Have you been itching to create your own quilt patterns but have no idea how to begin?
Or maybe you’ve seen a quilt pattern that you like, but it could definitely use some tweaking.
Did you know there are software programs out there that you can purchase and use to create your very own quilt designs and patterns?
Today I’m going to go over five different quilting software options and show you the best quilt design software.
- How Do You Make A Quilt On The Computer?
- Quilt Design Software Review: 6 Excellent Options
- What is Your Favorite Quilt Design Software?
How Do You Make A Quilt On The Computer?
I think it’s safe to say as quilters, most of us have tried to design our own quilt using graph paper and colored pencils, but that limits us in terms of design. So how do these pattern makers do it? Chances are they’re using quilting software — and you can too.
Let’s say you have a specific image that you want to incorporate into a quilt, and you ask yourself, “How do I turn a picture into a quilt pattern?”
Well, there is software available on which you can upload an image and then put it into your quilt design with just a few clicks of your mouse.
How about when you are scrolling through your feed and see an AMAZING quilt but can’t find the pattern for it anywhere? With one of these quilt design programs, you could recreate that quilt and even put your own spin on it.
Here are some significant advantages to having a quilt design program:
- Create your own quilt patterns.
- Create your own block patterns.
- See a quilt “finished” before you start cutting into your fabric.
- Control over the size of your quilt design.
- Enjoy endless possibilities for what you can create.
- Many of the programs have built-in blocks to make quilt design a breeze.
Quilt Design Software Review: 6 Excellent Options
1. Brother SAPVQ Preview Quilting Design Software
Brother is a well-known, well-respected brand in the sewing realm, so it would be a no-brainer to trust that their quilt design software works well.
You can design complete quilt patterns with this software, and it will work well for beginners and more advanced quilters. I know we would all like to find free quilt design software, but you will need to invest a little money into it if you want a quality program.
This software is on the lower end of the price scale, and I believe it would be an excellent investment for those wanting to design their own blocks or quilts.
- Built-in block library of 150 blocks
- Different color and fabric options and the ability to upload your own fabric stash to the fabric options
- Design sizes from just a block to a king-sized quilt.
- Printable templates for block piecing
Cost of Software: $99
2. Grace Quilter’s Creative Design Software
This software is block design, quilt design, and pantograph design software all-in-one. The pantograph is the quilt stitching that you see on many quilts, for example, stippling or overall spirals. So you could design your entire quilt project with this software.
This is the most expensive software on my list, but again, it could be a fantastic investment, especially if you want to create your own patterns.
- Includes 200 built-in patterns
- Ability to upload images and trace them to create your own patterns
- Printable patterns
- Design your quilts from start to finish
Cost of Software: $299
3. EQ8 Mini by The Electric Quilt Company
If you have done any research on quilt design software, you’ve probably come across The Electric Quilt Company. They’ve been in the game for many years, creating software for beginner quilters and advanced quilters alike. The EQ8 Mini is what they call their “test drive” version of their EQ8 software.
This software is a beginner-friendly version and will include all the great “basic” features of the original EQ8, but with a much smaller price tag.
A great bonus with this software is if you decide you want access to full EQ8 software, you can upgrade your EQ8 Mini. The amount you pay for EQ8 Mini goes towards the cost of the full EQ8 program, so it won’t cost extra to upgrade.
- Copyright-free block library of 300 blocks
- 4 layout styles and 8 border options
- Ability to print out templates, design layouts, and yardage estimates
- Online tutorials on how to use the software
Cost of Software: $89.95
4. EQ8 by The Electric Quilt Company
EQ8 is the latest edition of the Electric Quilt design software, and it is a fantastic option for those who want to design their own quilts and quilt blocks.
I have this software myself, and I can say from experience that it is extremely beginner-friendly to use. Plus, they have tutorials to help you out with the many features they offer.
This program is one on which you can upload images and put them into your quilt design. You can also upload your own fabric into the design table to be able to see exactly what your quilt project will look like before you even begin.
I’ve had this software for about two years now, and I’m still finding new tricks and ways to design quilts. In my opinion, this is the best quilt design software on the market.
- 6,000+ copyright-free block library
- Block drawing table for piecing and applique
- Export images in 5 different file types
- 10 layout styles and 22 border options
- Online tutorials
- Ability to upgrade when the next version comes out for a fraction of the cost
- Ability to print out templates, design layouts in full color, and yardage estimates
Cost of Software: $239.95 full price or if you are upgrading from the EQ8 Mini: $150
5. Prequilt App
This program is a little bit different than the others I have mentioned. Instead of being software you download or apply to your computer, it is actually a subscription-based website.
Prequiilt is a great option because you can design a quilt online by using your phone, tablet, or computer. The convenience of this site is definitely intriguing, and since it is subscription-based, you can cancel your subscription at any time.
- Color pages: pattern designers can submit their quilt patterns, and then users can color the patterns and use whatever colors/fabrics they would like to see the pattern in.
- Fabric calculator: This is a free feature they offer to help you calculate how much yardage you need to purchase for your next project.
- Import your fabrics
- Design your blocks and quilt layouts
Here are their subscription levels, cost, and what they include:
- Free: You can only design one quilt with their free account, but this would be a great way to try out the site before paying for the subscription.
