Over the last couple of weeks I took a detour from sewing to write up a pattern for Jelly Bean Stars. After much proofreading (thank you to my hubby for spotting the diagrams I had drawn backwards!) it is now available to purchase as a file download in my
This is the sixth pattern I have written and yet again, the part that took me the longest was determining fabric requirements and deciding how to give instructions for cutting. I looked at other patterns for inspiration and tried to determine what I liked or didn’t like, or would like to see done differently. I like the format I came up with but I’d like to pick your brains about what you like in a pattern, if I may.
First question: How do you feel about charts or tables? My science background likes them. Everything is neatly and concisely organized. For example, for this block I like the table below. For a block where I have to sub-cut units after the first cut, I might have two more columns, one to say how to sub-cut and one to list the total number of final units.
Size to cut
Number to cut
|A – Yellow background|| |
4 1/2” square
|B – Yellow background|| |
4 7/8” square
|C – Light blue corner|| |
4 7/8” square
|D – Blue star point|| |
2 1/2” square
|E – Blue star center|| |
4 1/2” square
Second question: Do you like knowing what each piece will be used for? When I’m changing the colors in a quilt, I like an easy way to keep track of what’s what and not have to find that particular size patch in the piecing instructions to determine what it is so I can use the right color for my new color scheme.
Third question: Just how much detail do I need to give? Can I assume that if I say to cut 8 - 2 1/2” squares, you’ll know to cut a 2 1/2” strip, then cut 2 1/2” squares from that? Or do I need to specify to cut the strip to that width first, then sub-cut squares, and so on? Is that considered basic quilting knowledge? In some cases I do find a cutting diagram useful, for example when I’m trying to squeeze a set number of various sized patches from a fat quarter and only one way will yield everything I need.
Last question: How precise do you want fabric requirements to be? I understand that fabric is not cheap and you might not want too much extra (or maybe you do so you can build up the stash!). On the other hand if I find that exactly 9 inches of fabric is technically just wide enough, I tend to add 1/8 yard to that. What if the 9 inches (a 1/4 yard cut) shrinks a bit, or isn’t quite straight? Then that 1/4 yard isn’t quite enough anymore. So how close do you think is too close? Do you like a little fudge room (no more than 1/8 yard) in the recommended fabric requirements? Rounding to the next 1/8 yard? More? Less?
I’d appreciate any feed back you care to give me!
Now I will work on moving a few UFOs along instead of getting sidetracked by that star block I just drew as an example…though I think it could be made into a simple, easy baby quilt…though I don’t currently know anyone who needs one…but it would be sweet and simple… And this is how the UFO’s start piling up!