As a quilter and machine embroidery individual, I learned very quickly that I could do so much more with my computerized machines if I knew how to use the computer and all the different programs that support our quilt designing and machine embroidery designing. I had already retired from my career as a dental hygienist of 40 years to now become even busier with my career of teaching sewing and all the related topics.

Recent Posts by Yvonne

EQ8 Lessons With Yvonne–Designing with Dresden Plates

Posted 03-18-2018 by | Posted in: EQ8 Lessons with Yvonne   Favorite Posts  

Dresden plate applique is a very old technique.  It lends itself perfectly to today’s machines with all their decorative stitches.  There are many blocks all ready in the library with the dresden fan blades that you can use for your particular design.

Open your EQ8 program.

On the opening screen, click on ‘search for block patterns’.

In the BLOCK LIBRARIES box you will see under the 01 Classic Pieced section that there are 5 different sections for Dresden variations.  Click on the Dresden Four Fans section.  Click on the first image in the upper left corner.  Click on ‘Add to Sketchbook’ icon and then click on the word ‘close’ at the bottom of the library box.

Since the original design is now in the sketchbook, we can edit it any way we want and add edited copies to the sketchbook without over writing the original block design.

Click on the ‘view sketchbook’ icon on the toolbar at the left to open the sketchbook.  Locate the Dresden block we added from the library and click on it to select it.  Click on the word ‘EDIT’ at the bottom of the box to open it onto the worktable.

Now that the design is on the worktable, I want to make a few changes.

On the properties bar at the top of the worktable, I can see the default for this block was to open as a six inch block size.  This would make the blades of the fan very small and difficult to deal with.  I want to change the size of the block to be 12 x 12 inches.

Type in the new block size on the properties bar to make the block 12 inches.  You can confirm the block size by looking at the vertical and horizontal rulers to see that it is indeed 12 inches.

Click on ‘add to sketchbook’ to add the newly sized block to the project sketchbook.  Since we have yet to name this project a reminder box will pop up and ask us to create a project name.  Click ‘OK’ in the bottom of the box.

The default folder for the EQ8 program will open and you can name the project and then click on ‘save’ to have it in a .PJ8 folder for future reference.

This block is unique in that it all ready has the Dresden fans created in the corners for you.  Click on the color tab at the top of the screen and then click on the spray can icon.  By using the spray can, any similar colored objects in the block will all color at one time.  Scroll through the fabric palette and click on any color of your choice.  Move the cursor to the block worktable and click once on the block to fill the color.  Add the colored design to the sketchbook.

You can determine how you want to work with this block at the machine.  Click on the ‘Print and Export’ tab at the top of the page to see all the different ways you can print your block pattern.

Click on the Block icon to see how the program would lay out a print of this 12 inch block.  Click on ‘preview’ in the bottom of the box to see how it would print on a printer that only takes 8.5 x 11 inch paper.

I could easily choose this option to create a design with sewing stitches only.  It would not be an applique.  I would print the design onto pieces of tear away stabilizer and tape them together to create the 12 inch block layout.  From here, I could lay the stabilizer underneath a white fabric  (you can see the pattern through the fabric) and stitch on the lines of the pattern.  The excess stabilizer could be peeled away after stitching.  This would highlight the different stitches I chose on my machine to accent each of the fan blades.  This could be a block to use in a whole cloth quilt if so desired.

Since I colored my block, I really do want to use the block with applique fan blades in the corners.  Click on the ‘print templates’ icon.  Click on the preview option to see how templates for this size block would be created.

The program prints templates for all of the pieces.  I really only need one fan blade as they are all the same shape, and I don’t need the center as it is just a 12 inch block. Click on each segment to highlight it and then click on ‘Delete’ at the top of the page.

Using the single fan blade template, I can cut as many shapes as I need to sew together and then applique onto the corners of the over sized 12 inch block.

There are so many ways to interpret a pattern from EQ8.  Get creative and make the patterns unique to you.  I made a Dresden Plate design for a table runner some time ago using a single Dresden fan blade and created my own unique pattern layout.

By using EQ8 for your inspiration and your pattern templates, you can really express yourself!!

