An interesting turn of events

I was approached the end of March on my business Facebook page about something that a lady could not find. She was looking for something on Pinterest and could not find it. She was looking for a particular pattern for a quilt or quilt design that she had found on Pinterest. It was by a particular quilt pattern designer.

Fortunately, I am a researcher so this was not going to be a problem. I was up to the challenge. It helped that I LOVE this particular quilt pattern designer’s work. It is challenging to put together but it yields beautiful results. This should not be too hard.

Unfortunately, all of my quilt books and patterns are in storage so I could not go to the books that I have from her and check to see if I had that pattern and tell her which book to go buy. I will admit that I do not have as many of her books or patterns as I would like. That would be rather expensive. She also released a lot of her patterns as part of her monthly online club. I got some of her patterns via her free monthly newsletter, but I did not pay to subscribe to her monthly club.

I set about looking for this pattern. It could not be too hard, right?

Wrong! Unfortunately, this quilt pattern designer passed away a few years ago. I vaguely remembered that in one of the email newsletters. It was sudden and a shock. I did not expect that to make it so hard to find the pattern. I am not sure where this particular pattern was released or where it has been published, but I was having problems finding it. I found a single picture of it in my searches that was labeled what the individual asking for my help called it. It was not very big. I did not have much to go on to be very frank.

I was not finding references to it anywhere.

So what does a person do when they simply cannot find what they want? In the quilting world, we recreate it the best we can. We take that inspiration and we recreate it. I had a distorted and small image to work with. I had my working knowledge of how this pattern designer would construct her quilts.

I had previously been online looking for quilt design software. I did not want to spend a lot of money on the venture. I can use Adobe Illustrator. I just did not want to sit and figure out all the mathematical aspects of the quilt. I wanted to just do the designing and leave the rest of it to something that would do it automatically – as imperfect as that might be. Unfortunately, the best options for this were nearly $200 (or more depending on where you purchased it). That was a lot of money spend on something I was dabbling in.

I was considering it. I had been thinking about it for months, but I was content to just sketch them on paper and do the math that way. I have never taken it so far as to crack open Adobe Illustrator at this point. There was a mental hurdle I needed to get over. I knew that my mother owned a couple of quilt design software packages, but that was my mother. Was it really worth the investment? I have Adobe Illustrator. I have the ultimate in design tools at my fingertips whenever I want it. Was it really worth it to spend the extra money and spend the time learning it? I was torn.

I spent time looking online for online tools that would do the same thing. I really wanted to be able to import a design and it just take that and calculate the cuts. I could not find that. That being said, however, I did play around with a few options. I found one in particular that seems very promising. I kept getting drawn back to it even though it seemed clunky and slow in my browser. It just seemed worth the time.

I sat there and I played around with it and I reconstructed a quilt using this concept that this individual was looking for. I knew it was not perfect. I kept fiddling with it. I also knew that it was not in the style that was true to the original quilt pattern designer. I could not see those details and that was fine by me as well. It would keep it original to me. It would also simplify it. The results were stunningly amazing after a couple hours of work or so. It might have taken a few more. I don’t know. I was not truly watching the clock. I just know that I was able to figure it out as frustrating as it was to me.

After a few support tickets, I have found that some of my frustrations are with my computer operating system and my browser of choice more than the website perhaps. I cannot fix the computer operating system that I use. At least I will not change that. I can, however, try it on another web browser. I will do that just as soon as they figure out my password problem. It has stopped working entirely. I cannot even change my password. I have another support ticket in on that one. The good news is that they are fairly quick to respond to the support tickets.

I will confess that I did not submit that quilt design to the public stream of quilts to be seen on the website. I saved it as a PDF and sent it to the individual that asked for help. That was who it was for anyway. I stated that it was an inspiration from such and such quilt pattern designer and that it could not be used commercially.

If anyone else is interested in seeing it, I will share it here in the near future. This will be in the future sometime after I have cleaned it up and refined the appearance of the overall pattern. Not to say that it isn’t okay right now, it is just a bit rough. What I want to share now, is what came from that experience.

What has not happened… I have not received a response to the pattern from the individual yet. It has only been approximately 5 days since I sent it to her though so I am hoping that she’s busy and has not realized that it is sitting in her messages on Facebook. I realize that not everyone checks their private messages everyday.

Using this website platform to design quilt patterns, I have since designed 7 other quilt patterns. They are complex or fancy. They are, however, mine. I posted them to the public sharing stream and decided to see what would happen. I figured I did not have anything to lose. The worst that would happen is that no one would like them. I could always keep trying.

I designed with my biggest inspiration in mind – Lance, Kyle, and Andrew – my kids. What would they like? I threw in some inspiration for my nieces and nephew. What would they like? What would I like? You have to start somewhere to get those creative juices flowing. I needed to get out of the creative rut that I had been stuck in for so long.

What happened?

I got a response. It was not a response that I had expected. It was the response I had hoped for deep down. I was noticed. I did get seen.

I was noticed by the owner. I was noticed by others as well. It was the owner that reached out and asked if I would be interested in making my quilt design available in their shop for purchase. It is a different concept in this shop, but it is visible and it would be available for purchase.

When I got the email asking me if I would be interested, I was sitting looking at the website. I was looking at one page in particular. It was the page entitled: “Interested in Designing for…” I was seriously considering the option. It is a dream of sorts. I just haven’t found the right venue so to speak. The one option I had found is rather expensive to get started with. Not bad, just can get pricey. I have not done it yet. I have a lot of potential fabric designs out there that could take form and be ready to go with a small amount of work. That is the beauty of some of the digital design work I have done of the years. It has remained unseen. It needs to break out and been seen so to speak.

The problem is that the timing is crazy. It is totally crazy right now. With the move, it is just crazy to think about it as an option. It is crazy to think about turning the option down. I think I am going to take a big ole leap of faith and seize the opportunity and see where it goes from here. I am going to have some fun in the mean time.

Illustrator has been open for days…

Lend me your ideas. I will see what I can whip up.

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