As crafting people, we rarely do only one type of craft.  Sewing, knitting, crocheting, painting, embroidery, photography, quilting, card making, and so much more are creative expressions of ourselves.  Working with fabrics is my first choice of creativity.  I love to work with fabrics, threads, designing, digitizing,  and piecing it all together to create one cohesive design.

EQ8 is a quilt design program that uses graphics to help us ‘see’ how our actual project will look finished while still in the ‘virtual world’ of creativity.  As an educator for both machine embroidery and quilting, I can use my EQ8 to merge both of these creative loves of mine.  For those of you who still have EQ7 with the EQStitch add-on program, you can create embroidery directly in your program.  Everyone else uses another software program to create their embroidery.  

Have you ever wondered why EQ has an embroidery library?  If it does not create embroidery, why is it there?  This is so we can ‘view’ our embroidery designs against our quilt designs to see how well they may work together.  We can not stitch the embroidery files in the Embroidery Library as they are visual designs only.  But, we can import our own files into the library to work with them in the program to see how we may need to edit them (change size or color) to complement our quilt block/layout patterns.

Open your EQ8 program.

Create a new project and name it “Quilting and Embroidery Merged”.

At the top of the screen, click on LIBRARIES>Embroidery Library

In the Embroidery Libraries box, you will find the built-in embroidery images in EQ8.  You can add your personal embroidery designs using the import option at the bottom of the box.

The only rule about using embroidery designs in EQ8 is that they MUST be in the .EXP format for the program to see them.  If you have any other file format for your embroidery design the EQ8 program can not see it.  Using third party embroidery software, you should be able to EXPORT (not save unless you are working with Bernina software) your embroidery file in an .EXP format so the EQ8 program can use it properly.

In the import box, navigate to where you have stored your .EXP file on your computer.

This is my navigation pane.  Yours will look slightly different depending on how you file/store your embroidery designs.  Once you locate your .EXP file, click on it to select it and then click on the word ‘open’ at the bottom of the box.

Once the design is added to the embroidery libraries box, click on the design to select it and then add it to the sketchbook.  Close the box when done.

Embroidery designs can only be viewed on the Quilt Worktable.  Click on the Quilt Worktable icon on the upper right side of the screen.

Create the quilt layout you desire and color the fabrics.  

With your fabric colored quilt on the worktable, click on layer 3 at the bottom of the screen.  Embroidery designs can only be added to layer 3 of the quilt worktable.  You can not add your embroidery image on the block worktable.

Click on the embroidery tools icon at the top.  Click on your design to select it and then click/hold/drag/release it onto the quilt worktable.  It will not be the correct size at this point.

Click on the adjust tool and then click on the embroidery image to change the position and size of the embroidery.  You can add multiple elements and resize each one for the perfect placement.

Be sure to add your embroidery layout to the sketchbook when done. 


If you change the size of the design on the worktable, you must also change your embroidery file to match the same size so it looks like the layout you created.  You need to consider if your hoop size will allow you to make the design that same size as the worktable image.

If your design is an applique from your embroidery software, you will not see the applique fabric choice on the EQ8 worktable.  My designs have a sparkly tulle fabric at the top of the jellyfish but it does not show in my image on the worktable.

You may need to change your fabric choices on layer 1 of the quilt layout to see your embroidery design well.  This helps us to make sure the colors of the embroidery image will stand out against the fabric choices we make.

This is only an image and not 100% accurate as to how your final layout will look when you construct your project.  Your hooping of the fabric for the embroidery design stitching placement may vary slightly.