Best Quilt Design Software For Beautiful Creations (Free And Paid)

Are you an avid quilter looking to improve your craft? Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, quilt design software can help you bring your ideas to life with ease and precision. With the right tools, you can create stunning quilt patterns and designs.

In this article, we’ll explore the best quilt design software options available today. From user-friendly interfaces to advanced features, these programs offer a range of tools to help quilters of all skill levels unleash their creativity. Whether you prefer traditional block patterns or modern geometric designs, there’s a software option that will meet your needs.

Discover how quilt design software can streamline your quilting process and open up creative possibilities. With these top-rated programs, you can experiment with colors, layouts, and design elements without needing pencil and paper. Get ready to revolutionize your quilting experience with the best quilt design software available.

Key Takeaways

  • Quilting software offers a digital alternative to hand-drawing quilt designs, making the process easier and faster.
  • The two popular quilting design programs, PreQuilt and EQ8, offer different options and features for designing quilts and blocks.
  • Factors such as usability, printing options, support, onboard options, and price contribute to the overall value of the quilting software.

What is Quilt Design Software?

Designing quilt blocks with quilt design software is easy and creative and doesn’t require crumpled-up graph paper in the wastebasket! Additionally, most quilting software includes various tools, such as designing quilt layouts, choosing quilting stitches, or visualizing finished quilts.

These programs are great for seeing mock-ups of your quilts, but their fastest calculation feature makes them even more helpful.

For example, let’s say you would like to design a Churn Dash quilt block. Triangles at each corner of this design resemble a square outline. When measuring triangles, how do you ensure they line up precisely with the square’s corner?

You will look silly if you cut out a too-big triangle that hangs over the edge. Unless the triangle is the right size, it will perch on top of the square’s corner instead of easily slotting into place.

Back in the old days, a sizing ratio was calculated by measuring one square on graph paper equal to two inches in your quilt, and so on. The math and time involved in this are considerable!

The computer measures and sizes your blocks with a quilting program. You can use preset options or drag-and-drop to create your blocks.

It takes hours of precise, dedicated sewing to piece together a quilt block and then assemble the layout of the whole quilt. Take a break from all that sewing time, and let the computer help you design your quilt patterns! Rather than focusing on math and sizing, how about simply enjoying the creative process?

Which Is The Best Free Quilt Design Software?

There are many free quilt design software programs, such as Prequilt and Quilt Assistant, and even the drawing features in Word documents!

As you read reviews of free design programs, consider the features that are important to you. Choosing a program that does not provide a fabric calculator will make it difficult to estimate the number of yards you will need for your quilt.

PreQuilt

PreQuilt - Free Quilt Software
Photo credit: prequilt.com

The PreQuilt web application offers free, essential, and advanced versions of its design software. The free program allows you to create basic rectangle patterns and experiment with block designs. As far as design features go, its most significant advantage is that it gives you a glimpse of what more advanced features can do.

If you are unfamiliar with computer graphics, the free version of PreQuilt will allow you to learn the basics of online design. The PreQuilt website is worth a look for that reason alone! The next section of this article contains more information about the paid versions.

Quilt Assistant

Quilt Assistant free software
Photo credit: quiltassistant.com

Another free option is Quilt Assistant, which works quite differently. Instead of using shapes and colors, a quilt block is built by taking a picture and uploading it to the software. The program then creates a block template!

If you have a rose growing in your garden, you can take a picture of it. This photo will create a quilt square with precisely fitted rose petals and even seam allowance measurements!

The free version of Quit Assistant doesn’t have a huge library of layouts and blocks, but it offers several design tools. Visit the website to see if this tool is right for you.

My Web Quilter

My Web Quilter software
Photo credit: mywebquilter.com

On My Web Quilter, you can find useful quilting calculators. This free option is useful if you need help measuring your binding for your quilt edge or sizing your backing.

This website is not flashy or modern. It looks like it came out of the 1990s! If you need help with quilting math, you may want to try this free online calculator.

In addition, you might want to use computer design tools like Adobe Illustrator or Word drawing tools. However, these tools do not offer quilt-specific options like sizing, measuring, or quick calculations like My Web Quilter. To get a basic idea of what you want a quilt block to look like, you piece together shapes and then fill them in with color.

Quilt Design Software for MAC

Free downloadable software like Quilt Fusion also comes in a version compatible with a MAC computer, and web-based design tools such as Quilt Assistant and PreQuilt are available for MAC users.

However, these free options have some significant limitations. As you will see later, quilting software is explicitly tailored for MACs!

Now let’s look at Quilt Fusion; how does it work? Create your applique designs with this downloadable software. Even for free software, it has some nice design features!

