With all of the quilty tools at our disposal, I am really surprised at how much I grab my iPhone when I am planning out a quilt. It started innocently enough with the generic calculator that is installed on every phone. We all know how much math is involved with quilting and sewing. I also found myself using my phone’s camera to help organize my projects. After laying out all of my blocks on my design wall, I will usually take a picture of them before I take them down and run over to my sewing machine to put my rows together. If my stack of blocks gets mixed up all I have to do is go to my phone and I have a visual reference for what goes where. I cannot tell you how many times this has saved my behind!
Apps for quilters are growing in popularity and helpfulness. Here’s our current list of fabulous apps designed specifically for quilters, and a new favorite app that I am making work for me!
QuiltingCalc by Robert Kaufman
QuiltingCalc has the simple-to-use calculators listed in the screenshot below. I don’t think I have completed a quilt without using this quilting app for binding, backing, batting or border yardage. It has always given me accurate numbers for what I need without a lot of waste. No confusing bells and whistles, just easy peasy.
QuiltFab by Mary Kay Podlecki
QuiltFab is another calculator to determine the amount of fabric needed for making the quilt backing, binding, borders, and sashing. You can change the fabric characteristics including width and shrinkage, the backing piecing preferences and quilting method, the binding width, the type and size of 1 to 3 borders, sashing strip sizes and counts, and plain block number and size. Size and fabric needs also can be calculated for corner and setting triangles, based on the size of a reference block. Help screens associated with each fabric calculation explain the choices and offer suggested values. You can also e-mail your calculations to yourself to save them for later. Technical support and video tutorials are also available.
BlockFab by Mary Kay Podlecki
BlockFab has a library of traditional quilt blocks that you can select and customize to figure out fabric yardage and cutting requirements. The library includes blocks such as churn dash, flying geese, pinwheels, spools and snowballs. This app should not be overlooked by modern quilters. A Double-T block or a Churn Dash done in a large scale can make an awesome modern quilt, and the math is all there for you! This app also has an e-mail function to save your work, along with technical support.
Schmetz Needle Guide
The Schmetz Needle Guide has a wealth of knowledge for choosing the right needle for the task at hand. You can select a needle by fabric type, learn all about needle anatomy, troubleshoot technical problems and more. You can also save your favorites as a reference for later. It even has a thread sizing guide. Love it!
ColorSnap by Sherwin-Williams
This app is a color-coordinating geekfest! Originally designed to create coordinate paint colors for home interiors, ColorSnap lets you take a photo on your phone of your focus fabric and generates a color palette instantly! It breaks down up to eight colors in your print, displaying swatches to help pick out solid or match up new prints. It also names the paint colors and numbers so you can go to your local Sherwin-Williams, pull paint swatches, and use them as larger color samples. Oh, the fun…and if you decide your latest quilt is a masterpiece that warrants a home makeover, pick a color from your quilt and paint the walls!
Do you have a favorite app when you sew? Please share!
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