Question about quilt patterns

I have mentioned in another thread that I am getting ready to go to
print very soon on some patterns. I would like some input on what you
all like and dislike about patterns you have, or have seen.
One of the comments I have had with some of my patterns is "too much
information". I like to give info, because I feel that the more info you
have the easier it is to understand the whys and such. Is there such a
thing as too much info in a pattern??
What sizes of quilts do you most like to make? I have suggestions with
all my patterns for how to make different sizes, how many different
sizes do you like to see in a pattern? The problem comes up with
putting in the fabric requirements for multiple sizes. I don't like to
print too small, because it gets confusing.
Would something like "you can get X (number) blocks from Y amount of
fabrics" and a short explanation of figuring borders be satisfactory as
an addition to a specific chart for, say, 3 different sizes of quilt? (a
small wallhanging/crib size, a throw and a larger quilt for example.)
Many of the patterns I am working on are "modern" interpretations of
traditional blocks. I like the history of the blocks and such. (That is
part of why my company name is "Then and Now Patterns". ) I plan to
put just a brief paragraph about the block and its background, names and
such at the beginning of the pattern instructions. (This is part of
the "too much info" comment.) How do you feel about this idea? ( I think
that connecting to the past is an important part of quilting, and one
that too often is ignored. I really like to know the name of the block
being used and so on. Many times this information is not given and it
bothers *me*, but might not be at all important to others.)
How important is the name of the pattern to you?
Thanks for your input,
Pati, in Phx
Reply to
Pati C.
I wouldn't be interested in the history of the block, but I can see where some folks would be. I think the too much information is in regard to rambling. If the information is concise then that's good and go ahead and include whatever you can to help the person using the pattern. The organization and for the instructions to progress in an orderly fashion is the most important. (I've seen patterns where clever 'little personal experiences' where jammed into every paragraph or so and it drove me crazy for trying to find the important parts!) Maybe putting tips to the side in a blocked out are where appropriate? That would keep those who are experienced from having to wade thru stuff they know and it would alert newbies to check them out for additional help. As far as the sizes- maybe a baby/lap size pattern with info on adding borders and not try to cover every size imaginable???
Good luck!
Leslie, Missy & The Furbabies in MO.
Reply to
Leslie & The Furbabies in MO.
The first thing you have to remember is that you won't please everyone. Having said that, I like the idea of reading some history about the pattern as long as there is enough separation between the story and the instructions. Perhaps you can have the history on a website and provide the link in the pattern for those that would like to have additional information.
I like seeing diagrams and other graphical representations of the instructions as well as the text of the instructions. I like patterns that include crib, lap, twin, queen/king, but I know that's a lot. Sometimes the pattern does not lend itself well to a crib if it's really meant as a pattern for a larger bed so some sizes may not be practical. I really like to see a grid that contains the amount of fabrics needed for the variety of sizes offered. I don't have a preference for the name of the pattern but I prefer to see a large picture of the finished quilt on the pattern front so you get an idea of what it will look like. I don't like photographs glued to the pattern package. They are generally too small and provide too little detail of the finished product.
It's important that any special tools or supplies that will be needed be included in the supplies list, perhaps bolded or with a "Note:" indication. Also, a website or email address to go to if there are questions. I would paginate if there are multiple pages.
I hope this helps. Good luck with your printing, I will look forward to seeing the patterns!
