Designing a block on EQ8

For the celebrations blog hop I chose to do the gift block and to use EQ8 to design it.

EQ8 is software specially aimed at quilters. You can design quilts from scratch or open and work with a pre-designed project.

You can design your own blocks from scratch, but it also has a library of quilt blocks.

You can also import fabric swatches or use the fabric library which has a large variety of fabrics you could use in your project.

This is a very brief overview of what you can do with the software and I will show you how I used it to create my gift block. (Again briefly)

The first thing I did was to search in the library for suitable blocks in the Foundation paper pieced blocks.

I found several blocks that were suitable and downloaded them to saved them to a file. I chose this one and opened it in a worktable so that I could edit it.

this is how the block looked when I downloaded it but I didn’t like the colours, the software allowed me to change the colours, I also changed the dimensions of the block and added borders.


This only took a few minutes to turn it into the block I decided to work on.

Cutting instructions

One of the features of EQ8 I find particularly useful is that it provides you with detailed cutting diagrams, for Foundation Paper piecing, rotary cutting and templates.

I chose to use foundation paper piecing these can be printed from EQ8 once you have edited them to your satisfaction. This shows the block before it has been edited.

This shows the edited version, and you can see that the foundation pieces are numbered, and I have removed the bottom border.

I will include the printouts for rotary cutting, templates and FPP in the pattern.

A big advantage of using the software to design your projects is that it cuts out the need for complex calculations as it works most of the measurements for you. It also makes it quite easy to resize both block and quilt sizes.

EQ8 is design software and as such it does not include instructions for making up blocks and quilts. So, this can be a drawback if you are not confident in the techniques required for making the blocks or quilts you have designed.

I have found with experience you learn to design your quilts and blocks so that you can adapt your design so that you do have the skills to make it. It also helps you to develop your design skills and understand more about block and quilt construction and can be used as a basis for pattern writing.

I have never actually written a pattern before because I have only used it for my own projects to write the pattern for this block will be a first for me.

There is a lot more to EQ8 than I have discussed above, the manual runs to 250 pages. (I have never read it as it would put me to sleep but I dip in and out as I need to.) It does take time and patience and some computer skills to use it to its full potential.

The block I designed was drawn using the easy draw function. This is like drawing with a pencil and as long as the lines intersect or connect to the edge of the block you can colour in the segments you have created.

This screen shot shows the drawing for my block. I did not have to draw this myself as this was a block from the block library therefore EQ8 does the drawing for you, but you can also edit it if you wish to.

Again, drawing your own blocks from scratch will take time and patience as you will have to set the size of the block and the other important drawing features yourself.

There is also a tool within easy draw that allows you to draw curves but for more complex curved blocks there is another function called poly draw.

In my next blog I will show you how I used it to create my Solar Flare quilt.