Thursday, August 25, 2016

Since I Wrote My First Pattern in 2013

I have been working on updating my first pattern to reflect my current writing style and I've had quite a few thoughts that I wanted to share about my experience.

When I wrote my first pattern in 2013 I included step by step instructions with photos for almost every step, even ironing the seams!  I wanted to make sure that anyone who read the pattern would know exactly what to do in every step along the way. I was terrified that someone wouldn't understand the instructions, or would criticize my design, pattern, and writing.



Three years, and several patterns later, I have realized a few things:

1.  I still worry about my instructions being clear and providing an error free easy to understand pattern because I don't want people to be frustrated or disappointed, but I don't obsess about it to the point that I'm afraid to put the pattern out there.

2.  You can't make everyone happy.  It isn't your job, and you'll just make yourself unhappy trying to do it.  After 1000s of downloads of this first pattern in the last three years, I have received one e-mail that simply said I was "stupid and should never write again", and one e-mail that said "Your pattern is crap.  I could have figured this out on my own."  I'll be honest that out of the 1000s of people who didn't e-mail me, or did and said they loved the pattern, these two negative e-mails made me want to never write another pattern, leave social media, and never sew anything again.  That didn't last long though because I realized that whatever is making them unhappy enough to be nasty with someone they don't know isn't about me or anything in my pattern, and that all of the other people who enjoyed making the table runner are what matters.

3.  No matter how many times a pattern is read and re-read, and how many people do it, there's still a possibility that an error is overlooked or I accidentally change something when I decide to a use a better diagram.  It's terrible and I hate it, but it happens and I fix it immediately.

4.  A file full of a hundred pictures and step-by-step instructions with photos of sewing a seam, pressing a seam, and squaring each block is overkill, and not a pattern but a tutorial.  I still try to make everything clear and easy to understand but without all of the unnecessary repetitive instructions and photos.

5.  The whole process from idea to finished pattern is time consuming and sometimes feels like there is no benefit to actually bringing that design in my sketchbook to life.  At the end of the day I write my patterns to inspire others, and it's worth it to see one finished project on IG, or an e-mail or comment that says that someone enjoyed making the project or learned something new.

Thanks to everyone who supports and encourages others, and who inspires the creativity in their fellow makers.

Angie






Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Announcing Simply Modern Patchwork Quilts Pre-Sale

I'm so excited to have been a contributor on this project and to share this news with you all. Carina Gardner's Simply Modern Patchwork Quilts is being released as an eBook on August 15th in the Kindle Store on Amazon. There is a special pre-sale price of $4.99 (50% off the regular price of $9.99) through August 15th. That's a great deal at less than .50 per pattern. Carina also posted that there will be a download for the patterns for you to print them off.  How wonderful is that?




From Amazon.com:
https://www.amazon.com/Carina-Gardners-Simply-Modern-Patchwork-ebook/dp/B01JG0NS2G/ref=redir_mobile_desktop?ie=UTF8&dpID=51BG%2BI%2BvDjL&dpPl=1&keywords=carina%20gardner%20quilting&pi=SY200_QL40&qid=1470088049&ref=plSrch&ref_=mp_s_a_1_1&sr=8-1#nav-subnav

On presale through August 15, 2016 for 50% off. Normal price is $9.99. Take advantage of this presale price!

Sew together 12 beautiful modern quilts and projects with Carina Gardner! Blend the best of modern and simple projects that can be made using your digital copy OR the included download of pdf patterns for you to print! Guest pattern designers Christine Cook, Amy Webb, Amanda Neiderhauser, and Angie Tackett contribute mini quilts all in Carina’s fabric line Posy Garden.

Ideal for beginners, confident beginners, and intermediate sewers. Projects include quilts, mini quilts, pillows, and table runners. Step by step binding, backing, and piping instructions are included.



You can find more info about the eBook by going to Carina's site, or click on the picture above to go directly to Amazon for pre-purchase.






Thursday, July 28, 2016

Who Would Want to Win This Fat Quarter Bundle?

Maybe the question should be who wouldn't want this fat quarter bundle?


