Have you heard about ThreadBias yet? It's a free community for quilting and sewing enthusiasts with sharing of projects, forums and groups, shops for fabric and for patterns (with freebies, yay!), a personal corkboard and more.
Now, the community is great and I've signed up but I've not posted much yet. I'm really in it for the software. One of the founders, Alex, is a coder by trade who, with his wife and sister, found a huge gap in the tools available to quilters and decided to create their own. It'll be a Cloud-based (that means you don't have to download it to your computer) application you can use to design your quilts: you can upload pics of your own fabrics and with a click here and a click there, insert your own fabrics into your own design.
Do other programs exist that will do this for you? Sure they do - if you're willing to spend lots of money for the install disks and store everything on a single workstation and then get a PhD in Geekology to learn the software. To my knowledge there is exactly one product intended specifically for quilters; there are other apps, meant for other primary uses, that you can use for designing your quilts but the learning curve is STEEP and there will be huge pieces you don't use because they don't apply to quilting so much. With the Threadbias tool you'll pay a subscription fee for access to the software - easy to use, easy to pay for, sounds like a great deal to me!
I grilled Alex pretty heavily at Sewing Summit and he knows his stuff, both in terms of programming and quilting. We discussed some of the really geeky bits (architecture, platform) but also how a user would change all of their triangles from fabric A to fabric B, for instance, and I can honestly say there was no "Oh, yuck" moment while he was showing me the tools. It's going to be drag-and-drop friendly, very intuitive, so you can think about your quilt instead of which axis goes where and which filters apply and all that nastiness.
The Threadbias team has an open campaign on KickStarter to fund this new quilt design tool. You can read all about it HERE - and like Katy, I really want you to. Please don't make me learn CADD, it's scary.
To help out I'm offering up a giveaway. I have a large pile of SELVAGES ready to be mailed to your home; I may be able to find another little goodie or two to throw in the box as well. Make a pledge on Threadbias's Kickstarter campaign and come back here to let me know you did. Giveaway is open to all backers of this project and will end when the funding campaign ends.
p.s. - I am not affiliated with the Threadbias team and know them only through Kickstarter and Sewing Summit. The only profit I will gain from their success will be the chance to have a great tool for getting my quilting ya ya's out.