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How much effort?

How much effort?

Old 09-18-2020, 10:45 AM
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We all know there are well written patterns and not so well written ones. There are patterns that use older techniques vs current faster ones, such as flying geese, HST etc. . And the sad thing is itís nearly impossible to read the directions beforehand to see if itís something youíd be willing to invest your time and material to do.
Currently Iím working on one of the poorest patterns ever IMHO! But I have adapted and I will re-write it for my own personal use because I actually love the quilt itself, but the directions, or lack there of, is enough to drive a person batty! Iím also working on a BOM and re working the blocks to suit my preferred method for unit construction.
How much effort are you willing to put into a pattern to make it work for you?
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Old 09-18-2020, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by tallchick View Post
We all know there are well written patterns and not so well written ones. There are patterns that use older techniques vs current faster ones, such as flying geese, HST etc. . And the sad thing is itís nearly impossible to read the directions beforehand to see if itís something youíd be willing to invest your time and material to do.
Currently Iím working on one of the poorest patterns ever IMHO! But I have adapted and I will re-write it for my own personal use because I actually love the quilt itself, but the directions, or lack there of, is enough to drive a person batty! Iím also working on a BOM and re working the blocks to suit my preferred method for unit construction.
How much effort are you willing to put into a pattern to make it work for you?
I do it quite often. Many times I see a picture of a quilt I "just have to make" and will sit and dissect it and write a pattern so that I can duplicate it. My brain seems to work very differently than the brain of pattern writers!
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Old 09-18-2020, 12:31 PM
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The short answer? Not much lol
I rely on patterns. I'm not good at figuring things out myself. I tend to go by the newer patterns and haven't had much trouble.
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Old 09-18-2020, 12:35 PM
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I suppose it depends on how much tweaking it would take to fix it, and how invested into the pattern I am. I think most quilter's have come against this problem while using other peoples patterns. Everyone is so different, in the way they go about the construction of a quilt. I suppose it is how many technics they know how to do. ??

Some patterns I love. Some patterns I would not make because after reading it, I know it would have me in a tizzy understanding what in the heck they are trying to say in the pattern. Honestly, some days I zone out and don't enjoy trying to fix something. Other days I whizz through it like it is no problem. Strange but true. I have put something aside and later found it was a breeze to finish.

I used to hand piece quilts in the beginning. But, now I have this kit I bought from Craftsy a couple years ago that is sitting there screaming at me to do. I didn't realize it was a hand pieced quilt. I just cant go back, I don't have that kind of time or patience anymore. Maybe I could repurpose the fabric in the kit.
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Old 09-18-2020, 12:41 PM
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I adapt their patterns to use HSTs and Flying Geese methods instead of, for instance, joining 2 triangles for HSTs, especially if doing 2,6 or 8! Same for Flying Geese, I use the 4 at a time method if I need that many. So I like to adapt patterns (that come out looking the same) to using my "learned from the computer" methods that I used forever!
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Old 09-18-2020, 03:33 PM
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I hardly ever use the written instructions. I am so bad at reading the instructions and will never cut all my fabric based on my perceived understanding of their instructions. lol That's a recipe for disaster. I can recreate most patterns in EQ7 so I do and then I just sew by the pictures. The main exception is I always follow Judy Neimeyer's instructions.
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Old 09-18-2020, 03:49 PM
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I will pre read Lynette Jensen's patterns before I start and make sure I think I can do it. I don't have much trouble following her instructions. She does not use modern ways with cutting segments, etc.

For my donation quilts I don't follow any patterns. Usually I cut 7-1/2" blocks and sew the alternating with a color that matches the print I use. Faster and easier. Or something as simple. Since I don't know how they will be cared for I do want to get too fancy.

I make sure the colors match and are pretty.
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Old 09-18-2020, 04:44 PM
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Excellent question. I usually make my own patterns - I do simple quilts. However, for a friends first child I bought a pattern because the quilt was adorable, I could not 'do it in my head' and the Mom to be would love it.

What a poorly written pattern! It took me about twice as long as it should have and I wound up wasting a lot of fabric by cutting to the directions. I did finish it, and it is cute, but I will never buy a pattern from that designer again. The conclusion that I reached is that some people are excellent designers, but stink at writing directions.

Yellow Brick Road - not the one I'm talking about above - was poorly written, too. It took me through a section of piecing and then basically said, "now do the rest." Those weren't the official words, but... That quilt was donated, un-sewn, to a scrap quilter. And yet so many people I know love the pattern! To be fair, this was at the beginning of my quilting saga, I am color blind, the quilt instructions said 18 various fat quarters. I learned one other thing from that adventure - use a max of 5 fabrics in a quilt.
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Old 09-18-2020, 05:00 PM
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this is interesting question because it made me reflect on pattern using experiences and I think one reason I don't usually use a pattern (I do EQ8 and sometimes will use some modified ones from magazines)is that the experience has been so varied in quality. I went to a "distanced" class to work on Judy Niemeyer patterns this past week and was working on my first JN pattern--that I started in a class in 2017! Her directions are so detailed--but I'm a "give me a picture" sewer so it really helped to have someone walk me through it--twice. LOL
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Old 09-18-2020, 06:27 PM
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Writing patterns clearly and concisely is definitely a skill. Same goes for YouTube how-to videos and recipes. I wish the writers/designers would proof-read, check for errors, and enlist pattern and recipe testers. I spent 2 days watching a YouTube video on how to make a bag, it was very frustrating because the host kept going off on tangents about what to do if XYZ happens, but if you do it this way it won't happen, but if it does, here's how to fix it. Ugh. I *did* find a mistake in the cutting instructions.

For the most part, I'm able to figure out how to get from A to Z without the pattern's instructions. I have yet to be in a position yet where I can't move forward because the instructions were so poorly written - knock on wood!

Last edited by Peckish; 09-18-2020 at 06:31 PM.
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