Designing the Red and Ecru Quilt

As if I needed an excuse, the red fabrics just called out for a new design.  EQ7 to the task!  I have been playing with this for a couple of days now, off and on.  This is the same type of process I use to design the Scrap Dance Mystery Quilts.  Just playing with the design can eat up a lot of hours.  I thought I’d show you the results of this design process and give you at tip if you have this software.  I put red fabrics in randomly to the blocks selected, then added the blocks to the quilt layout.  I like this first design, but there are so many tiny pieces that the block needs to be big or I’ll be dealing with 1-inch to the layout view of the quilt, I can change the size of the block, and it will recalculate the size of the quilt including the borders I have planned.  Here, I have five blocks horizontal and 7 vertical.  I have the block size set at 15 inches, so the individual four-patch units and HSTs would be larger.  It tells me right away that the quilt will be too big for the bed, at 105 inches before borders.


OK, so maybe make fewer blocks.  If I make the tiny piece design in the 15 inch block size, the total quilt is calculated by the software is 57 x 87 inches including borders, close to a full size.  It might be too busy a design, but in a single color might not matter.

Red Quilt

If  I change that to a 10-inch block, my four-patches will be made with just 1-1/2-inch squares, a bit small for me to deal with.  Not that I can’t, I just don’t want to.  So, how about I change the design to a cleaner look, with fewer small bits.  I find a couple more traditional blocks, and color them too.  Then, play with setting them.  Setting 10-inch blocks 5×7 gives a nice bed size quilt 62×82 where the secondary design shines.


Setting 10-inch blocks 3×5 makes a nice throw, still shows the design nicely, but doesn’t use up a lot of fabric.  But, if I make these blocks 15-inch finished, I get a 57 x 87-inch size.


Ah, decisions decisions!!  I think it will be the 10-inch block set 5×7 in the second design.  If you would like to do a quilt along, I’ll post the steps and fabric requirements for the blocks.  We can do block A this month, Block B next month, and finish in January.  I recolored it scrappy so you could think about it.  Meet Scrap Dance Waltz!  It is as easy as 1-2-3, and can you see the circles?  Scraps are waltzing around the quilt.


One of the blocks is the same as one of the original Scrap Dance blocks, just with a slightly different coloration.  While I am on  this subject, I just want to say that it is not appropriate to try to figure out how a published pattern is made using this software for the purpose of not buying a pattern.  Designers spend a lot of time on these, making sure that the pattern is good, then sewing and testing many more hours.  I have actually had someone send me via email their coloration that they figured out in EQ from one of my published patterns.  This person clearly thought that it was OK to recreate what I spent a lot of time on just to save the few dollars to buy my pattern.  I was flabbergasted.  Truly.  I still am.  When you buy a pattern from a designer, you aren’t just buying the instructions and fabric requirements, you are telling the designer that you appreciate the hours of design, writing, sewing, and work it takes to produce a pattern.  Isn’t that worth the few dollars?  I think it is.  It is why I buy patterns from designers I admire, even if I think I could do it without one.  Being a pattern designer myself has made me acutely aware of this.  Thank you to all who have purchased one of my patterns.

See more EQ7 design tips today at Quilt Shop Gal #EQ25Celebration, along with more bloggers to visit for tips.

Tina of Quilting Affection – Designing Horizontal Panel Quilts

Carole of From My Carolina Home – you are here!  Sizing Tips

Pamela of Pamela Quilts – Using EQ7 to Design a Label

Carol of FunThreads Designs – EQ7 Stencils and Thread Tool

Marion of Seams to be Sew – Scanned Fabrics in EQ7

Would you like to win a copy of the EQ7 software? Click on EQ and Timeless Treasures for a chance to win wonderful prizes this month, as part of the EQ 25th Anniversary Celebration: Wouldn’t it be fun to win a bundle of marvelous fabrics from Timeless Treasures or a copy of EQ7 software for your computer designing from the Electric Quilt Company?  Just visit the blogs and leave a comment for these two businesses, to enter to win.  Use hashtag #EQ25 for your tweets and Instagram if you do those for more ways to win.

On the red fabrics, I decided to wash them a second time.  So glad I did, they ran again.  I ordered some Retayne from Connecting Threads, and I am going to wash them yet one more time with the Retayne.  Note that I am only using this on the fabrics alone, not a completed quilt.  Retayne won’t help on a fully finished quilt, and might actually be a problem with different fabrics reacting in their own way, but it will stabilize the color on fabrics prior to cutting.  Using the stabilizer on the pieces will show me how each individual fabric reacts with the Retayne, and I’ll be able to discard any that come out weird.  I’ll do two rinses in hot water, and dry in the dryer. Then I will feel like I can go ahead with cutting and sewing.

Want to quilt along?  We’ll get started next week.  I am linking up this first announcement post in several places, but to participate with the quilt along, and get the free pdfs for the steps, please follow my blog.  We’ll have a Flickr Group for progress, and maybe prizes later in the quilt along.