EQStitch Sunday Stitch December 2017

Posted 12-17-2017 by | Posted in: EQStitch   Favorite Posts   Sunday Stitch  

Are you using your EQStitch to design Christmas gifts?  Adding that special touch to a design with a monogram, custom design, or unique message makes the gifts we give mean more.  It shows we thought about the receiver of the gift while designing and stitching their gift. Using the features of EQStitch, you can double check your digitizing work before you go  to the machine.  This is especially important when time is limited.  Catch your errors and correct them before spending precious time stitching away only to find you are less than happy with the results.  You can rely on EQStitch to help you immensely in the digitizing process. Open your EQStitch program. Click on the stitch worktable icon and then select embroidery as the new design type from the drop down menu. Click on the oval tool from the toolbar and select the heart shape. Move the cursor over

EQStitch Sunday Stitch November 2017

Posted 11-19-2017 by | Posted in: EQStitch   Favorite Posts   Sunday Stitch  

Those pesky jump stitches!  Not all embroidery machines automatically trim jump stitches.  The newer models of machines can be set to trim jumps over a certain length.  But, older model embroidery machines do not always trim jump stitches for you.  All machines will cut and tie off the threads when going from one color to another.  Did you know that EQStitch can help you to trim those stitches even for an older model machine? Consider text designs.  You most often stitch all the text with one color thread.  That means a jump stitch from letter to letter.  Often the jump stitches can be small and hard to get hold of to trim later.  Digitizing effectively can help with that. Open your EQStitch program. Click on the stitch work table icon. Click on STITCHING>New Design>embroidery. On the embroidery work table tool bar, click and hold the little black button at the


Posted 10-15-2017 by | Posted in: EQStitch   Favorite Posts   Sunday Stitch  

Sometimes the simplest designs have the highest impact on a quilt.  Consider the modern quilt movement.  Very little print on the fabric and very few design elements on the quilt allow the quilter to showcase the stitches themselves.  Why not make a simple applique a focal point on a rather plain quilt and highlight that applique with some embroidery stitches.  Applying the applique to a whole cloth background as an embroidery element can bring the quilt to life. Click on your EQStitch icon on the desktop to launch the program. Click on the stitch worktable icon. Click on STITCHING>New Design>Machine Applique. Click on the drawing board options icon on the project bar at the top of the screen. In the options box, click on the machine applique setting and select and ‘E’ stitch with the following properties.  Be sure to click on the ‘OK’ in the bottom of the box


Posted 09-17-2017 by | Posted in: EQStitch   Favorite Posts   Sunday Stitch  

Coloring and sketching/doodling is now seen as being a relaxing meditative hobby that aids in overall health.  Who knew??  I wanted to see if I could actually ‘sketch’ an embroidered design.  This can be a little tricky as stitches are precise with a defined type, width, length and texture.  I was able to draw something that I felt was similar to a ‘sketch’ with stitches using my EQStitch. Open the EQStitch program. Click on the stitch worktable icon to open the stitch features. Click on the tracing image tab at the bottom of the screen. Bring in an image onto the image tab and size it to the size of the hoop you will be using.   You could also use a motif image from the block library if you wanted to.  The image is up to you. Add the image to the sketchbook so it is available for tracing


Posted 08-20-2017 by | Posted in: EQStitch   Favorite Posts   Sunday Stitch  

When joining two shapes in EQStitch you will always have a start and stop point (tie off) of each of the shapes. To make them join seamlessly you need to draw them in one motion so they connect without a tie off. Using any shape tool, create a closed shape on the drawing board area. Now use the line tool and create lines around the object that appear to be connected. Click on the stitch tab at the bottom of the screen and fill the center shape with the set fill stitches tool. Color each of the lines with the set thread tool. You will see that when you click on a line to apply the color it does not color all the lines at once. This is because the lines are not really connected to the object shape in the center. Each of the elements of the drawing will

EQStitch Sunday Stitch July 2017

Posted 07-16-2017 by | Posted in: EQStitch   Favorite Posts   Sunday Stitch  

There are so many components to digitizing.  One of the obvious issues with some designs is the density.  Some stitch outs are so dense they are bullet proof and some are so loose in density you see spaces between your fill stitches.  The EQStitch program has a pre-set for the density and underlay stitches to be applied to any shape you create.  You can alter this in the properties bar on the stitch tab. Consider the design where there is one object layered on top of another.  A face would have this issue.  The face background is made first then the eyes, lips, nose, etc. are added details on top of the face background.  This creates several layers of stitches when using the program default settings.  Consider the artwork below.  The face has elements on top of the background.  The eyes have a pupil on top of the eye shape