Designing With Quilt Panels, a free EQ8 Tutorial Series – Part 5 – Dog House Quilts

Today I’m sharing Part 4 of a free EQ tutorial series, which focuses on designing with Quilt Panels. If you have not yet completed the exercises from the earlier tutorials in this series, you may want to read this tutorial, but I highly encourage you to complete the earlier exercises in this series before you proceed with the steps covered in this exercise in your EQ software. You can find links to the earlier tutorials at the bottom of this post. And don’t forget, you can always start, stop, repeat these tutorials anytime. I always encourage when learning EQ software to repeat lessons until you feel you have embedded the exercises in your memory muscle, for future use to apply on your own design projects. And even if you only have 15 minutes, go for it! You’ll be amazed how much you can learn in 15 minutes of “play time” in EQ software!

Ready to create fancy borders for our quilt which we created during Lesson 4?  In this lesson, you’ll learn how to create applique blocks, custom borders with blocks, and more.

We will also learn how to download free artwork from the internet (just make sure you don’t use copyright-protected artwork). For this lesson, we want to add applique dog bone blocks to our quilt layout we designed in the previous lesson. To do this we will need to download a free dog bone image that is available from Kiss Clipart. Click on this link: and click on the Download button. Pay attention to where your computer vs MAC downloads this image, as you will want to move it to the folder we previously created (in earlier lessons) on our desktop. My computer typically places files in a “Download Folder”, but we want to place this artwork in the project folder we previously created on our Desktop “eq custom quilt tutorial happy dog”.

Today we’ll create some simple applique’ blocks with dog bones and add them to our quilt layout we created in Lesson #4. To clarify, we’ll change this simple strip border to a block border with applique’ dog bones.

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 on the QUILTS tab.

4. Use your scroll bar (located at the bottom of the quilt layout view menu and scroll till you find the quilt we created in the previous lesson. You’ll want to use your mouse to CLICK, HOLD, DRAG and RELEASE the light grey bar in the scroll bar.

Play with it and as you slide it left or right you’ll see different quilt layouts you have saved in your sketchbook. Stop, once you’ve displayed the quilt we previously creatd.

Click on the EDIT button.

5. Click on BORDERS > BLOCKS.

Set Borders to 4″ for all borders (left, top, right and bottom)

Set Blocks in Borders to Horizontal

This creates a border of blank blocks which finish at 4″ x 6″ with four corner stone bocks which will finish at Click ADD TO SKETCHBOOK

Let’s create blocks for our borders


Set Block Width = 6″ and Block Height = 4″


Click IMPORT IMAGE, Navigate to the folder where you downloaded the dog bone artwork (link to at the beginning of this tutorial). Click OK.

Click on the image and click on POSITION & RESIZE

Use your mouse to Click on a node on the top of the dog bone image. Click, hold, drag and release to make it smaller. Repeat with the node on the right of the dog bone, as desired. You want to resize your dog bone to be approximately width = 4″ and height = 1 1/2″, or where it looks like a good size dog bone for your 6″ x 4″ block for your border blocks.

Click on the image to select it. Click on the nodes that appear in the outline frame of this image once you have clicked on the image. Using your mouse to click, hold, drag and release you can increase/decrease the size of this image. Again, we want to resize it now to be 4″ x 1 1/2″.

Click the HIDE/SHOW IMAGE FOR TRACING button to hide or show your image, allowing you to easily see what you have traced of your artwork.

While your artwork is visible, click on the DRAWING TOOLS button.

Click on the DRAW tool and the FREEHAND tool , as shown above. Use your mouse to CLICK, HOLD, DRAG, and RELEASE to trace the image of your dog bone.

Click on the HIDE/SHOW IMAGE for tracing to identify where we need to edit our tracing to bettter capture our image.

When you release your mouse and the nodes are connected you will notice a slight color change. This shows that your trace represents a connected shape which can be filled with colors or fabrics in EQ software vs a trace that is a disconnected line. If you did not create a connected shape, don’t worry as you can delete and retrace, or keep reading as we’ll also learn how to connect unconnected sketch lines later in this tool.

Click the EDIT tool (part of your DRAWING tools). Right, Click and click on the EDIT option which will create an EDIT pop up with more tool features you can use, while your tracing is selected and you are in EDIT mode. The EDIT NODE tool is handy to delete nodes, add nodes to your design, as well as much more.

If your trace didn’t result in a connected design, you need to use your ZOOM tools to look for nodes which may not be connected. I reccommend that you zoom in and scroll around your trace to find nodes which are not connected, like the one shown below:

To resolve such problems where your trace is not connected: Click on the EDIT tool and right-click on one of your lines. The EDIT menu will appear as a pop-up menu allowing you various functions to Delete nodes, add nodes, and more. For this exercise, you should be able to complete this tutorial without having to use this feature, depending on how you did your original trace. But this may be a great opportunity for those who are adventurous to try to ADD/DELETE nodes. Simply click on an area of your trace and click ADD to add a node, or select an existing node by clicking on it and then clicking on the DELETE option of the Edit pop up menu.

