I was at an EQ8 class not too long ago and we were all making quilt layouts. I was laughed at because my layout was so intricate that one observer said “You would never make that!”. It had so many details to the piecing pattern in multiple sizes that it would indeed have been a challenge. I often play with my EQ8 program to see what I can create. But, I may not necessarily have the time to make it in fabrics. No problem! EQ8 lets me still be creative and use the most intricate of patterns I can think up.
I find designs very interesting if they are one block only made in multiple sizes and all sewn together. This can be accomplished easily using the custom set quilt layout options in the EQ8 program.
Click on the layout tab at the top of the screen. Set the size for the quilt to a 48 x 48 inch layout.
The grid layout will snap your blocks into place to align with the 2 inch grid markings. This is a visual guide to your block placement.
Click on the set block icon at the left and then click on the three little dots in the block box to get a fly-out menu. Click on ‘Add a Plain Block’.
Adding a plain block will allow you to set up a layout that works with the grid. I know I have a 48 inch quilt layout so I will make my plain blocks a size that is divisible into 48 inches. Therefor, my blocks will be designed as a 4 inch, 8 inch and 12 inch block sizes that will completely fill my layout area on the quilt. They will snap into place because of the 2 inch grid pattern I preset for the layout.
Click/hold/ and drag the plain block to anywhere on the layout area.
Repeat this process so you have 3 plain blocks on the worktable.
Click on each block and change their size with the adjust tool to 4 x 4 inches, 8 x 8 inches, and 12 x 12 inches. All of these sizes are divisible by 2 (grid snaps) and will fit equally into a 48 inch quilt layout.
Click onto each of the blocks and then copy/paste to make multiple blocks of each of the sizes enough to fill the quilt. Use the adjust tool to click/hold/drag/release the blocks to different areas. Be sure to add the quilt layout to the sketchbook when done.
Now that you have your layout complete, you can add any block to the layout area and it will fill the preset sizes you created. Select a block you have saved into your sketchbook and then while holding down the control key (CTRL) on your keyboard, click onto any block in the layout and all the blocks will fill at once.
There is no way I will make all these small pieced blocks and stitch this quilt! But, If I love the design, I can still work with it by saving the quilt as an image and printing the image several times and then piece those printed images on fabric to create a design that I would stitch together.
Click on File>Export Image and save it anywhere on your computer.
In the pop up menu, select the size you want to save it as. I know I will use my printer that accepts 8.5 x 11 inch paper and fabric sheets so I choose to save the image as an 8 x 8 inch image. From here I can just send it to the printer.
There are several ways you can create the image of the quilt to print onto fabric. I created a similar quilt layout in another color way and printed the quilt layout image 4 times at an 8 inch block. I then stitched the 4 blocks together to create a 16 inch block. This was then used to make a pillow with the quilt layout I loved but I knew I would never actually piece together.
Here is the pillow I made by printing my quilt layout onto printer fabric and sewing it together. Makes a very intricate pieced design simple to ‘sew’.