There’s a quick and easy way to create your own nested block designs in EQ7. Once you learn to create these fun designs, you won’t be able to stop!
The best candidates for nested blocks are those with large plain squares in the center, like these:
We’ll be using the Serendipity feature called Merge Blocks to create these designs. You must have blocks saved in your Sketchbook in order to use the Serendipity tools.
Follow the steps below to create your first nested block!
- Open EQ7 and create a new project called Nested Blocks.
- Click LIBRARIES > Block Library.
- Scroll down and click the Variable Stars style on the left (under 01 Classic Pieced).
- Click on the second block to select it.
- Click the Add to Sketchbook button. Then click the Close button.
- Click the Work on Block button .
- Click BLOCK >Serendipity > Merge Blocks. Because the Variable Star block is the only block in the Sketchbook, you’ll only see that block on both the left and right sides on the Merge Blocks window.
- Click on the Variable Star in the Select a background block column on the left. You’ll then see the a smaller Variable Star “nested” in the large center square of the Variable Star background block.
- Click Add to Sketchbook.
- After adding to the sketchbook, you’ll see a second block appear on the right. That’s the new nested design we created! Click on the new design to merge it with the background block again.
- Now we have a three-block nest showing in the center. Click Add to Sketchbook.
- You can keep repeating this process (select new block on right, Add to Sketchbook) as many times as you’d like to create the number of “nests” you’d like to use.
- When you’re done merging blocks, click the Close button. Your new blocks will be in the Sketchbook, ready for you to use in your quilt designs!
Just because we’ve used the same block for merging in the steps above doesn’t mean you can’t mix it up! Try combining all different kinds of blocks.
Don’t forget that you can edit an existing block design to make it more suitable for nesting.
I thought Lady of the Lake (01 Classic Pieced > Five Patch) would make an interesting background block.
But I had to get rid of that center diagonal seam. So I edited the block to the Block Worktable, selected the diagonal line with the Pick tool and hit the Delete key on the keyboard. Now I have space to merge!
Hint: Check out the 02 Contemporary Pieced > Frames section of the library. These blocks were designed for framing printed fabric photos, but they’re perfect for nesting blocks too!
When choosing blocks for merging/nesting, keep the following guidelines in mind.
The background block must fit the following criteria:
- Blocks must be created on the EasyDraw drawing board, or blocks from the Library that have been drawn using EasyDraw.
- The block must have at least ONE parallelogram that’s larger than other patches.
- The size of the parallelogram must take up a certain amount of space in the block.
Any block in your Sketchbook can be merged with that background block.
Have you used any of the Serendipity tools before? I’d love to hear what you’re designing!