Computer Software FAQ


"The Electric Quilt" is currently for IBM-PC types (Mac edition available this Fall - write to get on MacQUILT mailing list). $95US. Version I saw didn't use MS Windows or a mouse, but was excellent. Also available -blockBASE, >4000 block designs from Barbara Brackman's "Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns".(The Electric Quilt Company ,1039 Melrose Street,Bowling Green, Ohio 43402;(419) 352-1134)

I bought EQ recently and they told me that the block library will not be available until after the update which is due in 1995. It's pretty easy to use but I keep trying to do things it can't do or maybe I haven't figured them out yet. For example, there are only a few choices of # of blocks in a layout. I wanted to plan out a section for a quilt that was 6 blocks by 4 blocks and that wasn't one of the choices. Therefore I couldn't draft a border around it. Also it doesn't calculate yardage although I use many fabrics in a quilt so I don't care about that.-----Wendy

I first began using EQ (Electric Quilt) last summer, and loved it. I agree with everyone else that the support is wonderful, and the documentation was obviously written by someone who knows what she's doing both in quilting and in documentation. I would like to see curves, and I wanted mirror-imaging, and I wanted medallion capabilities, but we can't have everything, can we? And besides, the new issue will have all that . . . . I am teaching a class in QN on the IBM-PC in the Spring semester. It should be fun, and I am looking forward to it. One feature of QN that I especially like is the block library. Another is the fabrics. I don't particularly like the way one colors in blocks-- you have to use the arrow keys and remember to press -return- and sometines TAB. But once you get the hang of it, it goes very quickly. I think the new version may be mouse-able. I can't remember what Ms. McClin. said about that . . . . Hooray for EQ!------Betty

You didn't ask about EQ, but I'll throw in my two byte's worth, anyway. We like it much better than PC Q--you can print the blocks (if you have paper large enough), and can print out the templates. *This* is great! Better color mechanism, too. Still no curved lines, but that is "promised" for the next upgrade, I think. I can't remember how many blocks you can put into a quilt, but if you are interested, I will have my husband e-mail you--he's had more experience w/ it than I have, thus far. In fact, he will give a demo for our guild in June! Great fellow!-------From: "Simone

I am an EQ user and I agree with you that it is neat. What I especially love, other than the ability to draw curves, is the use of the mouse. I am used to Windows, so I must say also it is fairly easy to use. The manual is very good and very professional.---J.G,

Yes it prints in color, but I don't have a color printer . Forgot to mention in my earlier post, that you can draw applique blocks, and also it has quilt stencils feathered wreath.. I printed one, but havn't figured out how to draw one.. you can easily resize it to any size block and print it. P.C.

>I ordered mt copy of EQ yest. and thought I'd pass along the info they gave >me. The upgrade won't be out until the end of '94 (which is why I decided not >to wait for it) and will cost in the $20-$25 range. It will include >capabilities for medallions and MAYBE curves. It will be "freer" (she used >that word a dozen times) and you can do quilts with unlimited # of blocks. The >mega block library that I someone told me about will be adifferent program, >coming out bout after the upgrade.---Wendy

EQ will send you a free demo disk. might not be what you expect. As a software developer, I had too many questions that just couldn't be answered by the demo disk. It can't hurt to order it, but I would also suggest the following: When you call, ask if there is a dealer/distributer of EQ in your area. These people can show you the actual software in action, and you can even play with it. I saw it in use before I bought it, and I've been happy with it. I also just realized that I never sent in my registration card, which probably explains why I haven't been getting any newsletters the others have been talking about. I do wish that it calculated yardage, although guessing just gives me an excuse to buy extra! And I do wish that the next version would be released. It was supposed to be out last fall, although late releases are not unusual when it comes to software. I will also say that the phone support is great. They're courteous and helpful both before AND after you buy it! And I've always been able to get through, unlike some other software support lines I've called. I think it should be packaged with a warning label though. It's as addicting as any computer game you've ever played! You should see the quilts I've "made" on-line. Too bad only a few of them make it to the cutting table! ---Joanne

