In addition to being a longarm quilt machine teacher, I design quilt patterns. It is really fun to bring an idea to life, but it is even MORE fun to see someone else use your pattern to make a quilt. As part of my process, I like to use pattern testers to make sure that I don’t have mistakes in my patterns.
Everyone handles the issue of pattern testing differently. Some people only make one pattern a year and they give their testers a long time to make a quilt. That’s NOT me!!! I tend to have an idea and move on it pretty quickly, so I usually only give my pattern testers about a month to do their magic. That said, my patterns are generally aimed at beginners and intermediate quilters so they go together easily. I generally have a fair amount of negative space in my quilt patterns because, well. . . I want room to quilt!
For those people who would like to test a quilt pattern and own a longarm, I usually send them a gift for helping me out like thread or accessories or OKQ swag. They use their own fabric and get to keep the quilt- although I love to have great photos of it. Usually they take photos and send them to me so that I can use them for marketing or as examples in my pattern.
For those testers who are NOT longarmers, I usually ask them to be done a bit earlier so they can send me their quilt and I can longarm it for them. I will photograph it and send it back to them.
I keep an email list of people who express interest in being a pattern tester. When I have an opportunity, I send out the “Call for Help” and those people who have availability and who like the pattern are able to volunteer. If it isn’t a good time for someone, they can just ignore the email and they will get a notice the next time I have an opportunity.
I usually only accept 3-5 testers for each quilt pattern, so I need the people who commit to be finished by a specific date to meet the deadline.
Interested in being on my e-mail list of Pattern Testers? Send me an email with “Pattern Tester” in the Subject line and tell me a bit about yourself and your sewing skills. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to hearing from you!