A web browser based tool for creating quilt designs.
What is this revolutionary thing we are creating?
We are building a quilt design tool that can be used in any modern web browser. It doesn't matter if you are on a PC or a Mac, you can use this tool to plan your quilts. Even better, you aren't tied to any one computer. As long as you can access the Internet and log into your account you can use the design tool and have full access to all of your saved designs. You can choose to keep your designs in your own private library or share them with other community members. And because this tool lives online, it's constantly being upgraded and getting new features so you'll always have the latest version.
The design tool is a feature-rich platform to plan your quilts. We will have a large number of built in shapes, tools, and templates to help you through the process and you can fill your designs with solid colors or fabric swatches. After you have built your design we'll calculate how much fabric you'll need of each type and put together a PDF with full-scale pieces from your design.
The design tool will be a subscription product, however there will be a light version available for free that will let you try out some of the features.
That sounds amazing! But who are we?
We are the founders of Threadbias.com, an online sewing community for sewists and quilters. We started with our community website but are now taking things to the next level and creating a product. The design tool will be a separate product from the community site, however it will be tightly integrated which means you'll be able to leverage your fabric stash and relate designs you've created to your projects.
The team is made up of Alex Peachey, who has created the existing website and is now developing the design tool. Partnered with him are his wife Rebecca Peachey and his sister Amanda Clow. Both Rebecca and Amanda have been sewing many years and have offered great advice and direction on the development of the design tool.
What are we going to do with this money?
First, we want the experience to be easy and intuitive and that means using a design and icon-set that feels natural to quilters. We may be able to find an existing set of icons that can be licensed for use in the product or we may have to commission some custom icons. Either way, it's going to cost money to put the polish on this tool that will make it easy and fun to use.
Second, we would like to launch this product in a big way. We think the best way is at QuiltCon in Austin, TX, in February 2013. QuiltCon provides a great audience of modern quilters who we feel would love our design tool and it is the perfect venue to showcase the debut. Modern Quilters are already online and what better way to plan their quilts than with an online design tool. Unfortunately, we don't have a booth yet. We are sponsoring QuiltCon and second on the wait list for a booth. If we get a booth, then our launch will involve travel expenses for the team, setting up our booth, and marketing materials. If we can't get a booth then we'll launch in another big way. Either through another show or through a large online promotion. By the way, if you currently have a booth at QuiltCon and think you would have room to sub-lease part of it, we'd love to hear from you.
Update (10/25/2012): We just got confirmation there is booth space for us at QuiltCon!
Last but far from least, as seen in the video, we're not done yet. We need to continue development of the product. There are a number of software development costs and any money raised above our goal will go towards accelerating development and/or adding more features.
How can we thank you?
We've put together some great incentives, most of which involve various levels of access to the design tool. Anyone who donates $10 or more will have early beta access to the design tool and will have the opportunity to help shake out the unwanted features and give input on what can be improved.
In addition, for those of you willing to go above and beyond and contribute at our higher tiers, the Threadbias team will hand craft something for you. Please note, depending on how many generous people decide to give at these higher tiers, there may be a delay in how quickly we can get the item to you.
We love getting feedback and welcome ideas for both new features and how existing features can be improved. We do our best to incorporate these ideas but can't always get to all of them. However, if you give at one of the higher tiers, you will have the opportunity to define a feature you would like and we will prioritize it higher and do our best to get the feature added in a timely fashion. Without trying to get too picky, we'll say a feature is anything that Alex thinks he can do in 10 hours or less. Features will be prioritized from the highest backers first.
We've also added some rewards offering advertising spots on Threadbias. Please note though that Threadbias is a sewing community so our advertisements need to be targeted towards that market.
Even if you don't sew, you likely know someone who does, so we've created a few tiers for people who are not themselves interested in the design tool but still want to help us achieve our goals. Or, if you'd rather choose a design tool related tier you can assign your access to the tool to someone else.
Remember, Kickstarter campaigns are all or nothing propositions. To make this work we need your help! Every contribution makes a difference and gets us that much closer to our goal - the small donations really do add up. Also, we ask that you please help us get the word out about our KickStarter campaign by sharing with your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors. The more people that know about what we are doing the more likely it is we will reach our goal and be able to make this design tool a reality.
We can't wait to see some of the amazing designs and subsequent quilts made by using the tool we are building. Thank you so much for your support.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We feel confident in our ability to make the design tool and have already made great progress as shown in our video. However there are always risks in software development that something may prove harder than originally anticipated. This may mean delays in our release plans and/or dropping planned features.
We don't have an exact date for when the beta will open but I can explain what needs to happen before we open the beta to all of our Kickstarter supporters. Part of the money being raised is going to be used to hire a designer to craft icons, UI elements, and create general styling for the tool's layout and design. As soon as we can incorporate that work, we'll open the beta.
During the beta period we'll continue to add new features and improve on existing features as well as fix any issues you help us find.
The goal is to then close the beta in mid-February and open subscriptions starting with the launch at QuiltCon.
There are a number of quilt design software packages out there, some more popular than others, that target the desktop market. Each of these is available for a specific environment such as Windows on a PC or OS X on Mac.
While initially we won't be as feature rich, because this is a web-based tool we can make rapid updates and add new features all the time. For those not familiar with the http://Threadbias.com community site we have built, we follow this model there as well and add in features continually as suggested and requested by users.
Also, by making this a web-based tool that will work in any modern browser, we have the added benefit of working on all major platforms and you can even switch platforms and still have consistant access to all of your work.
Finally, we're taking a fresh approach to quilt design software and feel we can create an intuitive and very easy to use product.
The short answer is yes.
The longer answer is we plan on molding this tool into the tool that our customers want. The only real question is when will the tool be able to do something or have a specific feature.
There are several advantages to making a web-based tool, but my favorite is the fact that we can make updates and add new features as often as we like and every time you open the tool to use it, you have the latest version with any new features we've added in.
We have in our heads a set of "core" features we think are really important to have in place before we launch the subscription service, but even these can get added to or changed as we progress towards and through the beta period. And once the tool is released as a subscription product, we won't be stopping. Far from it actually as we'll be getting even more feedback from the broader customer base.
We hope you'll all help us build this into an amazing tool everyone will want to use.