Christa’s Soap Box – I’m Jumping Off the Deep End With My Patterns

After literally 10 years of going back and forth on whether I wanted to design and write individual quilt patterns, I’ve finally come to a decision – I’m going to do it! For real! 🙂 I’m jumping on the bandwagon, diving in head first, or whichever metaphor is appropriate for what I’m doing, LOL!

If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you’ll know that the best way for me to accomplish a given task is to blog about it. So guess what? I’ve decided to take you along with me on this journey as I go from concept to completion.

CQ-PatternsThese cover shots are ok – but there’s no branding!

The background leading up to this decision:

I’ve seriously wanted to do patterns forever but never thought I had the skills to successfully sell my own patterns. I can do all the math and come up with the designs, but the idea of creating a professional looking layout was a huge roadblock for me. It hasn’t stopped me from releasing a limited number of self-designed PDF patterns, but I wasn’t ready to get serious about pattern design until now.

At first I thought I’d learn how to do everything myself, take some online courses, and read a few books on how to create a professionally looking layout. But you know what – I tried that and found that it’s just not fun for me. In the end, I’ve decided to hire a graphic designer (hi Lindsie!) to do that part for me, so I could concentrate on what I love best: designing, writing, and making quilts.

It hit me like a ton of bricks when I realized this is the same reason people hire others to do their machine quilting. Those graphic designers are probably rolling their eyes at me thinking, “but it’s so easy” – the same way I’m out there trying to encourage others, “but machine quilting is so fun!” I will machine quilt in my sleep if I have to, as long as I can avoid having to illustrate and layout my own patterns, LOL!!

patternMy one and only print pattern can use a little help with graphics – don’t you think?

The First Steps

Like I said, I’m going the professional graphic designer route, but you certainly don’t have to! I’m also working with my friend Tina from Mod Geometry to do a little pattern testing on the side. I’ll first update and re-release all of my current PDF patterns, and finish a few that are in various stages of completion. Then I will release the print versions with sales channels to be determined later.

I’m also working with Lindsie to update the look and feel of my logo and blog. Nothing will change functionally, but we’ll work together to create some cohesive branding, which I’m really excited about.

Quilty ChevronsNow that I have the rights back to Colorful Chevrons, I can re-release it myself.

Future Goals

I guess the big pie-in-the-sky dream for any pattern designer is to have a booth at quilt market and get picked up by national distributors. While I’ll certainly consider that for the future, it won’t be the measure of my success in the short term.

For now, I’ll be happy to have professional looking patterns which I can sell to my fabulous readers, use to teach from myself, and offer to other instructors for them to teach from. I get a lot of requests to use my designs as the basis for other teachers’ classes, so If I can help them out with a ready-made pattern at an affordable price, then it’s a win-win for all of us!

Mini_patternGetting published in magazines was a great way to get my feet wet with pattern writing!

A Little Bonus

For a limited time, you can purchase any of my current PDF patterns for just 4.95! When all is said and done, I’ll offer them for the normal going rate once they are all jazzed up. So stock up now while you can!

CQ-PatternsHopefully my collection of patterns will grow over time.

 If you’ve purchased any of my patterns in the past, I’d love to hear your feedback on how I can improve them in the future. Just shoot me an email or leave your comments below.

And if you are thinking of getting into pattern design – don’t wait 10 years like I did!

21 thoughts on “Christa’s Soap Box – I’m Jumping Off the Deep End With My Patterns

  1. Joanne Harris says:

    It certainly sounds to me as though you have thought this one through. Good luck as you move forward. If you need any testing for future patterns or retesting on current ones I would be happy to do that. I have testing experience with a number of independent designers. Joanne

  2. Michele says:

    This is a great plan and one that I’m slowly pursuing myself. If I could find more time in a day I’d be a lot further along but oh well, normal life and the kidlets have to come first. Just take a deep breath and dive in. I’m sure you will see success.

  3. Michele says:

    You go GIRL!! Wishing you much happiness and success. I plan on buying the Log Cabin today to do on my guild’s quilt retreat in May. Will you be at QuiltCon? If so, are you going to be in a booth or just walking around? I would love to meet you in person.

  4. Connie Campbell says:

    Congrats Christa on your new challenge and also on your new book! I have also been designing a few printed quilt patterns which has been exciting and scary at the same time! Best of luck!

  5. LusciousLifeStudios says:

    As a surface & pattern graphic designer, totally immersed in all things quilting, I can completely relate to your very wise decision to turn to another professional. You will not look back. Perhaps soon u may be designing your own fabrics to go with your patterns. I am so excited to follow this new journey & I know you will be successful.

  6. Laura @ Prairie Sewn Studios says:

    Woohoo! Congrats on taking such an exciting step. Mom and I (like so many commenters above!!) are in the same process of branding and figuring out how to make our patterns look professional. I just love seeing that so many people are on this journey together!

  7. Carol W. says:

    Go for it, girl!!! I love your patterns! They are not complicated and they are NOT just another take on already established patterns. I’m in a triangle swap for the next three months and I plan on using one of them for my show and tell in November. KEEP UP the GREAT WORK!!!

  8. Louise Alexander says:

    Good for you! I followed your advice an purchased Modern X which will a perfect quilt for my aunt. That being said I would really like to enlarge it to an over-sized queen. Any thoughts on making it bigger. When you have time, no hurry, could you email me any thoughts. I greatly appreciate it and have a great day.

  9. cheryljbrickey says:

    That is very exciting! I am actually on the exact same path right now, working with a graphics designer to revamp my brand, logo, and covers of all of my patterns. I am trying to learn some new graphics packages and page layout software to hopefully tackle making the instructions more professional looking. I can’t wait to see your newly designed patterns!

  10. Kristy Daum says:

    I love how there are so many of us doing the re-branding thing right now, it just goes to show you that we see white space in the market and have a want to fill it with quality merchandise (speaking biasedly of course…hahaha). Congratulations on moving ahead with your plans, I’m looking forward to seeing your patterns all jazzed up and can’t wait to meet you finally in person in about 20 days!!!

  11. Anne says:

    This is great. I have made many of your patterns. They are easy to follow with clear and concise instructions that work. Have fun and best of luck.

  12. Anita says:

    Best of luck to you. I know you will do well. Your patterns are so well written and very easy to follow. I have made the chevron pattern, and just purchased the log cabin pattern. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

  13. Karen says:

    Very glad to see you get the “why” of me (and others!) sending my quilts off to be machine quilted. Its not that i cant, its that i dont enjoy it…and would rather spend my precious time on things i do enjoy. Kinda like changing the oil in my car….i am sure i can learn to do it…but who wants to!? Lol.

  14. lori landenburger says:

    So excited for you!! And so funny, the first issue of Quilty I ever bought was Colorful Chevrons, which I still have and which informed me about modern quilting, a thing I didnt even know existed!! And now I discover it is yours! Woo!

  15. Cynthia says:

    Pattern writing is something I have done a little of at the gentle urging of a good friend who love a quilt I made and kept suggesting I do some patterns for sale. It is hard choice to make and I often wonder do my patterns look professional enough. Go for it is all I can say.

  16. Reena Kaplowitz says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this! I have been considering this as well- I will follow your progress with pleasure- Best of luck.
    I was a Graphic Designer but really the patterns I do buy don’t need to have any fancy graphics- tho of course you are right on in going in that direction. Maybe a book in your future???

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