Friday, June 10, 2011

Please Excuse My Whining Today

Normally I'm a pretty happy camper... but I feel like "whining" a bit today.
edit: I had
 to change this from the original word...
it wasn't my understanding of the word AT ALL)LOL
I worked on this project last weekend and hope to
finish it up this weekend...
 It was a  project that I started last October and it's been on my design
wall -pretty much ever since then.
I thought, and still think it's an adorable pattern
The question is WHY did it take me so long?
Well, it's because the blocks looked like this:

 
these are the ones I made last October. 
Here is where I start my 
wanking... and it has nothing to do with my toilet backing up this morning while I was washing clothes and doing my dishes, which made me late for work and that's without taking a shower!
Ok, that being said., and the plumber on his way there...
Do you see how the blocks don't look the same?
I had followed the written instructions of what I refer to as a "fill in the blanks" pattern.
But obviously, my results were not the same. I even wrote to the pattern designer and
her response was... "I don't know, I don't have that quilt anymore". Hmmm.
I had to walk away from the project, a little bit bothered now.
So I was ready to approach it again. I looked over the instructions again, which was a free
Moda Bake Shop pattern. In the tutorial pictures you could see that the cut strips that were photographed on the cutting mat were larger than the written instructions.
So maybe it was me... I wasn't expecting "finished" measurements in the cutting instructions.
I got out my seam ripper and unstitched all of the blocks... with the help of DIL, and with the exception of those on the left side of the photo. I tossed those and started new ones.
The time it took me to make this? Probably all of 6 hours on Sunday. That includes the time it took me to fill in the blanks on the rest of the pattern.
End results... I'm happy, I still love the quilt, I still love MBS and the designer too.

I have found errors in dozens of patterns. It's almost expected. It's hard to write patterns and I give those designers my sympathy because that is the worst part of designing.
Usually everyone is really nice about it though.

So what does make a good pattern?

It's probably kind of like Goldy Locks...
not to big, not to small...
Some patterns are crammed packed on a small format...
which I take to the copy machine and enlarge for the sake of my eyes and to help sort it out... sometimes they even have graphics on top of the writing.
Some patterns are on large paper and really don't contain that much information that warrants that large of paper, which drives up the cost of the pattern.
Some patterns are wordy, seriously word-y!
There is one pattern that I made that was 19 pages! I kid you not. It should have been a book... well, later it was made into a book! Ha!
I actually taught it as a class and made a "Cliff Notes" version of the pattern for the ladies.

Ok, I'll stop there... before this post gets too wordy!
Here is a little something else I worked on last weekend... that needs borders now.

So, what do you think makes a good pattern?
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28 comments:

Stray Stitches said...

Love both quilt tops!

Linda said...

Your wanking is great info for others. We all run into these problems from time to time. So glad you didnt just toss it, and that you continued on to complete a quilt you love. It is very awesome!

Linda said...

I downloaded that same pattern. I love it. BUT, I haven't made it yet. Were the blocks all different sizes?? Did you basically just make them the same size??

Maja said...

I agree it´s hard to write patterns.
And I think it´s almoast harder to read one!
I have lots of problems reading others and rather make my own.
Love both your quilt tops!

pcflamingo said...

As someone who knows folks in the UK, "wanking" over there means something considerably different than as used in your blog. Couldn't help it! Kept thinking of the UK useage! Love the quilt - pink & black & white = a real beauty.

Sarah@PingsAndNeedles said...

Love the quilt but am with pcflamingo (as a Brit) as to the use of 'wanking' as a term LOL !!

I've written a tutorial that's about four weeks' long LOL ...

and my word verification is UNDEES LOL

Quilt Hollow said...

Gosh that top quilt is a wonderful reminder of life! Love it!! Bummer about directions...may MBS should have a "tester" before publishing...yeah...I realize they are free but gosh darn!!
Just last night I pulled out a pattern that is "lacking" and I think it is assumed any quilter would know. The pattern has several flying geese units...however they are not a common size AND the pattern doesn't tell you what size they should be either. Sinta, I usually take a pattern and start revising directions to make the units the way I like to the best. I love making four at a time geese and because the pattern didn't say I had to use some scraps to make the first one and measure it....frustrating for sure.

Sheila said...

Oh my, along with the other Brits, the term "wanking" has a very different meaning to what you are meaning. I´m blushing :) But it is funny :)

Tammy said...

I'd love to have the pattern for the "white" quilt with the corner triangles. So cute and looks like a quick project. Thank you.

