Friday, June 22, 2018

Introducing Mod²!



A pretty little quilt I designed about a year ago. It sat in the graphing book until I saw one of the challenges as an Island Batik Ambassador was a modern quilt challenge. I dusted this baby off and sent it to the testers.



This version is the one I made for the challenge. I used the Blue Moon line I received from Island Batik as part of their ambassador program.



Such a fabulous line to work with. I included the layout for this quilt in the instructions, just in case anyone else wanted to step out of their comfort zone.


So glad she got these fence posts. They bring me back to summers in Montana.


My photographer, Kelly of Handmade Boy, brought both quilts with her on vacation to Colorado.



She put her husband to work, too. She's not getting these shots in Illinois!




The large quilt I quilted in a pretty green in a continuous circle that is NOT even.




The Island Batik version I quilted in long, vertical wavy lines, that are also NOT even.

Testers Quilts

Let's take a look at the tester's quilts. These lovely ladies deserve a round of applause for their work. They are such a great group to work with.




This beauty belongs to Fawn.  I love the prints she chose, but I can't decide if I like the butterfly or the blue best. Choices, choices!




Jennifer's purple beauty makes me drool, but I love purple in all of it's forms. Jennifer pointed out that these blocks go together much easier if we press the seams open. You know I'm a press the seams to the side kind of gal, but she was totally right. I left pressing arrows in the instructions, but I do recommend pressing open, it makes a difference. Thanks Jennifer!




I love the statement red makes in Joanne's quilt.  It's bold yet simple. Art in a quilt.




Dedee's goes bold in large blue chunks. The testers really showed the diversity this pattern has to offer. It's easy to make it yours.




Mod² is available now in my Etsy shop, at a special introductory price of $8. Digital only, but printed patterns coming soon.

Make it yours and share it with us: #modsquared

Happy Stitching!
Jen

New to Patterns By Jen?

Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.


The Border Quilt Quilt Along is coming August 2018

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for daily sneak peeks and updates.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Pattern Design - The Real Cost




This post has been bubbling in the back of my mind for a few weeks now, and I think I'm ready to share my thoughts.



We've all seen the meme: Why do Quilts Cost So Much? (This one was made by Gail Lizette of I Think Sew.)  We've seen it, and we've nodded sagely to ourselves. We think YES! This is what the people who don't appreciate my work need to see! We share it and we share it again. Why? Because we want to be appreciated. We want people to see that what we have made wasn't a "cheap handmade gift."

Pattern designers feel the same way. We hear over and over again how patterns cost "too much." Everyone is looking for free patterns. "Designers are making so much money, look how much the patterns cost." "It won't hurt if I copy this pattern and share it with my friends. I paid for it already." "Digital patterns should be cheaper than the paper pattern of the same design."

I would like to share what it costs to design a pattern, and then take a look at what we make off those patterns. I'll share some pretty pictures along the way to keep from all boring text.




The designing stage

First there is the drawing up of the actual design. Sketching out the idea, figuring out sizes of units, adding it to a design program, adding color (taking color away and starting over, ha). This can take a few hours to a few days.

Time: 8 hours - 48 hours (lets pay ourselves $15) = $120 - $720

Next, there is writing out the instructions, making sure each piece fits as you go along. Figuring out number of units to cut, when to piece them, trimming. Then, how much fabric will be needed. (Yes, you will use math when you grow up. *grin*)

Time: 15 hours x $15 = $225




Then testing begins. I print out the instructions so that I can make the needed changes. (Read cost of paper and ink.) Depending on the difficulty of the pattern I need enough fabric to make at least one full quilt, which will not get quilted, but needs to be pieced. Then it's off to the testers.

12 testers x 12 patterns at $10 each = $120

Some designers are able to pay for testers and their time. Think about how much that can cost. How much is your time worth? I give my testers their choice of any of the published patterns I have available, or the finished pattern of the one they just worked on. They use their own fabric and then they go through whichever size they have chosen and make the whole top to check for accuracy. This part of the proccess is invaluable.



Making of the design

For my patterns I make two samples for the cover of each pattern. That's two quilts worth of fabric, materials and time, I'm going to use the amount used in the meme above, but only once, because I don't usually have to buy thread etc every time.

