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: 5 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: 5 Excellent Options
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
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
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
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
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!
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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.