Tuesday, 7 May 2013

The Pattern Process

You may or may not have noticed that I seem to start quite a few projects that you never see again here on the blog. While it is so that I sometimes enjoy the starting more than the finishing, ever so often my WIP goes into the pattern to be published file. I am sure that the publishing process is different for each designer, but I thought I would share how it works for me.

I was so lucky to be offered a position on the design staff of the Scandinavian quilting magazine, Quiltemagasinet, a few years back.

Whenever I have an idea, I will pitch it to the editor. The pitch is just a short description and pictures of whatever I have so far – blocks on the design wall, a top or even a finished quilt. As from the “Yes, please” moment, I cannot share any pictures or the quilt itself anywhere public.

When the quilt is finished, I’ll write the pattern. If you have ever thought about writing patterns, I can assure you that the writing process does get easier. I use Word and Excel/Paint for illustrations or even hand draw and scan them, nothing fancy. When done, I’ll ship the quilt for photographing and email the pattern. The editor takes pictures of the quilt, creates the layout, and emails a pdf-file to me for proof reading.

She usually keeps the quilt until the proof reading is done, unless it is a gift and I am really short on time. That has happened on a couple of occasions, like with grandbaby’s quilt. I had it back here only a couple of days before he was born.

There is a list of the deadlines for each issue, but still, sometimes finishing a pattern is a rush job as it would fit perfectly into the next issue which goes off to printing in a few days.

Designing anything means that you are always working a few months ahead of each season which means I should be thinking of Christmas projects right now – which I am.

It may take a while for the pattern to actually get published as it shall fit into an issue both size wise, technique wise and colour wise. Last summer I finished 7 patterns, and most of them have been published by now.

After publishing, the patterns are mine with which to do whatever I want. My plan is to make them into pdf-patterns in both Norwegian and English, but it just hasn’t been in the cards this past crazy year.

Quite a few of these quilts come with stories which, together with translating the patterns, are on my catching-up-on-the-blog-to-do-list, so I’ll be revisiting them later.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Thanks for sharing that process. I can't even imagine how satisfying it must feel to see something you created in a magazine. I am a good copier but have really never "created" the idea for a project.....yet.

  2. Thank you! I loved reading about how it all works. You are ONE productive lady!

  3. Nice to see all those small project. Love the wild haired woman and the man pieces. xox

  4. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing with us more about the process. You sound very busy.:)

  5. Love all your published items. Can't wait to see your blogs with the stories of these patterns. I'm amazed that you are doing more than you show on the blogs. You do so much that you show on the blogs. You must be swirling around at tornado speed. I, too, love the wild haired woman, and the man with the saying (in English, Yay!)... it is so true.

  6. Stilige og fine modeller! Og jeg har alle bladene:)

  7. Very interesting, I think about writing patterns and end up completely lost, drawing? pictures? how much fabric?, it's a lot. You're amazing and keep me in awe.