Alice "Do what you like, like what you do"
:I have mentioned in another thread that I am getting ready to go to : print very soon on some patterns. I would like some input on what you : all like and dislike about patterns you have, or have seen. : : One of the comments I have had with some of my patterns is "too much : information". I like to give info, because I feel that the more info you : have the easier it is to understand the whys and such. Is there such a : thing as too much info in a pattern?? : : What sizes of quilts do you most like to make? I have suggestions with : all my patterns for how to make different sizes, how many different : sizes do you like to see in a pattern? The problem comes up with : putting in the fabric requirements for multiple sizes. I don't like to : print too small, because it gets confusing. : Would something like "you can get X (number) blocks from Y amount of : fabrics" and a short explanation of figuring borders be satisfactory as : an addition to a specific chart for, say, 3 different sizes of quilt? (a : small wallhanging/crib size, a throw and a larger quilt for example.) : : Many of the patterns I am working on are "modern" interpretations of : traditional blocks. I like the history of the blocks and such. (That is : part of why my company name is "Then and Now Patterns". ) I plan to : put just a brief paragraph about the block and its background, names and : such at the beginning of the pattern instructions. (This is part of : the "too much info" comment.) How do you feel about this idea? ( I think : that connecting to the past is an important part of quilting, and one : that too often is ignored. I really like to know the name of the block : being used and so on. Many times this information is not given and it : bothers *me*, but might not be at all important to others.) : : How important is the name of the pattern to you? : : Thanks for your input, : Pati, in Phx
Reply to
AliceW
I ran into some of these questions when preparing for my guild's box exchange earlier this year. The idea was for each person to put a block in a box along with instructions on how to make it. Each month the boxes are passed along. The recipient has to make the block with fabrics that look good with the blocks already in the box. I dithered over how to write the instructions. I wasn't sure if I needed to tell people how to make half square triangles. I wanted to say "you could make it this way, unless you think this is easier, or if you're used to doing it like this ..."
Now I'm seeing the instructions that other people have written. On some, it's pretty confusing. Fortunately, I'm pretty good at figuring out how to add seam allowance to basic shapes, so I'm O.K. with just the picture and the samples, but I can see where others have left badly made blocks in the box.
I don't think there's such a thing as too much information, but there is badly organized information. I think I'd like to see a pattern formatted the way it is in Quilter's Newsletter Magazine with just the basic block and the way it goes together first. That could be followed by more in depth instruction, tips, things a beginner might like to know, put in more as a footnote. You could say "place the blocks on point," in the main part of the instructions, and then say "for more information on putting blocks on point, look here" at the end.
For bed quilts (as opposed to art pieces), I normally make 2 sizes: the 40" x 40" toddler quilt (big enough cuddle with when small, then large enough to turn into a superman cape when bigger), and the 80" x 80" queen size wedding gift. That could go on a twin size bed also and could be taken to college if it's a graduation gift. Lots of people make lap quilts, but in my world, I generally don't. (There are exceptions to this as when my guild got involved with making quilts for cancer patients, but I'm trying to give the sizes I make most often.)
I hardly know how to answer the "x number of blocks from y number of fabrics" question because I think that's basic math. If you're going to answer everything, you might as well include a 5th grade primer that reviews long divisision and fractions. On the other hand, I know that no one is born knowing these things, and sometimes it is helpful to have it worked out in chart form. A beginner might know basic math but need help applying it to making a quilt. I'd err on the side of giving more information.
I LOVE the idea of including historical information. Pointers given to antique quilts based on the same block are great. That's information that the buyer might genuninely not know and have a hard time finding elsewhere. The name of the pattern is important to me and is a plus.
I tend not to buy patterns. I do subscribe to magazines, and I love looking at photos of quilts for ideas, but I rarely work from a pattern, and when I do, I find that getting patterns from books is a better buy. I get more, and they last longer. I'm not the customer you're shooting for, so doing market research on me probably isn't as useful as getting the opinion of someone buying a pattern at a show. I'll be interested in others' thoughts on this.
--Lia
Reply to
Julia Altshuler
I hope you've had someone test drive the pattern (as it will be printed) by someone who hasn't made the quilt until they used your pattern.
The reason I say this: A few years ago I bought a pattern that was self-published by the pattern designer. She had her husband do the actual write up and diagram for her (I guess she wasn't computer literate). Since she hadn't bothered to even look at the pattern after he had finished with it or have someone else work from it, she had no idea that her pattern had some glaring errors until I pointed it out to her.
If you put the history, or any additional info you would like to add, in a separate box I think it would work well. Also, there's a difference between too much information and information that isn't concise. If the additional info is in a separate box, the quilter can just ignore it and won't have to wade through it to see if that info is actually needed to make the quilt.
