Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Quilters Way Blog Tour Day 2

Today is my day in the Quilter's Way Blog Tour.  If you haven't already checked out Alice's review, hop on over to her blog and don't forget to check out the rest of the blog posts this week.  Here's the schedule.


I've mentioned it before, but Quilter's Way is one of my favorite quilt stores.  It's where I took my first quilting class and how I became addicted to quilting.  It was close to my college and always had some more fun, modern fabrics.  I've been a regular there for about 7 years now.. Now, Quilter's Way has launched a quilt kit designer tool.

Here's how the tool works:
To start, select a kit design.  Right now you have a choice of 10 quilts.  For this review, I'm going to make the Twisting Again quilt kit. 

When you select your kit, it appears initially in the pre-selected fabrics that the kit template comes in.  This is where you have fun in designing your kit.  Begin selecting fabrics for each design element.

Here you can see that I'm auditioning fabrics for the quilt that I'm designing.  Some of the initial colors are still there as I add and remove fabrics.
On the right hand side is a drop menu that allows you to select different fabric lines. When you select a fabric line the fabrics available in that line appear to the left.  You just drag the fabric that you like down to the fabric position you choose.  As you change fabrics, you'll see the price of your kit change based on the price of the fabrics you choose.  For example, if you use all solids, your kit will probably cost less than if you select all designer cottons.

Here I'm pretty happy with how my quilt kit looks.  As you can see with this screenshot, you can see where the fabrics are placed in the quilt below the fabric swatch. As you change each swatch you'll see the fabric change in the kit in the upper left and below the swatch.
At any time you can enlarge the quilt to see a close up.  The quality is a bit grainy, but you have a good idea of what the quilt looks like.  I like it!  I think this will be my final quilt kit.

I decided to make another quilt to keep playing around.  Here's a second quilt kit that I designed using all solids this time.

What I like about the tool:
  • You can see what the quilt looks like with the fabrics you select.  
  • I love that you can see how much the quilt kit will cost you as you go.  
  • The kit designer is very intuitive to use. I really think that most everyone can use the kit designer.  If you've used EQ, this tool is MUCH easier to use.
  • You can design a quilt kit very fast.  
  • You can save your design and come back to it later on to see if you still like it or if you want to make changes
  • Instead of just laying fabrics out next to each other, like you would in a store, you can get a good representation of what the quilt will look like with the actual fabrics. 
A couple of areas for improvement:
  • I'd love to see additional quilt designs added to the tool.  I'm sure additional patterns will be added over time.  An added bonus would be if we could upload our own pattern and create a kit for our own quilt, but I imagine that's a ways out.
  • You can't press the back button on your toolbar, you mist use the navigation in the tool. I pressed the back bar on my browser and had to start over.  It's just a matter of habit to press the back button on my browser.  User error on my end, but just be aware. 
  • You need to know your fabric lines and what they're called to search through the fabric.  Luckily, I know my lines, but I know many folks who don't know the names of fabric lines and might struggle to find the right fabric.  Maybe a search feature by color would be helpful.
  • I also needed to do this on my laptop and couldn't do this on my iPad because it requires flash. Not a huge deal, but it could annoy some people.
Onto the giveaway.  The winner of this giveaway will win a fat quarter bundle of four fat quarters of Echo by Lotta Jansdotter provided by Quilter's Way.
To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is comment on this blog and answer the following question, "What is the one quilting tool you couldn't live without?" If you are a no-reply blogger, please leave your email address so that I have a way of contacting you if you win.

The winner will be announced on Monday, January 23rd.  Good luck!


    1. My fabric scissors that cost way too much, but are worth every penny.

    2. My 1/4-inch foot. My piecing has so much improved after I got one.
      Thank you for the detailed explanation of the programm.

    3. My rotary cutter. I can't imagine having to cut all the fabric with scissors. Too slow.

    4. My newest tool...Pinmoors! No more getting 'stuck' with pins!!!

    5. I agree with Melinda, I couldn't do much without my rotary cutter and mat~ I have several now!

    6. I love my rotating cutting mat, what a time saver! Love the fabrics in the giveaway.

    7. I really don't think I could live without my sewing machine. Is that too obvious? It's true!
      Thanks for the give away!

    8. I cant live without my seam ripper!

    9. i guess rotary cutter is my answer too!
      i actually like sewing by hand, but would certainly not get much done!! thanks fo rthe giveaway!

    10. WONDERFUL review and tutorial!! Thank you for taking the time to put it together!! My favorite quilting tool -- would have to be "Sally" my sewing machine.. She and I have spent many happy hours together since she moved into my home! ;-) Thank you so much for the chance to win some Echo fabric! It is so pretty!!! :-)