About Computer Quilting Software
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Answered by Sharla Hicks about quilt software.

Find out what is the best software, when is a graphic program better, can I export and import blocks into quilt software, can I scan fabric or blocks into quilting software? What about printing on fabric?

Also check out our 10-20% off discounts on popular quilt software in our store and our quilt software reviews by Sharla Hicks.


Questions answered by Sharla R. Hicks
author of the Computer Quilting Made Easy Series and the webmaster and editor of this website.

4.  FAQ: When is a Paint/Draw program better than a Quilt Program?

Using Paint/Draw program works best with quilts that use distortion, blending, gradation fills as the main factor in the quilt design.
  HINT:  I often develop my starting quilt in a quilt program and export it to a graphic program.
  NOTE: Be sure to check out Creative Impulse (a program being marketed to quilters who are looking for something different). It has innovative twists, curves, kaleidoscopes, parabolas and more in the design options--it does distortion like no other program--quilt or paint/draw--that I know of.

5.  FAQ: Can I export a block or quilt to another  "quilting program".

Electric Quilt and Quilt Pro have provide a back door by allowing you to export and import and .WMF files, the Windows Picture format.

6.  FAQ: Can I export a block or quilt to another Paint/Draw program (Corel Draw, Adobe Illustrator, Photo Shop) or Desktop Publishing program (Word, Word Perfect, Claris).

PC WINDOW PROGRAMS: Bargello, Creative Impulse, Electric Quilt, PCQuilt for Windows, Quilt-Pro and QuiltSOFT.  These programs easily use the Clipboard to copy and paste into another program that accepts Clipboard images. Some program have an export option built into the File menu that allows an export of a block and or quilt. Many of the Quilt Program manuals have tutorials that help you export blocks and quilts to other programs like Word for watermarks, address labels and other helpful ideas.

The two programs that I have been experimented successfully to nterface between Quilt-Pro and CorelDraw. Both work well together because they are both Vector based programs.  Ship the Quilt-Pro image via the clipboard over to CorelDraw and then UNGROUP the quilt.  Each individual patch is then ready to be colored, distorted and so much more! For more information on the technique, check out my Computer Quilting BYTES Newsletter Article for directions.

MACINTOSH PROGRAMS: Quilt-Pro and Quilter's Design Studio. These programs easily use the Clipboard to copy and paste into another program that accepts Clipboard images.  (Remember quilt programs do not accept a clipboard image, BUT it will copy the block or quilt to the Clipboard to be pasted into the a program that does accept clipboard images).

7.  FAQ: Can I "scan" in my block and use with my "quilt" in a quilting software?

Finally after many versions and many requests from quilters, the two major programs, Electric Quilt and Quilt-Pro have added direct scanning into the programs. A scan (picture) of a block, photo, design, ect. can be used as a block in a quilt layout. Excellent for memory quilts using photo scans.

NOTE: The limitation of the scan is the image is 1 large over all block (NO individual patches). If you want patches or applique pieces from the pattern, it is required that the drawing tools be used inconjunction with the trace table. The trace table (think of it as a light table) allows you to draw over top of the scan.

8.  FAQ: Can I scan my fabric into my Quilt Program?

Some you can, some you can't .

  •   You CAN scan files with .bmp extensions into Bargello Designer 32, Creative Impulse, Electric Quilt, PCQuilt (see note below), and Quilt-Pro, and QuiltSOFT.
  • QuiltSOFT supports many types of graphic fabric files: .pcx, .dcx, .bmp, .dib, .rle, .eps, .img, .jpg, tga, .wmf, .wpg files.
  • You CAN NOT scan fabrics into Vquilt or BlockBase.
  • HINT: Make sure you keep your scanned images small--large images do not fill in the way you expect because fabric is based on tiling (the repetition of a single design to fill the patch). I suggest opening several fabric examples (use Windows Paint program) to get an idea of the size of fabric image the program developers are creating!
  • For additional information about scanned fabric, check out the following articles:

9.  FAQ: Where can I find information on Printing and Scanning Fabric using the my Computer, Scanner and Printer?

For more FAQ's answered by Sharla Hicks go to:
Index to all Quilting Software Reviews, Articles, FAQs, and more