What’s in a Pattern

When I was growing up, I liked to spend time baking.  My Mom and my Grandma were both very good bakers, but they were very different.  Mom taught us how to read a recipe card and properly measure all the ingredients.  Baking with Grandma was a little different experience...her recipe cards had no measurements.  They were more a list of ingredients with instructions to add a scoop of this or a pinch of that.  What’s a pinch anyway?  Before Grandma passed away, I had to make sure I had proper measurements for her recipes because my chocolate cake would never taste like her chocolate cake if I had to rely on the accuracy of my “pinch”!

In quilting, as in baking, there are two types of people.  There are those who need a pattern, and those who don’t.  If you are in the latter category, I am in awe of you!  I wish I could visualize a quilt in my head, pull the perfect fabrics together and end up with a gorgeous display of color and creativity.  I, however, am in the first category.  I need a pattern.

If you are like me, you want to see the cover photograph that shows how the quilt will look upon completion.  You crave the order that comes with reading through the pattern in its entirety and then having a game plan for how to tackle the project that lies ahead, or to get back on track after multiple interruptions.    Not only does the pattern serve as a great roadmap, one can learn new techniques from different pattern designers.  Where would we have learned what it means to “twist the seams” of a pinwheel or that there is a “4 at a time” method for making HSTs if it weren’t for the pattern designers?

Gone are the days of black and white patterns with a poorly printed 3” x 5” photograph glued to the front.  Today’s pattern designers have access to technology that didn’t exist several decades ago.  Modern designers have access to things like EQ8, YouTube and QuiltInk.  Cutting charts, digitally produced diagrams, and color artwork are pretty much standard in the quilt patterns of today.  Not only can designers offer up their creativity in written form, they can create a how-to video to show customers how to tackle the trickiest parts of the pattern.  If the pattern designer chooses to post their designs on QuiltInk, the customer can audition their own color palettes to get a better idea of how their finished product will look.  

As a quilter, I appreciate the value added things.  I enjoy getting to know the pattern designers through their blogs and how-to videos.  I’ve listed some of my current favorite designers below with links to their websites.  I've personally tried out their patterns and follow their social media accounts.  Check some of them out, maybe you’ll find a new favorite for yourself!

  • Taylor Krz with Toad and Sew - Taylor is one of my newest finds.  Her ability to choose the perfect color palette for a quilt is both inspiring and intimidating at the same time.  We will begin stocking Toad and Sew patterns in our online store in February.  Some of our products may even make an appearance in her monthly newsletter ToadSpo.  Sign up for her newsletter to find out about exclusive discounts on featured products.
  • Suzy Williams with Suzy Quilts - Suzy is both a pattern and fabric designer.  Her fabric collections from AGF fabric are amazing.  
  • Megan with Modern Moon Quilt Studio​ - Megan has a knack for taking vintage designs and adding a modern twist.  Her Happy Camper quilt is one of my favorites.  We stock several of Megan's patterns and look forward to adding more in the future.
  • ​Christina with Sweet Potatoe Quilts - I love Christina's 18" blocks and how versatile they are.  One of her subscription programs might be right up your alley.  
  • ​Amy Smart with Diary of a Quilter -  Amy's patterns are a little more traditional.  Her website is chock full of great tutorials and many of her patterns lend themselves to a patriotic feel.  Her patterns are great for QOV inspiration.  We currently stock several of Amy's patterns.

Sebrina Riddle January 22, 2024
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