Monday, November 21, 2011

Guest Blocker with Flowers no less....here is Reeze from Kansas ( 2 guests today- Deonn too)

Thanks for the invite Madame Samm! You totally rock!!

This tut is a little different from the blocks that have been featured so far. I am going to show you how to DRAW a block using EQ7 rather than showing you how to construct a block. If you have never seen EQ7 before, it is a computer drawing program for designing quilts and quilt blocks. I use it all the time in my designs business.

Oops, I forgot to introduce myself (blush). I am Reeze Hanson, from IMGP2251Ottawa, Kansas, and I have a pattern business called Morning Glory Designs. I design what I call “Busy Women Quilt Patterns,” that is, patterns that *look* difficult but are really easy. Yea right, you say. I know what you mean, I was afraid of complicated piecing and applique too. But then I started teaching beginning quilt classes and realized that most quilt blocks are not difficult to make. But the patterns are difficult to figure out.

So I started writing patterns that are easy to follow and use shortcuts, fast piecing techniques and machine applique all written for beginners. Anyone can make my patterns with a little bit of motivation and patience. The Poinsettia quilt in my picture is an example of a one of my patterns.

I have another reason for designing for busy women. I am one. I am a college professor by day and a quilt designer by night. Trying to work a full time job and run a business on the side is quite a challenge, so finding a computer program that allowed me to cut my design time in half really appealed to me. EQ7 draws blocks and quilts, colors them in with real fabric, and then adjusts the size to fit your requirements, and then prints out templates, foundation patterns, rotary cutting charts and fabric yardage! WOW.

So lets get started with this block. I found a picture of an old vintage quilt that I wanted to reproduce. It was difficult to see all the blocks in the blurry photo, but I thought I could use them as a guide. I started with this picture that only shows part of a block.  I thought I would be able to fill in the rest on EQ7.
I loved this purple flower with its big leaf and smaller bud. And a special salute to Rebecca Stover, who made this old block as part of a vintage 1930’s Friendship Quilt, and lovingly embroidered her name on the block.

I imported the picture into EQ7 so I could trace it. By tracing each piece of the block I could create applique templates for the block that I could print out any size.
I arranged the partial photograph so that it is centered in the block. This way I can fit the whole flower in the space of the block. I start by drawing the leaf using the drawing tools on the toolbar at the left size of the screen. I trace the basic leaf shape in on the applique layer of the block worktable.
trace the leaf
I can zoom in after I draw the basic shape and fine tune the leaf until I have it just the way I want it. The “dots” in the picture are called NODES and the little handles that extend off of the nodes let me bend and shape the outline of the leaf.
fine_tune_the_leaf add_veins_to_the_leaf
Once I have fine tuned the shape of the leaf, I can add extra lines to create the veins. These will be added with embroidery thread after the block is completed.
Next I draw the stems using a totally “cewl new tewl” called the BRUSH STROKE tool. It allows you to draw stems or wide brush strokes with one line! Then the line can be adjusted and edited using the same nodes and handles you saw on the leaf drawing. Just like any drawing program, you can select each element and move it forward or backward in the drawing so the overlapping parts are “stacked” in the right order. In applique, extra fabric is added to tuck stems underneath the leaf, flower, or other stems.
add_flower_parts embroidery_lines_added
Next the flower parts for the small flower are traced – first the calyx that overlaps the stem, then the purple flower top. The yellow part of the flow is drawn last and is allowed to overlap the calyx and the purple petals.  I "select" it and "send it to the back" so it will be layered behind the calyx and petals.  It will be tucked under those pieces when appliqued. Lines are added to indicate the placement of embroidery.
add the purple flower line drawingg
The next part is a bit creative. Since the photo does not show the top of the main flower I have to improvise and decide how I want it to look. I play with lines around the top of the flower and realize I don’t have enough room for the flower. I draw it anyway and will reduce the size of the flower and center it later. Once I get the basic shape, I use the copy/paste tool to make a duplicate of the flower, and reduce the size just enough to form the inner flower. I add the embroidery lines and circles for the french knots and the block is done.
completed tracing green_added_to_stem_and_leaves
Once the drawing is complete, I "select" all the parts and center it in the block. I can adjust the overall size of the flower to ensure it fits nicely in the block outline and is not too close to the edges.
Then I switch to the COLOR tab and start to color the block using the fabric swatches I downloaded from the MODA website. I am using Moda Bella Solids for the actual blocks so I use the same swatches to color the blocks.
purple_added_to_flower yellow_and_gold_added
Next I add the purple to the two flowers and then the yellow and gold to complete the block. I add a vintage white to the background and I am done.

