Anyone who has ever designed a quilt or block on graph paper, and then struggled to accurately calculate yardage can appreciate the ease of digital quilt design. Software packages provide a huge amount of flexibility, freeing quilters to focus on sewing rather than number crunching.
Quilters who prefer creating unique projects can benefit greatly from using these design packages. The variety and type of designs possible are a huge improvement over what can be done with colored pencils and paper.
The more sophisticated the design software, the more creativity is possible. Beyond the convenience of yardage calculations, for example, it is possible to try out fabrics in a design using many packages currently available. Quilters can actually see how colors, patterns and layout play together before ever taking scissors to fabric.
The following software reviews can help you find the best package for you :
Block Factory : Mariner's Compass
Town & Country Patchwork
Margaret Miller's Angle Play
Compare And Select A Package
While software enables the creation of amazing designs, this is only possible when the package "fits". First and foremost, it is important to consider your level of technical expertise when comparing & selecting software. Even the most creative quilter will have difficulty designing with software intended for the uber techno-savvy unless their computer skills are up to snuff.
Take the time to investigate whether a design package is compatible with your system. Many run exclusively on PCs or require the latest Macintosh operating system, for example. Before spending a dime, compare the environment needed with your computer's configuration.
Finally, think about functionality. Decide what features you'll actually use and which are simply bells and whistles. If you appliqué frequently, but never incorporate embroidery in your designs, for example, a package featuring an extensive appliqué library but no appliqué is not your best investment.