Friday, January 27, 2012

Sometimes it’s nice to just stitch from a kit

vintage crewel pears kit

No design to plan, no supplies to track down (except matching Persian yarn when my chain stitch is tighter than the kit apparently intended…grrr).

vintage crewel pears kit

Are you loving the blue gingham wallpaper from our kitchen? Yeah, me neither. Distracting from the mingitude with gaudy seventies fruit currently beats stripping the paper. Though I should perhaps save “gaudy” for this lurid little number from another vintage kit:

vintage pigs crewel kit

Love at first pork?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Peacocks on Parade giveaway winner

10600-E_cover-p1

imageCongratulations to Kim West of A Peach in Stitches—Kim, you should have got an e-mail with a code to get your pattern. Thanks to all who entered and shared their thoughts on PDF patterns. There’s clearly a lot of potential in digital pattern publishing, but also some challenges.

Kim’s comment brings up an excellent point about using PDF patterns:

I like them, but if I could get an app to be able to annotate them, I would probably like them better. I like to write notes on my patterns to let me know where I left off, clarify directions, etc.

I use PDF-XChange Viewer, a free Adobe alternative, for annotating PDFs on my PC all the time—but there’s no version for portable devices. It seems like a no-brainer that there’d be apps out there to mark up PDFs on tablets, but I’m yet to find a good one for Android at least. Certainly nothing as easy as scribbling a few notes in the margin of a printed pattern. Maybe some day…

Thanks again to those who entered—stay tuned for some more giveaways in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Peacocks on Parade available now! (with giveaway)

Peacocks on Parade version A

If you’ve popped over to my website recently, you may have noticed that Peacocks on Parade is now available as an e-pattern. (The printed version is also available to stores.) Since this is the first pattern I’ve released since the Other so kindly gifted me with an Android tablet, it’s got me thinking about downloadable PDF patterns a bit differently than before.

Peacocks on Parade as an e-pattern

In some ways, quilt patterns were made for e-reading. I mean, the standard pattern format—5½×8½" sheets from folded letter paper—is a pretty good size for viewing on a 7–10" tablet or e-ink screen. It can be a pain to scroll around full 8½×11" pages on a display that size, but the half page can fit fully on screen and still be legible (depending on the setup of the file and the device configuration, of course). Then you can bring your e-reader to the sewing room to follow the instructions, zoom in on illustrations, etc., and all you have to print are the templates or pattern sheets. Any links in the PDF (I link to tutorials for basic things like binding) are instantly accessible.

But not everybody has an e-reader or tablet (and I’d be the last snake to lead Eve to an Apple). Those half-letter pages are easy enough to print 2 to a page in most PDF software, which gives you essentially the same format you’d get from one of my printed patterns.

Peacocks on Parade version B

There’s been a discussion recently on the Quilt Pattern Designers e-mail list regarding the pricing of PDF patterns—should they be the same as printed versions because you’re paying for the design, or should the lessened manufacturing and inventory costs lead to a lower price? I’ve always thought it’s only fair for digital products to cost less than their physical counterparts (think MP3s vs. CDs), but there were strong feelings the other way too. Inspired by Sister Diane’s candid discussion of pricing and financial viability in the online crafting world (like in this post, including the comments), I’d like to get your thoughts…

To enter the giveaway for a free copy of the Peacocks on Parade e-pattern, just leave a comment below and tell me your thoughts on downloadable patterns for quilting or sewing. Do you buy them? What do you like about them? What don’t you like? How do you feel on the pricing question? You don’t have to go into elaborate detail or answer all these questions, just give me a quick thought or two. Make sure your Blogger profile has an e-mail address or that there’s some way I can contact you if you win. Comments will be open through midnight Pacific Time on Thursday, January 19, and I’ll announce the winner of the free pattern on Friday.

Good luck, and thanks for sharing your opinions!

UPDATE: Just to clarify, the winner will be chosen randomly from the comments. Thanks!