I love being organized. I feel like everything in my life runs much smoother when I know where I'm at in all my projects.
One thing I'm absolutely NOT is tech savvy. If you've ever visited The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery, you'll see super cute icons, logos, cross stitch patterns...tons of computer illustrated goodness. And that's not me. That's my amazingly talented business partner, Ashleigh. I'm lucky if I can edit photos some days.
So when Pat asked me if I'd review Quilt Album software, I was hesitant. I wasn't sure I'd be able to figure it out and I like to keep my blog very ad-free. You won't see a zillion giveaways, sponsored blog posts, etc here. I'm just a girl who loves to sew & stitch and share those things with you! Plus I'd be really embarrassed if I couldn't figure it out.
I forwarded Pat's email to Chop who told me to give it a try and he'd help me. And I am SO hooked. I'm really glad she invited me and he told me to buck up.
Here's my completely unedited review. I did get the software for free and I was invited by Pat. So there is that to keep in mind!
It's available for instant download which is AWESOME. I'm realizing now I hate waiting for stuff in the mail. It's $29.95 which to me, is something I'd pay for. I was kind of using open office, EQ7 & flickr to keep track of projects and it wasn't working out, with QuiltAlbum, everything is in one spot and easy to search. Flickr is $25 for ONE year. So add another $5 as a one time fee for permanent software that will never expire. That is awesome. Flickr can sometimes get cranky or you have to set things to private, then you have albums, sets, collections...too much! At least for me. This is easy, enter in a quilt name and you can put EVERYTHING in one section.
QuiltAlbum is REALLY easy to use. Even for a bad computer user like me. In an hour I entered all my Farmer's Wife blocks, two quilts I designed in EQ, 3 mini quilts and some fabric bundle ideas. That is AWESOME!
You can drag and drop photos into the album. I'm always making fabric piles of "quilt ideas". I added a few photos of these stacks with quilt block ideas. This way if I'm ever thinking, "hey, I'd like to try something new", I can just look through my album, see bundles of fabric I already put together and LOVE, some blocks ideas and VOILA! Ready to go! This is going to be really handy for days when I'm "cleaning" up my sewing room and finding fat quarters and falling back in love with them. One snapshot on my phone, upload later that night with a note to use this fabric in a new quilt, bada bing, stored in the computers memory, not mine. And it might help with all the piles of fabric everywhere so I don't "forget which colors I liked". ;)
Here are some things you can add to your quilt album:
- project title
- the date you started/finished
- who designed the pattern
- who quilted the quilt
- what type of batting you used (I LOVE this one, I like to try different varieties often and this way I can keep try of what quilted & washed up best!)
- quilt construction. So for example, I used Y seams for the first time in a block, I made a note of that.
- quilting method- I liked this a lot too because I could write, free motion quilted with a different foot or used walking foot with yada yada stitch length.
And then there is a large section for notes. Cool right?
I also took a photo of each of my sewing machines, inserted in when I bought them (in the quilt started area), when I had them serviced (in the notes) and if I noticed anything weird lately (also in the notes).
So I'm REALLY enjoying this software. I'm thinking of it as a virtual sewing organizational kit. Lots of space but not so much that I feel overwhelmed and annoyed. I loaded it on our netbook because I like to keep it next to me when I sew because it's small, although it is available for Mac's (yipee!) so I'll probably install it on there as well. I'm not sure if you can have two different computers sync up and have the quilt same info on both laptops. That would be GREAT.
The one thing I didn't like and some of you might think this is silly, it's the font/color scheme. Maybe I'm used to macs where the layout is very clean and crisp. The navy blue, hot pink and purple just seemed dated and stale to me. It doesn't deter me from using it but I'd love it in neutrals. I'm afraid some people might be turned off by the logo/colors and think it was too fuddyduddy and not want to try it out and that's a bummer! Maybe it could be freshened up?!
Either way, I'd buy this software and I like that it replaces flickr, open office and random sheets of scribble paper. It feels GOOD to have everything handy in ONE computer program and then later on when I want to blog/flickr about something, I have all the info in ONE area, I don't have to hunt around to remember who designed something or try to guess the measurements!
If you'd like to win a copy of QuiltAlbum, leave a comment telling me how you currently organize your quilt projects. Don't leave some silly comment like "hi, nice blog post, enter me, k thanks bye". You won't be entered because you gotta answer the question, that's the law around these parts ;) !!! I want to know how YOU organize stuff. I'll announce a winner on Wednesday when I blog my farmers wife block! Sound good? Good!
Thanks for reading my review & see you on Wednesday!
Hi everyone! thanks for your comments! If you get a chance, check out Jim's comment:
"I noticed a lot of mention of flickr. Well, you can post your complete album online on flickr, facebook and any other online photo place that you can post jpg’s. You can also post your complete album onto an iPad or Color Nook. The album page will not only have your quilt picture, but all of the information about your quilt. See an album on flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/quiltalbum/sets/72157625012753649/show/"
That's CRAZY AWESOME! I'm excited to give it a try! Thanks Jim!