I have the EQ demo disk and I like it. Although you can't design quilts with it you can export the many designs it comes with to a PCX format and print the quilts in color (or B&W) The projects (quilt designs) that come with it can also be used by EQ and therefore allow you to print out the templates, blocks and quilts (outline format only) ---LINDA

Electric Quilt is a beautiful DOS program which includes many, many blocks and "fabrics." You can design your own blocks but not with curves. You can print out blocks and templates and also use for paper foundation piecing. Personally, I don't use templates, as I'm a rotary cutter person. If you are used to mousing it, you may find the interface klutsy because it does not at this time support a mouse. However, the newsletter put out by EQ states that the upgrade, due winter of '94, will "be able to stretch and distort blocks and even create special 3-D effects." New features will include: Mouse and pull-down menus, on-screen help, unlimited drawing grids, unlimited blocks for quilts, unlimited borders, medallion sets, strip sets, free-style sets, yardage calculation and more. Interestingly, they do not say this will be a Windows program but if I can use a mouse, I really don't care. Registered 1.0 users will pay between $20 and $30 for the upgrade. Mary

My recommendations: I use both EQ and QuiltPro and love them both for different reasons. Both have excellent fabric collections, although I like EQ's the best. You can design your own fabric in EQ and supposedly can do this in QuiltPro, although I have not tried it yet. There is online support provided for both on CompuServe. I can give the details of this if anyone is interested. I intend to get the EQ upgrade when it comes out, and by the way, the Mac version of EQ is due out before the upgrade. If you want to get on the mailing list to be notified when the Mac version comes out, write to EQ at 1039 Melrose St., Bowling Green, Ohio 43402, phone 419-1134, fax 419-352-4332. I would not bother with PC Quilt or Quilters Design Studio. ---Mary

The updated version of The Electric Quilt, which is due out this fall, will NOT be a windows version. There is talk about a future version for windows, but EQ, for now, will still be a DOS application. It will have the mouse, finally, draw curves, figure yardage, and give you unlimited design layouts and multiple borders, plus lots of other special windows-like features.
If you live in California or the Reno area., look for EQ at a local quilt show this fall and you might be seeing the update. We will be in Northern, Central Coast, and Southern Calif areas, and other reps around the country will probably be seen at their local shows, also. ---Rhonda


"Quilt-Pro for Windows" PCs. $95US. "The first drawing program for quilters." (Quilt-Pro Systems, P.O. Box 560692, The Colony, Texas 75056; (214) 625-7765)

I would like to tell you about a NEW computer program for designing quilts. It will be released in January 1994, and I happen to be a Beta Tester.. you know.. find the bugs and stuff. I am not Selling it, and I am not a vendor or anything,, just a User... but thought you'd like to know about it. Its called Quilt Pro, and is being developed in the Dallas area by a husband and wife team. It will cost about $100. Being a QDS user, I can only compare it to that, not to malign QDS .. It runs under Window, and uses a mouse. It is quick. It has a zillion colors in a long array at the bottom of the screen you can scroll thru. The drawing tool is all on the main screen. You can do Hexes, and diamonds and triangles and irregular shapes..(squares too!). It Paints all on the same screen. You can get rid of the menus when you want a clearer screen. You can make a sampler. You use a grid or a series of dots for a grid.. You can Zoom in and out for up close work or out for a full perspective.. When you have a quilt you can redo the colors for one patch by just touching it or have that change affect only one patch.. Has borders and sashes and cornerstones.. pieced and non pieced. To me it is important that it saves stuff in individual files.. not as one massive entity.. which is an idea only QDS users can comprehend. Does the fab esstimates and makes templates. Ummm lots I'm forgetting. I think its Pretty EASY to use. I have consulted the manual just for the proper Order to do stuff. Better manual than QDS. fur sure.---Linda

