Journey of Quilting + tutorial

So you want to write a pattern {part 1}

After my last post about selling patterns on Craftsy, I got a lot of questions about writing and selling patterns. I'm no expert but I thought I'd answer some of the questions here. I'm sure there are lots of ways to go about this... this is just how I do it. :)

How do I get my design and thoughts from my head onto paper?

Carry a sketchbook with you all the time. My favorite is this kind of Moleskine sketchbooks. I know that some like the plain paper but I really like the squared pages. It makes drawing out blocks a lot easier for me.

If you see a design or something that inspires a design stop and take a picture of it. Even better, if you have the time stop and sketch a simple design.

Once you have a block or overall design, make a mock-up of the quilt. I have always used paper and pencils but I finally invested in EQ7 that should be on my doorstep any day. I'm excited to learn to use this program but I don't think that I will ever completely move away from sketching designs on paper.

Don't be afraid to sketch a mistake! If you don't draw it {on paper or on computer} you won't ever have the chance to see what something looks like or know if you have a great quilt idea.

How do I get my design from paper and into quilt/pattern form?

First, a side note... I know that some patterns are designed without ever actually making the quilt. Some of these pattern writers can probably get away with it but some of the most frustrating patterns I've worked with are those that never show an actual quilt; just a mock up. For me, I need to make the quilt to know that my process and instructions are accurate.

With that being said, once you have your design... try it out! Make a block with scraps. Fine tune your process so you can show your reader the most efficient way to make the block and in turn, the quilt. I always write down each step as I go so that it's easier to write the pattern after the quilt top is done.

The next step after completing at least the quilt top is the technology part of all of this... pictures, PDFs, etc. I'll include all of that in {part 2} after I consult Steve, my tech support. And last but not least, {part 3} will include protecting your designs and the fun part, selling them.

I hope this has been helpful so far and answers a few questions!

pattern series, and more:

So you want to write a pattern {part 1} + tutorial