This option has the disadvantage of not offering many quilt block or layout options. It focuses strictly on applique.

In addition to its cool software, Quilt Fusion may primarily focus on encouraging customers to purchase the many patterns it offers through its website. There’s a sense in which the free software serves as bait for the hook.

Free Quilt Design Software for Windows

You can use PreQuilt, Quilt Assistant, and Quilt Fusion for free if you have a Windows computer.

Furthermore, a new Windows tool called Quilting Buddy can be purchased for just $1.99! A decent selection of block patterns is available in this new design tool. It also allows you to create your designs by piecing together shapes and patterns!

With web-based design programs, you don’t have to worry about learning a complex, advanced program from scratch. This section offers free, less comprehensive designs you might want to use if you’re just starting out or only quilt as a hobby.

Which is the Best Paid Quilt Design Software?

Electric Quit version 8, or EQ8, is the most popular quilting software. Other popular options include Brother SAPVQ, Quilt Design Wizard, and Grace Quilters.

You may want to consider investing in design software that gives you access to many functions and tools if you spend a lot of time quilting.

EQ8

Electric Quilt 8 software
Photo credit: electricquilt.com

With its advanced features and popularity, Electric Quilt dominates the quilting market. Its latest version, EQ8, was released in 2018. Even though this software costs almost $300, it includes hundreds of thousands of patterns, design tools, and even complete quilt templates!

You can use EQ8 on a Windows or MAC computer. In addition to yardage estimators, the program offers many quilt layout aids and a huge library of finished quilt block templates. Additionally, it has every kind of quilt block design feature you could need. You can draw from scratch, use templates to draft the basic shapes in your block or import photos to translate into a quilt block template.

EQ8 Mini

EQ8 Mini - quilt software
Photo credit: electricquilt.com

If you don’t feel ready to make that kind of investment, consider the “starter pack” version of the software, EQ8 Mini. This beginner kit is less expensive and has a smaller learning curve than the full-scale product. Although it offers only 300 block templates, you can still design basic blocks and layouts using this program.

It is only compatible with Windows computers, which is a downside to this handy scaled-down version. When you buy the full version, you’ll also get a greater library and a larger variety of design options.

Introducing Preview Quilt Design, the next product on Brother SAPVQ’s roster. The Brother brand has a great reputation in the sewing industry, so you’re guaranteed a quality product with this program! Nonetheless, this product includes only 150 templates and works only on Windows desktops.

The price is also quite reasonable, at $99, of course. It provides a full range of design tools and allows you to upload pictures of your fabrics to see how the finished quilt will look! Moreover, with its useful sizing tools, you can make everything from baby quilts to king-sized quilts!

PreQuilt (Paid Version)

PreQuilt software example
Photo credit: prequilt.com

A subscription-based version of PreQuilt is available. If you want access to the web-based design features, you can pay at various levels. There are two subscription levels: basic and market, which require an annual fee of $50 or $100 or monthly fees of $5 or $10.

Web-based access to the block library, saving your quilt designs, and even selling quilts are all possible! This product can be used on computers running Windows and Mac. The only downside is that it does not have EQ8’s huge library of designs.

Quilt Design Wizard

Quilt Design Wizard - paid quilt software
Photo credit: electricquilt.com

Even though Quilt Design Wizard is no longer available, it deserves a quick mention. It was launched before Electric Quilt released the EQ8 Mini. Although it can often be found second-hand on Etsy, eBay, or Amazon, it remains popular with quilters today.

The product provides a great introduction to quilt design for beginners. It includes 200 block patterns 3,000 fabric options, and a CD for installation.

There aren’t a lot of reviews for Grace Quilter’s design program. Furthermore, this product must be purchased and shipped rather than instantly downloaded. Despite that, this $299 software offers an impressive range of design features.

Custom-made blocks, layouts, and pantographs can be designed and printed with the program.

There is also a library of 200 premade designs that can be printed or adapted. This program is only compatible with Windows.

What is the Best App for Quilting?

Apps such as Quick and Easy Quilt Block Tool and Quilt Space are also useful quilting apps, but Quilting Calc and Quiltography are the best. You can easily find a decent variety of quilting apps for your tablet or phone if you prefer to design your quilt on your device.

Apps are tricky because some work on Android devices while others only work on Apple ones!

Android Apps for Quilt Design

In the past, Quilting Calc was only available on Android devices, but today, it is available on both Android and Apple devices! The quilting calculator works on both Android and Apple devices and offers nine types of quilting calculations!

