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Quilt-Pro 5 for the Mac


Quilt-Pro 5 for Macintosh OS-X
No longer available at Soft Expressions

Review by Sharla Hicks ©2008

Impressive innovation and changes are found with the jump from Quilt-Pro 3 for the Mac to Quilt-Pro 5 for the Mac. The below review focuses on many of the highlights found in the program.

System Requirements:

  • Quilt-Pro for Macintosh runs on OS X
  • Color QuickDraw (your system can display 256 or more colors)
  • 16mb RAM
  • 30mb Hard Disk space
  • Mouse or compatible pointing device

screenI have used Quilt-Pro since version one and Quilt-Pro remains close to its roots and has not changed any basic easy-to-use operations creating a quick learning curve for previous users.

Version 5 is equally traditional and innovative friendly. Version 5's new help files make learning Quilt-Pro fast and easy. The new enhancements in Quilt-Pro 5 are designed to make navigation through the program using Wizards and feature rich right click menus allowing streamlined access to many of the strong features like layers for easier setup and use.

Screens for Quilting Blocks and Quilts

screenQuilt-Pro has two types of screens, one for drawing blocks or quilts and one for automatic quilt layout. Quilt-Pro 3 added the ability to have multiple screens for both the Block and Quilt Layout open at the same time (see example.) This gives the user the ability to work on multiple ideas at the same time without having to close the separate screens first.

Quilt-Pro's easy to use Color tools:

The Color Palette can be docked at the bottom of the screen (docked at the bottom of the screen is Sharla's favorite choice) The color palette can also float like the fabric palette does in previous example.

Color Tools

color tools

  • Paint patches with any fabric or color using the paint tool.
  • Select all Patches with the same color or fabric for easy swapping to new choice.
  • Use the Color Picker Tool to match colors and fabrics already found in a block or quilt.

Improved Fabric Palette

Selecting a Fabric is super simple when the Tools Bar is on screen. Click on the fabric icon and a palette pops open. To change a palette, use the drop-down menu and select a palette choice by color, manufacture, my fabrics, patterns or themed.

Fabric library
The Fabric Palette view window can be enlarged or reduced in size.

fabric sorted by themes
Fabric Palettes sort by Themes

fabric sorted by pattern
Fabric Palettes Sorted by Pattern

Quilt-Pro has developed a special website with new Fall and Spring fabric lines ready for downloading directly to your Fabric Libraries. This website can be accessed from the Help menu whenever you are online. These files also include new blocks and quilt projects that you can use.

Calculate Fabric Yardage:

Quilt-Pro has set up an easy-to-use Yardage Calculation command. It allows you to select several choices for calculating yardage. It gives you the yardage needed and the number of patches required.

Yardage calculationsYardage Calculations

layers exampleLayers

The Layers found in Quilt-Pro are similar in function to other graphic programs like Corel Draw or Adobe Illustrator. Quilt-Pro offers the ability to create 3 layers: (see example)

  1. Stencil/quilting line
  2. Appliqué
  3. Base

Layers allow the creation of very complex blocks or quilts with appliqué and quilting overlays that are independent of each other for more control in the design process. Quilt-Pro has the ability to manage or add layers every time you setup a block or quilt screen using one of the Wizards or related dialogue boxes by having a Layer Tab in each wizard.

quilt wizard
Note the Layer Tab at the end of Quilt Wizard

Once you start using layers they will become indispensable when creating new blocks and quilts! Appliqué Overlay on top of a pieced block with layers is simplified a hundred fold.

layer button to leftThe Preferences Choice in Quilt-Pro allows you to individualize where you want the Layer Buttons to be placed on the screen, at the Top or Side:

layers buttons at top

Layer Preference Settings are liberal and allow setup according to the block or quilt design requirements.

preferences dialogue box


Finding the Block, Border, Sash, Quilt and Fabrics you want to use.

All Block, Border, Sash, Project and Fabric Libraries have 4 options for finding what you need, New in Quilt-Pro 5 is the replacement of the Block Index List with an interactive File Search that allows you to search by keyword, phrase, or file type. Very slick!

single block preview
Single preview dialogue box

broswer view
Browse (view)
multiple blocks, quilts, and fabrics then select or drag and drop your choice

file search
File Search |
(note the choices above)

The New 1 Click Browsing
Top Bar
Click Icons in the Top Menu Bar


Block Browser

block library
fabric library
Click Fabric Palette Icon in Tools Bar
more on Fabric Palettes to follow



Quilt-Pro holds true to the standard Window options we have come to expect in software. Quilt-Pro maximizes menus by using the drop-down menus, side flyout menus, dialogue boxes and right click mouse access to menus. Quilt-Pro 5 has streamlined the top menu bar so that you go to the File Menu to open all Files. (See example) Here you will find multiple options like New, Open, Open Recent, Browse, Save Palettes, Save and much more for Quilts, Blocks, Borders, Sashes, Color Palettes, and Fabric Palettes.

Open Recent Menu

edit menuThe Edit menu (undo, cut, copy, paste, select all, duplicate) is available to both the quilt and block screens. My favorite selection is the undo up to 10 times feature.

quilt wizardFor the Block, Quilt and Screen options use the Wizards with multiple Tabs to guide you through set up for each. The example shows the quilt layout dialogue box.

The work space (screen view area) has an option to Show or Hide the Tool Bar, Fabric Palette, and Color Palette depending on your needs and the right click menus allow you quick access without having to go to the top menus to make changes. Preferences allow the setup of large, medium or small Tools Bar to meet your visual or workspace needs. Fabric and Floating Color palettes can be resized.


