I need a Zen moment.  Life is going so fast!  Back to school, Halloween, Remembrance Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas planning all get jumbled together and come so fast!  I turn to my EQ to play a little and give my busy mind a rest.  How about you?  Do you use your EQ to unwind?  Zen to me means repeating patterns that intersect to create new patterns that I can choose to print, stitch, or deconstruct into pieces to meld together with other pieces.  I do love my stitches, so I tend to create in EQ and see how I can add stitches to my quilting to create that Zen feel.

Open your EQ8 program then create a new project and name it ‘ZEN WITH EQ8′.


In the upper right corner of the screen, click on the block worktable icon to begin your design process.  The default setting in EQ is to create a block as a 6-inch size.  You can always change the size but this this a good starting size.

On the ribbon at the top of the worktable, select NEW BLOCK>Applique>Motif.

On the left side of the screen select the Applique Motif>Shapes>StencilMaker.

This stencil maker menu box will open.  There are all kinds of properties you can choose from to create unique-looking stencil shapes.  This is where I get lost in all the different variations of the line image I can create.  I can spend hours just playing in this one section of the program.

Click on the  ‘add end loops to petals’ to create a new look.

By moving the slider bars on the left side of the StencilMaker box, you can customize your look for your stencil design.

Under the number of petals, you can type in the number you want or you can move the slider bar to select the number you want.

To adjust the length of the petals you can type in the adjustment percentage or just move the slider bar.  You can also use this same process to change the width of the petal and the roundness of the petals.

Once you have all the adjustments made that you want, be sure to click the OK in the bottom of the box.

The completed stencil design will appear on the block worktable under the Draw tab.  Center the design in the block by clicking on the ‘center in block’ icon in the patch properties box.  Add the design to the sketchbook.

 Add to sketchbook 

Click on the color tab at the top of the screen.  Click on the ‘thread tools’ icon on the ribbon at the top of the screen.

In the thread tools properties box at the left side of the screen, select a dark color, select the solid line style, and select the heaviest weight option.  Move the cursor over to the worktable and click on the drawing line to change the look of the stencil design.

 Add to sketchbook 

Click on the print & export tab at the top of the screen and select the block icon to print.  In the print block box, select the ‘use size from worktable’ and select the print style to be an ‘outline drawing’.  Click on the word ‘preview’ at the bottom of the box.


The stencil can be printed from this page.

You can use the stencil design any way you wish.  You can simply lay the paper onto your quilt and stitch through it following the lines.  You can save the image as a ‘jpeg’ image and use it to import it into any other programs you may have.  I often use my EQ shapes in my machine embroidery program.  You can use it as a coloring page.  You can also use the stencil design within EQ to lay against a quilt layout to see how the design will look on your completed quilt project.