- Basic: $5 per month or $50 per year- You can design up to 50 quilts under this level. You can also import 250 of your own fabrics, save blocks, and set your quilt to “private” if you’re not ready to share your design with the world just yet.
- Market: $10 per month or $100 per year- You’ll receive all the features from the Basic plan plus unlimited quilt designs, unlimited imported fabrics, and you can convert your quilts into digital coloring pages for yourself and/or customers.
I looked around quite a bit for quilting design apps, but I could not find any that I could recommend. If you know of any apps or any free design software, feel free to mention them in the comments!
6. GO! Quilt by Accuquilt
If you don’t necessarily want to design your quilt patterns from scratch but would like to play around with sizing, fabrics, and colors, this free software from Accuquilt will probably be your new best friend.
GO! Quilt is a fun and easy online resource with over 1,300 patterns to choose from that you can then test different fabrics and colors to see what works best for you. They are continually adding new projects to their growing library, so this will be a great resource to keep in your arsenal.
After figuring out your fabrics and sizing, you can print out the pattern, fabric requirements, and cutting instructions. The designs work great with all the Accuquilt cutting systems.
Cost of Software: Free
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What is Your Favorite Quilt Design Software?
Quilt design is such a fun process to go through, and it’s fantastic that there are several programs to choose from.
Again, my favorite is the EQ8 by the Electric Quilt Company, but I would recommend checking out these five that I have mentioned and figure out which one would work best for you.
Do you use design software for your quilt projects? Which ones do you use, and what are some of the features that are important to you? Please let me know in the comments below!
About the author: Miriam Ronne is a lover of all things quilting and sewing. She is a self-taught quilter and is constantly learning and broadening her skill set to create one-of-a-kind quilts! When she’s not behind her sewing machine you can find her playing with her fur babies or trying her hand at other crafty things.
16 thoughts on “6 Of The Best Quilt Design Software Programs”
Thank you for the Great review
can you please tell me which program will generate the block assembly graphics – kind of a step by step drawings of the assembly
I have seen these little drawing of how to put blocks together and cant find a program which does this.
Hi, Marsha! I haven’t found a quilting software that does that either. When you see those diagrams in quilt patterns, the designer most likely used a graphic design software like Adobe Illustrator.
HI, Miriam! Thanks for the review. I’ve been looking for design software also. I really liked the looks of EQ-mini, but it’s no longer available for the Mac.
The QuiltAssistant.com software also looks really nice for block design and converting photos into quilt blocks. However, it isn’t suited for building the entire quilt.
Hi, Rachel, that’s a bummer EQ8 mini is no longer available for Mac. I know the full version is, but that’s quite a bit more money.
I’ve seen the quiltassistant.com software as well, and I agree it’s great for block design which is awesome considering it’s free. A few other softwares in this post would be good for designing a complete quilt.
I use a free app called “Quiltography”. It’s been great for even block sizes, however I’m looking for ones that will let me do multiply designs and sizes in the same quilt. Does the EQ8 allow this? Also how does it download the fabric I’ve chosen? Quiltography does it with my iPad or phone camera.
Hey, Paige, great questions! Yes, you can do multiple designs and sizes on the same quilt, you can design your own blocks from scratch also. To upload your own fabrics you can take a photo of it with your phone camera and then upload it through the EQ8 software. So you’ll need to transfer the photo to your tablet or computer that you have the EQ8 software installed on. It’s very easy and they have an extensive help section on their website if you run into any issues. They’re online messenger agents are extremely helpful too. Hope that helps!
Has anyone used the DIME quilt software? Just wondering how it compares.to the EQ8.
Good day, Nancy! I personally have not used DIME software, but hopefully someone else who has will chime in and let you know how it compares to EQ8. Have a great day!
I’m going to be taking a class soon learning to use Inkscape for designing quilt patterns so we’ll see.
I am looking for a program that will aid me in designing a quilt using a panel that the pictures have been cut away and rearranged. I need to know how to fill it in.
I had a computer program called 1-2-3 Quilt! from 2017. Have you ever heard of it? I hadn’t used it in years and when I tried to open it, I needed to enter the serial number again (Lord knows where I put the disc after I loaded it!) I really enjoyed the program but can’t find if it is even available any more. I’m willing to purchase it again if I can only find it.
Hi, Karen, yes, I do believe I have heard of that program before. I did some digging online and couldn’t find it either, unfortunately. Maybe one of these other softwares would work for you? Good luck!
I want to design my own foundation paper pieced blocks and am looking for a software that is reasonably priced and compatable with my Mac. Quilt Assistant looks great but doesn’t work with Mac computers and EQ8 is way out of my price range. Especially since I only want to design the FPP blocks.
Hi, Susan! I know EQ8 is a bit pricey. I actually purchased it because it’s the best software for Mac. Many quilters also use Adobe Illustrator to create FPP pieces, though Illustrator does have a pretty big learning curve and it is a subscription-based software. So sorry I can’t be of more help!
Can a FPP block or entire quilt be designed using the EQ8 software?
I’m looking for software that will let me design a modern quilt (not necessarily blocks but modern designs). I also want the software to help with fabric calculations. Thanks!