Friday, March 29, 2013

Quilting and my phone

I haven't been sewing much lately but I do try and keep in touch with quilty stuff as much as I can during my fairly long commute to work. Using the time wisely :) I understand technology way better than I do quilting (hopefully I will get there some day with quilting too) so thought it would be nice to do a post on some of the apps that help me keep in touch with  the quilting world even when I am far away from it.

Here are a few apps I use frequently

The Quilter's Little Helper
I use this app a lot for estimating batting, backing and border sizes. You can also browse the Robert Kaufman fabric collection from the app itself. 


This is a great little app that has a library of blocks. I am not very conversant with block names so this comes in very handy. You can even view what quilt arrangements look like with the selected block and provides fabric estimates for making a quilt with the selected block.


This app is similar to The Quilter's Little Helper app. You can estimate fabric requirements for your quilts. I find them particularly handy when I am at a fabric store and I find the perfect fabric for one of my quilts and wonder how much I should buy.

Quilt Shops

It's always fun to visit a quilt shop when you are traveling to a new city or country. I use this app to find quilt stores in the area. Very handy. However I do find that sometimes the stores have gone out of business and have not been updated in the app. So always call before you drive down.

All the apps I mentioned above are free. I haven't installed any paid apps so far. An app I would really like to have is one where I can save an inventory of my stash. I occasionally forget the designers name or the name of the fabric line when at a store and it would be useful to have my stash to browse through to refresh my memory. I have also been thinking about a quilt design tool. But will wait up and invest in EQ7 or a similar desktop tool. Designing quilts on a small screen...hmm not real fun. There are a bunch of other quilting apps in the app store, let me know if you use one and really like it. I would love to try it out.

Since Google's big announcement about retiring it reader app I have looked around for other readers. The one I use a lot is 

Feedler RSS Reader

This is a very bare bone RSS feed reader and you can connect to any blog that supports RSS feeds. I like it because its very flexible and easy to configure. It's a very stable app. 

There are two other apps that I have been trying out for browsing my favorite blogs.


A pretty good RSS reader but it has some teething issues. For example if you want to comment on someone's blog you cannot do it from this app. You have to open the blog in Safari before you can type anything in.


I did claim my space on this blog reader, a very odd concept :) I still can't wrap my mind around that initial step. Why do you need to do that???? I know a lot of people in the quilting world are using Bloglovin but I haven't taken to it. 


I really like this app, I use it a lot on my iPad. You can combine all your feeds in one place. I use it as a portal. I can see Facebook activity, world news, tech news, quilting blogs and whatever I else I may fancy right in one place. It's like reading  a customized newspaper.

I also do use the Facebook, Pinterest, Flickr, Google+, Instagram apps to follow virtual friends and their doings..hopefully someday I get to meet some of them in person and I try to meet the ones I can as often as possible. Nothing can substitute direct face to face interaction.

To satisfy my learning curiosity I rely mainly on 


It's amazing what you can learn on YouTube. I attribute a lot of my sewing and quilting knowledge to YouTube. If you are not camera shy you can upload your own video tutorials. 


I have taken a couple of classes on Craftsy. Love them. Even caught up with Quiltcon happenings on Craftsy. Can't get any better.

Since I am on the train for over two hours a day I do read a lot. Actually I used to read a lot more before I discovered quilting :) I mainly buy e-versions of books. Though when it comes to quilting I do like the physical book. I rarely print tutorials, trying to be environment friendly here folks. I download them to my iPad and use that as a reference when sewing. I even borrow books from the public library electronically. I have membership to the New York Public Library which probably has the largest collection of books available electronically and you can borrow 14 books at a time. Can't get better.
Some of my favorite readers are:


There are a ton of readers out there, but I like this one because you can read a document in any format using this app. It does not have to be in PDF format. I used this mainly to read technical documentation but since then its become my primary quilting/sewing tutorial reader.


This is an e-Magazine reader. Last year I subscribed to 'Australian Homespun' magazine electronically. It's great to have the whole years subscription at your fingertips. You can even bookmark your favorite projects. There are just a few quilty magazines available electronically but hopefully more publishers will have e-offerings in future.

Last but not the

I have the customary Etsy, eBay and Amazon apps. I must say I have rarely bought anything from eBay or Amazon though, most of my purchases have been on Etsy. I just like to browse through all the handmade things on Etsy.

I also have the big store apps 

Jo Ann

I don't think I have ever gone to Jo Ann without a coupon. This app allows you to have coupons always at hand. Love the convenience.

Hobby Lobby

There is a hobby lobby right next to where I live. I use this app to see when fabric is on sale and use the coupon from the app. It sure beats remembering to take the physical coupon with you. Going paperless.

Wow I wasn't expecting the post to be so long but I just realized how obsessively I use my phone for everything quilt related :) Maybe I should make a quilted case for it!!!! I would love to hear your recommendations on useful sewing/quilting related apps.

Linking up to: Really Random Thursday


  1. Thanks for a great post! Just downloaded some of those apps for my Android :) I love the Quilt Shops one!

  2. visiting from really random thu. Just a bit too techy for me. I keep my phone as simple as possible

  3. Wow! You've really hit all the bases! I use some of these and will explore some of the other ones you've mentioned!


Thanks for visiting!