2020 was a challenging year.  Start 2021 by treating yourself.  I turn to my sewing room for inspiration and it provides me with a calming retreat area in my own home.  It starts with my favorite inspiration tool–EQ8.  Browsing the huge built-in libraries for blocks and layouts gives me just the right space to start experimenting with new design ideas I had not tried before.

I like to start my process by looking through the block library in EQ8.  I also have many add-on libraries that the EQ company has provided us with to add to the already massive library of blocks in the program.  I simply scroll through the library and look at the blocks and choose one that I have not tried before.

Open your EQ8 program    and start a new project called ‘Treat Yourself in 2021′.

I can look at the blocks by category or by construction method.  This helps to narrow my focus, but I can just start at the top and work my way through the entire block library.  As I find a block I like, I add it to the project sketchbook.

Click on LIBRARIES>Block Libraries and browse the libraries and add blocks to your sketchbook for inspiration.

I like the more complex blocks because they give me more room to experiment with colors for the numerous patches.  I also like the fact that the blocks when placed next to each other can create secondary and tertiary patterns.

I can resize my block to any size I want to make by simply changing the block dimensions on the screen.  There is no need to redraw a block just because you are changing the size.

After adding the design to the sketchbook, click on the view sketchbook icon to locate one of the blocks you saved.  Click on the block image in the sketchbooks and then click on edit to place it on the block worktable.

On the toolbar at the top of the block worktable, type in the size of the block you would like to make.  A large size single block can make a nice wall hanging with just one block.

Click on the color tab and color the block.  Add it to the sketchbook when done.

Another great feature of the program is that I can take my complex block and make that individual block into a quilt layout.  By using the block on the quilt worktable, I can automatically resize the block into a large quilt with one setting.

Click on the quilt worktable and set the layout for a horizontal quilt that is 1 x 1.

Click on the quilt worktable and set your layout to 1 x 1 and set the size to be for a large quilt, perhaps 48 x 48 inches.  Add your block to the layout area.

Adding borders to a single block on the quilt worktable will add even more interest. Set the width of the border on the borders tab at the top of the screen.

Click on the Design tab and select auto borders to try out and see how it compliments your center block.  Make the border sizes any width you like to add to the overall size of your quilt.

Add to sketchbook when done. 

I can also take a single block and use it in any of the built-in quilt layout libraries to get yet another completely different look to a quilt.  EQ has done the work for me.

Click on LIBRARIES>Layout Library and choose a unique layout and add it to your sketchbook.  Open the layout on the quilt worktable and add your block to the design layout for a completely different looking quilt using the same block from your block worktable.  This is instant gratification!

Add your block to the layout you choose to create another entirely different look.

You can easily get lost in creating unique designs while playing with your EQ8.  What a treat to watch the blocks and colors come to life!

Take some time to de-stress the events of the previous year by starting this new year playing with your EQ8 program to inspire you to a new level of creativity for 2021.