Wednesday, December 1, 2010

On Free Quilt Patterns

So in the beginning, quilting started as a way to recycle and enhance.  There were no quilting stores, no businesses.  Now there are, and I benefit from them - but mainly from the online sharing that so freely goes on.  I read an article today - cautioning people from free patterns as they are not always accurate, etc.  The article goes on to list the free patterns sources she recommends. It was really nice of her to organize the list - it will be a good set of links to refer to.

Hmm.  And this is just an n of 1 - but my last paid quilting class was to make a jacket.  In addition to paying for the class we were all required to get the pattern.  The copyright on the pattern was several years old.  During the class, the teacher told us mistakes that were in the pattern.  There was no printed insert in the pattern container - the pattern was sold with the inaccurate information.  There was some additional added value to the class - she showed us how to make a very nice band to go around the arm.  This pattern would replace something in the pattern - I'm okay with that as in the end the pattern was very open ended and there was room for additional blocks to be added.

The class could have been improved by having samples of the various stages of working on the jacket...  But it really bothered me that the printed pattern was being sold without the corrections.

So yes, free patterns may be inaccurate but my last paid pattern was inaccurate too.

So I guess free patterns are like free recipes or advice - have to take them all with a grain of salt.  But in reality everything we see or read or hear we have to filter thru our own souls to decide what to do with the information.

A few years ago I was chatting with one of my son's friends, I was saying how I needed to make more room for things in the house and was thinking of giving away all my cooking books as I could search for recipes so easily now on the web.  He said he would still keep the books as those recipes were tested and one never knew if the web recipes were correct or not.  This is a similar thought as the quilting article I read - but I so rarely refer to my books now - and I know to look at several web-recipes before deciding which one to test out that really I should go thru those cookbooks are weed them out at least.  And I have never gone thru one of my quilt pattern books and used them - so they should be weeded out too....

I have not found that paid patterns are entirely accurate.

I can not really say if free patterns are accurate - I am still at the block level of making things and have been really enjoying finishing my monthly blocklotto challenges - but I would hope that people would not blindly accept a paid pattern and waste time figuring out why something did not work out as expected when really it's just a poorly done paid pattern.

I think perhaps that is what the author of the original article was thinking about free patterns - but I think paid patterns have to be included too.  One expects the quilt store to screen patterns before they are sold - it was very disappointing that an errata sheet had not been prepared by either the pattern publisher or the LQS.

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