Another sign that your trace is not connected is when you try to fill it with fabric (or set a color) and it doesn’t color the desired shape, but colors the entire block (aka background). For example, below we have a connected sketch of a dogbone and also a dogbone sketch that is not connected. Setting fabric to the background showcases the disconnected sketch of the dogbone, whereas the connected sketch of the dogbone is left white waiting for you to select and paint fabric for that dogbone and you can’t paint fabric to the disconnected sketch below it.

When you use your ZOOM tools you can look close at all the nodes to see if they are joined. As you can see in this close that they are not joined. This is an important concept to understand when sketching images in EQ software and there are several options to prevent it, as well as to fix it once it has happened.

Avoiding this problem, as well as fixing it, is really easy peasy with the Snap to Nodes feature. If it had been turned on when you were tracing the sketch would have automatically connected the start and end nodes of your sketch. If you turn it on later, as you select, click hold, drag and release to move a node to connect to another node it will automatically snap into place. Again, easy peasy when the snap to node feature is turned on.

To refine your trace, the APPLIQUE EDIT TOOL menu is a very powerful tools when tracing an image for applique’. And, it really is quite easy to use.

In Edit mode, when your trace is selected you will see nodes along the trace (aka little bumps). When you click on a node you’ll notice “handles” . You can click on these handles to move in various directions. If you are not familiar with these handles, take time to click, drag, hold, release to reposition them. Make them longer, shorter, move left, right, up, down and you’ll quickly see how powerful they are in creating a shape. You’ll find that they can really help to create a nice rounded shape, as well as flatten a curve.

I want to encourage you to play with the nodes and handles as this really is a perfect exercise to play and learn to see what these powerful tools can do. Plus, it can be loads of fun!

As you strive to perfect your trace of the image don’t forget to toggle on/off/on the artwork by clicking the HIDE/SHOW TRACING image button.

Using the handles on the nodes you can reshape your trace to better capture the dog bone image. Again, using the hide/show artwork option helps you fine tune your trace even more. Personally, I like to DELETE extra nodes and rely on the handles to create a nice curve.

Once you have edited your trace to represent your imported image, you are ready to add it to your quilt borders.



Scroll to find the quilt layout we created earlier with the blank border blocks. Click EDIT to get this quilt layout on your Display to be able to set our applique’ dog bone blocks to our borders.

To add the dog bone blocks to your border, click SET BLOCK and scroll to find our Dog Bone Applique block in our Sketchbook. Select it.

While the SET BLOCK tool and your Dog Bone Block is selected use your mouse to click on the 4×6″ border dog blocks to set it. You can also hold your CTRL key down while you use your mouse to click on a single border block, to invoke a feature in EQ which will automatically set it to all your border blocks of that size at the same time.

As we’ve designed our border blocks to be 4″ x 6″ with the applique’ dog bone in the center, you can tell that the blocks set on the left and the right side of the quilt are not reflective of our design. To fix, click on the ROTATE button.

Click on the applique’ dog bone blocks on left and right side to rotate them, as appropriate.

Now we need to set our simple 4″x4″ blocks to our corner stone for our border. Take a moment to think thru the steps you just did for setting the dog bone applique’ blocks to set this simple block we created earlier in this lesson. But below are the steps, for those that may not yet realize how simple they are:

Click on SET BLOCK and scroll to find the simple block we created earlier in this lesson. Click on this block and click in the four cornerstones of our border to set it. Now, let’s have fun setting fabrics and/or colors, as desired.

Click FABRIC TOOLS > select fabrics of your choice and use your mouse to select areas of your border blocks to color as desired. Easy Peasy with the PAINTBRUSH TOOL.

Click save to SKETCHBOOK.

Click save your PROJECT FILE.

You have now completed the design of another quilt in this quilt panel series. Based on feedback I’ve received to-date, I will be releasing a few more tutorials in this series. Stay tuned for more “playtime” opportunities with your EQ software.

As always I appreciate your feedback on this tutorial. Please leave a message on this post or email me. If you have a question, or problem I will try to help you as well as update this tutorial to make it easier to follow, based on your feedback and I will try to email you back in a timely manner to help you, as appropriate.

Also, if there is a particular quilt panel which you’d like to see a tutorial to create a particular design, I’d like to hear from you. There are so many lovely fabric quilt panels that are always available to create with. Before I close this series, I’m hoping to gain approval from Ilona (quilter who inspired me to write this EQ tutorial series) to showcase many of her quilts which she designed from fabric panels. They are all so beautiful and inspirational. Possibilities are endless with fabric quilt panels and EQ software.

Here are a few quilt panels that have caught my attention, but I’d really like to know what has caught your attention:

Don’t forget even if you only have 15 minutes a day, you’ll be amazed how much you can learn “playing” in your EQ software. You can start, stop, start, repeat EQ tutorials until you have embedded the lesson in your muscle memory and can easily apply it to your own EQ designs.

Links to previous tutorials in the Designing With Quilt Panel series are:

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

2 thoughts on “Designing With Quilt Panels, a free EQ8 Tutorial Series – Part 5 – Dog House Quilts

  1. Thanks for the tutorial. I really appreciate all the time and energy it took to put this together! So much to learn in this program and this is a great time to learn it.


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