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Thread: Quilting Software Versus Hand Drawn Plans?

  1. #1
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    Quilting Software Versus Hand Drawn Plans?

    I am fairly new to quilting - having only completed 4 quilts - 3 I originally designed and 1 from a published pattern - all simple designs no doubt. Since I am new to the world of quilting in so many respects, I was wondering if most preferred designing quilts using the quilting software that is out there or just putting your plans on paper? I have been looking at various software but don't know anyone who uses them or have forgotten to ask the question when I've run into a fellow quilter.

    Would love anyone's input/thoughts on this. Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    I'd use software if I had it. But paper and pencil works until I find the money
    Bad Spellers of the World
    U N T I E

  3. #3
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    Thanks. Yes, I'm going to have to save for it if I get enough positives for software.

  4. #4
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    There are some free software available. I use Gimp all the time.
    Here's a great tutorial that miholmes put together for us.
    Designing a Quilt with GIMP - Free Software

  5. #5
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    I use Electric Quilt and I love it. If you want an inexpensive software try Quilt Design Wizard. It's a simplified version of Electric Quilt. However, good old graph paper and colored pencils also works well.

  6. #6
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    There are pros and cons to both systems. Software is expensive, but I like that I can try different colors with the click of a mouse, instead of re-coloring the drawing. The software can also estimate fabric yardage for you.

  7. #7
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    ​I am computer challenged so it will be pencil and paper for me. I admire those who know their way around the computer design systems.

  8. #8
    Member SoSewSue's Avatar
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    I am a beginner quilter and I have had the EQ software programme for about 48 hours now! One thing I wasn't expecting was how much I am learning about quilt construction and block identification. In order to facilitate the learning process I have been reconstructing quilts in the software from magazine pictures or other pictures off the internet. In fact two quilts for which I had been planning on buying the pattern for - once I had truly analysed them for the purposes of putting into the software I realised how simple they really were and knew that I would find them far to boring to make. Now granted, I would have to come across about thirty of those to make up the price of the software.

    My primary reasons for buying the software :
    1/ I have a very hard time finding patterns that I want to make. I find lots that are 'close' but not quite right. The software lets me very easily 'tweak' different elements of the design.

    2/ I am still rubbish at imagining different colour combinations. I have no stash to speak of and if I walk into the quilt shop without some semblance of a plan or intent I become overwhelmed and frozen with indecision. The software lets me try different combos - heck I can even try using actual fabrics currently available on the market.

    Was it worth it ? I suspect that only quilt professionals would be able to fully realize a positive cost-benefit ratio over a short period of time. However is it fun ? You bet. And I really think it will help 'stretch my quilting wings' so to speak. And I look forward to creating truly unique quilts!

  9. #9
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    I take the middle road and use non-quilting software to design my quilts (my avatar quilt included). Excel, Publisher, a photo editing program, Paint, programs that are not intended for quilt design, but work very nicely for it nonetheless. Excel can be set up to be the same as graph paper for instance. I see no reason to buy specialized software, but many people swear by it. If, in the future, I can't live without it, I may reconsider.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  10. #10
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i love my EQ since I love to tweak patterns after I get them designed. It's hard to do that with pencil and paper. Changing block sizes is a breeze and, when altering the quilt size, the math is done for me
    Nancy in western NY
    before you speak THINK
    T is it True? H is it Helpful? I is it Inspiring? N is it Necessary? K is it Kind?



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