Also, please have someone else check your spelling (I'm not saying you can't spell, but when you proofread your own work, you see what was meant, not what is there! I speak from experience from the two newsletters that I do.) I don't know how many patterns I've bought that had the word "taut" spelled incorrectly! Taunt and taught aren't taut! I once bought a pattern for a chatelaine - she spelled medieval throughout the pattern as mid-evil! She was trying to tell us that medieval ladies made and used chatelaines!
Good luck with your new endeavor!
Donna in (SW) Idaho
Reply to
Donna in Idaho
I think if you company name is then and now, and the history of the block is important to your own image of your company, why notput it in... those who dont want to read itdont have to. As for patterns, I have had a few that tell you how to make the block, and what the end size should be etc etc and never give you a clue how big to cut your fabric to accomplish this feat. Like make 4 hst all with a finished size of 4in. How big to do need to get that 4 in?? I didnt even know that was the intention when I started, and cut the squares 4ins made them into hst and ended up with a block that was 2 inches short. It was frusterating to go back and figure out how to make a 4in hst ( that 4in thing is just my imagination btw I cant remeber the sizes the pattern specified) but I paid for that silly pattern. And I have a whole book of patterns that dont give you any clue at all as to the size the pieecs need to be cut in order to make the block grrrr. So if you want a pretty book of pictures of blocks its nice, but if ant to make them... it says choose your favorite size arg lol.
Carissa
Reply to
Carissa
Pati:
Not unless the info is incorrect. Accuracy in measurments is always a plus. If you are printing templates, please include a disclaimer that the picture shown may be distorted during printing.
i mostly make full size quilts (84 X 100 or so), but lap and baby are nice to see. i agree with the statement made to use a format like Quilter's Newsletter. i like those, they are so easy to follow.
Not really. i think most people will be able to figure yardage. i know i always buy more than i need.
I, too, love the stories about blocks and old patterns. Just a snippet or two would be nice. Dont go overboard and write and article.
See above.....
Your welcome! i cant wait to see what you've done. BTW: i need the name of your last book. i lost it and want to go get it!
amy in CNY
Reply to
amy
I've never thought about the name of a pattern! Don't know that I remember many - just what they are going to facilitate.
If you are putting extra information in with the pattern, I think it should be there, for the people who will be interested in it. But, from my own experience, I use a different font style and size for that part. If you are putting your patterns into a plastic envelope/bag-type thingy. the information which is completely unnecessary for the making of the article, can be put on a small single sheet, and not incorporated into the instructions at all. Then it can be absorbed or ignored at will.
One of the most valuable things I find with any instructions is how to make the 'thing' in different sizes. I don't know about saying you can get so many blocks from a specific amount of fabric, as they might want to distribute colours differently, however, some guide would be helpful. One of the easiest rule of thumb facts you can give is that increasing sides by two means increasing area - thus fabric quantity - by four. The more you can do by a diagram the better I think. Can you superimpose the three sizes one on the other - keeping one corner stable and increasing so that the other three corners go outwards? I prefer that to having them placed completely inside one another with gaps all round. I think you can a better idea of sizing when done the first way - but that might be a very personal preference? I simply don't know. . In message , Pati C. writes
Reply to
Patti
So often, I wish pattern instructions would go a bit further. They will say, "Cut 172 of B". What they don't say is that you will need 14 B of *each* color (or for each rhodendrum). I never pay any mind to a pattern's notion of fabric required. The designer has no way of knowing how many pieces I'll cut wrong or stitch wrong. I guess they're a good place to start but it's a good thing when I have plenty to spare. And for Heaven's Sake, I do wish I'd pay better attention to instructions. Last night I tried a paper piece little tulip block. There was a warning: It contains 3 sections and a total of 17 patches. The tulip is now posted on my bulletin board; seriously wonky and a reminder to read the instructions first. Polly
Pati:
Not unless the info is incorrect. Accuracy in measurments is always a plus. If you are printing templates, please include a disclaimer that the picture shown may be distorted during printing.
i mostly make full size quilts (84 X 100 or so), but lap and baby are nice to see. i agree with the statement made to use a format like Quilter's Newsletter. i like those, they are so easy to follow.
Not really. i think most people will be able to figure yardage. i know i always buy more than i need.
