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Thread: Developing Quilt Patterns - Advice Please

  1. #1
    Senior Member kaelynangelfoot's Avatar
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    Developing Quilt Patterns - Advice Please

    I'm in the process of developing some original quilt patterns that I would eventually like to post for sale on sites such as Crafsty, Etsy, etc.

    I have purchased some of the more popular quilt patterns to see how they are designed but I have a few questions for anyone willing to answer

    What kinds of information do you particularly like to see in a published pattern? Do you prefer diagrams or photos? What are some of the things you really don't like in a published quilt pattern or that turn you off the pattern?

    Thank-you in advance for taking the time to answer!

  2. #2
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    I like lots of photos or diagrams of the steps with 2-3 three lines of text to explain the step. I don't like big paragraph because I don't tend to read them.

  3. #3
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    I agree with Tartan...diagrams, photos and easy to understand text. I prefer lists to paragraphs - it's easier to find your place again when interrupted (frequently for me). I also like to see a list of all fabric requirements and all cutting requirements before the assembly instructions start. I hate to have to read several paragraphs only to find additional cutting instructions buried within. I like to have them all cut before I begin assembly. I also prefer easy to read type (arial for instance) rather than serif (times roman), and typed, not hand-written. Yardage/dimensions for multiple size quilts is a nice touch also. Almost forgot - pressing tips for particular blocks (if any) are also very helpful!

  4. #4
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    I like patterns that are set out like tutorials, with step-by-step photos of everything I need to do.
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  5. #5
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    know your audience. What level is your pattern aimed at?
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by katier825 View Post
    I agree with Tartan...diagrams, photos and easy to understand text. I prefer lists to paragraphs - it's easier to find your place again when interrupted (frequently for me). I also like to see a list of all fabric requirements and all cutting requirements before the assembly instructions start. I hate to have to read several paragraphs only to find additional cutting instructions buried within. I like to have them all cut before I begin assembly. I also prefer easy to read type (arial for instance) rather than serif (times roman), and typed, not hand-written. Yardage/dimensions for multiple size quilts is a nice touch also. Almost forgot - pressing tips for particular blocks (if any) are also very helpful!
    Ditto everything in this post!

  7. #7
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    Simple steps with diagrams. Good Luck
    Create something beautiful from scraps.

  8. #8
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    I need to see a section (block) and finished quilt project Easy to follow directions. It's nice to have a pdf link for printing.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Digitizingqueen's Avatar
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    Pictures and make sure you have a variety of people test the pattern - make sure they are not just telling u it's good to please you you need real unbiased testers before you push them to the public.

  10. #10
    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
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    I like to see finished measurements of components. If the larger quilt is made up of smaller units, I like to know those measurements before I proceed to the next step. Then if I'm off, I can adjust or redo before getting to the end and finding out that parts don't fit.
    Shelbie from the High County in Southern Ontario

  11. #11
    Super Member gramajo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shelbie View Post
    I like to see finished measurements of components. If the larger quilt is made up of smaller units, I like to know those measurements before I proceed to the next step. Then if I'm off, I can adjust or redo before getting to the end and finding out that parts don't fit.
    I so agree. It's aggravating to get to the point of sewing blocks together and having them off. It would be nice to know unfinished size of each block so I can make any corrections along the way--not when I'm ready to piece them together.

  12. #12
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Get ahold of Nancy Restuccia's book for everything you need to know about publishing patterns.
    http://www.amazon.com/Publish-Patter.../dp/0971450137
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  13. #13
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    One of the things that I really like is the option of getting the pattern via email in a PDF or download. Saves me on shipping - sometimes I won't buy if I only want 1 pattern and the price will about double because of S&H. Also if I want I can start right away - not in 5 to 7 days!

