Sunday, March 30, 2014

Lets Talk....Poorly Written Quilting Patterns

It happened again.....I bought myself a quilting pattern, from a local quilt shop, only to be disappointed. What's to be disappointed about, you might ask?? Or perhaps you might be thinking "I know exactly where she is going with this!!!"

 I have been reading quilting blogs for over three years and quilting books and magazines for over twenty and have yet to see this topic addressed.

The majority of quilting magazines give book reviews of the latest quilting books, as do several bloggers. They feel free to review some of the negative aspects of the books along with the positive. But I have yet to read a pattern review. But why wouldn't we??? Why don't we?  Quilting patterns are rather expensive. In Canada the average cost for one pattern is approximately twelve dollars. Whereas  quilting magazines run anywhere from six to fifteen dollars (approximately). Each magazine has several patterns included with well written instructions including photos making it much easier for us visual learners.

Back to the pattern at hand:
I saw a pattern using a QAYG technique that I hadn't used before and rather than just try to figure it out from the quilt hanging in the store....I bought the pattern. I didn't buy the pattern for the design as it was a four patch alternated with a one patch square....nothing too original or exciting right. I BOUHGT the PATTERN for the TECHNIQUE.....only to have the technique NOT EXPLAINED in full. Sound familiar????

Here are my complaints for this particular pattern:

  • Fabric amounts not calculated....telling me I need twenty four 9" squares etc. is not calculating yardage as far as I'm concerned.

  • Spelling mistakes in the Supply list....calling sashing fabric cashing fabric might just confuse a new quilter.

  • Including a suggested free motion quilting pattern without showing stitching starts and stops etc. is again, not all that helpful.

  • My biggest complaint comes in the directions for joining the quilted blocks. One small paragraph of sketchy instructions just doesn't do it. I have a fairly good idea what they are trying to say only because I have a fair bit of experience joining quilted blocks. There are no instructions regarding the bulk in the seam allowances, of the joined blocks. To be fair, they do suggest to clip the corners of the blocks to eliminate bulk, but, that's all.  As written, the quilter has no idea which way to press, or should they trim the bulk etc. A few pictures at this stage would be extremely beneficial. I am then told to top-stitch my horizontal rows in the same manner as my vertical blocks but THEY NEVER MENTIONED TOP-STITCHING in the instructions for the vertical blocks, in the first place.

  • Also this particular quilt has reversible small how to paragraph just doesn't do it. Yup, one would have to run to You Tube to figure it out or a well written book.

My question.....why is this pattern costing me twelve dollars?? 

Included in the small pattern bag there are 3 sheets of standard photocopying paper and a coloured picture of the finished quilt glued to the sheet......that's it. It certainly can't be high overhead costs. 

This is not the first time I have been disappointed by quilting patterns being sold in quilt shops. The standard might be different for patterns that can be downloaded, that I don't have much experience with. 

There are many of us who take the time to write comprehensive tutorials on our blogs.....which many of us, offer to our fellow quilters at no cost. It doesn't seem quite fair to me that in order to understand these poorly written patterns one would have to search the Internet for better instructions or take a class to figure out what the pattern is trying to tell them.  After all, the pattern writer is charging you 12 dollars a pop.....just sayin'!!

Any thoughts?


Note: I will respond to all comments regarding this topic in the comment thread as with all my "Let's Talk Posts".

Friday, March 28, 2014

Back to the snow.....sigh

It's always hard to leave beautiful Victoria....but my other life is calling me home. I sometimes feel like I live in two different realities. But hey, quilting is a big part of both worlds!!!!

One last evening walk along the water.....

A little more playing with my leftovers....which I will leave behind until next time. 

Well, back to packing up.....three of my little grandchildren have birthdays within the next three weeks. I'm thinking that is a pretty good reason to go back to the snow.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

So, I got to thinking......

Now that I finished my project, which I regretfully can't share, I have time to think again. Well, maybe I'm always sort of thinking of my next project, as I am working on my current project.....if that makes any sense.
So what was I thinking about you might ask, or not? About LEFTOVERS of all things. The leftover things I've been pondering over are more than just scraps.
5" x 8"
I have buckets full of QAYG scraps such as all shapes and sizes. I'm always squaring up or cutting down all sorts of quilted blocks. To good to toss but to fussy to join using my regular QAYG methods.
  My thinking got me this far....I'm still experimenting, but I think I'm on to something!!!