I, too, love the stories about blocks and old patterns. Just a snippet or two would be nice. Dont go overboard and write and article.
See above.....
Your welcome! i cant wait to see what you've done. BTW: i need the name of your last book. i lost it and want to go get it!
amy in CNY
Reply to
Polly Esther
If I don't have someone to help me proofread, I read the text backwards from the bottom right to the top left. Amazingly, it works!
Alice "Do what you like, like what you do"
:I hope you've had someone test drive the pattern (as it will be printed) by : someone who hasn't made the quilt until they used your pattern. : : The reason I say this: A few years ago I bought a pattern that was : self-published by the pattern designer. She had her husband do the actual : write up and diagram for her (I guess she wasn't computer literate). Since : she hadn't bothered to even look at the pattern after he had finished with : it or have someone else work from it, she had no idea that her pattern had : some glaring errors until I pointed it out to her. : : If you put the history, or any additional info you would like to add, in a : separate box I think it would work well. Also, there's a difference between : too much information and information that isn't concise. If the additional : info is in a separate box, the quilter can just ignore it and won't have to : wade through it to see if that info is actually needed to make the quilt. : : Also, please have someone else check your spelling (I'm not saying you can't : spell, but when you proofread your own work, you see what was meant, not : what is there! I speak from experience from the two newsletters that I do.) : I don't know how many patterns I've bought that had the word "taut" spelled : incorrectly! Taunt and taught aren't taut! I once bought a pattern for a : chatelaine - she spelled medieval throughout the pattern as mid-evil! She : was trying to tell us that medieval ladies made and used chatelaines! : : Good luck with your new endeavor! : : Donna in (SW) Idaho :
: >I have mentioned in another thread that I am getting ready to go to print : >very soon on some patterns. I would like some input on what you all like : >and dislike about patterns you have, or have seen. : > : > One of the comments I have had with some of my patterns is "too much : > information". I like to give info, because I feel that the more info you : > have the easier it is to understand the whys and such. Is there such a : > thing as too much info in a pattern?? : > : > What sizes of quilts do you most like to make? I have suggestions with all : > my patterns for how to make different sizes, how many different sizes do : > you like to see in a pattern? The problem comes up with putting in the : > fabric requirements for multiple sizes. I don't like to print too small, : > because it gets confusing. : > Would something like "you can get X (number) blocks from Y amount of : > fabrics" and a short explanation of figuring borders be satisfactory as an : > addition to a specific chart for, say, 3 different sizes of quilt? (a : > small wallhanging/crib size, a throw and a larger quilt for example.) : > : > Many of the patterns I am working on are "modern" interpretations of : > traditional blocks. I like the history of the blocks and such. (That is : > part of why my company name is "Then and Now Patterns". ) I plan to put : > just a brief paragraph about the block and its background, names and such : > at the beginning of the pattern instructions. (This is part of the "too : > much info" comment.) How do you feel about this idea? ( I think that : > connecting to the past is an important part of quilting, and one that too : > often is ignored. I really like to know the name of the block being used : > and so on. Many times this information is not given and it bothers *me*, : > but might not be at all important to others.) : > : > How important is the name of the pattern to you? : > : > Thanks for your input, : > Pati, in Phx : :
Reply to
AliceW
Julia, do you really make queens at 80x80? A queen bed is 60X80 and that wouldn't allow for any drop at the end of the bed and not much at the sides??? Maybe my brain isn't engaged yet this morning....
Leslie, Missy & The Furbabies in MO.
Reply to
Leslie & The Furbabies in MO.
snip-
Would something like "you can get X (number) blocks from Y amount of fabrics"
snip-
Pati, some beginner's might not know how many blocks they need- or an advanced quilter might mess the colors all around- if they wanted a queen size or a baby quilt, etc. Then they would have to calculate the borders, too, and refigure the backing, binding, etc. I think that's not going to be specific enough. I sure would not want to be in your position of trying to accommodate everybody's differing wants and needs. I know pattern designers do it all the time (Hi Pat on your hill! VBG) but choosing how many sizes and how many variables is going to be difficult to say the least. Again, best wishes for fabulous success with your pattern line and good luck with what to include or not.