24 Dec 1993 From: Linda
Here is a little more info on the software I was discussing in my last message, for those of you who are interested: Okay, with permission granted, here are the specs for the Not-Yet-Available Quilt-Pro design program, as they appear in the newly-revised version of my comparison chart: -Price: $95 + $4 s/h (ups ground) -CPU/Platform: IBM 386+, DOS 3.0+, Windows 3.0+ Graphics requirement: EGA, VGA, or SVGA -Memory requirement: 2 MB RAM, 5 MB on HD Media options: 3.5 or 5.25, DD or HD -Keyboard requirement: any keyboard -Mouse support: yes -# of colors available on-screen: 256 (user-definable palettes) -Flip/Rotate parts of blocks: yes -Create your own blocks: yes -Draw curved lines: yes -- Bezier curves for applique # of blocks in library: 250+ -# of borders in library: 100+ -Draw your own borders: yes -# of fabric prints in library: 250+ in each of 3 colorways (750 total) -Design your own fabric patterns: yes, import from PCPaintbrush -Quilt layout options: unlimited -Prints templates: yes - user-defined seam allowances -Scales blocks for templates: yes, any size -- can tile to multiple pages -Calculates yardage: yes -Manual/Tutorial: included, also on-screen help -Printing capability: quilts, blocks, templates, individual patches -Printer support: any Windows-compatible b/w or color Color printing: yes -Export capability: standard Windows clipboard exporting

I was really pleased last night to find that in my mail was the new Quilt Pro software. I'm just working my way through the tutorial so far. It works. It has tons of blocks already there for me to choose. A whole bunch of different fabrics which are easy to change the color and save as a new fabric. The manual says though that you can't change/design the pattern in the program, you can do it in PC Paintbrush or other graphic programs and import it into Quilt Pro. It does indeed draw curves. You have two different ways to use your mouse to draw. It calculates yardage (I haven't tried to make it calculate the yardard for a whole cloth/single color, but it has as a standard option calculating the yardage for the backing. That's as far as I got in doing the tutorial last night. Will post more later. ----Margreta, Fri, 25 Feb 1994

Last week I received my copy of Quilt-Pro, a new quilt design program for Windows. It has all the best features of Quilter's Design Studio (a Windows program which I found wanting in so many respects that I uninstalled it) and Electric Quilt (which is wonderful but DOS based and unmousable). It comes with a spiral manual (lays flat--yaaay!) about 1/2" thick and is very easy to learn following the tutorial. Saturday I went to a local quilt show, saw a quilt (St. Benedict's Star), the pattern of which knocked me out, drafted it in my handy 6 x 9" graph paper notebook (Walmart's stationery dept.), and the next day drafted the block in Quilt-Pro. I selected the "fabrics," gave layout instructions and saw my quilt up on the screen in 20 minutes max, probably less. It will calculate yardage for you also; I will probably calculate my own and then check to see how close they are. I think this program is great! Snail mail address for these people are: Quilt-Pro Systems, P.O. Box 560692, The Colony, TX 75056 or call at 214-625-7765. It is $95.00 plus about $5 postage (I ordered by phone on credit card and forgot exact amount). If you want any more information, let me know. -----Mary

QuiltPro is a Windows program with which I have been able to design any block I have tried so far. You can also do curves. It has a large block library, although not as large as EQ. It also has a library of quilting designs which you can re-size as you please, a nice feature. You can print out blocks and templates in any size you want. It is a very flexible and well-designed program. Mary

I just talked to the Quiltpro people, they have a demo disk that will be out around the first of May. They are also going to put the demo on compuserve and genie for public access. Everyone that has called and requested info will automatically receive the demo disk as soon as its available. (Thu, 7 Apr 1994) --Debra

Quilt Pro. It does do what it says it will. There is an extensive library of blocks already done, a library that contains stencils, and a huge library that contains fabrics. You can take any of these things and edit them and save them as individual files. You can choose many blocks and make a sampler quilt. You can print out the whole quilt, in color if you have a color printer, or print out individual pieces with whatever size seam allowance that you want. The program will calculate the yardage, for the blocks only, for the top, for all of the quilt. And yes, IT DOES CURVES. What you do is make 4 points and then the PC draws the curve that would link these points. If the resulting curve isn't curvy enough, you can get a "handle" to move around that will change the curve for you. I also think that the manual which comes with it is pretty good, they try to walk you through the features of the program by taking you through the steps of designing a quilt: pick a block, color it, decide how big a quilt that you want, how you want the blocks set, the borders, calculating yardage, printing out what you've decided to do. I'm satisfied with the product, am not affiliated with them, etc...-- Margreta