Quilt one and two = $1220.88

I send mine to be quilted, because paying for that service is worth the extra time it "buys" me. Each quilt costs anywhere from $150 - $280, it depends on the size and quilting pattern chosen.

Quilt one = $150

Quilt two = #275




Once I get the binding on, the quilts are off to the photographer. Mine lives in a different state, so each package is sent with insurance up to $1,000. Then mailed back for the same cost. The cost of the photographer varies from one to the other.

Shipping to = $40

Photography = $300/shot (this varies greatly)

Shipping back = $40




Marketing

If the designer only does digital patterns, what's left is "just" the set up fees for their website or etsy/craftsy page. Each listing comes with a fee, and each sale comes with a fee.

Etsy listing = $0.20

If there are paper patterns involved then the pattern is off to the printer (or printed at home). A general amount for me, for a pattern with color pages and a nice glossy cover runs around 2.468 to 2.856 per pattern, usually with orders of just 25. This varies for each designer/printer.

Total cost: $61.70 (repeat if the pattern happens to sell well)

Now it's time to decide, will you pay to have the printer fold them for you, or will you fold them yourself.

Folding yourself; 45 mins x $15/hour = $11.25

Then it's time to stuff the in those nice clear bags. Those run around $50 for 1,000 bags, plus shipping.

Using 25 bags at $0.05 a bag = $1.25

Total cost = $3,465.28
(using an average of 28 hours and 3 images from the photographer)




Selling  the pattern

The pattern has been designed, pieced, quilted, photographed, printed and bagged. Now it needs to be sold. Many patterns run from $10 - $12, some even higher. For this I'm going to use the $10 example.

Retail is $10.
If I sell it from Etsy or Craftsy I am charged a fee for listing and for selling. I would need to sell 346 patterns, plus a few more to cover fees, to break even.

If it is picked up by a quilt shop, the shop pays a wholesale price: $5 per pattern. I would need to sell 693 patterns to break even.

If it's picked up by a distributor they pay 35%: $3.50 per pattern. I would need to sell 990 patterns to break even.


The Border Quilt

There is a lot of give and take to these numbers. Sometimes a designer can get a fabric company to sponsor the design and give fabric. If the quilting is on a smaller quilt, or it's a large motif, it can cost less. Printing costs vary as well. I hope, though, that this helps quilters understand that most of the pattern designers aren't getting rich selling their patterns. They work hard with a high overhead. The bigger names in the quilting industry can give away free stuff, because they have many avenues of revenue. The smaller pattern designer doesn't have all of that. So add that $10 pattern to your list of quilting supplies and help support the designers that are working long hours to give you a quality product they can be proud of.

Happy Stitching!
Jen




Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Modern Batik with Island Batik

Welcome to the June challenge from Island Batik, Modern Batik.




The Blue Moon fabrics I used for this challenge were given to me by Island Batik as part of the Ambassador program.






I am not a modern quilter, in any way shape or form so I reached out to Carole Lyles Shaw. She gave me a few tips and even drew up a couple of layouts for me after she saw what I had pieced. I really appreciate that she took the time to try and help me. I don't know that I did her justice in any way, but I tried. Sigh. I am not a modern quilter. If you are a modern quilter, or want to become one, definitely check out her website.




Here is what she had to work with, I call it Mod^2.




After she gave me a few suggestions I ripped a few seams and changed the layout. I focused more on creating asymmetrical lines, because I didn't feel there was much I could change at this point. Plus, this is really as modern as I get. I'm a traditional girl at heart, in pretty much all areas of my life, breaking out of that is/was hard!




I used the yardage with the birds and more of the branches for the back. I've sent this quilt to the photographer and I know she will grab much prettier photographs for you to enjoy.




Mod^2 will be released as a digital pattern in a few weeks, so if you like this one, stick around. *grin*

Happy Stitching!
Jen

New to Patterns By Jen?

Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.


The Border Quilt Quilt Along is coming August 2018

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for daily sneak peeks and updates.


Friday, June 1, 2018

June Color Challenge

Welcome to June's Color Challenge!




It's my favorite color, and uses my favorite unit, the awesome Half Square Triangle. We could stop the Color Challenge right here and I would make a billion of these and be perfectly happy for life!




