In Army basic training, a drill sergeant of my platoon liked to say things like, “The best way to do better pushups is to do MORE pushups!”
Similarly, the best way to write a better quilt pattern is to make more quilts from it.
Every pattern benefits from the unique perspectives that other quilters offer and from their helpful and constructive feedback (preferably not hollered at the designer while she does pushups, though).
Will you join my platoon of quilt pattern testers?
Anyone who’s made a quilt can sign up to be added to the list. Most of my patterns are pieced, but sometimes there will be other techniques–and you don’t have to make any patterns you don’t want to. It’s okay. I’m looking for a range of skill levels, too, to help me determine what skill level each pattern should be aimed to.
A beginner’s feedback has value. Many experienced quilters take things for granted and don’t need every step written down. Beginners’ questions ensure that the pattern is complete, accurate, clear, and concise.
How It Works
I write a pattern. When I think it’s ready for publication, I send a “call for testing” out to everyone who signed up to pattern test. This call for testing will include:
- a photo or mockup of the quilt
- an estimate of the skill level (beginner, confident beginner, intermediate, expert)
- what techniques are used to make the quilt
- a list of fabrics needed
- a list of any tools required
- the timeline–deadline to sign up, check-in dates for sharing progress, due dates for notes and photographs
Based on this information, you may choose not to participate in testing that particular pattern. That’s fine! I’ll send you information on the next pattern when it’s ready to go.
If I receive more responses than I need, I choose testers at random from those who responded and send confirmation emails. If you are selected, your confirmation email includes the pattern in two forms: a Word document and a pdf. I may also include notes if I have specific items that require feedback.
You read through the pattern and check to ensure that the math adds up and the steps make sense. You make the quilt EXACTLY as the instructions are written, writing notes as you go, and ask questions along the way if necessary. You return your notes to me (either typed into the Word document and emailed, or handwritten neatly directly onto the printed pattern and scanned to email) along with a well-lit photograph of the finished quilt.
I incorporate changes into the pattern as necessary and have a successful release!
What I Need from You
- Commitment. Please be certain that you can commit to the timeline before accepting an invitation to test a pattern.
- Thoroughness. Please check every step of the pattern and make notes as you go along. Look for accuracy (especially the numbers), typos, inconsistencies, and omitted information. I pride myself in providing complete, accurate, clear, and concise instructions, and testing is the best way to ensure that!
- Honesty. Don’t just tell me what you think I want to hear! Please let me know if you find errors or if you think something just won’t work. (Think of it as kindly telling a friend about the spinach stuck in their teeth.)
- Communication. The unexpected happens. Please, please, please let me know if you’re not certain that you can finish your project AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. It’s totally okay, I won’t be mad if you let me know. Just don’t ghost me, okay?
- Respect of copyright. Please understand that the patterns I send to you are for your personal use. Do not copy or share the patterns.
What You’ll Get Out of It
Although I can’t afford to pay pattern testers outright (no one wishes that I could more than I do), that doesn’t mean that there aren’t benefits to testing patterns. Of course, I will send you a digital version of the final pattern. If you have a blog, Instagram account, and/or Facebook business page, I will link up to your posts and provide patterns for giveaways that you host. For some projects, I may be able to provide fabric or other supplies.
I hope you will sign up for the fun of it: to learn more about pattern writing, to make connections in the quilting world, and to have the opportunity to make more quilts!
Sign up here!
This list will only be used to contact you about pattern testing opportunities. I will never share or sell your information. You can unsubscribe from the list at any time.
Important: You must fill out all of the fields that have an asterisk next to them, or the form won’t be submitted. Any of the fields without asterisks should be left blank if they don’t pertain to you or if you don’t wish to share that information.
After submitting the form, an automated email will be sent to the email address you provide. Click the link in the email to confirm your subscription and we’ll be all set. Thank you!