Adding Fabric to EQ7

There are over 5,000 fabric swatches included in EQ7.  But just like with our real life fabric stash, no matter how many choices we have, we are always ready to add more!  Last week I showed my EQ7 class how to add more fabric to their “electronic stash”, and in this article I will show you too.

Scanning Fabric
To create an electronic version of real life fabric in your stash, you can scan it and import the file into EQ7.  Lay the fabric on your scanner bed and scan using your scanner software.

Set the resolution to 72 or 75 and crop the scanned image to approximately 3″ x 3″, following the pattern repeat in the fabric as closely as possible for best results.  Save as a jpg or bmp file.

Fabric on the Internet
In addition to scanning fabric yourself, you can also find images of fabric swatches on the internet.  These can be saved to your computer as a jpg or bmp file by right-clicking on the image and choosing “Save Picture As…”. 

Most fabric manufacturers and on-line retail stores display images of fabric on their websites.  Moda Fabrics, however, has gone one step further.  They provide the option to download jpg images of their fabric collections with a simple mouse click.

Importing Fabric into EQ7
Once you have fabric saved as a jpg or bmp file (gif, png, and tiff are also supported), the file can be imported into EQ7.  Go to the Fabric Library and click Import>From Image Files.  Select the fabric files to import and click Open.  The new fabric swatches are now ready to be added to your Sketchbook.

FAB Fabric Files
Computer files in the format .fab are fabric files that are formatted for EQ software.  Once these files are saved and linked to EQ, they are available directly from the Fabric Library.

Connecting Threads provides FAB files for their latest fabric collections.  Download and extract the zipped file, then save the FAB file in My Documents\My EQ7\user on your hard drive.  The fabric will appear in “My Libraries” in the Fabric Library.

The Electric Quilt Company also offers free FAB fabric files to download.  A new collection is added each month, with each FAB file containing six months.  Download and save the FAB file in My Documents>Monthly Libraries on your hard drive.  Once this folder is linked to EQ, the fabric will appear beneath the pre-loaded EQ7 fabrics in the Fabric Library.

If all that is not enough, you can purchase even more EQ fabrics.  STASH Fall 2010 includes over 4600 new fabrics from 28 different fabric manufacturers.  Imagine!

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  1. kkwylie says:

    Good question Kiki and I’m not sure of the answer. I would suggest you go to The Electric Quilt’s help forum and ask your question there. I believe you can scan at a higher resolution but it will affect the way the fabric tiles when placed in a block or a quilt. If I learn any more, I will update you.

    All the best,

  2. Kiki Myers says:

    How do I scan in the fabric if my computer does not have a resolution as low as 72 to 75?

  3. The answer to the first question is posted on the EQ7 forum. You can read it at

  4. Hi Sandra,
    Thank you for your comment. In response to your questions:
    1) This is a good question, but I don’t know how .fab files could be merged into the main library. I have posted the question on the EQ7 forum (, so we’ll see if anyone else can answer it. You could also try asking Technical Support (
    2) To save a quilt as a jpg, use the Export Image function. Go to FILE>Export Image and save your quilt as a jpg, bmp, tiff, gif or png file. You can also add a button for this to your top tool bar (go to Add/Remove buttons). The Export Marquee Selection function allows you to choose which portion of your quilt to export, which can then be saved as a bmp file or copied to the Windows clipboard for pasting into another program.

  5. thank you – as a brand new EQ7 user this was straightfoward and easy to follow – got me up and moving!
    I have 2 questions: 1) is there any way to merge the .fab that you download (e.g. from the eq7 monthly download) into the main library so that if you are looking for a style or color you don’t have to go through each seperate library?; and 2) is there anyway to save the quilt you design as a jpg or other image in order to post online or email – it seems the only way to do it is to print it and rescan it which seems a bit convulted. thanks!

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