Quilting serves me in a variety of ways. Sometimes, it helps me find peace as I listen to the hum of my sewing machine and guide fabric under the needle. Other times, it’s an opportunity to challenge myself technically, proving that I can master applique, partial seams, or Y-seams. And then there are other situations when it’s my chance to unleash my creativity and feed my soul in a way nothing else does by designing something from scratch.
Publishing my original designs—either independently or in a magazine—has always been a possibility, but for many reasons I haven’t made the leap. First of all, in a world where everyone has access to a word-processing program, if not full-out design and layout programs, there are tons of quilt designers. And some of those designers are producing really beautifully written and well tested patterns. Plus, I am not kidding myself: I know publishing my patterns for public consumption is a big time commitment with little potential for financial gain. If anything, any income I would make would do little more than support my
Then there’s the issue of my style and the way I construct my quilts. Would people want to re-create my original designs?
Take, for example, three original designs and the quandary each poses when I consider marketing the pattern to the quilting community ...
1. Near Wild Heaven
I designed and made Near Wild Heaven as a submission to American Patchwork and Quilting’s two-color challenge for QuiltCon 2019. It didn’t make the cut, which was fine, because I really love this quilt and wouldn’t have designed it outside the context of the challenge. But is it a good candidate for a quilt pattern? I designed it to be a monochromatic piece. Would it work pieced in multiple colors? And wouldn’t potential purchasers want that kind of versatility?
2. Circa 1870
The next design of mine, Circa 1870, showed at QuiltCon 2019. I think it’s a fresh take on a hexagon quilt, and it’s been well received by other quilters. I can’t help but wonder, though: Would other people actually want to make it?! I pieced it all by machine, which means I sewed Y-seam after Y-seam. From my experience, most quilters hear “Y-seams” and run the other way.
3. Modern Warm and Cool Coin Quilt
I’m not ready to reveal the next potential pattern in its entirety, but here’s a sneak peek...
It’s a layer-cake variation of the quilt at the top of this post without the improv piecing. It’s an easy sew. My question is, Do quilters want easy sews? I think in some people’s minds easy patterns should be free patterns.
You all are a biased lot. After all, you’re here. You’ve seen my projects, and if you’ve come back, I presume you’ve liked what you have seen. Would giving this publishing idea a shot make sense? I covet your thoughts!
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