Pattern Writing


Patterns are a lot of work to write.  When i’m not writing a pattern, I think to myself: Patterns are so quick, I could have that done in a day.  Then I sit down to actually work on it and realize how wrong I am.  I am a perfectionist, so these things take time.  I’m a perfectionist for the benefit of my buyers.  I just can’t sell a product that isn’t the best it can be.  It’s very important to me that when someone buys my pattern everything makes sense, no matter their skill level.  Quilting is visual, therefore I like my patterns to be visual as well.  I like to think that the text backs up the diagrams, not the other way around.  When I follow a pattern, I mostly look at the photos so I also design my patterns that way.  Having diagrams takes out so much of the guess work.  Sometimes you just can’t explain a step adequately with words.  And on the flip side of that, sometimes a diagram isn’t enough.  I spend a lot of time on my diagrams, making sure they are proportionally correct and easy to understand.  I am conscious of their size within the pattern so they are easy to interpret.  When I write (and rewrite) my instructions I make sure they are concise and to the point.  I send all of my patterns out to testers.  No matter how many times I look at one of my patterns, I always miss something.  Usually lots of somethings, so having that second (and third, and fourth) set of eyes is invaluable.  Not only do they catch spelling and grammatical errors, they also find where the directions don’t quite flow, or instructions aren’t quite clear.  They let me know if my font is too small or my labeling needs to be fixed.  And after all of that, comes the photography of the product.  This is one of my favorite parts.  Once the pattern is about done I get to go take stylized photos.  Editing always takes a long time, because I want it to look just so.  The photos on a pattern are the first impression so they really matter.  They are what get put on Pinterest and seen by the world.  They have to be just right for potential buyers to be enticed.

I’m on the last step of editing photos and getting listings ready on my website and Etsy.  That part always seems to take a lot longer than I plan for.  I had hoped to have my new pattern listed Friday, but here it is Saturday night and i’m still trying to get the last of the photos done.  I’ll be up late again.  I’m determined the listing go live tomorrow.  I am excited to share my next pattern with everyone.  It’s long been anticipated and it feels good to have it almost completed.

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