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Thread: A rant about bad quilt directions

  1. #1
    Super Member JNCT14's Avatar
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    Oh maybe not so bad, BUT - my mom just came back from an RV trip out west. When they were in Kansas, mom bought me some beautiful quilt patterns - you've seen them - the ones in the little zip lock bags for about $8.00. There was an Americana wall hanging that I thought 'hmmm.. I gotta do this one'.

    So I look at the directions. Holy COW! This happened to be a combination of Flying Geese and something called a New York Block. As I am reading this I am getting more and more confused - the overall dimensions were not given for each of the unit blocks and the sizes for the pieces were things like '3 1/8' and 1 9/16'. Now I'm sorry but I defy ANYONE, especially the novices, to cut pieces exactly to 9/16s and 1/8 - not to mention the fact that doing it this way will take FOREVER. I am going to convert all the sizes to something more sensible like 1/2 and 3/4", and I will probably use a strip piece method to make the geese, but for heaven's sake, how many beginner quilters buy these patterns and become completely overwhelmed by the directions, depriving them of a fun experience in making the quilt! And the time it will take to do the conversions sort of puts a damper on the project!

    Is it just me that has a problem with this?

  2. #2
    Super Member Theresa's Avatar
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    It is not just you, JNCT14. I've had the same problem and refuse to buy any more patterns. I print up patterns on the internet (draft mode to save on toner) and place in notebooks.

  3. #3
    Power Poster cjomomma's Avatar
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    I'm right there with you, it drives me nuts!! I quit trying to make quilts from a pattern and just use the idea of the pattern. I the only instructions I have been able to follow is Rhonda's!

  4. #4
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    I won't buy patterns that call for 5/8. 7/8 etc. I can't convert so I just ignore those patterns, I miss out on making some of the things I want to make, but math is not my strong point.

  5. #5
    Spring's Avatar
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    WOW not cool!
    flying geese the new york block...that would be enough for my newbie brain. Id hang up my seam ripper.

  6. #6
    Super Member janRN's Avatar
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    I'm not a newbie and I have trouble with certain patterns. I love QuiltersCache and use patterns from it all the time but one thing I have trouble with are her cutting directions. If I'm making a block that has a large center square, the cutting directions aren't given (I can figure them out) so after everything is ready to sew, I have to find that fabric and cut that one square. (I know in the grand scheme of things this is no big deal, but one of my little peeves).
    I bought a purse pattern at an expo in January; the directions are so confusing I haven't even attempted it.
    Think I'll stick with free internet patterns.

  7. #7
    Super Member Theresa's Avatar
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    Ya know, if geometry was applied to piecing quilts it would have been soooo much more interesting!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theresa
    Ya know, if geometry was applied to piecing quilts it would have been soooo much more interesting!
    I hated geometry, your thought may have made it so much more interesting as I always loved sewing

  9. #9
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    Flying geese and the New York block sound like you would be able to make that into paper piecing blocks. It's not hard at all, otherwise those are odd measurements.

  10. #10
    Super Member JNCT14's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pocoellie
    Flying geese and the New York block sound like you would be able to make that into paper piecing blocks. It's not hard at all, otherwise those are odd measurements.
    Yes I am going to have to do that - if I tried from their directions, I would NEVER be able to make the block! Trouble is, without the overall dimensions, I am going to have to guess, or use graph paper to figure it out. This is ridiculous - we pay the money to make these and then can't! What UP with that????

  11. #11
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    If we all would find addresses for these designers, and write letters griping about it and telling them bluntly that no way on earth will we ever buy another one of theirs, that might make them take notice. And write to the publishers of whatever magazine this pattern is shown in, advertised in, and/or suggested we buy/use.

    Also, remarking that we will tell our friends on this world wide quilting forum might make them sit up and take notice!!

