The month of May makes me think of Spring flowers and Mother’s Day.  There are some wonderful applique designs built into EQ8 that host a variety of flower shapes in one applique block.  This one block can look so totally different depending on the fabric choices used.  You can try out different fabrics in your designs to see what gives the best overall feel for the quilt block before you even begin shopping for the fabrics or before you begin cutting the fabrics already in your stash.

Launch your EQ8 program and name the project May Flowers. Click on the OK at the bottom of the project helper box.

At the top of the screen, click on LIBRARIES>Block Library.

In the block libraries box, click on the word ‘search>by notecard’.

In the search block notecard box, type in the word ‘mother’ and then click on the ‘search at the bottom of the box.

The next box will show you how many items in EQ8 have the word ‘mother’ in them  Click the ‘OK’ to see the selections.

In the block libraries box, choose the ‘mothers day basket’ by clicking on it.  A blue selection box will appear around it.  Once it is selected, click on the ‘add to sketchbook’ at the top of the box.  Close the box when done.

Click on the view sketchbook icon on the left side of the screen.

In the project sketchbook box, click on the blocks heading at the left side and then scroll to the mothers day block we just added.  Click on the block to select it and then click on ‘edit’ at the bottom of the box to place it onto the block worktable.

This block has a pieced background and an applique of flowers onto the background.  The piecing appears on the ‘easy draw’ tab at the bottom of the screen and the applique appears when you click on the ‘applique’ tab at the bottom of the screen.

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

The design is shown with solid color elements.  This solid color looks very flat and lacks interest.

Using the paintbrush tool, scroll through the default fabrics and click on the fabric of your choice and then click on the worktable to color each of the elements.  Start with light colors for the background and deeper colors for the basket and the flowers.

Add to sketchbook 

Just by selecting various printed fabrics, the design comes to life.  It is much more visually pleasing to the eye than the flat solid-color fabric fill elements.

Once this design is saved to the sketchbook, try a new coloring that uses only two colors in multiple shades of each of those two colors.  The one below was colored with shades of greens and purples.

Add to sketchbook 

Now try coloring the design again focusing on the print in the individual fabrics.  Try to select fabrics that will add a texture to the different design elements.

Add to sketchbook 

Textured-looking fabrics may not be the best choice for the applique flowers but may work well for the basket itself.

If you want to use solid fabrics only, you can add another level of interest by designing the blocks as a monochromatic color scheme.

In the fabric tools box, click on the color tab in the center.  Now click on the three little dots to get a selection box.  Select the ‘add grades’ option.

In the pop-up box, click on the down arrow next to the small color box on the left. Scroll through the palette selections to find a colorway you like.  Click on the lightest shade to start.  Click on the down arrow in the small box at the right and select the darkest shade of the same color. The image will show you how your color grades will look.

Once you are satisfied with your monochromatic color grades, click on the ‘add to sketchbook’ in the box.

Your new color selections are added at the end of the standard built-in solid color palette.

Use the new solid colors you added to color your basket design.

Add to sketchbook 

This monochromatic design may not work for you.  Consider using tone-on-tone batiks within the same colorway to add a little more interest rather than a completely solid fabric choice.

EQ8 has so many options just using the built-in fabrics.  You can always expand this more by adding different fabric pallets to the sketchbook.  Continue experimenting with different fabrics to create an entirely new look for the design.