Here is another opportunity to share pattern business knowledge!

Comment from Blog #86:

“I love your advice. I too am working on my own patterns. Not just quilting patterns but bag’s, totes, organizer patterns. I have done these as custom orders over several years, and many have asked for a pattern of the item once they saw it. But i’ve never gotten around to actually making the patterns. I would like to sell them in a pdf form. But I find I can’t seem to get my scanner to scan it in the right size. Any tips on creating pdf patterns.”


Debra’s Suggestions:

You might be surprised to find most of your pieces can simply be cut for totes with simple measurments. For example – if the strap measures 2″ x 24″ you would simply write that dimension out with in the directions. The only patterns needed will be special asymmetric shapes. Often times if you have symmetrical shapes you can just reproduce half the pattern with a folded dotted line – for fabric fold. Then  instruct the quilter to fold the fabric and cut on the lines, not on the fold. This takes up half the space. See diagram below. 


For the asymmetric Shapes You have a few options.

1. First, you could scan in your exsisting patterns “in pieces” or sometimes referred to as “tiles” on a standard  home scanner. Simply fold your current patterns in sections to fit onto your scanner bed. Over lap the scans slightly and reassemble them in a drawing program like Adobe Illustrator or Corel draw.

2. You could trace a 8-1/2 x 11 box onto tracing paper and retrace your patterns in sections within the drawn letter size box. You will need to allow for some overlap and provide some means of registration so that quilters can put letter size patterns together and make the larger pattern. See diagram. 

piecing patterns

3. The more labor intensive but best way is to recreate the patterns in a drawing program. That way your lines are perfect. If your patterns will only be output as pdf files you need to provide a registration system so that quilters can piece the letter size sheets together to make the large pattern. If you intend upon really making pattern making a business you need to design on a computer for accuracy and efficiency. I think E Quilter makes this process simple – even though I do not do it that way. 


I hope these simple directions answer some of your questions. I am very happy to help out. I do have private lessons in my studio in Maryland as well. Good Luck! 


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