I would love to keep it, and would promptly give all the browns away because brown makes me sad, but even sadder is that I don't get to keep it.

This awesome bundle of bright happiness will be part of the grand prize that will be given away to one lucky attendee at the closing of Sew Virginia Beach in September.

Don't have your ticket yet?  You're in luck then because there are still four tickets available for a fun weekend of sewing, learning, and making new friends at the Virginia Beach oceanfront.  Come join me, Lee Monroe, Alison Glass and 40+ other wonderfully creative makers for workshops, lectures, trunk shows, pop up shops, games, swaps, door prizes, swag bags, lots of open sewing time, and the sights and sounds of the Atlantic Ocean right outside our sewing room doors and windows.

Purchase your ticket at the Sew Virginia Beach ticket page here.

Hope to see you in September!

Angie

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

2016 Charity Block Challenge

I am so happy to be making quilts for Hopes and Dreams for ALS this year.  It is something that my guild (Virginia Beach Modern Quilt Guild) does a challenge for every year, and also a cause that is close to my heart as a former vent unit nurse with ALS patients and losing my great-uncle to ALS in 1988.  

There will be two contests going on for the charity block challenge:

  -  The first is for retreat attendees only.  Bring your completed block sets to the retreat to be entered into the special charity challenge prize drawing.

  -  The second contest is for everyone not attending the retreat.  Simply make a set of blocks and mail them to me before September 12, 2016 to be entered into a separate charity challenge prize drawing.

You will receive an entry for each set of blocks that you turn in at the retreat, or mail to me, so make as many as you like because the more blocks we have the more quilts can be made for Hopes and Dreams for ALS.  

Here it is.  The Sew Virginia Beach 2016 charity block.  I chose a block that is very simple to make, but has so many design possibilities when they are assembled into a quilt top.  The instructions are for making one set of two blocks at a time.  Yes I know it's a simple hst, but I take every opportunity to play/practice in Illustrator.  :) 


Please send me an e-mail if you have any questions, or would like to send blocks and need my address.

Angie

P.S.  There are still a few ticket available for purchase at the Sew Virginia Beach site.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Paragon Pattern is Now Available

I knew when I designed Paragon that I wanted to include more than one project so that you get more for your money.  I am thrilled with the finished product and I hope that you will be too.

Paragon is a quick and easy paper pieced pattern with endless possibilities.  It is scrap friendly, and easy to customize by changing the position and number of blocks.

The pattern includes printable paper piecing templates, paper piecing tips page, cutting charts, four quilt layout idea pages to color, and project pages with instructions for a table runner and a butterfly pillow.

    


I am so excited to see what you do with Paragon.  Available for purchase now in my Craftsy pattern store.

I hope you have a wonderful creative day.

Angie






Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Pattern Updates

I'm working like crazy to get my business goals rolling smoothly this year.  Last month, I took all of my patterns down from my Craftsy and Etsy shops to add my new logo.  While I had them down I also updated pictures, and removed any unnecessary pictures and wording that made the pattern longer than it needed to be.  They are all refreshed and back up now.  

There are a few on Craftsy that are free downloads also, so stop by and check them out.  


Have a wonderful creative day!

Friday, April 1, 2016

How to Thread Your Juki TL2010Q

Today I finally decided that I wasn't getting up until I figured out how to use the automatic needle threader on my Juki 2010.  I've had it for fifteen months and not being able to figure out the needle threader was one of only two complaints I had about this machine.  I guess I only have one complaint now; not being able to see the amount of thread left on the bobbin.

So, here is a video, followed by written instructions, on how to use that needle threader...


Part One: Side View
video

Part Two: Front View
video

Step One:  Push the needle threader all the way down and hold it.

Step Two:  Pull the thread straight down the back of the silver piece on the back left side of the needle threader.

Step Two:  Pull the thread toward you, and into the slot on the white piece at the front right of the needle threader.

Step Four:  Hold the thread into the white slot while you slowly let the needle threader raise back up to its normal position.

The thread should be pulled through your needle now.  If it isn't threaded, then try again and hold the thread tighter/looser while you let the threader raise back up.