Quilters and puzzle enthusiasts have a lot in common—they both like to fit little pieces together! Why not combine both interests and make a puzzle from your favorite EQ quilt design? Puzzles are great for gift-giving (or just something fun to make for yourself!). Export an image of your finished quilt design in EQ8 and turn it into a puzzle using your favorite photo service.

I used one of our free project downloads for this puzzle. Click here to download the Outstanding Orchard project for EQ8.

First, check out the puzzle options available at your favorite photo site. There are lots of different photo services available online, and many of them offer a product for turning a photo into a puzzle.

I choose the 10” x 14” 252-piece puzzle available on the Snapfish site. Most of the photo puzzles I found were in a rectangular format. Since the original quilt design was closer to square proportions, I had to add some more scrappy blue squares to make the quilt more rectangular. For this quilt, it was easiest to get the needed squares by adding two Blocks style borders to the layout.

Note: It may take a few tries to find the right proportions for your quilt to fit on the puzzle the way you’d like. The first time, I only added one Blocks border to the quilt before exporting. When I previewed the quilt in the puzzle maker preview, I decided I wanted more space around the apples. So I went back to EQ8 and added an additional border and exported again. Keep in mind that the outside edges of your quilt will most likely get cropped in the puzzle. It’s a good idea to provide some extra space for cropping by adding a border to your design.

After you’ve made any necessary adjustments to your quilt design, click the Print & Export tab at the top of the screen. Choose Export in the ribbon, then click Image in the palette.

In the Export Image window, type a name for the file and choose the file type. Check the file requirements for the photo service you plan to use. For example, Snapfish will accept JPG and PNG files, but will not allow you to upload TIFF, GIF, or BMP files. Make sure you know where you’re saving the file on your computer so you can navigate to that location later.

Click the Save button and then you’ll see a window where you can choose more options for the image.

It may take some experimenting to see which settings work best for your quilt and the photo service you are using. Here are some notes about the settings I used:

  • Check the box for Keep aspect ratio, so that when you resize one dimension the other dimension will automatically resize proportionally for you.
  • My puzzle is approximately 10″ x 14″, so I set the Height to 15″. That way I’d have a little extra room to resize/reposition the photo on the puzzle.
  • Because these images are being printed, choose a higher resolution (300 dots per inch).
  • I choose to turn off the patch lines for my puzzle, so I unchecked the outline options. That’s totally up to you!
  • If you are using the JPEG file format, set the quality to 100.

Click the OK button and the file will be exported according to your settings. Now you can upload the image to your favorite photo service to create your puzzle!

The next steps will depend on the photo service you use. Using Snapfish, I choose the puzzle I wanted to use and uploaded the exported quilt image. You can drag the quilt image onto the puzzle preview and then adjust the size and placement of the image on the puzzle.

Place your order and a cute quilt puzzle will arrive at your door!

My puzzle came in a box with a clear lid. So I thought it would be fun to create a label for the box using EQ8 too. I added another Long Horizontal border to the quilt, making the Top and Bottom sides wider to accommodate the text and colored the border solid white. Then, on Layer 2, I used the Applique Text Tool to write the name of the quilt and the piece count.

I turned off the patch lines for the quilt and then clicked QUILT > Add to Sketchbook as Photo. This adds a photo of the quilt to the Sketchbook so it can be used in the Photo Layout option in the next step.

To print the picture of the quilt with applique text, I used the Photo Layout option (FILE > Print > Photo Layout). I measured the puzzle box and then input the size for the label in the Photo Layout window and printed on a full-page label sheet.

I trimmed the label to size and stuck it to the box. Now my puzzle is ready for gifting (or keeping for myself!).

Are you a puzzling pro? Have you ever made a puzzle from a photo? Let us know in the comments!