Now I am ready to print out templates. I will reverse them and print out without any seam allowance so that I can trace the templates onto fusible web. The web then goes on the back of the fabric and gets cut out. Then the shapes are ironed on a square of the background fabric. The last step is to stitch down the edges using a machine blanket stitch and matching thread.


BUT WAIT! what I really want to do is use this flower to create a wreath! And EQ7 has a special tool to do this called a WREATHMAKER.


I select the flower and click on the WreathMaker button. The window allows me adjust the number of clusters (I want 6), the spacing between the clusters, and the size of the clusters. Here are my settings:


When I click the OK button here is what I get:


Because this creates a new block the colors I had selected are missing in this new wreath block and I will need to recolor this new block. I can use the same colors as the original block or I can recolor it in lots of other combinations. I add color to each flower part by clicking in that part on the worktable.

purple_added_and_leaves_lightened zoom_in_to_add_french_knots

After adding the green stems and leaves I add the purple and yellow flower parts. Then I zoom in to color those tiny French knots. Here is the completed block drawing.

Do you see the star shape that forms in the middle of the block? I love those surprises!!


Several of my pattern testers made up this block for me using different fabrics and here is the finished blocks. One is done with fusible web and machine blanket stitch. The other is completed using needle turn applique.



Thanks to Jean and Ellen, my intrepid pattern testers for these wonderful blocks!

Just for fun, here are some differnt colorings of this block:

Once I start drawing these I just can't stop.  they are addicting!  LOL

See what I mean?  I am on block #107!!!

Here is another block from that same old vintage quilt.  It is drawn the same way:

The original photo:


The traced and colored flower block (left) and Charlene’s test block (right):  Notice that I took a bit of license with the shape of the leaf and the bud.  I wanted to make them a bit more interesting.

Yellow Primrose 1 Charlene's block

The wreath block:

Yellow Primrose 3

Ellen’s test block done with machine applique.

Jean's test block done with needle turn applique.

Both of these blocks will be featured in my 2012 FREE Block of the Month on my blog: Morning Glory Designs and my website. Stop by each month, beginning in January, to pick up the free pattern of the single flower. If you subscribe to my newsletter you will get the extra wreath patterns as a bonus.

Thanks Madame Samm for inviting me to be a guest blogger on your amazing site. I sure have had fun. Hope you did too. Bye for now.



  1. Great intro to playing with EQ. I will be looking forward to your flower blocks. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Oh, my goodness, Reeze! What beautiful blocks! And to use the vintage quilt for inspiration - what a treasure! I have EQ6, but it looks like it's time to upgrade! (Hey, Santa, Baby!) I am just getting going with the applique' design features, and this looks like it has really simplified the process! Thanks for sharing, and I'll be sure to stop by for more in January!

  3. I just got EQ 7 and am so glad you showed the Wreath maker tool. I have much to learn!

  4. I am a newbie to EQ7. I never thought about tracing in the drawing section. You have opened a whole new world.

  5. This is the first time I have really understood what an EQ7 is all about. Thanks for explaining it so well. Your patterns are exquisite!

  6. Thank you so much for a look into EQ.. I do not have EQ but from what I read in your post it does not look that detailed as I thought it was...thanks so much.

  7. Santa will be bringing me EQ7 for Christmas, and I'm so excited to get started. I tried to go over and follow Morning Glory Designs blog, but it doesn't seem like it is ready for followers yet. Can't wait til it is ready.

  8. Oh these are just GORGEOUS ! I am not that familiar with EQ7 , except for seeing beautiful things people make with them !! WOW ! !

  9. Good Morning REEZE.....wow....you ladies are making my head spin with these amazing tuts...wow REEZE this is amazing, gorgeous, out there....
    yep I like it

  10. Wow! I enjoyed this introduction to another cool tool -- EQ is really something! Thanks for your tutorial!

  11. Huge THANKS to Madam Samm and Reeze! I got EQ7 for my birthday...5months ago, but have not found the time to load it into my computer due to several family events. Now I am very excited to get to playing with it. Reeze cant wait to check out your blog too!

  12. Thanks! Wish I had EQ7...looking forward to your BOM in 2012.

  13. I've heard of but didn't really understand what EQ7 was all about. What a great posting to help me understand and to get me interested.

  14. fantastic, I am so glad i don't have an EQ, I would never get anything done- lol
    I look forward to seeing your other blocks. cw

  15. Congratulations!Can´t wait to see your new BOM.

  16. Reeze ~ This is just awesome. Thank you very much.

  17. Beautiful blocks Reeze, thanks so much for the great tutorial.....need to work more with EQ7!

  18. Thanks for this tutorial. I have never worked with the EQ program but would love to try.

  19. Great tutorial, Reeze! Now that I've seen the Brush Stroke Tool in action, I'm going to have to experiment with it!


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