Quilting Software Review
Quilt Design Wizard is a simple to learn quilting software program from the folks at The Electric Quilt Company. Read through the instructions the first time you open the program -- just so you know the basics -- but I this quilting software program is so intuitive that you'll design your first quilt in no time.
Cost (as of publishing), $29.95.
Quilt Design Wizard Quilt and Block Design
Quilt Design Wizard includes 200 pre-drawn quilt blocks and a palette of 3,000 quilting fabrics.
The quilt block library is sorted by block types, such as four-patch, nine-patch, pictorial and more, making it easy to find designs and choose blocks that work well together. Select a block and click on a space in your layout to put it in the quilt.
Once blocks are in place you'll find several clickable buttons to help you manipulate them. Rotate the blocks one-by-one or choose the "Magic" tool and Quilt Design Wizard displays potential layouts for you.
Paint your quilt blocks with any combination of fabrics. Change fabrics one patch at a time or use another tool to instantly replace all like-fabrics in a block. Choose a third tool to quickly change all like-fabrics in the quilt to another fabric.
From Design to Finished Quilt
Use Quilt Design Wizard to print your projects as full-page drawings.
You'll find quiltmaking help in PDF files that can be printed or viewed on your computer screen.
Software Reference Materials
Quilt Design Wizard's installation disk includes detailed user's manuals helpful movie clips.
Animation and voice explanations illustrate exactly how to use important tools.
The manufacturer offers ongoing support and ideas on the Quilt Design Wizard Web site.
To use Quilt Design Wizard, you'll need a PC running Windows 98, ME, 2000 or XP, a CD-ROM drive, 64 MB RAM, a 16-bit/high color monitor capable of 800x600 resolution, Internet Explorer 5.01 or higher, Windows Media Player, Acrobat Reader and 450 MB hard drive space.
I was able to use the software from within Virtual PC on a Mac G5. Virtual PC is a software program that allows Macintosh users to install and run Windows compatible software. The program's drawing speed was just slightly slower than on the PC.
Software programs are usually frequently updated. Check the publisher's website for current details.
Quilt Design Wizard focuses on ease of use. You cannot draw blocks and you cannot import additional fabrics (but you can download free patterns with additional fabrics, then edit the patterns). The company's Electric Quilt software offers more options, but keep in mind that the learning curve is steeper.
You cannot export a quilt image as a graphic file to use online or in another document.
I printed the basket quilt and scanned the image to show you the first quilt I designed.
You cannot change a quilt's layout type. In other words, if you choose a horizontal layout you can't switch to an on-point design later. You'll have to start over for that, but you can alter components as many times as you like.
Overall Impression of Quilt Design Wizard
Quilt Design Wizard is an excellent program. It makes you an instant quilt designer and it offers the perfect solution for playing with fabric colors and textures.
Click on a button to see how shades of purple and green look together, or to visualize how changing a component's color value affects the layout. You know what that means, don't you? Less fabric waste.
If you want a more powerful program, go for Electric Quilt, a generic drawing program like Adobe Illustrator, or another quilt design software package.
If you want something easy to learn and use, at an excellent price, you can't beat Quilt Design Wizard.
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.