Reading Patterns Quilting and Sewing Tip:
Before you do anything, Reading Patterns and Instructions for either our Quilting or Sewing projects can go a long way to making sure you understand them. If you have any doubts, clear them before purchasing fabric or beginning to cut. Google is a great resource for terminology and techniques, and often the designers will have a website that will have a FAQ page, including updates and fixes to their individual patterns.
And many of us, especially when we are new to something, have to actually follow the pattern physically as well as with our eyes. If this is you and you find yourself “rolling your eyes” or reading patterns just doesn’t make sense. Use some scrap fabric and follow along with the instructions, and it will often fall into place when we are physically making our block or row. I am a quilter in this category, I start reading patterns especially if it a fairly new technique to me and my eyes start to glaze over, I find myself going back and reading a section several times, and I still cannot connect the dots. As soon as I pick up pieces of fabric, it will start to come together for me much easier.
And shock horror, sometimes patterns are actually written incorrectly. And it happens to all of us beginners and advanced alike, so always find some scrap fabric and test out a block or a couple of rows first. It can save hours of unpicking an heartache down the track. And I have known it happen to some brilliant quilters and sewers. When you are first starting out it is often a good idea to purchase patterns from known and tested designers, or use templates. Designers don’t get a great name and well known by putting dodgy patterns together. But even with a well known name, sometimes it does happen. That is why making a small section from scrap fabric is an excellent idea. Many designers also have some patterns that include templates, that way you get the best of both worlds, accurate cutting, plus a pattern to follow.
Your local quilting or fabric store can be an excellent provider of information required. Utilise the resources around you, don’t leave it to chance. I do not know of a quilter who has not asked for advice or help at some stage in their quilting or sewing career.
And one of the great things about our hobby, is that quilters and sewing love to share their knowledge, we don’t guard it from prying eyes, we share so others can enjoy our hobby as much as we do.
In Summary, reading patterns will help you understand what the pattern is about and it will help you gain a huge amount of knowledge and insight when it comes to terminology and techniques, all of which will help us understand the next pattern we pick up that little bit easier.