my creative pursuits with quilts and knits

Archive for the ‘EQ design’ Category

Quilt Math

I woke up early to the sound of thunder!  One of my favorite things about living in Phoenix are the summer storms, but this is unusual.  Our monsoon rains come in July and August, but this weather is caused by the tropical storms hitting the west coast of Mexico.  The overcast skies make it a perfect day to continue working on my True Blue stars quilt!

The quilt has to have 92 stars, but planning is tricky because 92 does not fit into a rectangle or square layout.  The closest I can use is 9×10.  Yes, that is only 90 blocks, but if I put some smaller stars somewhere, I can get to the total of 92.  Here is a mock-up using 88 star blocks.  I changed the two center squares to use 4 smaller stars and I will applique some college references in the blank space.

blue plan

I have a list of 44 blocks to work with and I am using different color combinations in each block.  By 2017 I will have a lovely collection of scrappy True Blue 92 stars!  Current tally…17 done??  I need to find that safe storage spot where I hid some of the blocks…my notes say I finished the first six back in November of 2013! Lesson learned, I now have an old show box to keep all my finished blocks.

More math – instead of paper piecing some blocks, I am going to use regular piecing since the next block is quarter-square triangles and square-in-square units.  Easy enough to sew, but I never remember the measurements to start with.  SO, a quick google search led me to and they recommend adding 1-1/4″ to the finished size of a QST, then cut on both diagonals before sewing.  Bonnie Hunter at has a handy chart for square-in-a-square units.

What are you sewing today?


It’s that feeling when the stars align and pieces fall into place, an Ah-Ha moment.  So let me tell you a story about Serendipity in my life this week.

I read a lot of quilting blogs, and Sew Mama Sew featured interviews with the women who started “Quilt Design A Day.”  You can find related posts on facebook and instagram.  The basic concept is to design a new quilt pattern every day.  Participants are using design software and spend 15 – 30 minutes playing with their design each day.  Check out their posts for lots of eye candy and inspiration!

The starting point for today is this picture from Design Seeds.  You can use the color palette or the picture as a starting point.  GlobalTones_1Because of the windows in the picture, I might make a quilt design with a lot of negative space and just a few floating blocks on one side.

I have been designing quite a few quilt patterns lately and I am getting close to the publishing stage.  I bit the bullet and got EQ7, the quilt design software, since I was tired of driving to my mom’s house to use her copy!  Right after I installed the program, I got a message asking for contributions for a new quilt design.  I went right to work and had a basic design to submit within a few hours. If my design is selected, you will see it in September.  If not, I will share it sooner 🙂

Electric Quilt is a great company with lots of resources for their users and the whole quilting community.  I will be a frequent visitor to their site – Do You EQ?  They offer a monthly download of new fabrics, and this month they have a contest to design a block and be entered into a raffle for Tonga batiks.  Yummy fabric, and how hard is it to design a block?  See what I mean about serendipity?

Here is what I started with:

cabana quadrantThe fabric is Tonga Cabana.  The EQ website has detailed instructions for how to upload these fabrics into your own EQ library. Once that step is complete, you start on the Block Worktable to design your block.  I am imagining stars from the white portion at the bottom and sunrise colors from the three pieces along the top.  This is just one quadrant of my star.  EQ7 includes an option in the Block menu called “Serendipity” so of course I had to check that out, it’s the theme of the week!  There are many tools for creating additional blocks.  I used the Shrink and Flip tool which spins the block in a variety of ways.

Here are two versions using the basic quadrant, a star:

cabana starAnd a pinwheel:cabana pinwheelI love my new tools!  And a shout-out to a fellow blogger BeaQuilter, who has many tutorials about EQ7 features.  Check them out here.


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