Welcome to Block 2 of our Jump Start Sew Along. In this lesson we’re going to concentrate on fabric—how to use the fabrics built into the Fabric Library and how to add new fabrics.
Let’s get started!
(Want an easy-to-print version of this lesson? Click here to download the Block 2 Lesson PDF file.)
- Open EQ7.
- Click the Open an existing project tab in the Project Helper window and open your sew along project file, which we named “Jump Start Sew Along” in the first lesson. Most likely, your project will be listed under Most recently used projects (unless you’ve designed lots of projects since our last lesson!). Click on the project file name to select it, then click OK. The Sketchbook will appear.
- Remember that the Sketchbook holds all the “ingredients” for our quilt designs. Click the Blocks section on the left. You’ll see the four blocks that we copied from the Block Library in the first lesson.
- Now click the Quilts section on the left. The quilt we created in Lesson 1 will be selected (because it’s the only quilt layout we’ve saved so far). Click the Edit button. The quilt is now on the Quilt Worktable.
- Click the Set Block tool on the right toolbar.
- Click the Eccentric Star block in the Blocks Palette, then click the lower-left block space on the quilt to pop the block into place.
- Now let’s talk fabric. Click the Paintbrush tool on the right toolbar. The Fabric Palette appears with the default group of fabrics that EQ7 always starts with. Use the scrollbar under the swatches to see all the fabrics. You also have the option to use solid colors by clicking the Colors tab in the palette. It’s a great group of fabrics to start with, but let’s see how to add more fabrics to our project.
- On the top menu bar, click LIBRARIES > Fabric Library. EQ7’s Fabric Library has over 5,000 fabrics ready to use. They are broken into three sections: By Category, By Color, and By Manufacturer.
- Click around and see what’s there. When you see a fabric you like, click on it (look for the blue outline to know it’s selected) and then click Add to Sketchbook. The fabric will disappear to let you know it’s been added (don’t worry, next time you visit the Fabric Library the swatch will be back!).
How to Add More Fabrics
EQ7 comes with a great selection of fabric built-in, but new fabrics are always being released so you want to be able to add new fabrics to your projects. Here are your options for adding more fabrics to your EQ7.
Scanning your own fabric
So you have fabric in your stash that you’d like to use in your quilt design. If you have a scanner, you can scan the fabrics and import them through the Fabric Library.
The key to good fabric scanning is prepping the fabric. Press it to get rid of wrinkles and make sure there’s no lint or stray threads on the fabric. When I scan fabric I like to flatten it down on the scanner using a book.
Every scanner has slightly different settings to choose from. Here are my basic guidelines to follow:
Resolution: 72-75 dpi
Size: 500 x 500 pixels – This size is usually sufficient to give you an accurate depiction of the fabric. You can go larger, but if you import a lot of large fabric scans, EQ7 may get a bit sluggish.
Descreen (or Magazine) – You may not have this option, but if you do, use it. It keeps the weave of the fabric from creating a moiré effect on screen (think about that crazy pattern that can happen when you see someone wearing a striped shirt on tv).
Save as a JPG file.
I make a folder to store all my fabric scans here:
Documents > My EQ7 > My Fabric Scans
After you’ve saved your scans, here’s how to import them into EQ7:
- In the Fabric Library, click the Import button and choose From Image Files.
- Navigate to the folder where you’ve saved the scans. Select the image file(s) you’d like to import (if you’d like to select multiple files, hold down the CTRL key or the Command key on your keyboard as you click on each file) and click Open.
- Make sure you use the Add to Sketchbook button to add these fabrics to your project.
Saving Fabric Images from the Web
You can also save fabric images from websites and import them into EQ7.
Warning: When you save images from websites, the images may not display at the proper scale. Sometimes websites reduce their fabric images so that you can see more of the design repeat. This means that when you import the images into EQ7, you will not have an accurate preview of the fabric in your quilt. For example, polka dots that look like they’re about 1/4” on the screen, may be much larger on the actual fabric.
Depending on your internet browser and the website you’re visiting, you can usually right-click on an image and choose Save Image As. Then you can navigate to the folder where you’d like to save the image and click the Save button.
Some fabric companies make it super easy to import their fabrics into EQ7. Check out this blog post about Connecting Threads—they’ve already created EQ7 library files for you!
After you’ve saved the images, you can follow the same importing steps listed under scanning.
FREE Fabric Downloads from Do You EQ
Every month we offer a free fabric download to add new fabrics to your EQ7. Follow the instructions provided to link the fabrics to your Fabric Library.
EQ Stash Online
Instantly download the newest fabrics from the top designers by purchasing EQ Stash Online. Visit our shop to see the fabric collections available in each download. The product will automatically link to your EQ7 Fabric Library.
- Click Close when you are done adding fabrics to the Sketchbook.
- Back on the Quilt Worktable, the Paintbrush tool is still selected, so the Fabric Palette is still on your screen. Drag the scrollbar under the swatches all the way to the end. Your new fabrics will always be added to the end of the palette.
- Click on a swatch in the palette (look for the blue outline around the swatch, to know it’s selected) and then click on a patch in the quilt. Play around with coloring the blocks for a while. If you don’t like the way something looks, choose a different fabric and click on a patch again to re-color.
- Click the Spraycan tool on the right toolbar. This is another coloring tool that allows you to change the fabric in all matching patches in a block at the same time. Give it a try.
- When you’re happy with your fabric choices, click Add to Sketchbook to save the in-progress quilt.
- On the right toolbar, click the Select tool .
- Click on the Eccentric Star block in the quilt to select it (it will have a green outline).
My personal preference for this block would be to use the rotary cutting chart, but since I showed you the rotary cutting chart in this first lesson, I’m going to take you through printing the templates for this block. Again, if you’d prefer to piece the block a different way (using the Rotary Cutting Chart or the Foundation Pattern), feel free to use those print styles instead.
- Click the Print button on the top menu bar, and choose Templates from the drop-down menu.
- The block size that we set on the Layout tab in the first lesson (9 inches) will automatically be selected in the Print dialog. If you’d like to make the block a different size, click the circle next to Custom block size and type the new size in the Width and Height boxes above. IMPORTANT: Remember that in EQ7 you are working in finished sizes (the final size of your block after all the seams have been sewn). EQ7 adds the seam allowance for you when you print the patterns.
- Click the Preview button. A preview of the templates printout will appear on screen.
- This block only has two templates, so everything fits on one sheet of paper nicely. If your pattern contains lots of patches, you may want to re-position the templates on the page(s). Let’s try that out. Click the Move button at the top and then drag the templates around on the page.
(Note: You also have the option to delete unwanted templates in the Print Preview. This is especially helpful for applique blocks. To delete templates, click the the Delete button at the top. Then click on the template to select it (it will have a red outline). Hit the Delete key on your keyboard and the selected template will disappear.)
- Click the Print button at the top of the screen to print the templates, or click Close if you do not want to print at this time (then click Close again to return to the Quilt Worktable).
- Click the Save button and then close EQ7.
You’ve made it through Lesson Two! We’ll meet back here on Friday, May 30th to share our blocks.
Want to see this lesson in action? Watch the video below!