"Quilter's Design Studio" for Mac or MS Windows PC. I tried this out at a show and was very impressed with how easy it is to use $100US (QuiltSOFT, P.O. Box 19946, San Diego, California 92159; (619) 583-2970

There is software for designing quilts on the Mac. It is called Quilter's Design Studio, and it is done by QuiltSOFT, PO Box 19946, San Diego, CA 92159-0946. I have it, but have had little time to work with it, or even work through the manual. I have heard a few things about people's reactions though, which seems to run from "it's great" to general frustration about it's limitations. If you have used paint or graphics programs, it doesn't at first glance seem to be as flexible as those, but for a beginner quilter and/or a beginner computer user, it would probably be wonderful. I am doing more non-traditional quilts these days, and it doesn't seem to offer a lot of flexibility for designing overall patterns, but as I said I haven't really gotten into it very please don't quote me. The price was $99.00 plus s&h, (and tax for CA residents). Also the phone number is 619-583-2970, and the woman's name is Ricky.---Darcy

Quilters Design Studio was, when I bought it, the only Windows program for quilt design. However, it has very definite limitations as to what you can draft. If you stay within its limitations, it is OK. You can print quilt designs and templates and many people use it to make miniature blocks for paper foundation piecing. Mary

Now for QDS, don't waste your $ on the Windows product. Buy fabric, buy books, buy something else but not this. First, the manual is horrible. A while ago, one person said that the manual was written by programmers for programmers. Since this was a Christmas gift from my husband, I showed him the manual and he took exception to that comment. The manual isn't written for programmers either :-). When you work and save things in QDS it saves it in one big glob. So when you start the program and get things that you've worked on to do some more things to it, you have to open up the whole glob. The major problem is that the program will only work with a glob that doesn't exceed a certain amount of disk space. If it is bigger than that, the program shuts down. In the manual buried in some illogical place, they tell you that this is the case and then tell you how you are supposed to be able to reduce the size of the glob. I tried doing what they said. It didn't work. Also, they say that they are a Windows product, but that to them just means that you can run this with Windows running too. You can't take advantage of Windows features like the clipboard. The library of blocks is smaller. When it did calculate the yardage it took forever. Enough said. You get the picture.--- Margreta

I bought a copy of QDS for the Mac and it was AWFUL - relative to the "real" drawing software I've been using. Just going through the tutorial I wrote 4 pages of little glitches, or things that didn't work the way I was used to. It does have one real neat feature, though, a Hexagon snap-to grid and a Hexagon block you can design in. I'm not aware of any other program that will do this (though an equilateral triangle grid would be more flexible!). I now have a Windows computer at work, so, on the strength of recommendations here, have just ordered QuiltPro (there are an ad for this in QNM this month also - it's just been out 2 months).---Susan


Denise I bought a copy of Dress Shop before they upgraded it. I printed one pattern from it- I checked the measurements and they seemed okay. Unfortunately, I never actually used the pattern. I found the available variations too constricting. By the time I would have made all of the style changes to the basic pattern, I could have completely drafted my own pattern. It was much easier to start with a commercial pattern that was closer in style to what I wanted. I would probably use the program a little more and try some other things, if it could use a mouse. I haven't even thought about playing with the program anymore because I put my PC into storage when a Mac became available for home use here at work. I currently do not own any other software for any of my hobbies on either PC or Mac. I am interested in checking out Mac versions of Quilt Design Studio and Electric Quilt when they are both available. I would probably consider purchasing Dress Shop or a similar program for the Mac when I purchase a Mac to replace my PC in the future (somehow I don't think the Nih is going to let us keep the Mac for very long- and I know they frown upon personal use of the machine.

