Thursday, July 7, 2011

Quilt Pattern Testing

It takes quite a bit of work to turn a quilt made into a pattern...even for one that I've already written most of the instructions. I keep thinking that most of the work is done if the quilt has been one of my Personalized Mystery Quilto classes.  But the clues for a mystery quilt are not really the same as pattern steps, and more importantly, a class handout is different than a published pattern. When I am teaching, you can ask me lots of questions! To write a pattern, I need to think about what is necessary, what is helpful...and what is just excess verbage that nobody will read anyway!

I really did not want to make this quilt again (there are already 3 versions of it) but I try to write the best instructions possible and then give them to at least one tester. If it's been awhile since I made the quilt, I still need to cut and sew it, even though a class may have pointed out places to make improvements.
This time I had a great idea: just make the blocks in whatever fabric I wanted (to test the yardage), and not worry about the finished quilt. This one is a pieced picture, so generally it does need specific fabrics for each block!

What was at hand? The collection of coffee theme fabrics...part of my 4 year promise to make kitchen curtains for my sister! Of course I had yards of fabrics, and only used a few.
This is a good example of making the fabric work for you. The top of the picture is a strip set made with a water-color type stripe (always an excellent buy!) and a coffee bean print.
Under that are some of the sections I cut to make the block. See how different each one is? They will provide a nice variety in the finished blocks but used only one fabric.

OK, I can't say I'm totally thrilled with the look....but then, this is not how the blocks go in the pattern....and I am not going to sew up the entire quilt to look like the pattern picture anyway.
I do like the way the brown stripes work, though!

I'm happy to say this part of the pattern worked out fine.
The next set of blocks are the hard ones...and they were turning out fine, too, until my sewing machine jammed up! I hope I can get it fixed soon.
Anyway, the goal is to have the pattern published in time for QuiltFest, since I am entering the quilt it's based on!


Sharon said...

Good luck on finishing the quilt for the Quiltfest. I like your choice of colors.
SEW beautiful.

Sunnie said...

Thanks Sharon... the blocks here are test ones. The quilt going into the show is mostly batiks...which is even better in my book!
At this point, things are looking good for having the pattern published in time.