Get your free pattern here! It will be available for free through June 2019, at which point it will be bundled with the other blocks and settings and sold as a full pattern. Settings will be released in December.






Blog Hop

Don't forget to visit the other bloggers. A few of the bloggers have designed their own block for you and they have been pretty great so far. You won't want to miss them.

Joanne of Quilts By Joanne 

The Prize

This month's sponsor is Art Gallery Fabrics.


Win this fat quarter bundle of AGF.




Ten beautiful fabrics.



Piecing Tips

This block is pretty simple and there aren't a lot of tips to share.




When stitching watch your seam allowance, it will keep your points sharp if your seams are all the same width.




Spin your seams.




How do you get a chance at winning the beatufiful fabric from Art Gallery Fabrics? Make something purple *this month* and add it to the link up that will open June 23 and run through June 30. One entry per person please. Each month you enter you get entered into the drawing for the Grand Prize.

Grand Prize

Wait! There is more!
Jen at Dizzy Quilter is providing the grand prize! 

For every month you enter the link up, you get an entry for the grand prize.

The generous prize provided is you will get your top quilted by her (up to 90" x 90"),  a $202.50 value!

You must provide the backing, 8" longer than width and length. Batting can be purchased from Jen, for $20, if you like.

Return shipping is included for US residents only.
**Please note, the quilt will not be trimmed or bound, those services are extra**

 If you are playing along with us, make sure to use #2018monthlycolorchallenge on social media!

Happy Stitching!
Jen

New to Patterns By Jen?

Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.


The Border Quilt Quilt Along is coming August 2018

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for daily sneak peeks and updates.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Playful Pillows with Island Batik

This month's challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors was to make a "Playful Pillow."




My "playful" pillow turned into a "painful" pillow. Sometimes social media can make it look like designers/quilters/people make perfect things all the time.  While we may know that isn't true, it's hard not to compare isn't it? I've tried to share honest pictures of my work space and work, this pillow won't be any different.  




I've always really wanted to make a pineapple quilt, but lets be honest, time is not something I have a lot of.  Making a pillow was the perfect excuse to at least try it. However, I may need to try again later. Let's start with the pile of extra pieces. Ummmm, is that as bad as having an extra screw leftover when building something?




I planned to make each pineapple block with two dark purple, one light, and one marbled. About half way through I realized I had made each uniform. Sigh.




Then there is the cut that shouldn't be. Ouch.




What do you do when you go from four units for your block to three?  Well, first you cry a little (or maybe swear not so quietly under your breath) and then you start playing with the pieces. I've really gotten good at adding those setting triangles!




I planned on adding a quarter inch strip between the pieced "top" and a border, but decided to just leave it small.




Plus it helped the back fit the piece of fabric I had.




I stuffed it with fiberfill, hand stitched closed (it's not pretty, but it's closed) and I now have a pretty, painfully playful, pineapple pillow.




Happy Stitching!
Jen

New to Patterns By Jen?

Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.


The Border Quilt Quilt Along is coming August 2018

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for daily sneak peeks and updates.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

May Color Challenge Link Up

The May Color Challenge Link Up is now open!




Did you make the free block from Patterns By Jen, or something else in green?




If you made something green *this* month, you can enter the Link Up, open through May 31st, for a chance to win fabric from Island Batik.




They have sponsored May with a fat eighth bundle of their Mountain's Majesty line. It's gorgeous (and perfect for June's challenge. Hint Hint)




If you are having trouble linking up read this post. If you are still having trouble please email me directly; patternsbyjen(at)gmail(dot)com and I will happily get you added.

Don't forget, for each month you enter the Link Up, you are also entered for the grand prize at the end of the year:

Jen at Dizzy Quilter is providing the grand prize! 

The generous prize provided is your top quilted by her (up to 90" x 90"),  a $202.50 value!

You must provide the backing, 8" longer than width and length. Batting can be purchased from Jen, for $20, if you like.

Return shipping is included for US residents only.
**Please note, the quilt will not be trimmed or bound, those services are extra**




Good luck and Happy Stitching!
Jen

Winner is number 26, congratulations!!



New to Patterns By Jen?

Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.


The Border Quilt Quilt Along is coming August 2018

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for daily sneak peeks and updates.