Sunday, April 10, 2016

Designing a Barn Quilt Block Using EQ7

One of the responsibilities I have at work is to help design quilt blocks for the annual quilt run we participate in (Quilt Run 101). The shops in the run added another activity in 2015 that takes place in October - Octoberfest 101.  Last year we needed a block with a barn and quilt block.  We found an inspiration for the shape of the barn and started designing!



We use EQ7 on the computer at work, so it's easy to work on a block there and e-mail the project to myself so I can work on it at home as well.  Designing the block was done in the Easydraw mode.  I used a 12 x 12 block layout with snaps set at 48 horizontal and vertical.  Since I knew I was making a symetrical block it was pretty easy to create by just drawing the different sections.  I made strips along the sides and bottom for the grass and sky.  I decided to make the small spool block 4 inches square and it seemed easiest to use that dimension for the center part of the roof.  Adding a 1 inch section to each side of that made the top section slope just right.  I had wanted a flying goose block for that, but it didn't work out with the proportions I wanted, so ended up deciding to make that part with templates in the end.  It was also easier to use templates for the two steeper roof slopes as well, but the rest of the block is made using basic rotary cut pieces.  This is what my finished design looked like after we were done tweaking it:



I really love that with EQ7 it's simple to print just the templates you like.  I was able to remove all the un-needed units and just print the three that are necessary, then added them as a second page to the pattern.  I also printed the key block, and used the numbering on that to write the instructions for my pattern to make it easier for the people making the block to see where the pieces go.  At that point it was time to actually make a sample block following the written instructions to make sure all the steps are clear and easy to follow. I had to add a seam line in the sky sections on the side so we could use the smaller pieces of sky fabric that we wanted to use in the kits.  It passed my test and I was ready to take it to the quilt shop at this point and cut kits.


I added embellishments to the doors, then quilted and added a binding.  We were really happy with how the block came out and our kits sold well during the quilt run.  Our theme for 2016 is Halloween.  Guess I'd better get my thinking cap on and get designing!

If you would like to make a barn block, I have added this pattern to my Craftsy store.  Have fun making your own version - send me a picture if you do and I will add it to a future blog post.

For more EQ7 posts check out QuiltShopGal's blog - she will have a nice list of posts to check out!  We are enjoying celebrating Electric Quilt's 25th birthday all year by writing a special post on the 10th of each month featuring how we use it to create unique quilt designs, as well as other ways you can use EQ.

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