I’ve been crazy busy – teaching, working at retreats, and working at the MQX Quilt Festival. Now I have some time to sit down and write the pattern for Gemma.
I’ve decided to break down the two winning designs into two separate patterns. Since the designs are so very different, I think it would be way too confusing to the average quilter to put both of them into one pattern. So, the more traditional design will be Gemma, and the more modern design will become RickRack.
Writing a pattern is not a simple thing. First I need to write the instructions in a way that makes sense to anyone who buys the pattern. Let’s face it – we’ve all bought that pattern that was horribly written and doesn’t make sense. Fortunately, I took a Technical Writing course in college, which included Instructional Design. There’s actually a right way and a wrong way to write instructions – think patterns, recipes, appliance manuals, laboratory procedures. This is not creative writing – this is breaking all the information down into steps that are efficient, effective, and not terribly boring.
Accurate fabric requirements and cutting instructions are crucial. You don’t want the quilter who is excited to make your pattern to get frustrated right off the bat by inaccurate cutting, or worse, not enough fabric. I’ve made this design multiple times to make sure the fabric requirements work, and I take lots of notes along the way. Now I can sit down and write.
So far after about eight hours of writing over several days, I have six pages of instructions, and I haven’t added the graphics yet. Making all the diagrams will take longer than the writing, and I’ll save that for another day.