Today I want to take you through the process of writing a pattern and the “what if” of looking for a mistake.
There are three of us on the editorial team who write patterns and edit and proof each and every one. One person is the assigned editor and measures the quilt and the blocks and calculates the number of blocks and patches for the entire quilt.
Next the assigned editor labels the blocks and the patches within the blocks. She draws the block and measures the patches within the block. Then by simple multiplication and addition, she calculates how many of each patch we need for the quilt. From there she figures the yardage required. We actually have two different ways that we figure the number of patches required for the quilt so the assigned editor has already double checked the figures by the time she passes the quilt on to the copyeditor.
The copyeditor starts from scratch. She remeasures, refigures and double checks all the math. Then the third person reads it all over and checks it again. We rotate the assignments. So if there are 6 quilts, each of us is the assigned editor on 2, the copyeditor on 2 and we have the third look on the last 2.
When the quilt gets to the artist, she draws it full size and the measurements and math are checked again.
I know it sounds like a lot of doing the same step over again and again, but I actually really like it. It gives me confidence that what we print and put online is correct and our readers can make the quilt with our instructions.
But now, let’s talk about what happens if someone says a block doesn’t work and they think there is a mistake.
The first step is to check the math. We make sure there are the right number of patches and we make sure they are the right size. Sometimes to be absolutely certain, we make a block.
That’s what happened with this block.
This is block 4 in the series quilt we are working on. It’s in the February/March 2014 issue of QN.
We received questions about this complicated block. Here you can see the center of the block has many seams and it isn’t symmetrical. It looks symmetrical when it is done but the way it is cut and sewn is not.
A word of caution about something with this many seams. If the seam allowance is off by just two threads in each seam, by the time you have five seams, the difference is now 10 threads; enough to make your block a noticeably different size than you intended. It is worth the time to double check your seam width.
And here is my completed test block, which I made following our original instructions. I did not find a mistake but when we do find mistakes we post them on our website.
By the way, I thought it was really amazing what a difference fabric selection made with this block.
I used the Kitschenette collection by Andover Fabrics. The colors and the fun and funky prints gave my block a completely different feel than the original block.
Now, my desk is a little scary today. I think I should see if I can complete a couple of things and get them put away. So until next time, be sure to visit our website and our YouTube channel and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram. Happy quilting!