These are all scraps from my Ripple Effect I Quilt....some pretty good LEFTOVERS. I need a little more play time with this method, but all sorts of possibilities are clamouring in brain.
Unfortunately, my time at the coast is coming to an end this week....the good thing is I have lots more exciting LEFTOVERS waiting for me in Alberta, that I can't wait to dive into. The bad thing....I heard it was snowing there this morning!!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Love Hate Relationship

Yesterday I hit that inevitable LOVE HATE relationship with my project....yup, the one I can't blog about. Yikes, now I can't even get a second opinion from my fellow bloggers.
You know what I'm talking about, right? One minute you are in love, the next the minute....."What the bleep was I thinking?" is muttered under your breath more than once. Okay, maybe out loud is a little more accurate!!  I can't even get an unquilterly opinion from my husband, as he is away on business....ah, a nice few days on my own, except for this love hate thing going on and then there's the deadline to stress about.
This morning I made some headway and I just may be in love again.....but you never know, talk to me in an hour. Of course, then there's the aftermath...................

 Yup, fabric everywhere.....sort of the down side of my crazy process!!

 I did pick up this wonderful book, the other day.....well worth reading!!!  So happy to see so many amazing quilters in this book!!! As you can see I am rather easily side tracked.

Well, back at it.....I so hope I'm still in love when I go back to my design wall!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Taste of Spring

A long awaited taste of Spring......we are back at the coast, after a long, cold winter.
First things first.....a walk in the sunshine!!!

 Then, it didn't take me long to be up to my eyeballs, in fabric.....the project I can't blog about is due this month and I'm having so much fun except I miss sharing it with you.

On Sunday, The Victoria Modern Quilt Guild had it's first Sew Day....what a lovely day!!!!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

I lost Control....somewhere along the way.

After years of sewing and other artistic pursuits, I have to face reality....I've sort of  totally lost control!! Moving and setting up in a new space has certainly brought my situation to light. Materials and supplies that are no longer relevant to what I'm doing are taking up precious space. One has to wonder how things can spin out of control so easily....but there you have it!! 

Time to take charge!! Now that's a scary thought. As you can see there are still plenty of "piles" to tackle. Honestly some days It just feels like I'm moving the piles from one place to another.....and dare I say it, then back again!!

 Lest you think we are totally snowed husband hung more shelves and a peg board for tools and such!! One can never have enough shelves, right??

 I even made a new pressing board and recovered an old one along the way. I like to staple some of that rubber drawer stuff or anti-slip area rug stuff to keep the board from slipping.

 Works like a charm!!

 Here is something else I finally managed to get my hot little hands on. I have been looking since the fall, with no luck, but happened on them at Winners, quite by accident and at the low price of $9.99. So cheap, I had to buy two sets.....okay, okay, so old habits die hard. That's how I lost control in the first place, I can sniff out a good sale a mile away and I have a tendency to buy multiples....what can I say!!!!

 In my defense....I do love to re-purpose thing, here is my old kitchen table (which didn't work all that well in this house) at the correct cutting height thanks to those handy dandy Bed Risers!! The baskets which I already had now fit under the table, such a space saver!!

 In the spirit of full disclosure .....all those baskets contain works in progress!!!

 As I was doing all this sorting and lamenting my lack of self-control, I came up with the idea to put a pressing board,  on one of the shelves beside, at sitting level, beside one of my little sewing desks. This works so well when I'm working on Log Cabin type Quilt as You Go type projects. I even cleared a shelf or two for colour sorted baskets of strips, creating an on going work zone for this type of project. 

It's the clearing of those shelves that really pushed me into re-evaluating what I need to keep and just what is unnecessary excess.

 So....let the purging begin!!! Here is just the start of getting things ready to donate. It would have been wise to sort and purge before we moved, but the house sold so quickly...there was no time.

On a different note....I had a great time at my Modern Quilt Guild Sew Day last Saturday!

 Good times..... and Gwen's fabulous project (on the wall) just ignited several ideas for me.I love when that happens!!

The ladies let me practice teaching the Joining of QAYG Blocks......thanks ladies, the more practice the better!!!


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