Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Results 1 to 22 of 22

Thread: Have you ever written directions to a project?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Cagey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Southern Wisconsin
    Posts
    826

    Have you ever written directions to a project?

    Some friends asked me to write down the directions to a basket I made (my own design).
    I couldn't believe how hard it is to write down step by step instructions! It would take me pages to write down every little step I did and the project is fairly simple. I have a new appreciation for the great directions in patterns.

  2. #2
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Upland CA
    Posts
    18,361
    Yes I have tried to write directions to a project and I also found it so difficult.

  3. #3
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Southwest Kansas
    Posts
    4,829
    Some people can write good directions and some people can't. I write directions and I write recipes. It's works really well to write your directions and then save it and go back a few days later and go thru them again. You're more likely to find your typos and missed steps that way. It also helps to have a friend or two to read them. Especially friends that aren't afraid to tell you "that doesn't make any sense and your math is a mess."

  4. #4
    Super Member alleyoop1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    1,347
    I've written directions to share with my quilting club. I actually enjoyed it - drew diagrams and did it all on the computer.

  5. #5
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Front row
    Posts
    14,661
    Blog Entries
    2
    I instruct a free community quilt class once a month and have to have write instructions for each class project. I use the free program Apache Open Office to import pictures and add the written text. I then convert it to pdf file and print out as many as I need.
    Got fabric?

  6. #6
    Banned
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Sturbridge, Ma
    Posts
    4,014
    The difficult part for me is avoiding making assumptions about what you think the quilter/crafter already knows.
    Several years ago I struggled with a jacket pattern to the point I had to call the designer. The answer was "Oh! you just sew a bunch of strips together and cut off what you need". I would never have known that from reading the directions.

  7. #7
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Front row
    Posts
    14,661
    Blog Entries
    2
    I try to have as many pictures as possible to go with the instructions. I'm a visual learner so I know written text frustrastes more then it helps most of the time. And we have hands on demo at the class.
    Got fabric?

  8. #8
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    7,160
    Blog Entries
    3
    I frequently re-write instructions to make them easier for me to follow. I get lots of interruptions, so a bulleted list works best for me. I hate trying to follow directions in paragraph form. Pics are very helpful too.

  9. #9
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    14,850
    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen View Post
    ......... It also helps to have a friend or two to read them. Especially friends that aren't afraid to tell you "that doesn't make any sense and your math is a mess"..........
    ...... and even better to have them actually do/make it.
    Reading instructions may seem clear, until really trying to do it!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  10. #10
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Outside St. Louis
    Posts
    28,589
    I write for myself, I don't know if anyone else could follow it. I like pictures and words. Some pictures are too hard to follow, if it has words also I can usually follow it.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  11. #11
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    England Alton Towers
    Posts
    6,641
    Blog Entries
    1
    Yes I did some directions for a bag and realised the people would be terrified by the number of pages. I have realised by reading threads here most people enjoy pictures or diagrams. Personally they mean nothing to me I prefer words.
    He this helps. Go through some of the tutorials here and see the things quilter write about a project .
    Finished is better than a UFO

  12. #12
    Super Member bjchad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Southern New Jersey USA
    Posts
    1,348
    I have written directions for a number of beading projects. As someone else said, avoiding making assumptions about what someone already knows is sometimes difficult. The suggestion to have someone else read the directions and/or use them to do the project is An excellent one. Also including pictures if you can really does help a lot.

  13. #13
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Pacific NW
    Posts
    6,163
    Blog Entries
    1
    When I was in high school, my English teacher made us write a paper on how to make a peanut butter sandwich. He made it a fun project by bringing in peanut butter, jam, and bread, and we each read our paper aloud as he pretended to be an alien from Mars and attempted to follow the directions. It was awesome and hysterical. If you did not write down simple, brainless things like "Twist off lid to the peanut butter by turning counter-clockwise" then he would be unable to make the sandwich and you got a lower grade on the paper. It really hit home to me how important it is to be very clear and concise in my instructions, and to not assume the reader knows what I'm talking about.
    Last edited by Peckish; 01-23-2013 at 10:59 AM.

  14. #14
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Chula Vista CA
    Posts
    5,984
    When I was working in insurance from time to time I helped put together instruction manuals for our computer programs. It was hard because you had to assume they user had never touched a computer before, we stopped at how to turn on the machine, but it started with how to find the program and then open it and every little step from there.

    Back in 1992 a friend taught me how to make the folded star Christmas ornament, I knew I would never remember how, and this was before the days of cel phone cameras (at least for me), so I wrote out each step and drew what I could and made samples of each step when the drawing wasn't making sense. Several people were able to use it. There may have been books some where, but we couldn't find it.

    You really have to take your time and it was a great suggestion to re-read it after a day or 2 to look for omissions.

  15. #15
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    9,385
    It s amazing the steps we do almost unconsiously ... its not till we have to communicate with words that what seems so simple can take alot of words and diagrams to get to a clear depiction.
    I have written a few directions in my time.. and I would ... so rather demonsrate than write. ..maybe thats one of the reasons U- Tube has such popularity.

  16. #16
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,699
    No I am a horrible writer, never been my strong suit, I was always good at math and science, never writing
    Brother XL-3500i, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D, Juki MO-2000QVP

  17. #17
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    2,890
    Yep, I've written many instructions.

    If you aren't used to doing so, then I suggest you 'borrow' a friend who can 'play dumb', someone who preferably thinks differently than you do, and work together. You state your direction and she tries to follow it. That way you can actually visualize what you need for the directions to work, then you can adapt your directions.
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
    ali

  18. #18
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,335
    Quote Originally Posted by Cagey View Post
    Some friends asked me to write down the directions to a basket I made (my own design).
    I couldn't believe how hard it is to write down step by step instructions! It would take me pages to write down every little step I did and the project is fairly simple. I have a new appreciation for the great directions in patterns.
    Now we understnd when we buy a pattern and have difficulty following it. Technical writing is a skill. I don't have that skill.

    Sandy
    Sandygirl

    Janome 9900 / Janome 9700 / Janome Decor 3050 / Janome 1100D serger
    Singer Centennial model (inherited from my late, fav aunt!)

  19. #19
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Front row
    Posts
    14,661
    Blog Entries
    2
    My youngest DD has a degree in technical writing. She wrote field reports for a team of geologists for a year. It's not for everyone, boredom to the point of madness.
    Got fabric?

  20. #20
    Senior Member bunniequilter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Buried Under My Stash up in Canada!
    Posts
    556
    One thing about directions that is very important and seems to be overlooked. Never assume the reader of the directions knows what they are doing. Many new quilters attempt projects that are meant for a more seasoned quilter. As many details as possible makes it easier for quilters who are relying on the directions.
    Quilt outside of the box!

  21. #21
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    at the foot of the Ouichita Mountains, SE Oklahoma
    Posts
    272
    I agree with bunniequilter. I am a beginning quilter and would really like it if all patterns had a rating on them from easy to advanced or some such....we don't always know which ones are for more advanced quilters.

  22. #22
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    14,850
    Quote Originally Posted by dray965 View Post
    I agree with bunniequilter. I am a beginning quilter and would really like it if all patterns had a rating on them from easy to advanced or some such....we don't always know which ones are for more advanced quilters.
    And sometimes it's best you don't know ... as it can intimidate you to say, I can't do that!

    I don't know how many times I've done something (quilting and otherwise) ... then later found out that it was "tood advanced" and I should not have. Sometimes "ignorance is bliss" is the easiest way to go about something as you do not have any preconceived notions as to how to do it ... and just go ahead and achieve great results!

    So ... Just go for it, Dray ... you'll be glad you did!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.