbook

21. Click on the QUILT WORKTABLEQuilt worktable

22.  Click on the SET BLOCK tool.  We will now set these blocks with 8″ height and 1″ width to help our 6″ x 6″ blocks better align next to 8″ x 8″ blocks.

sketchbook for block 1 in wide 8 inch tall

Use your mouse to CLICK, HOLD, DRAG, RELEASE this block to where you want to set it on your quilt.

You can use the ADJUST TOOLadjust tool to click on any block which you need to better position where you might want to.

Click on the block and press your CTRL C (copy) and CTRL V (paste), followed by using your ADJUST tool to drag the block th where you need it.  Repeat till you have these coping strip blocks as follows:

quilt layout for block 1 in wide 8 inch tall step 1

23.  Now we’ll use the ZOOM IN tool zoom in tool and the ADJUST tool to better align the coping strips, 6″ x 6″ blocks and blocks in general.

Click the ZOOM IN tool zoom in tool  and click the upper left hand corner of your quilt layout use your mouse to CLICK, HOLD, DRAG and RELEASE to create a frame around the upper left quadrant as shown below.

zoom in upper left

Click on the ADJUST tool and use your mouse to CLICK, HOLD, DRAG release each coping strip and block to better align it, as follows:

zoom in upper left step 2

There are various ways you can view other areas of your QUILT LAYOUT to ADJUST.  There are SLIDER bars on the right side of your screen, as well as on the bottom.  You can CLICK, HOLD, DRAG and RELEASE these sliders up/down or left/right to view different areas of your QUILT LAYOUT and ADJUST, as necessary.

The ZOOM tool set also has the ability to ZOOM IN, ZOOM OUT, REFRESH, and FIT TO WORKTABLE.  You can use these tools to move around your QUILT LAYOUT and ADJUST as needed.

zoom tool set

Once you have the coping strips and 6″x6″ blocks aligned your QUILT LAYOUT will look like:

quilt layout with coping strips complete

24.  Determine the size blocks are needed to fill the white space in our Quilt Layout.

First, what measurements we we know:

quilt layout measurement step 1
quilt layout measurement step 1 measurements only

What we don’t know, but can calcuate or use the RULER tool to measure are the measurements for 4 coping strip blocks (1, 2, 3, 4).

quilt layout measurement step 2 what we don't know

What we know about these four strips is:

Coping Strips/Block 1 & 3 = Width = D and Height = (E – C)/2, which is (32″ – 26.25)/2 = 2.875″.

Coping Strips/Block B & E = Width = (F – D)/2 and Height = E = which is (24″ – 22″)/2 = 1″

Using the TAPE MEASURE tool approach to calculate (or double check our math) Tape measure tool we would simply CLICK on this tool to select it, then CLICK on one end of the area we want to measure, HOLD and DRAG to the other (perform for Width & Height to get the block measurement), for each of these four blocks.  As you CLICK, HOLD & DRAG the TAPE MEASURE tool a small pop up, next to your mouse, appears and tells you what the measurement is.  This  measurement is accurate when you are zoomed in or in full screen mode.  Play with it to get the feeling of how it works as it is easy to use and a very handy tool within EQ.

25.  Time to create our last blocks (aka coping strips for our center panel block.

Click BLOCK WORKTABLEBlock Worktable

We will create the “coping” strips to upsize center panel which measures 22″ width x 26.5″ height.

Click NEW BLOCK > EASY DRAW  and set the BLOCK WIDTH = 1″ and BLOCK HEIGHT = 26.5″

Click COLOR > SELECT > select a fabric or color of your choice (I selected a red fabric)

SELECT THE PAINTBRUSH TOOL Paintbrush tool and CLICK on your block to set the color. (As previously mentioned, I used the color red).

26. CLICK the ADD TO SKETCHBOOK button.add to sketchbook

27. Click on the QUILT WORKTABLEQuilt worktable

28.  Click on the SET BLOCK tool.  We will now set these blocks in position 2 & 4 (left & right side of our center panel) as shown below:

29.  Click NEW BLOCK > EASY DRAW  and set the BLOCK WIDTH = 32″ and BLOCK HEIGHT = 2.75″

Click COLOR > SELECT > select a fabric or color of your choice (I selected a red fabric)

SELECT THE PAINTBRUSH TOOL Paintbrush tool and CLICK on your block to set the color. Note:  I used the color red.

30. CLICK the ADD TO SKETCHBOOK button.add to sketchbook

31. Click on the QUILT WORKTABLEQuilt worktable

32.  Click on the SET BLOCK tool.  We will now set these blocks in position 2 & 4 (left & right side of our center panel) as shown below:

33. Click on the QUILT WORKTABLEQuilt worktable

34.  Click DESIGN > PHOTO TOOLS > Photo Tools

The Sketchbook will appear showing your photo images in your Sketchbook.

sketchbook for images

Click on the center panel (measures 22″ W and 26.5 H).  CLICK, HOLD, DRAG and RELEASE this block to your center panel, as shown below:

quilt layout set images step 1

Click on an image in your Sketchbook which will finish at 6″x6″ and using your mouse to CLICK, HOLD, DRAG and RELEASE to set the image in one of your “placeholder” blocks as desired.  Repeat until all 6″x6″ placeholder blocks have been painted with 6″ blocks from the panel. Here is how I placed them on my design:

35. Let’s color our quilt layout, as desired.

36, Let’s add some borders.

CLICK on BORDERS

In the BORDERS OPTIONS toolbox set the BORDERS to 4“, as shown below.




CLICK on DESIGN > FABRIC TOOLS > PAINTBRUSH and select your desired fabric (or color). I selected a red fabric previously used. And click on your borders to set the color as shown below:

37. CLICK the ADD TO SKETCHBOOK button.

add to sketchbook

38.  Click FILE > SAVE PROJECT.  You can now exit your EQ software, or to continue to play as desired.

Next week we will continue to work with blocks from the two quilt panels which we’ve covered in our first three lessons, but we will create another quilt design and cover some more tools & functionality of of EQ. In the meantime, I hope you will continue to play with your EQ software every day. Don’t forget even 15 minutes of playtime can be fun and you’ll be surprised in hardly any time at all how much you can learn.

As always, please email me, or leave a comment if you have any feedback on this tutorial. I will happily try to incorporate your feedback to make this tutorial easier to follow, as appropriate. Also, if you have areas of EQ software which you would like to learn, let me know and I will try to incorporate them in future tutorials for this series on Designing Quilts for Panel Quilts, or future EQ tutorial series, as appropriate.

Links to previous tutorials in this series are:

Designing With Quilt Panels, a free EQ8 Tutorial Series – Part 1

Designing With Quilt Panels, a free EQ8 Tutorial Series – Part 2

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