>There is also a program for the Macintosh called Fittingly Sew (I have a demo >of it) that allows one to do dressmaking/pattern drafting. I have not worked >my way through the demo, so can't speak to it's quality from personal >experience.---Linda

re/ Fittingly Sew demo: I worked the entire demo, it was quite easy. I printed out the skirt pattern but did not try to use it. The main difference between Fittingly Sew and DressShop (besides the fact that Dress Shop is not available for the Mac) is that with Fittingly Sew, you can manipulate the pattern on screen, like a drawing program. With Dress Shop, you type on measurements and chose the type of sleeve and the program draws it for you. If you want to make other changes, you need to import the Dress Shop file into a CAD program and make the changes there. This seems like a drawback if you don't already know how to use a CAD program! ---marina

I had a lot of letters in my queue asking about the sewing program. here is the info on the company. I got my demo from the needlearts library on GEnie (apparently, according to the info below, it is also available on CompuServe). I would be glad to share the demo with interested folks ---Linda FFittingly Sew is available from: Bartley Software Inc., 72 Robertson Road, Box 26122, Nepean, Ontario, Canada K2H 9R0 (613) 829-6488; (800) 661-5209 (North America) Compuserve: 72133,3102 GEnie: Needlearts library, 1505;3


"PCQUILT" for Mac or PC. $35US. (Nina Antze, 7061 Lynch Road, Sebastopol, California 95472

In passing, I also have PC Quilt. I know it's gotten some bad reviews, but I found the new version a pretty good buy for the money. If I hadn't hooked into EQ first, I might have thought this was better than sliced bread! Betty

From: Simone I used PC Quilt for a bit--it was OK when I didn't know of any others. You can design blocks and make them into quilts, but only a limited number in each quilt. You can also color the quilts, but cannot mix colors from the various "pallettes" offered. No curved lines either--that seems to be the case with all the existing quilt programs I've heard about. Biggest drawback--there is no provision for printing your blocks once you've designed them.

PC Quilt is an inexpensive, very limited program and I would not recommend it for any serious quilt designing. --Mary

PC Quilt for the Mac

I received my copy of PC Quilt for the Mac, called Baby Mac, and have been playing with it today and am really pleased. It's a design quilt program for the Mac. It comes with a library of blocks, quilts and borders and you can also design your own., all in full color with lots of patterns to choose from. You can save all your designs, both quilts and blocks, and print both quilts and blocks. It doesn't print templates, but you can print the blocks out in sizes of 1 to 8 inches and then cut it up for a template. You can flip the blocks in any and all directions, including putting them on point. You can print all the blocks in the library for handy reference. You can even make sampler quilts with all different blocks and place each block where you want it to be in your quilt. ---Lesa


Linda R. asked about software that could distort and create optical illusions. I have had great success with CorelDraw 4.0. No, this isn't a "quilt" program but it DOES allow you the freedom to manipulate patterns. None of the "quilt" programs allow this. I tried Quilters Design Studio and was EXTREMELY UNHAPPY with it. Although it is a Windows application it did not employ the standard Windows features and was VERY slow. It is based on a very inadequate program builder called "ToolBook" and is very limited. The manual was very hard to understand and was not clear on many points. If it were not for the fact that I am extremely computer literate and very windows oriented I never would have gotten anywhere with it! Yes, it does? calculate yardage but try putting it to the test of an all white quilt (simple pattern) and tell it to give you the yardage. I tried this MANY times and it locked up everytime. (It couldn't give me the results) I also tried a simple pattern with say 3 colors and after 35 minutes and no results I had to reboot my machine! I still cannot get it to print a template for a square and it only prints the pieces that it wants, and the finished block cannot be greater than 8"! :< :< :< I have had good results with Electric Quilt and recommend it. It is far easier to use and more user friendly. And Penny McMorris is a Doll! If you really want to play and use the computer as a design base I highly recommend CorelDraw! Caryl Breyer Fallert (sp?) uses it and look at what she does!!!!!!! It allows you to add perspective, skew, duplicate, and more. I use it quite frequently for my guild's Block of the Month and have rescued the raffle quilt committee numerous times using it to make accurate templates. Melissa

Re/ Correl draw, versions 3.0 and 4.0: Yes you can still get ver 3. AND you can then get the upgrade for ver 4 at a lower price. I run ver 4.0 from both the CD ROM and my HDD. As my SO is heavily into computers we have some pretty hefty equipment including a multi- machine network in the house! Ver 3 has a few gliches that can really bunch up your shorts, if you get my drift. Ver 4 had a few bugs but has since been corrected. I work with about 930MB HDD and 8MB memory, my HPLJIIII 600dpi printer has its own memory of 16MB and I still get general default errors sometimes. Remember, too, that the more complex your design the bigger the file and the more difficult to print. Most of my designs are upwards of 3MB and can take about 5 minutes to print. I have to switch between plain HPLJ, Post Script, or Raster sometimes before the file prints correctly. Ver 4 allows for cloning items (when you change one they all change), and allows more text features then ver 3. As I use this for my newsletter and for Block of the Month for my guild the text features are important to me. Ver 4 has more reatures in the areas of import/export and OLE and now brings in text files easier.