    Math was never my favorite subject, and I still am very, very careful when measuring fabrics or wood. Measure 3 or 4 times, then cut, glue on additions or fill in with plastic wood~~

  12. #12
    Super Member JNCT14's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramona Byrd
    If we all would find addresses for these designers, and write letters griping about it and telling them bluntly that no way on earth will we ever buy another one of theirs, that might make them take notice. And write to the publishers of whatever magazine this pattern is shown in, advertised in, and/or suggested we buy/use.

    Also, remarking that we will tell our friends on this world wide quilting forum might make them sit up and take notice!!

    Math was never my favorite subject, and I still am very, very careful when measuring fabrics or wood. Measure 3 or 4 times, then cut, glue on additions or fill in with plastic wood~~
    HAHA - its a lot easier to correct mistakes with wood moulding or tile than a quilt!!!

    :lol: :lol:

  13. #13
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    If you post a picture of the block or blocks, someone with EQ would probably be able to help you as far as the size and such, but I think you would probably be able to make them whatever size you want and go from there. With pp, I make my blocks 8" because that's what the printer will print. Good luck and don't forget to show us pictures when you're done.

  14. #14
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    It sounds like the author of this pattern should have done it in the paper piecing method! That's not good:<

  15. #15
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Nope! I am sick of buying patterns and finding they use complitcated antiquated methods. I now look at things and redesign them. My friends even come to me with their patterns and I help them. Really folks, this is the rotary cut age and smart techniques.

  16. #16
    Super Member JNCT14's Avatar
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    Anna that is EXACTLY my point!We shouldn't have to look at a pattern and redesign the thing in order to make it work. Ramona is correct in that we should be complaining to the companies that design these patterns to make them more user-friendly - especially since we are plunking down hard earned money for them! I am almost wondering if it worth setting up a virtual section so that people who have converted some of these patterns into more useable forms can post them - but THAT probably violates 5000 copyright rules!(Told you I was ranting....)

  17. #17
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Rant all you want. I'm just as frustrated!!! Glad you brought up the topic.

  18. #18
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    I thought maybe it was just me. I end up half using directions and half using the pictures of the finished product!

  19. #19
    Super Member dellareya's Avatar
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    I second the idea of writing to the creator of the quilt and the publishing house that printed the pattern. Many patterns are self-published these days and the creator really should be made aware of the difficulty in the directions.
    I've had to do this with some craft patterns and the authors were always helpful.

  20. #20
    np3
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    Power Poster np3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjomomma
    I'm right there with you, it drives me nuts!! I quit trying to make quilts from a pattern and just use the idea of the pattern. I the only instructions I have been able to follow is Rhonda's!
    Me too! I will buy a book where I can check it out first. And it is cheaper in the long run because you get more for your money.

  21. #21
    Super Member JNCT14's Avatar
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    Well I took Dellareya's advice and just wrote to the company. Let's see how they respond!

  22. #22
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    Good for you, as a novice quilter I'd look at something like that and lament that I'd wasted $8.00.

  23. #23
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    Sooooo true!!!!! :) About geometry, that is. I would have paid alot more attention!

  24. #24
    Super Member plainpat's Avatar
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    One reason I also gave up on poorly written patterns was because of cost. I had way too many that wouldn't work,both for blocks & tote bags.One of my pet peeves is a quilt pattern that doesn't give block component sizes.I like to measure as I go....or need to that is.Now,I'm liberated.The patterns on line can be read,saved/not saved.....for free. There are more on line than I could ever make, so not buying patterns anymore !!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by JNCT14
    Quote Originally Posted by pocoellie
    Flying geese and the New York block sound like you would be able to make that into paper piecing blocks. It's not hard at all, otherwise those are odd measurements.
    Yes I am going to have to do that - if I tried from their directions, I would NEVER be able to make the block! Trouble is, without the overall dimensions, I am going to have to guess, or use graph paper to figure it out. This is ridiculous - we pay the money to make these and then can't! What UP with that????

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