Drawing a 1/4" Stem

When drawing with PatchDraw in EQ6, patch size numbers cannot go below 0.500 (1/2"). So the question is: how to draw 1/4" stems in PatchDraw? And the answer: using the Brush Stroke tool and adjusting its width or boldness. This is not a perfect mathematical solution,

The trick here is to work with your snap settings and your grid. For any size block, multiply your block width and height by 4 and turn on your grid lines. This way you will be able to clearly see your 1/4" lines. Let's walk through two examples graphically to show you how this works. We will practice with an 8" block and a 12" block. The *rules* apply to any size block.

1. Open a new PatchDraw block. Make sure your rulers are turned on (on the Main Menu, click View > Block Rulers.

2. Set the Block Width and Height to 8. Type in 32 for both your Snap settings (8 x 4 = 32). And type in 32 for both your Grid settings. As you can see, the distance between the lines is 1/4".

3. Select the Brush Stroke tool. On the Precision Bar, choose plain stroke style and the flat end. (You can change these settings later, if you wish - for now we are just trying to obtain the settings for our 1/4" wide stem). Don't worry about the tool settins right now... we'll work on that in a second.

4. Zoom in so you can see clearly what you are drawing. Point your cursor close to one of the vertical lines and draw a short straight line down. Now, if you're anything like me, your line might be far from straight. To remedy that, with the Shape tool simply click on the top and bottom nodes so that they snap to the grid. Then click on the shape again and drag the handles towards the center until the lines are straight.

(Here's a tip from Patti Anderson on an even easier way to to this. Draw a straight line with the Line tool, then switch to the Brushstroke tool and double click on the line. The line will be converted to a brush stroke and you can now play around with the width and boldness -- next step below. This will also work with a curved line using the Bezier tool or Freehand tool. Note, however, that it will not work if zoomed in or if working with a very short line.)

5. Select the shape again with the Pick tool. Now start increasing its size: you can choose to do so by increasing the width or the boldness... your choice. In the case of this block, we find that we can either set the width at 2.100, or the boldness at 3.100:

6. For a 12" block, change your settings to: Block size and width: 12; Snap settings: 48; Grid settings 48. If you use the width settings, you will find the number for your 1/4" stem is 1.100. If you choose to work with the boldness setting, your will find that number is 2.100.

7. You can use this system to draw 1/4" stems for any size block. Note that the smaller the block, the larger the Brush Stroke settings will be. Likewise, take into account that you cannot set your grid for more than 48. So for large blocks you will really want to use the rulers as a guide instead of the grid.

I hope this little tutorial helps a little for all of you perfectionists who want to know what your design is *really* going to look like when sewn!