Sunday, November 02, 2008

building a new house... and pattern rant!

When I arrived at PIQF a couple of weeks ago, one of the first quilts that caught my eye was in the booth run by Laura Nownes' and Diana McClun's pattern company, "From Me to You" -- they're the famous duo who wrote "Quilts, Quilts, Quilts" and several other books, and their books were among the first I bought when I got bitten by the bug.

Anyway, they had this super-adorable house quilt, that I instantly knew I HAD to make for my youngest niece. Bought the pattern, came home, started sewing... pretty soon discovered that there were a couple of errors in the pattern that weren't insurmountable, but definitely required some ripping and re-calculating and rummaging in the stash for more fabric -- all of which would make this a frustrating project for someone who wasn't too experienced and was expecting "clear instructions"! So, I wrote a pleasant email to the "contact" address, pointing out the two errors I'd found up to that point.

The response I got back was quick but less than satisfying. Laura said: "I did have the patterns checked out but will double-check and get back to you later today. The bricks make more than needed so you should be fine. thanks for letting me know." That was a few days ago; haven't heard anything more, but I've since run into another less-than-clear part of the pattern.

So. Yes, the bricks make more than needed, but only of you rip apart some of them and re-sew them back together in a different configuration. The other part of it was telling you to have enough fabric to make 8 strips when in fact you need 13 of them. I would expect that two quilters of this caliber who are charging $10 for each pattern would have had a couple of qualified testers actually make the quilt from the pattern before it goes to print! And I would have expected something along the lines of "sorry for the hassle"!

Anyway, I notice that they don't have this pattern on their website -- have they taken it down or was it never there? So you'll have to just believe me about the adorable-ness! And here is my progress to date -- I've got half of the leaves & sky done, too but I can't attach them until the roof is on. Isn't that flower-garden fabric the best? I had actually bought a yard of it to make my niece a skirt, but then when they used it on the quilt, the skirt idea went right out the window!


jovaliquilts said...

I have run into a few pattern problems in the past, and it really annoys me because patterns cost a LOT these days. If a pattern isn't from one of the big companies, I now expect that there will be a problem. One company had a paper pieced pattern where the separate parts did not line up! Eek! I got NO response when I emailed the contact address.

I hope your problem gets worked out. And I love that flower garden!

Nancy Near Philadelphia said...

I, for one, think it is unconscionable to publish a pattern without having it tested first. And hoorah for you for blogging about it. So THERE.

Pam said...

You certainly would think that they would have had an independent quilter sew up the pattern from the instructions just to make sure they were clear and easy to understand prior to selling the pattern.

I see that you have used the fabric that you didn't know why you bought in your new banner - looks great!!

The Calico Cat said...

I like the brown floral bit... But I hate kits with "issues."

Elaine Adair said...

I agree about being just a bit testy, to find, too late, that there is a major error. I DO believe it starts out correct and gets 'wrong' somewhere in the process.

I'm sorry you ran into that testy problem, and I too, LOVE house blocks. Hope you can show it soon. 8-)

Exuberantcolor/Wanda S Hanson said...

I find that LOTS of patterns have errors and feel there is no excuse for them to not have them tested by at least 3 independent quilters. Since they don't know who bought the patterns they can't send out corrected pattern instructions. I find that only a few post their corrections on the websites. Frustrating to say the least.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes....the pattern that isn't correct woes! I've had my fair share of those and it is very irritating. Right them back and tell them that you hadn't heard anything and request a refund!! If need be go a step further to let them know you've told her blogging buds! This happened to me a few years back with A Fig Tree pattern to make a small tree skirt. I had been living overseas and made a trip to the shop in Pleasant Hill, CA....purchased EXACT amounts the pattern said. Got back overseas to find that the jumbo rick rack trim wasn't near enough and I had no access to more! The gals were awesome and told me to select any pattern on their site and they'd send it free of charge! Now that was great customer service.

Tami @ Lemon Tree Tales said...

It's looking great so far! I think it's really unprofessional of them to have a pattern that hasn't been tested by both beginners and experienced quilters. It's amazing what a fresh set of eyes can bring to the table.