Meanders down the quilting path

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Using a Photo to Design a Quilt in EQ8
Using a photo as a quilt block

My sister has been working on these beautiful cross stitch blocks and wanted help designing a quilt layout for them.  The design software from Electric Quilt (EQ8) is perfect for playing with various layouts and trying different border and sashing colors.  

How to Import Images into EQ8:

(Some knowledge of EQ8 is assumed.)

Open EQ8. 

On the Home page, click on the “Image Worktable” tab.

Post #2 Photo 1

Click on the “Import Image” button in the “Edit Image” window.

Browse to find the image you have saved.  Click on the image to load into EQ8.

Import Photo to EQ8

You can modify your image here if it needs it.  I had already cropped this image to the size I wanted.  You can choose to add it as fabric or simply save to the sketchbook.  I prefer the latter.

Setting Up the Quilt Layout in EQ8:

Once you have saved the image in one way or the other,  go to the Quilt Worktable.

The quilt table will open on the “New Quilt” tab.


Select the type of layout you want from the options along the top.  We started with the On-Point as our first option.


Click on the “Layout” tab on the top bar.


There are several settings to adjust on this page:

Select a style – which is either one of these options. 

Note below the difference in the corners.


We chose the first option.


The second setting selects the number of blocks.  We wanted 3 full blocks horizontal, and 4 blocks vertical.


The third setting selects the size of each block.  Her blocks are quite large at 16.75”.

And the fourth setting allows you to choose if you want sashing, and if so, how wide.  We chose a 2” sashing for this layout.


Click on the “Borders” tab.

I always like to make the first border look like the binding, so it is set at 0.25”.  

Click on “Insert” to add the second border if wanted.

We wanted a 5” border the same size all around and using a “Long Horizontal” setting.

To set the width of the border choose to lock the size adjustments if you want all to be the same, leave unchecked if some will be different.  Drag one of the sliders to the size you want.

Designing the Quilt in EQ8:

Click on the "Design" tab.  It will open in the "Block Tools" window.


EQ8 comes pre-loaded with some basic blocks.  In this case, (and most of the time) I don’t want any of these blocks.  Click on the three dots in the upper right of the block window to get the dropdown window.  Select “Clear all unused blocks”. 


Click on the Photo Tools tab.  It will now allow you to set the photo just like you would a block.


Put the cursor over an empty space and click to fill with the photo.


Pressing Ctrl while dropping fills half of them.  


Move to another empty block and repeat to fill all.


Go to the Fabric Tools tab and choose colors to fill the border, sashing, corner stones, and binding. 

  You may need to use the zoom feature to see the binding well enough to fill. 

  You will need to use the Ctrl twice to fill all the sashing and corner stones.


There!  You have designed a quilt using a photo.


We played with it a bit more and tried a straight set which she liked better.


Print and Export from EQ8:

And don’t forget that you can print and export from EQ8 as well.  We were able to print off the fabric yardage needed and a photo of the design so when she goes to the quilt shop for fabric, she will be well prepared.


I had a fun hour or so, playing in EQ8, showing my sister some of its features, and designing a quilt she will treasure for a lifetime!

Have fun designing quilts using your photos!  And leave me a comment below and share to your favorite social media.

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