Monday, August 25, 2008
Pitter Pattern 2
Pitter Pattern 2
OK! Now you have a pattern. You feel a sense of completion and accomplishment. Until you open it and look at the directions… Sometimes I think pattern writers’ sole purpose is to confuse the daylights out us. Here’s how I go about untangling the obfuscated instructions.
First, if the fabrics are labeled with letters or numbers, celebrate! If not, mark them on the pattern with whichever you like best. Careful! Sometimes a fabric is listed twice if it used in more than one place in the quilt. For instance, a piece in a block may also be used as a border, or the binding. Scan the list before you label to see if this is the case. If so, repeat the label as required.
Next, I like to repeat the labels on the picture of the finished quilt on the front of the pattern. This helps me visualize what the finished quilt will look like with the fabrics I’ve chosen, and to construct the blocks without straining my brain too badly. I also like to put the fabric labels on the pictures of the blocks in the middle of the instructions.
Before cutting, it is a good idea to walk through the directions completely to see if there are any mistakes. We have found that quite often there are, especially in the free patterns offered by fabric manufacturers. It is a terrible thing to be in the middle of a project and discover you don’t have enough of a fabric, or the directions told you to cut it incorrectly. Also, the required yardage listed may not have taken into account a directional print, or the repeat of a print.
Finally, see if you need any special equipment in order to cut or sew the quilt. Sometimes a template is required or helpful. Some patterns include templates that you can make yourself. Do you need a different color thread for an appliqué? Again, reading through all the directions before you start will help you avoid any nasty surprises later. And who knows? Maybe that direction-reading thing will rub off on your significant other the next time a grill needs to be assembled…