Tuesday, January 21, 2014

How To: Scan Your Own Fabric into EQ7

One of my favorite features of using Electric Quilt is that I can preview my own fabric in my blocks on the computer.  I have a lack of self-confidence when selecting fabrics, so I'm glad EQ7 allows me to see it virtually, before any cutting and sewing is done.  I've scanned in some of my fabrics, and would like to eventually do my whole stash.  My stash is not incredibly huge, so that is the good news.  

If you haven't tried it yet, here is how to scan your own fabrics into the Electric Quilt library:
  • First thing to do is scan your fabric into you computer.  Use whatever software you normally use to scan an item.  I have an HP OfficeJet printer/scanner machine.  The Print dialog for this printer has a Scanner button on it, so that is how I will scan in my fabric for this example.
  • On your scan setting window, set the resolution to 72 or 75 DPI, and select the option to Descreen the scan.  This is important!  The DPI setting allows the pattern to be the correct relative size in the block design in EQ.  It also keeps the file size smaller.  The descreen option will remove the moire pattern (lines) that may show up in the fabric scan.
  • Once the settings are correct, give your fabric scan a name and scan it in.  For a smaller size file, you can just frame and scan the repeat pattern of the fabric.  Remember where you have it stored on your computer!
  • After your fabric is scanned in, bring up the Electric Quilt software.
  • To add the scanned fabric to your personal library, select Fabric Library from the Libraries menu.
  • Click on Import -> From Image File.
  • Locate the image file(s) you just scanned in.  You can select more than one file to import.  Select, and click Open.


  • Select Import Results to see your imported fabrics.  
  • Select your fabric(s), and click on the Copy button at the bottom of the window.
  • Click on My Library, and navigate to the library where you want to store your fabrics.  Click Add Library button if you need/desire a new one. I store mine first by where I purchased the fabric (so I know where to get more if needed).  Under that category is a more specific style category of the fabrics.  (You can rename the style category by right-clicking on a name and choosing to Modify style). 
  • When you are in your preferred library style category, then click on Paste to drop the fabrics in to this library.
This daisy fabric has now been added to the Floral style from Walmart.
  • Click on Close to close the Fabric Libraries window.  You will be asked to confirm your additions.  Select Yes, and then OK on the final window.


Each fabric in your library has a notecard associated it.  You can add notes to each to make it easier to find when searching your libraries at a later point. I also like to note how much of the fabric I have.  
Notecard for my newly added fabric.


Happy Stitching!

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3 comments:

  1. I was only asking someone about this the other day so I think this will be very useful when I eventually get my hands on the EQ7. I was supposed to get it for Xmas but will wait until my birthday. Thank you so much for the info.
    Cath Bits 'n Bobs

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  2. Thanks so much for posting this. I want to do more with EQ but I always get frustrated and give up. You make it sound easy so maybe I'll actually do it this time! Thanks!

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  3. Ooooh, I have a birthday coming up and I thought about asking for EQ7 for my birthday. I use traditional blocks and am interested in "dressing" them up a little (different layouts, sashings, borders, etc.), so EQ7 sounds very appealing. But it's pretty pricey for this retired hand quilter (ie, not all that many quilts in a year's time) ... and the learning curve is very intimidating to me ... the time it would take to master it could be spent quilting, ya know? I'm going to look through your EQ7 how-to's and see if it would be something worth adding to my birthday wish list. Thanks for sharing them (and if you have any advice for this quilter who's on the fence, let me know). ;-)

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