Leslie, Missy & The Furbabies in MO.
Reply to
Leslie & The Furbabies in MO.
Maybe I shouldn't call them queen size, but I do make wedding gifts 80"x80". I've made one quilt larger, and it drove me crazy. Between the weight and trying to get it scrunched under my short-arm, it was a much bigger bother than the extra size would suggest. I use 80"x80" quilts on my own queen size beds, and you're right, there isn't any drop. They're mostly decorative. The comforters are for warmth.
--Lia
Reply to
Julia Altshuler
For me, yes. That's one reason I don't buy Lazy Girl patterns. She takes forever to describe something that could be said in about 3 pages less. I might try out a new designer's patterns, but only one if there's a lot of unnecessary informaton.
This would be way too much material to bother to read for me, but again, I don't have any interest in historical stuff or old quilts. If you include it, maybe on a separate paper in the envelope, rather than part of the pattern, so one doesn't have to wade thru that to get to the cutting and sewing informaton. I guess I like things cut and dried, without a lot of extra info. Gen
Reply to
Gen
- Please give finished quilt size (or sizes, if you include multiple sizes) block size, and number of blocks required on the back of the pattern, along with fabric requirements. I would rather see the block size and number of blocks for one or two finished sizes than to have a lot of finished sizes. It's much easier to adapt to other sizes if I don't have to figure out the block size for myself. - I make mostly baby quilts, lap quilts, and queen size (84 x 100 or so). Keep in mind that many mattresses these days are really deep and most people want the quilt to completely cover the mattress. - If it is practical, it's nice if the cover shows color photos of the quilt in more than one color; it helps me imagine the quilt in other color combinations. - If you can make it work with the design, a border or other design element that falls at the edge of the mattress makes bed making easier. - If a particular tool is useful, but not required, mention that. Be generous with your yardages: allow for miscutting a strip. - The history of the block would be interesting, but maybe in a sidebar or box. - Instructions should be concise, complete, and, above all, accurate. If you can separate detail from the basic instructions, that could be helpful. Diagrams are sometimes helpful. I especially like to see a diagram of the finished block. - Have someone who hasn't made the pattern make the quilt using your instructions. That someone should be a person who has minimum quilt making experience required for the pattern; that is, if it is a fairly simple, basic pattern, give it to a relatively inexperienced quilter. Susan Cleveland likes to teach a class for her patterns before publishing them so that she sees what kind of problems real live quilters face with the pattern and can modify accordingly. She decided to self-publish her recent book because she couldn't find a publisher who would let her teach the patterns before the book was published. Her book actually includes photos of some of the student quilts. - Name of the pattern is not important. If you are using a single traditional block, consider including the block name in the name of your quilt. Minor consideration: avoid naming your pattern something based on the colors you used for your sample; for example, "Yellow Brick Road" is catchy and describes the quilt on the pattern envelope, but is not real descriptive when you use it for a red quilt. In general, the picture on the front influences my purchase much more than the name, though I must admit I couldn't resist a pattern called "Julia's Lily" :)
Julia in MN ----------- This message has been scanned for viruses by Norton Anti-Virus
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Reply to
Julia in MN
I don't usually buy patterns but, on the other hand, I DID buy one last summer and I thought that it was very clear and well laid out. So here goes with my 2cents worth...
The pattern that I bought used a bunch of FQ. In the instructions there was a table with the various quilt sizes indicating how many FQ and how much fabric for sashing/border was needed for each size of quilt. I found this VERY handy - I could just circle or highlight the info that corresponded to the size I wanted to make and didn't have to start calculating on my own. (By having the info available for different sizes you would attract more potential buyers I think ....for me at any rate, if the details for a queen size quilt weren't already there I would not have bought the pattern).
Then the instructions - first for cutting. Again, a table with how many of each size piece were needed for each final size quilt. Then the block assembly. Here she had some diagrams. And, again, a table of how many of each size block were needed for each size of quilt.
Then a diagram of block layout. She did a sample layout with a smaller size to give an idea of how to fit it together and it was pretty easy to extrapolate to a larger quilt.
