Tuesday, October 27, 2015

EQ7 Tips & Tutorials - Part 1 of How to Import Fabrics into Your EQ7 Library

One of my quilty friends Jayne asked a great question asking to get fabric images into your EQ7 library.  I started to write a tutorial for that and realized that it made sense to first show where to get fabric images.

So I broke the tutorial up into two parts, today I will be focusing on how to get fabric images onto your computer and tomorrow I will show you how to import them into EQ7.

Note:  As far as I can tell (and I am not a lawyer), the fabric images you find on the internet are for personal, home use only.  Not for commercial uses (like in printed pattern instructions, product packaging, websites, etc).

There are three main ways to get fabric images:
  1. Free from the internet
  2. Purchased from the internet
  3. Photographed from your own stash

1.  Free from the internet:

  • Many of the fabric manufacturer's actually have places on their sites where you can download entire collections of fabric in a zip file (so you can download 20-40 fabric images at once).  
  • They are free :)

Here is a bunch of places to find fabric images:

United Notions - Moda Fabrics - (Free) - The United Notions website contains almost 900 fabric collections and is constantly updated with the soon to be released and just released fabric.  Each collection is downloaded as a zip file.

Riley Blake - (Free) - For Riley Blake's fabric collection images, you need to select the fabric tab from the main menu, select the collection you wish to download, and then press the download images button.

Online Fabric Stores:  Some online fabric stores will allow you to download and use their fabric images provided you had purchased the fabric through them.

2.  Purchased Images from the Internet

  • Easy install  
  • Fabric images are scaled correctly for EQ7
  • Quickest way to get tons of fabric images pretty inexpensively
  • Not free
Electronic Quilt - ($7.95 for 1000+ images) - Electronic Quilt has many collections of fabric images for sale in categories such as Halloween prints, Batiks, and Fall 2015 releases.  I have never bought an image package from EQ, but I because EQ prepared it, most likely the images are more properly scaled than some other downloads.  (Note: I could not find out any information about use restrictions of the images on the EQ website.)

3.  Photographing Your Own Stash

  • Free
  • You will have a indexed library of all of your fabrics 
  • Time consuming
  • Colors and scale of fabrics may be off
Photographing your own stash is great because you can have your stash organized and ready to play with ion EQ whenever you want.  The downside is that this is the most time consuming and the colors and scale might not be correct.

Image Organization

Whichever method you use to acquire your fabric images, pretty soon you are going to have more files than you know what to do with on your computer.  I suggest that just as you organize your real fabrics you organize your online fabric image "stash" too.

On my computer I have a folder set up that is called "Fabric".  In that folder, I have have about 40 other folders, each with a collection name on them.  This way, if I am thinking that I want to play around with the new Bonnie and Camille fabric, I can go right to the "Hello Darling" folder for all of the images.  It takes just a few minutes to set everything up correctly to start with and it will save you a lot of time in the future.

I'll be back tomorrow with a tutorial on how you are going to get all of your new fabric images into EQ7 to start putting them into quilts.


  1. I've photographed my own fabric and imported it into a project and I've also downloaded the EQ7 free fabric files but it never occurred to me Moda or Riley Blake would have any free fabric downloads. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Instead of photographing your fabrics, if you have a scanner, EQ7 recommends scanning the fabric in at a certain resolution (I can't remember but it's pretty low so the files stay small) and then when you import the fabrics, they tell you to crop the swatches around the fabric repeat at a certain size so the scale is correct. (I haven't done this in a while so I don't remember the specifics.)

  3. I'm so excited about this EQ7 tutorial! Thank you for taking the time to help! I better go find some fabric...thank you so much Cheryl!!

  4. I've used all three of these methods, and you nailed the pros and cons of each. Great job


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