This app is the perfect solution when you’re scratching your head at the fabric store. It can help you determine how much fabric, backing, batting, and binding you need for any size quilt. It also helps you convert other measurements, such as yards and meters.

Quiltspace

Quiltspace quilt software
Photo credit: play.google.com

A second Android app for quilting is Quiltspace. One of the purposes of this forum is to provide a place for quilters to ask questions and provide answers. Also, no critical comments are allowed in this safe, encouraging environment! In addition, it is a free app for Android.

iPad App for Quilt Design

You can make quilt blocks on the iPad with Quiltography if you want to learn how! It is quite expensive at $14.99, but it works better than any other available quilt design app. In addition to block design tools, it also allows you to take pictures of your fabric stash.

It is also possible to make your block templates, although you can choose from a large library. The finished quilt block can also be viewed by importing photos of your fabrics! This app works only on Apple devices, which is its only disadvantage.

Cora – Sew Your Fabric Stash

Cora quilt software
Photo credit: apps.apple.com

Cora- Sew Your Fabric Stash is a second Apple app that works on your iPhone or iPad. There is no cost involved. With it, you can keep track of the cost and appearance of your quilting and sewing materials.

The app may not provide everything you need to design a quilt, but it could help you plan and shop for one!

Best Quilt Design Software 2024

Here’s a quick overview of the best quilt design options available if you’re in a hurry.

 CostCompatible With
EQ8$300Windows, MAC
EQ8 Mini$90Windows, MAC
PreQuiltFree version, or annual subscription of $50-100Web-based
Quilt AssistantFreeWeb-based
MyWebQuilterFreeWeb-based
Quilt FusionFreeWindows, MAC
Quilting Buddy$1.99Windows
Preview Quilt Design$99Windows, MAC
Quilt Design WizardPurchase secondhandSoftware for Windows
Grace Quilter$299Software for Windows
Quiltography$14.99Apple
Fabric Stash$2.99Apple
Quilting CalcFreeAndroid and Apple
QuiltSpaceFreeAndroid

How to Make Your Quilt Pattern?

How to Make Your Own Quilt Pattern

If you learn to use one, you can easily design and layout your quilt blocks with a quilt design program!

It may take some time to feel comfortable using more comprehensive software like EQ8. Electric Quilt’s website and YouTube are both great places to find tutorials! While most web-based products and apps are more intuitive, they are also limited in functionality.

The basic steps for designing a quilt pattern on a computer or device are as follows.

  • To create the right design, you must first select the appropriate tool. The information in this article should have helped you make your decision!
  • Decide on the type of quilt or its size. If you want to make a king-size quilt to sell, would you make a baby blanket as a gift?
  • As soon as you have determined the size of the quilt, decide how many blocks it will contain. Is it better to have many small blocks or many large blocks? You can do all the necessary math with the help of your design tool!
  • Quilt blocks can be created in various ways with different design tools. An object may be scanned and transformed into a quilt design with the help of a scanner. Sometimes, you can upload images of your fabric or use shapes and colors to design your own!
  • Fabric Stash can help you purchase fabric if you do not already have any.
  • Once you have finished all your digital quilt blocks, you must arrange them in the layout. If all your blocks have the same design, you may need to create a simple repetitive pattern. The blocks in the quilt may form one large image, like a difficult puzzle!
  • Using design tools, you can select various stitching options to find the right quilt binding. Remember to plan these components yourself if you don’t!
  • Beautiful quilts are a joy to design and a challenge to make. Your task will hopefully be made easier by finding a quilt design program.

Quilt Design Software FAQs

Are there any entry-level options for those new to digital quilting?

EQ Mini is an excellent entry-level option for beginners or those not ready to commit to a full-featured program. Priced lower, it offers fewer features than EQ8 but still provides ample tools for designing quilts, making it suitable for those exploring digital quilting without the need for more advanced capabilities.

What are some key benefits of using quilting design software over traditional methods like map pencils and graph paper?

Quilting design software offers several advantages over traditional methods. It significantly streamlines the design process, making it faster and more efficient. Users can experiment with fabrics and colors digitally, allowing for greater creativity and flexibility. Additionally, software often includes tools for precise calculations and simulations, reducing the risk of errors and unpleasant surprises in the final product.

Conclusion

Every quilt is artistic. Quilt blocks require skill, precision, and artistry to design intricate shapes and patterns. Quilting software can simplify this complex process so that you can create even better quilts!

The calculations necessary to fit together many fabric shapes can be performed with software such as EQ8 and Quilt Assistant. Several apps simplify planning a quilt, such as Quiltography and Fabric Stash. To master quilt design, you can find several free and paid online tools.

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