Quilt Layout & Quilt Wizard

Streamlined access to Wizards makes automatic quilt layout the star feature of Quilt-Pro. It has the ability to include multiple borders, inner and outer sash, and many layout options including an outstanding medallion quilt layout. The new Quilt Wizard in Quilt-Pro 5 has tabs for Layout, Size, Medallion, Borders, Sashes, Binding and Layers that lead you right through the process of selecting all your quilt layout options from beginning to finish.

Quilt Wizard Tabs

Binding yardage calculation is new in Quilt-Pro 5. You can add Straight, French or Bias binding to any quilt layout.

Below view the Quilt Layout Types and Block Placement options. New in Quilt-Pro 5 are layouts for Hexagon Blocks, Baby Blocks. Nice is the addition of the Freeform Blocks (a multi-sized block layout feature) like the one below where you can add a block in any arrangement or size you wish. This style of quilt is used often in the Country Style quilt with multiple borders.

A new enhancement to the Quilt-Pro 5 Quilt Layout is the 1 click block drop. Once you select a block in the Block Browser all you need to do is click on the Quilt Layout and the block inserts its.

Quilts with Borders added
2 Straight Block Layout created using the Rotate Block Tool
and a Free Form Quilt Layout for custom sized blocks

Hexagon and Baby Block Layout
No borders added

Draw Tools

The operation methods in the Draw screen are very similar to regular graphic programs on the market with the addition of built-in quilt features that make quilting software more friendly when drawing patches for blocks and is the real reason to buy a quilt a quilt program. Blocks can be drawn with geometric shapes or using appliqué and the helpful layering option. This is a truly rich program for drawing blocks.

Quilt-Pro Tools Bar has 44 tools used to aide in drawing a block or assist in quick browsing through blocks, scanned photos and fabric palettes. The Tools include zoom tools, coloring tools, rotary cutter, patches, rotate arrows, edit tool, text tool, tape measure, grain lines, align marker, and grid tools. To help you identify each tool, hover the mouse over the icon and a text block will appear that identifies the tool.

Use the Text Tool to open the Enter Text dialogue box. Create documentation, quilt labels, lettering and more for a block or quilt. The background can be a solid or fabric fill. Font type, style, and size can be personalized.

The rotary cutter allows you to slice up patches, similar to using a rotary cutter on fabric. New in Quilt-Pro 5 is an alignment marker tool that will help with alignment of patches when drawing a block as well as when printing, cutting and piecing. Also new is the ability to add your grain line that has an optional printout choice when printing templates. To round out the Tools Bar functionality Quilt Pro 5 adds optional functions tied to the Tools at the bottom of the Tools Bar for easy access and quick changes. These options appear when options are part of the tool. (Note the Angle, Horizontal, and Vertical options at the bottom of the Tools Bar.)

Drawing in Quilt-Pro does not require a closed patch like many of the other quilting programs. This option allows the line, arc and bezier curve tools to be used to create patches when joined (a separate function) or act as quilt lines on the blocks, great when creating stencils. Adding to the flexibility of drawn patches is the ability to select line width, color or style with dash, solid or dotted. These options allow you to create dashed lines that can look very much like a quilting stitch.

The Patch Stamp tool brings you a prebuilt library of common geometric and appliqué shapes. The Patch Stamp dialogue box shows what has already been drawn and you can save new stamps to the library of stamps. Simply select one and draw it on the screen.

The Round Arranger is new in Quilt-Pro 5 and can be found under the Effects Menu. It allows you to take any design and see what it will look like arranged around a circle. Flexibility is added to the setup options by allowing you determine how many designs to set, create an off set, add more than one ring, and determine the angle of the layout. The Round Arranger is wonderful for creating appliqué and wreath designs. Use geometric shapes to create kaleidoscope effects.

Make a wreath from patches using the Round Arranger

Included are 7 different grids for helping you create blocks. Check out the circle and 8-point star grids, pretty nifty! Quilt-Pro also has the ability to create and save your own custom grid from a drawing on the Block screen. Add powerful snap-to options like Snap-to Point, Snap-to Line and Snap-to Grid and the auto alignment for setting patches how and where you want are as good as any paint and draw program out there.

Draw foundation blocks that can be numbered using the Foundation Wizard for sewing sequence, sectioning and printing with accurate seam allowance size of your choice.

For additional information about how Quilt-Pro draws, refer to the resource section that includes Quilt-Pro Hints and Tips by Frank Smith and more. click here


Those familiar with graphic programs will find learning Quilt-Pro very easy.

For the rest of you, the Quilt-Pro Assistant allows instant access to rich how-to information. When the Quilt-Pro Assistant is achieved by a mouse click on any tool or menu item and the help file instantly jumps to the relevant topic. (See example.) This new mouse activated assistant eliminates the need to search through content indexes that often turn up dead-end searches because you do not know the correct keyword or phrase.

Another fantastic addition to the Assistant files is small video clips for some operations. For those you who do better by seeing than by reading these little clips will certainly fill the bill.

Help is added by optional Hints & Tips that can be turned off when it is no longer helpful. After drawing a patch, the following pop-up will appear that gives options to proceed.

To add to ease of learning Quilt-Pros menus follow the usual standard Windows fare with commands like duplicate, copy, paste, select all, but the menus also include quilt buzz words like blocks, borders, sashes, patch.

The on-screen Tools Bar, color and fabric palettes are graphically descriptive and makes it obvious most of the time where to go for what. Quilt-Pro does have some functions tied to the right mouse button for easy access that are not always as obvious and the Quilt-Pro Assistant fills that gap by telling you when a right click menu may be necessary.

The manual that comes with the program is well-written, step-by-step tutorial instructions for most of the functions and a small reference section and includes many projects for you try out.

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