Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Trying not to grumble

     I am one of those persons, when I fall in love with a pattern, I buy it. I want to support the designer and cut out the math busywork. Most times I am disappointed in the description, diagrams and depth of instruction. I know it is hard to write patterns. Last year, it took me months to write a Mystery pattern for my guild. I worked so hard on it and few made it, that I gave it to Alycia to use for her Mystery Quilt for QOV. I have no desire to write another. Explaining and drawing out every detail is time consuming and tedious. I get it. 
     When I buy a pattern, I want it to be specific on how to piece the block together and how to sew all the blocks into the whole. I don't want only a schematic of blocks, but piecing order instructions, and cutting instructions/diagrams if tricky.
    Last week, I bought two patterns. Neither spelled out the details. One pattern is a derivative of Jack's Chain and was very frustrating. It was not a cheap pattern and it did not include piecing order directions. It is a y-seam/partial seam block. I saw a finished quilt on the designer's blog and fell in love. The pattern page has this quilt on it. But when I downloaded the pattern, that variation was not mentioned. I tried to adapt the instructions, but did not realize until it was too late that the 9 patch order would have to be reversed, so I have a useless block.
    I did contact the designer and told her my problem. She did not address the issue, but said that quilt was not part of pattern instruction and there was enough info to piece it. 
     I am plannng to use Kaffe scraps, make all the nine patches as leader/enders and then deal with piecing order.  Maybe by then I will figure it out.
Nine patches are wrong- have to have the light square in the center which is opposite the instructions

13 comments:

Vicki W said...

Poorly written patterns annoy me no end. I've got 2 right next to me that fit in that category. One pattern maker that I'd buy from again is Laurie Shifrin. Her Antelope Canyon quilt pattern was very well written.

Debbie said...

I feel your pain.....I have more than a few of those. That is why I rarely buy patterns anymore. This block is really interesting, but I would be hacked off by her comment about enough info and that is not part of the pattern. I am sure in the end you will figure out how to make it your own.

Debbie said...

There is a coloring photo here....http://www.quilterscache.com/J/JacksChainBlock_Page2.html
Would that help you?

Joyce Carter said...

Hi Linda. Thank you so much for your sweet email. You made my day! I am doing a lot better now, especially that it has gotten warmer.
Jack's Chain is very beautiful and I have admired it for a long time, but it always looked too complicated for me to try. Debby is right. If you go to quilterscache.com, you will see not only the pattern, but good instructions as well. This is a great place to find patterns. Also check this out---https://debbykratovilquilts.blogspot.com/2016/11/jacks-chain-tutorial.html
She has very good instructions and lots of pictures. I really hope this helps.

The Joyful Quilter said...

I owe a pattern cashing similar woes. SEW sorry for your frustration!!

Exuberantcolor/Wanda S Hanson said...

I agree with you on patterns, not enough info where you really need it and sometimes hard to understand it the way they describe it. I have written many patterns in my 40 years of teaching and felt I probably gave them more info than they needed in some cases. It is very time consuming but so necessary.

Gene Black said...

That is one reason that I don't write patterns (and don't buy them.) I wrote one pattern and probably put too much information into it. But I wanted even a beginner to be able to succeed with it.
I want to see the pattern before I buy it to be sure it covers details like "press toward the __"

Shasta Matova said...

I've always admired the Jack's Chain quilt and hope to make one some day once I build up the courage. It's too bad that the pattern wasn't clear that it didn't include directions for that particular quilt. Your block looks lovely so far. I wonder if it might work with the coloring the way it is.

Anonymous said...

What you showed is so wonderful! I really love it. Keep on making them for our eye candy fix.

Judy P. said...

The first time I made a quilt from a pattern not featured in a book, I discovered that the pieces didn't fit together. And, of course, I had cut them all out before I started sewing. I decided to call the pattern company and spoke to a person who informed me that no one had ever complained about their patterns. She suggested that I go to the shop where I purchased the pattern and talk to them. When I talked to the woman in the shop who had made the sample from the pattern, she told me that she had to draft the pattern herself as the one they sold me was all wrong. Great. Who was I supposed to be mad at....the shop for selling me a pattern they knew was wrong, the pattern company for not verifying that their pattern was accurate, or myself for not making a sample block? So I played with the pieces and came up with something that worked. It doesn't look anything like the pattern but it was great. But most importantly I learned to always make a sample. Control the things you can and don't worry about the rest.

A Left-Handed Quilter said...

I agree that some patterns are written better than others - and I like patterns that tell me which way to press units (saves me time having to figure it out) - but I don't need it to tell me to sew with a 1/4" seam. I wrote one pattern and it seemed like it took me forever - trying to balance what is too MUCH information and what is too LITTLE - which would depend on the reader's quilting experience and level of expertise. I didn't want to make it too hard for a beginner - or "dumb it down" for others - so I tried for the "middle".

The "Swoon" pattern cutting instructions were odd to me - with a lot of waste - so I spent some time and figured out how to cut the pieces from fat quarter strips with little waste - all I really needed on that one was a photo of the block- to count the number of units needed. Recently, I bought a two-fabric Bargello pattern that went into great detail - 9 pages - but I had trouble understanding her explanation of where to cut the strips. The "light bulb" finally went ON when I saw a photo of the strips on her design wall - THEN it made sense - and I only had to figure out how to adapt the cutting instructions to compensate for me being LEFT-handed.

Basically, I think it all comes down to the cutting and assembly instructions being clear and concise - with lots of diagrams - LOL - ;))

Mystic Quilter said...

Pattern information can be sadly lacking sometimes I agree I've had that problem once or twice over the years, however even though things were not made clear I love the block you have made! Good luck with the figuring procedure!

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Sorry. I understand your frustration. If I pay for a pattern, I expect it to have all the info I need (like what size each part is supposed to be).