  14. #14
    Power Poster gabeway's Avatar
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    Diagrams and photos like others say plus chart of materials needed for different size quilts.
    Wayne & Gabriele, the married quilters.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Canada Kate's Avatar
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    Professional quality photos - especially for the cover, as this is what is going to make me buy the pattern. I'd like to see a photo of the whole quilt, not one artfully draped on a chair or fence. I'd also be interested in seeing different colourways, or pictures of the quilt done with different fabrics. Maybe you can use some of your "tester" quilts as alternate photos?
    1951 Singer 301A - "Jean"
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  16. #16
    Super Member grammy Dwynn's Avatar
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    I always like patterns/books that offers multiple sizes (crib, lap, twin, queen & king (not all but most)). I don't like to spend $8 - $12 and then find out it is one size only.

    Also like to see pressing directions. Knowing the 'right' direction makes such a big difference on the piecing going well and the quilt laying smoothly.
    "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." -Confucius

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  17. #17
    Super Member grammy Dwynn's Avatar
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    I always like patterns that offers multiple sizes (crib, lap, twin, queen & king (not all but most)). I don't like to spend $8 - $12 and then find out it is one size only.

    Also like to see pressing directions. Knowing the 'right' direction makes such a big difference on the piecing going well and the quilt laying smoothly.
    "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." -Confucius

    https://picasaweb.google.com/home

  18. #18
    Senior Member Quercus Rubra's Avatar
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    I agree with what I've read so far.

    For me a pattern should be workable in different sizes, have really good pictures along with a nice simple and CLEAR directions. I also find that proofreading can be as important as the accurate cutting directions.

    I look for a picture that shows the whole view... pretty draped quilts seem to be more about being at part of a really nice picture, but the quilt itself gets lost into the background.

    I look for a clean and precise picture that shows me the whole quilt, as it allows me to be a better judge of rather or not I'm able to decide if I can make it without a whole lot frustration that would cause me to abandon the project all together.

    I look for a Complete list of supplies that I might need including special rulers.

    For Fabrics, I prefer a listing such as Fabric A ... "x" amount of yardage. Fabric B ... "x" amount of fabric or Fabric 1, Fabric 2 etc. The reasons being I mught not be doing mine in the same colorway or fabric line that you did. I might have to buy for that specific quilt as it's to be a gift or even shopping for mine stash that threats to explode out of every possible creavise in the house (okay not in mine exactly... it's too small LOL)

    Also somewhere on the front it would be nice to know what level do you consider the pattern to be for. Reason being that while you may have been quilting on your grandma's knees ...... I am more or less a self learning newbie quilt of maybe 4 years and half of that is on cheater's cloth or simple random squares for tops that are only fit for the Humane Society Kennels. I might consider myself of "confident beginner" in some areas but a "Novice" in other areas. And if it's a new techqinue or ruler -- "complete newbie" in that arena.

    I would actually have different "levels" test your pattern to truely see exactly what levels are able to complete the design and really consider the feedback you would receive from them. Speaking of which ... I'm willing to be a Tester for you if the need should arise. I have done a several of them and have given really detailed feedbacks to the makers, whom have found them quite useful.

    I also like seeing finished photos at each step. Sometimes I might not understand the Writtern directions but if I have a good set of "see photo A " I can puzzle it out, making sure that My piece looks like that photo thus allowing to fix any error I have made at that juntion .... not later at the end when I can't get something to line up properly. By then it's too late and most likely to end up in the trash.

    Well I'm not sure if this was what you was looking for but I hope it's helpful to you at any rate.

    Sincerely,
    Tricia
    Last edited by Quercus Rubra; 02-06-2013 at 01:29 PM.
    http://tricia-ramblingsofaquilter.blogspot.com/
    Currently working on a "Flat Curtis" Quilt with boy child .

  19. #19
    Super Member patchsamkim's Avatar
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    I like step by step instructions with photographs, or diagrams. A must is to be sure your pattern is WELL tested. A big turn off for me for a designer is for there to be errors in the instructions. Test, and test again, and proof-read carefully.

  20. #20
    Senior Member kaelynangelfoot's Avatar
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    Thank-you to everyone who has commented! I really do appreciate the advice. I will be looking for testers eventually (thank-you Querus for volunteering, I will definitely take you up on it once I get the pattern put together.) I work full time so it will take me a few more weeks to get a decent rough draft together. My goal is to have rough draft by the end of this month.

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