Tuesday, 5 January 2021

Writing Patterns

I have been writing quilting patterns for a very long time, initially  as a contributor to various quilting magazines and eventually on a number of different platforms.

I am currently revamping my Etsy shop which is turning out to be a huge job, but I made myself a list and slowly but surely working through it, checking my photos, my pattern instructions, making slight improvements here and there. It is starting to look really good.

At the same time I am working on a new pattern (actually I am working on three new quilts which is always an interesting scenario) which is taking a bit longer than I expected. I do not use pattern testers but trial the pattern myself. Pattern testers would be good but I feel it is a bit of an imposition to ask other people to stitch together my quilts. Also, I do like to iron out any issues with my pattern before I publish it and the best way for me is to sit and go through it myself. 

I draft my patterns in EQ8 and as I know the measurements go ahead and write down a bit of a draft first, noting the changes that have to be made as I go along. The actual stitching looks something like this...somewhat messy, but I assure you this is my organised version of a mess.
I thought that I had my pattern down pad, but this is one of those moments when I noticed that I need a diagram in front of my nose, as I attached my triangle to the wrong side. This is why it is so helpful to actually test the pattern yourself. I had glanced over at my quilt layout thinking that I knew what I was doing but obviously got it wrong. I need something like the diagram below in my pattern write up at this point.

If I get that wrong, so will other people and unpicking stitched units is so annoying. You want to make it as easy as possible for people to follow your instructions.

And so I go along through the pattern, making notes of what needs to be included, what is not that clear and whether or not there are any tips and tricks to speed up the process. 

Not a quick process but necessary if you want to get it right. This is why I love pattern writing...it is such an absolute brain drain! Once the quilt is done, the actual write up of the pattern will take about as much time as I did for construction.

Despite your best efforts there are sometimes things that are missed. I have had a pattern up on the net for some six years by now
Let's Play Baby Quilt

This little quilt has been incredibly successful over time but it was not until last year that a lady emailed me providing some feedback (which I love). She liked the pattern but found one part of the instruction confusing. When I looked at it (I had not looked at that pattern for years!) I had to agree...what I had written was somewhat confusing and needed changing. These things do happen and its great when people take the time to suggest improvements. 

I have about three patterns lined up, so will be very busy with that over the next few months.


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