I am a graphic designer at a software company (Adobe Systems) in Silicon Valley (nerdsville) in California. (Note: I'm not a sales person so this isn't a pitch. I'm a designer and quilter first, employee second.) I have been producing graphic designs on the Macintosh since the first Mac came out in 1983. I have always used Adobe Illustrator to create illustrations, patterns, logos and logotypes and page layouts. It is my first choice for quilt design as well. I've been designing quilts on the computer for about 2 years. I have seen demos of the other quilt software and I find that they are much too primitive and limiting for my tastes. Illustrator is a professional drawing program that has unlimited possibilities for quilters. Here's what I do with it as a quilter: *I can create ANY geometric patch design in a matter of minutes at any size I want. This may sound simple but you all know what a pain it is to get designs to just the right size for YOUR quilt *I can print out any pattern I design at any size I want to a laser printer and use it as a template or a pattern *I can create any size seam allowance on any shape I create *No matter how large or small I scale it, the quality is always perfect because the output is PostScript and I use PostScript printers. This means that the curved lines are always smooth and crisp, not bitmapped and jaggy *I can trace scanned artwork. I do this for copying designs from books (copyright free, of course) that I want to use as an applique or quilting design *Most important, I do color studies and play with variations which can be printed out on a multitude of different color printers *I have used my black and white laser printer output for foundation piecing (I'm making Christmas ornaments) *I designed an alphabet quilt with it. You can use any Type 1 font with this program or you can design your own letters *I usually design a quilt with a traditional block and then begin to experiment with rotating, scaling, overlapping, mirroring to get variations on a theme Well, I could go on and on but I know long e-mail messages can get tedious. I think that if you are the kind of quilter who wants to have more control over the design, size and coloration of her quilt as well as be able to create your own applique designs and quilting designs at any size, then Adobe Illustrator is for you. It has much more flexibility than existing quilting software. If all you want is a program to display a traditional quilt pattern in different colors and figure your yardage then you are better off buying one of the existing programs that are designed only for quilters. The price is cheaper than Illustrator. I think they are around $100. Illustrator costs more. The current Mac version (5.0) sells for $369 at MacConnection, a mail order place with pretty good prices for software. There is a PC version and a Silicon Graphics version as well which are probably around the same street price as the Mac version. I'm not sure of the street prices for these versions, I'm just guessing. If you have any more questions about using Adobe Illustrator I'm happy to answer whatever I can. I should also mention that I am currently in the process of creating a large set of predrawn quilt block designs that can be used with both versions of Adobe Illustrator (on my own time, not Adobe's). I mostly use them for my students when I teach how to design quilts on the computer. If anyone has Illustrator already and is interested in these, please let me know. ---Luanne

I couldn't resist making a comment about this. Some of you already know that I am a big proponent of using the computer to design quilts (I teach a class on how to do it). I use design software at work because I am a graphic designer so it feels natural for me to use this in my quilting as well. In the quilt software world, I've found that you get what you pay for. If you want a program to figure yardage for you on simple, traditional patterns, go for the less- expensive quilt software. If you want to be able to create any type of grid, draw any shape for applique, create pattern pieces, do color studies, scale anything to any size you want and then print all this stuff out for crisp, precise templates or color sketches--go with a professional drawing package! I use Adobe Illustrator because I find it has the flexibility and the precision I need. You can print huge sketches to color plotters. I've used the HP DesignJet for quilting patterns as well as color studies. It prints to 30 x 30 inches. If you want to design and print without limits placed on you by your software, get a PostScript drawing program like Illustrator, FreeHand or CorelDraw. Illustrator has been around the longest and has some great filters for automatically creating geometric shapes and others that are ideal for quilt designers.---Luanne