Cardygirl said...

Love your little quilt and understand what you mean about patterns. If i discover an error, I try & work out the solution then contact the designer...they have been pretty nice about it. Writing patterns is hard & takes more skill than most realise! One question...what does wanking mean there...I am wondering if it is different to in Australia????

Michele said...

Too bad about your pattern difficulties.....it looks great now :-) I like a pattern with easy to read directions......but who doesn't I guess! I thought there was a misprint in the last LePetite project from MBS, but no one mentioned it so maybe I'm wrong. I guess I never mentioned it either! It was fairly apparent what you were supposed to do, so maybe it wasn't a problem for anyone. Now I'm wondering what wanking means after reading some of the comments!

Thelma said...

At least the designer sent you a response, even if it was a pretty pathetic one. Per the MBS instructions, I sent a note to the designer requesting the templates for the wording, never heard from her, nada, not a thing.

I'm pretty flexible when it comes to patterns long, short, whatever, I usually rewrite them to suit myself. There are two things that do drive me crazy, when they are wrong and when they don't provide the block size for each step.

I love both quilts, I would consider your weekend very productive.

I looked up wanking in the Urban Slang Dictionary, HAHAHA

Kate said...

Congrats on sticking it out and getting it finished. It looks great!

Petit Design Co. said...

I'm with you. There is nothing more irritating than a badly written pattern. Sometimes I think the authors are too eager to get them out there (for sale or otherwise) and it shows.
My other pet peeves are bad grammar and bad layout in patterns!

Viki said...

badly written patterns (and uninterested designers) are very annoying.

But i am an Aussie and i am lol at your use of the term "wanking" - it means something VERY different over here!!

paulette said...

What makes a good pattern? Lots of pictures and clearly worded instructions. I always say the designer should treat me like I'm a moron...and tell me EVERYTHING!! Over kill is a good thing!! haha
P

Cindy said...

Most quilters are pretty visual, so I think a pattern should have lots of diagrams and not be too wordy. I like numbered steps, so you can find where you are. I understand mistakes happen, but I do think the pattern maker should try to fix them when they're discovered. Your quilt is gorgeous! And I love the sentiment of it!

Dandelion Quilts said...

That is a lot of ripping. You are a better woman than I. I am afraid to say, I may have walked away FOREVER.

Sherri said...

Everybody deserves to be able to whine once in a while...and while I've never heard the word wanking before...seems it has American and British meanings I've not heard of, lol! Patterns w/errors are very frustrating--I know they are bound to happen some times, but that's what pattern testers are for!

Betty Lou said...

Dispite the errors in the pattern of your 'Every Day is a Gift" quilt, YOURS came out beautifully. I thought Moda checked each Bake Shop Recipe out before it is posted. Maybe not?

Helen said...

Both quilt tops are lovely - pity about the cutting instructions in the MBS quilt, though... I read the start of your post and wondered what on earth you'd written instead of whining...would never have guessed correctly in a million years, I had no idea it had a non-rude meaning! (And yes, I'm a Brit, too!)

annieb said...

A good pattern for me needs to include diagrams or pictures, and I want the pattern writer to list step by step in detail. I have come across patterns with incorrect cutting and piecing instrictions, and it is just so frustrating.

PunkiePie (Jen) said...

Not too wordy. Pictures of some of the "funkier" steps and block measurements. And I would like to know the name of the pattern of that bottom quilt top in your post. I think I love it and need one for myself. :)

PunkiePie (Jen) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Magnolia Bay Quilts said...

Oh, no! Sorry you had such frustration putting it together, but it really is cute.

I like plenty of diagrams in patterns. My mind wanders if I have to read and analyze too much!

Alicia said...

sorry you had trouble. quilt looks great. I learned a new word today! LOL

Brenda said...

Sorry you had trouble with your blocks, they look great. I have never written a pattern, can't imagine it is that east to do.

Linda said...

Beautiful quilts!
I am coming back to this post from the day after you wrote it. Funny!!!!
As a pattern designer, I am very interested in what you and your followers had to say about patterns. Writing the directions is very difficult. It is so easy to make assumptions about a quilter's knowledge. Sometimes, the pattern testers miss things because they have become so proficient at what they do, they also assume someone else will know how to do it. Hopefully, we (designers) get better with each pattern at writing out each step. (I know that sometimes I find that a deadline causes me to rush through my instruction writing and that is not a good thing, either!)