Topic 1 – Series Introduction
I would like to take this first post to welcome you to the Pattern Writing Blog Series! This will be quilt pattern writing 101 and the goal for this series is to teach you the tools and give you the confidence write your own quilt pattern.
Note: If you are signed up to receive posts from this blog (Bloglovin, E-mail, Feedly) you will receive each post related to this series. Each post will also be linked to in the Pattern Writing Blog Series tab above so that you can easily find and reference individual topic posts anytime.
B. About Myself
My name is Cheryl and I am a chemical engineer who now works as a patent agent. My job requires me to take PhD level science, break it down, and describe it to a patent examiner who may or may not be familiar with the subject manner. I use my engineering and technical writing skills to create quilt patterns that are clear, concise, and useful.
Back when my daughter was a toddler and I decided to make her a quilt for her new bed even though I had no idea how to make one. I bought some basic supplies, learned everything I could about sewing and quilting on the internet, dove into the project … and have not stopped quilting since. When making one of my first quilts, I altered the pattern completely, changing the number of blocks and cutting instructions to use different precuts. I found that I really enjoyed the process of figuring out the pattern and instructions and thus started my journey as a pattern designer.
I sold my first quilt pattern in the Fall of 2012. Since then I have released over 30 free and for sale block and quilt patterns. My patterns are available (including free and for purchase) digitally via Craftsy and Etsy and in printed form via Etsy and wholesale direct to shops and distributors. My patterns (free and for sale) have been downloaded over 13,000 times from Craftsy.
My first quilt pattern took me over five months to write, test, rewrite, have tested, and finally get the courage to post. When I was writing my first pattern, I could not find any good resources to help me figure out the “right” way to write a quilt pattern. I hope that this series provides new aspiring quilt pattern designers some helpful information and encouragement.
C. Aim of the Series
When you first started quilting, you probably used a pattern from another quilter. As you became more proficient, you might have started changing up the sizes or tweaking other aspects of the patterns you were using coming up with your quilt design ideas. You may have written notes on the pattern in case you ever wanted to recreate the pattern. Maybe you started to think about taking your quilt designs and writing them into quilt patterns and publish them (free or for sale).
If you are at the point where you want to possibly publish your patterns (or simply want to record them better for your own use), then this is the series for you!
I believe that there is no “right” way to write a quilt pattern, we each have our own preferences, ways of understanding instructions and explaining things. This series’ objective is to take you step by step from a design concept to a published pattern giving you the skills, tools, and confidence to write your own pattern your own way.
D. Series Topics
The series is going to be broken into ten topics, about one topic per week, with all posts either posted to this blog or linked from this blog to other blogs (all posts will be linked within the Pattern Writing BlogSeries tab above).
Topic I – Series Introduction
Topic II – Quilt Design
Topic III – Adapting a Quilt Design into a Pattern
Topic IV – General Pattern Guidelines
Topic V – Quilt Math
Topic VI – Computer Programs for Illustration and Pattern Design
Topic VII – Illustrations and Text
Topic VIII – Testing
Topic IX – Publishing
Topic X – Wrap Up
E. Posting Schedule
Most weekly topics will contain a series of posts:
Monday - a post from me going into depth on the weekly topic illustrating the topic using a sample quilt pattern.
Wednesday - a round table discussion on the topic by our panel of pattern designers.
Tuesday, Thursday, and/or Friday – some weeks will contain an extra post or two related to an aspect or experience with the topic by one of the pattern designers.
The complete listing of scheduled posts can be found in the Pattern Writing Blog Series tab above.
F. Guest Designers
The designers who were generous to help me with this series are (in alphabetical order) Amy of 13 Spools, Anne of Springleaf Studios, Christa of Christa Quilts, Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts, Soma of Whims and Fancies, and Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl. We will be getting to know the guest designers more this Wednesday, when there will be a post to introduce each designer in more detail.
G. Sample Quilt Pattern
In order to make this series more useful and less abstract I will be taking you through the development of a complete sample quilt pattern to illustrate all of the different ideas and concepts of the series. At the end of the series, this sample quilt pattern will be available as a free baby-sized quilt pattern available for download from Craftsy. The sample quilt pattern is called Ninja Bears and is a relatively simple pattern based on the traditional Friendship Star block.
Each of the wonderful designers has agreed to donate one (1) digital quilt pattern as a prize at the end of the series so there will be 7 winners in total to celebrate the completion of the series.
If you have questions now, or at any point throughout the series, simply leave the question in the comment section of the post or e-mail me directly at cheryljbrickey (at) gmail (dot) com and I will try my best to answer your questions. If we have a large number of questions for any particular topic, I (and the guest pattern designers) will respond to them in a new post so the answers will be available to everyone.
As we get started with the series, I would like to offer special thanks to Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl for helping me refine the scope, content, and plan for the series and to Paige at Quilted Blooms for proofreading, editing, checking quilt math, being a sound board, and about a million other things to help me get this series complete.