As for too much information. Well, if all your info is well labeled (maybe put the critical bits in bold?) then it would be easier to skip over something that is not needed.
If you are doing historical blocks I really like the idea of giving the name of the block and the history behind it. If that is in a separate section of the instructions then people who are less interested can just skip over it.
Good luck! Allison in MOntreal
Reply to
allisonh
Assuming you're producing individual patterns in plastic envelopes, here's my list [some of them learned the hard way] DO: Include a clear colour photo/drawing of the finished quilt on the envelope front. If it's a table runner, make sure that the entire runner is visible.[minus candlesticks and table centres etc.] If you photograph a bed quilt on the bed, make sure that the whole quilt shows and there are no distracting elements [pillows covering design elements, bedside tables with family photos and clutter etc.] DO: have the fabric requirements, special tools needed etc. clearly listed on the back side. If quilters are buying the fabric at the same time, they'll want to be able to see what else they need to buy DO NOT list the cut sizes of individual patches NOR show a diagram of the finished block/quilt on the back side. [I did that with one of my patterns and then found more than one quilter writing down the cut sizes of the patches, sketching the block and putting the pattern back saying "I can figure that out from there"] *DO include "extra" information like your historical info [in my case, Bible block info] on the back side as space allows: that may draw people to buy the pattern. That also leaves you room for necessary instruction on the remaining pages. DO indicate skill level IN WORDS not in fancy symbols that can mean anything. Beginner, Confident Beginner, Intermediate, Experienced. DO indicate any skills quilters will need beforehand : rotary cutting; hand or machine applique, machine piecing, etc. DO add hints, suggestions, what if? comments in boxes or margin notes, preferably in italic or another font to make them easy to spot [and easy to skip too!]
Here's how that works for me: a separate [glossy] sheet with photo of the quilt, name of the quilt and size[s]; my logo and company info goes in the front of the envelope. On the back of the last sheet [so it shows when you flip the plastic envelope over]: brief description (including, in my case--Bible passage; in yours--*
Historical information), fabric requirements, supply list, and skill level plus any skills needed [e.g.: basic rotary cutting and machine piecing skills are needed] Don't forget your copyright notice [including year].
* If your pattern depends on unique pairing of traditional blocks, I wouldn't list that anywhere on the outside: once a quilter knows that it's "just" a Puss-in-the-corner alternating with Hole-in-the-barn-door, she may decide to build her own and forego the pattern. You could call your pattern "Puss in the Barn" [or Hole in the Corner, for that matter] and name the blocks where appropriate in the instructions, but do be careful not to give your hard work away.
There's my more than 2 cents worth!
Reply to
KI Graham
If it's applique, indicate the applique method that you suggest -- hand or machine, and if machine, fusible or other. And some patterns, it doesn't really matter. Some patterns are better suited to one method than to another, and I would like to know that up front. I might still buy the pattern, but I would have a little better idea of what I was getting.
Julia in MN ----------- This message has been scanned for viruses by Norton Anti-Virus
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Reply to
Julia in MN
The only reason I would buy a pattern is for paper piecing or appliques, for the convenience of not having to draft them myself. Or if it involves something new that isn't immediately obvious from looking at the block. Therefore if your blocks are traditional, sorry, I'm probably not your customer! My quilts tend to be all sizes -it depends! I don't normally worry about fabric requirements and seldom buy fabrics for a specific project. However, simple fabric charts (I like the ones in Eleanor Burns' books) are useful, so I can tell if my stash pieces are big enough for a particular size. I'd rather see your patterns in book format, where a paragraph on history would fit very well. Easy ways to put the blocks together, creative combinations of different blocks, interesting settings ...I might even buy a book like that! Roberta in D
"Pati C." schrieb im Newsbeitrag news:fnct1r$9gc$ snipped-for-privacy@aioe.org...
Reply to
Roberta Zollner
Pati, I like knowing the background of a pattern and, since I'm a very visual person, the more information that might help me 'see' what I'm trying to do, the better. I've never had the opportunity to see one of your patterns, but what you do sounds like a good thing to me.
Reply to
Debi Matlack

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