Whoop Whoop Friday

Crazy Mom Quilts



27 thoughts on “Designing the Red and Ecru Quilt

  1. It looks like a lovely project. I will have to sit back and watch, as I am buried in other things. (I have a Bonnie Hunter – Turkey Tracks in progress – red & white). Maybe February! I do appreciate the EQ7 tips. I got the software this summer and only had a little time to go thru the tutorials and play around. Like anything on the computer, it really eats up some time. As soon as I get the rest of the leaves and pumpkins off my desk…………….. 🙂 Did you know that if you are using “scraps”, you can prewash those reds in a “salad spinner” in your kitchen too? Thanks for the chance to win a bundle of fabric. I will enjoy those other blogs too!

    1. Oh yea, I am so in agreement about RESPECTING the designer!! Pretty nervy ! Bonnie Hunter did a post on the same subject today (about her Turkey Tracks pattern in her String Fling book…..)

  2. Celeste Delostrinos

    Beautiful design! Yes, I would love to make Scrap Dance Waltz. Thank you for sharing your design process. It’s interesting to see how a creative mind works. How can I send you a photo of my finished Scrap Dance Tango?

  3. Cheryl

    Carole, your two colour quilt is so very nice. Then you showed the scrappy one. Oh my! Another descision to make. Lol. I’m looking forward to quilting along with you on this project. Thanks so very much for all the work you put into designing such a pretty quilt. Hope your day is filled with sunshine and happiness. Oh yes and some stitching too.

  4. I hope your surgery goes well. Good thing you washed the reds a second time, so sad when a quilt is ruined by bleeding fabrics. I love this quilt layout and I am so tempted. I have been good this year by not working on any sew alongs and sticking to my planned projects . . . .I’ll think about it. I definitely will download the patterns, maybe if I finish up some of my projects, I can work on her guilt free. I’ve seen the Scrap Dance Tango on other blogs. She sure is beautiful. This variation of Scrap Dance looks slightly less complicated to piece. Blessings. Gretchen

  5. Would love to quilt along. My husband has asked me for a two-color quilt with red. But I’m afraid timing is wrong – too much to do. I will save the instructions and make it later. I’m with you – I can use small pieces, but would rather not use them in a large project. I agree with your comments re: buying patterns. I help a couple of designers editing & testing new patterns and I know the work they do to create a pattern. I have EQ7 and it is a very addictive/time consuming process even when using this software. My MIL created a quilt which I have finally decided was her interpretation of a quilt she saw (back many decades). Since I have not found that pattern in nearly 10 years of research, I am using EQ7 to recreate it. Looking forward to your Red/Ecru pattern!

  6. I’m loving the scrappy one at the end. so pretty. Good luck on the surgery. I’m having surgery on the 21st on my right wrist so it may take a few weeks before I can join in the fun. I really hope to eat into some of my scraps this year. They are taking over my sewing space and this project looks like a perfect start.

  7. Pingback: #EQ25 Celebration – Tutorials, Inspiration, and Prizes – November – QuiltShopGal

  8. Denise force

    Have been wanting to do a blue & white for young friend but all patterns looked hard ( confusing ,beyond my skill level). You make it sound easy.Will try to follow and make along best I can. Thank you .

  9. Brenda Ackerman

    Good Morning Carole! Your design for Scrap Dance Waltz is fabulous and how could I ever say no. I have made both of the other Scrap Dance Quilt Alongs and have loved each and every one of them! So, without a doubt, count me in! I know with the past one that my life, well rather got in the way, but I have finished the top and will be quilting it this week and binding it also. So, I will send you pictures or maybe actually post a blog again. LOL. I also love the idea of using just two colors this time. I will have to check my scrap bins against my two color choices and go from there. Thank you for sharing everything that you do! I definitely need to mention that your thoughts on patterns and designers was excellent and I am a supporter of you and so many other designers. Have a fantastic creative day!

  10. dezertsuz

    That does look like fun. I will watch, but I’m de-stressing my life right now, so I’m not starting anything new for a while. I do love the clean lines of the design you are choosing, though I liked the original, too.

  11. It’s fun to see how changes in scale and simplifying the number of units a bit makes such a difference. I do very much prefer the designs without the 1″ squares and like the look of the image with some other colors a lot.

    I have a couple of on-going online projects going, an considering participating in Bonnie Hunter’s En Provence later this month (once I see what size pieces are included!), have some original designs working and will be doing some travel, so will not jump in this time I’ll look forward to seeing the quilt develop and enjoy seeing the images folks post on Flickr and IG.

  12. Very nice design; I think I may join in with the scrappy version. I absolutely love quilts with secondary designs. Regarding reds, I prewash repeatedly with fresh color catchers until the color catchers come out white! Call me paranoid. 😉

  13. Wendy

    Would love to do a quilt along. Thanks for creating another interesting scrappy pattern. Good luck with your surgery.

  14. Susan

    I love this new quilt. I am attracted to designs that show that circular pattern or have diagonal lines. I just finished my blocks for Scrap Dance Tango, just need to sew the rows together.

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