My birthday is in November.  The birthstone for that month is Topaz.  This is a yellow/orange color.  I don’t like that color at all.  But, as a challenge to myself, I will make a monochromatic block using that color.  I find it is good to challenge myself in all kinds of ways as this is when I grow the most and learn all kinds of discoveries. I once made a quilt in browns and oranges that I don’t care for either, but it is now one of my favorite quilts.  Surprise!

Open your EQ8 and name your project ‘birthstone designs’.

Click on the block worktable icon on the upper right side of the screen.

Click on NEW BLOCK>Pieced>Easy Draw.

Set the block size to be an 8 x 8-inch block with 24 snaps horizontal and vertical.

I don’t care for the colors I am using so I will create areas on the block layout that are small so no single area is a large color fabric section. The more sections there are the less I will see the topaz color.  My eye will instead focus on all the little segments.

Click on the line drawing tool to select it.  Move the cursor over to the drawing board and click/hold/drag/release the line to create segments on the worktable.  You need to draw so your lines intersect and that they somehow connect to the outer edge.  Make sure you don’t have a line free-floating in the block that does not connect to another line.

Add to sketchbook

After adding the drawing to the sketchbook you will see all the edit nodes at intersecting lines.  We need to use these nodes to create a different look.

We can change the preferences for the block to add a little ‘magic’ to the design.

At the top of the block click on the ‘snap to grid points’ icon to turn the feature off.  If it is gray it is turned off.  This will allow us to move the nodes around the block without them snapping to the background grid dots.

Click on the gear tool icon on the far left side of the screen.

In the drawing board box, click on customization under easy draw and then click on the radio dial to ‘select all the nodes at a given point’. Click OK at the bottom of the box to set the new preferences.

Click on the edit tool to select it.  Move the cursor over to an edit node and click/hold/drag/release the node to a new position.  This will skew the lines at the intersection point to change the drawing slightly.

I know you can’t rotary cut or foundation piece this design.  I am not worried.  I have decided to print the design on fabric and use the colored block that way.  Therefore, I can change as many points as I wish knowing how I will handle it in the end.

Add to sketchbook

Click on the COLOR tab at the top of the screen.

Click on the ‘colors’ heading in the fabric tools box to see the solid color choices.

I want to create a range of topaz colors to work within my design. Either click on the three little dots at the side of the box or right click>add grades.

Select a range of colors that work with your birthstone color.  Click on ‘add to sketchbook’ at the bottom of the box.

The colors will be added at the end of the color selections in your box.  Scroll to the end to see them and then click on each color and click on the design to add the colors to your drawing.

Add to sketchbook

Click on the print and export tab at the top of the screen and select the print block icon.

In the print box, select the size from the worktable and show as fabrics and then click on the preview to see the block.

On the preview screen, print the design on fabric in your printer. I use the EQ printables fabrics in my printer.  The color is permanently set into the fabric and is washable without the worry of fading the colors.

When printing a highly pieced block, it is easier to print the block and use it as one whole block rather than fiddling with cutting and sewing all the pieces.  I would especially do this when working with colors that are outside my comfort zone. If I don’t care about it I want to spend as little time as possible with it.  This works just fine for me to be able to create a small sewn sample for a hands-on class or to use in another small project that I may decide to create.

For this printout, I created a postcard with the design.  It worked well for this.

Experiment with the tools and the look of the blocks you can create.   Enjoy!