Wednesday, April 28, 2010

In the Studio Today...

Yesterday I managed to finish writing 2 patterns. Yay! I love the design process- choosing colors and prints, seeing how everything will work together, swapping and switching fabrics and motifs and blocks until it is just right. But then having to sit down, and write it all out in a way that will be not just intelligible to the reader but actually simple to follow and re-create... and to check and re- check and triple check the math (because I would HATE for someone to attempt the project and have the directions be incomplete or incorrect- really, I sweat over that....), and then draw out the diagrams to make sure everything is crystal clear, and check and re-check that applique patterns are correct and complete..... phew! Sometimes I feel like it takes me longer to write the pattern than to design and make the project in the first place!

Here is a little sneak peek at the 2 I finished yesterday:

Lately I have been designing in a way that is backwards to me. Usually in the past I have had the fabric to work with, and I would sketch out a design and then start sewing it together, making changes as I went along. It was helpful in writing patterns because I knew if the block or borders came out wrong, something was wrong with the measurements or the math. It was good to be able to work it all out as I went along. However, lately I am doing all of my design work in an EQ6 program (heads up, I heard EQ7 is coming out soon- I really don't know what they could have added to that program- maybe with the new version it will actually sew the quilt for me??? And make dinner too??). I am working with jpg images of fabrics that won't be printed into actual fabric for several months. After I design the quilt in EQ6, I write the pattern, without actually making the quilt (that part will come later, I will sew up a sample when the fabric is printed). I feel like I can't write the pattern without actually sewing something, so I usually make up a block or 2 with fabric that I have laying around, or sometimes just a scrap of muslin. This helps me to be sure that the math is correct and that everything will work out the way it should. As a result, I have several "orphan" blocks now. Maybe someday they will find their way into a small project, or even a giveaway.
 I actually tried to post this about 8 hours ago, but Blogger was being very persnickety today- anybody else have that problem?

It is 8 pm, I just finished making a lasagna for a surprise birthday party we are having at church tomorrow night. I had some other things to do (like planning out my booth for Quilt Market, I have to ship everything in 6 short days). I am thinking, though, that maybe I will just sit and watch TV for a little while. Maybe read a magazine or 2 (I have a stack waiting for me.... I think I may have disclosed my "addiction" here previously). Yes that sounds like a plan.... (why do today what you can put off till tomorrow...)


  1. Anxious to see your new designs- oh and didn't you know - there is no more productive minute than the last minute!!!

  2. I have the same feelings about designing and writing patterns! It is almost painful to do the writing..I get very anxious that I will make a mistake that will be disastrous for the maker. I am new to pattern writing..having done only 4..but was glad to hear a pro has the same issues!

  3. Looks interesting! I know people who use your patterns are glad you double check. I'm crocheting a dress for GD and the pattern is hopeless + it looks like it's meant for a baby hippo. Hours of work down the drain!

  4. I loved reading about your process...and I love the patterns and colors you've chosen! Hey, if the new design program makes your dinner for you, I'll sure think about buying one! :)



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