Once you create a block and quilt layout, the next step is to quilt the layout.  Sometimes you have no idea what would look good for a quilting stitch.  EQ8 can help us decide how to quilt a design by matching a block layout pattern with a quilt stencil.

EQ has loads of stencils built into the library but they may not match exactly what you have designed for a quilt block.  You can use your block drawing as a start for creating the stencil.

Open your EQ8 by double-clicking onto the logo on the desktop. 

When the program opens name a new project file “PRACTICE STENCILS”.

Click on the block worktable icon and select NEW BLOCK>Pieced>EasyDraw for the block worktable.

On the properties bar for the block worktable, use the default size of 6 x 6 inches and snaps at 12 x 12.

Click on the grid tool to select it.  The default for the grid tool is 3 x 3.  Using this setting,  move the cursor over to the drawing board and click/hold/drag/release a grid from the upper left corner of the block to the lower right corner of the block.  This will make a 9 patch block design.

Click on the color tab at the top of the screen.  Under the fabric tools on the ribbon at the top of the screen, select the paintbrush icon.  Click on a color for your block, and move the cursor over to the block worktable and click once in a square to color it.  Choose different colors for each square of the 9 patch block.

Add the colored block to the sketchbook.

Create a NEW BLOCK>Pieced>EasyDraw.  Use the same grid tool to create the same setup as the block previously.

Click on the line drawing tool to select it and then click/hold/drag/release the line tool to create ‘stitch’ lines within the block.  Create several different blocks using this method and add each one to the sketchbook as you create it.

Add each drawing to the sketchbook as you create them.

Click on the view sketchbook icon and open the sketchbook to the block heading.  You will see each of the line drawing images at the end of the blocks.

Right-click on each of the drawings one at a time and then select ‘copy to tab>stencils tab’.  This will place a copy of the block drawing on the stencils tab in the sketchbook without removing the block outline drawing from the blocks tab.

Click on the stencils tab in the sketchbook to confirm you have each of the line drawings in the stencils section.  Close the sketchbook once you confirm the stencils are there.

Click on the quilt worktable icon on the upper right side of the screen.  Click on NEW Quilt>Horizontal for the layout.

Click on the Layout tab and change the block size to 6 x 6 inches.

Click on the borders tab and then click on ‘delete’ to remove the default border strip.

Click on the Design tab and select Block Tools>Set Block.  Under the blocks heading, click on the colored 9 patch block you created and then move the cursor over to the worktable, and while holding down the control key on the keyboard, click once to set all the blocks into the quilt layout.

Add the layout to the sketchbook 

Stencils need to be added to the quilt worktable on layer 3 of the quilt.  Click on the Layer 3 tab at the bottom of the quilt layout design.

Click on the stencils tab in the middle of the sketchbook blocks tools.  Click onto each one of the blocks to select it and then drag it onto the worktable.  Just place them randomly, to begin with.

Click on the adjust tool icon to select it.  Move the cursor over to the worktable and click/hold/drag/release each stencil block to a new position that perfectly covers a 9 patch block.

To better see the designs with the background block, click on the little eyeball on the layer one tab at the bottom of the screen.  This will soften the colors of the blocks so you can see your stencil outline with the block in the background.

Preview the stencil designs to determine if they will work as quilt designs for your layout.  This linear design would work well for doing quilting with ruler work.  You may decide that you want to create an entirely different design now that you can see it against your background blocks.

Click on the print & export tab at the top of the screen.  Click onto a stencil block to select it.  In the print block dialogue box, change the style to outline drawing and then click on the preview at the bottom of the box.

On the print screen, you would print your pattern from this screen.

Remember to turn your layer one back on by clicking on the eyeball on the layer 1 tab.

Test different design patterns on your quilt layout to see what looks best to you.  You can always use a built-in stencil in the EQ8 program, but if you want to customize the stencil design you can use your block tools to create something unique to you.