I took a class on designing quilts with Adobe Ilustrator with Luanne Cohen as one of the teachers, I have to agree with her. It is more expensive but the advantages she states all make it worth it--especially the ability to design with curves! I'm not a regular Illustrator user so I wasn't too sure if I could learn to design quilts with it in one day but it turned out to be incredibly easy. I hope people aren't put off by the "professional" designation-- it just means the program does a lot more than other programs. I really loved scanning in drawings and then tracing them with Illustrator--and then moving the drawings anywhere on the screen as appliques or quilting designs. There is really no limit on what you can do. None of the so-called "quilt design" programs give you that freedom--to me, it seems their idea of what type of quilts you might want to design is extremely limited. It must to be pieced, with no curved seams, can't be over a certain size, can't use more (or less) than a certain number of colors, it must be in a block format, no applique, can't use them to design quilting patterns...too many rules for me! Marina 16 Dec 1993

>I work for Microsoft, and before that, I worked for Aldus. Both companies >produce software for both Macs and PCs, so I have lots of experience on both >platforms. I use Aldus FreeHand (a Postscript illustration program) for quilt >design (and every other drawing-related thing I want to do...). FreeHand is >available for either Mac or PC and the interface is virtually the same on >either platform, and the program is equally easy to use on either platform.


>I have not used any of the dedicated quilt-related programs (like Electric >Quilt), but I haven't needed anything other than FreeHand, because the amazing >variety of things I can do with the program has kept me completely satisfied. >Of course, it won't calculate yardage (maybe I should suggest that to Aldus as >a new feature!!), but its flexibility in drawing more than makes up for it, in >my opinion. Several months ago, a designer from Adobe posted about using Adobe >Illustrator for quilt design. Illustrator and FreeHand are competing packages, >and have very similar capabilities. I would highly recommend either FreeHand >or Illustrator for quilt design, but you should be aware that these are both >higher-end illustration programs and as such are more expensive than the >straight quilt-type programs. ---Linn

I am reading all these quilt program comments and I would like to add some cents. I don't have a specialized program, but I have been using Ultrapaint and Canvas by Deneba for some time on my mac. My quilts tend to have an allover design instead of a block design, and these programs have some great tools, like a polygon tool, that can make polygons of any number sides, a star tool that is very cool. Canvas has a spiral tool that I have been playing with. Also, I use these programs to make grids for half square triangles. And you can iron laser printouts onto fabric. I have also laser printed templates, ironed freezer paper onto fabric, then ironed the laser printout onto the freezer paper and pieced the whole thing. I haven't found a good way to easily draw seam allowances yet. It takes a long time. Ultrapaint for the mac is very cheap, about $29, Canvas is fairly expensive, but you can get it for $150 if you upgrade from ultrapaint. It is also available for Windows, I think.---Robbi

A comment I have is concerning the use of paint and draw packages for designing quilts after I read Robbi's message. I too design in this way and find it great. It suits my needs well as I rarely make a quilt based on blocks. I use Corel Draw and Paint but these are fairly recent additions. I used Dreams on the Mac origionally which provided me with exact templates for a piece I was making which had 80 or so individual shapes quick (in comparison to hand drawing) and relatively easy. Inteledraw from Aldus is useful which has a very interesting tool, the symetrogon great for creating a wide range of things particulaly Mariners Compass.---Linda

I've been reading all the notes about quilting software, and wonder if folks have heard about a newsletter published in Seattle called FiberBits? They have reviewed most of the software discussed here for quilting plus other software packages for all kinds of fiber arts including sewing, cross stitch, knitting, etc. Back issues are available. They include software for Macs and PCs. They can be reached at FIBERbits, P.O.Box 17506, Seattle, WA 98107. I look forward to getting this Newsletter. Some thoughts about software I've used. I've been using a Mac for 2 years, and have used SuperPaint, IntelliDraw, and Painter, but mostly SuperPaint (which is a draw *and* paint program for the Mac). This offers LOTS of flexibility, though without some of the Automatic Quilting type features of dedicated software. However, there really isn't much quilting dedicated software for the Mac.S. B.
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