Do you love to sew and quilt? Ever read a pattern and wished you could reach out to the designer for clarification on a step? Want to learn some new techniques, while sharing yours?
Becoming a pattern tester is a great way to connect with a designer, and take a new concept (pattern) for a test drive before it is released. It’s a chance for you to learn a few new techniques as well as provide your feedback on processes or steps that just don’t work. It’s a collaborative process which makes the final pattern just that much better!
I’m so excited to have you join in as a pattern tester! I look forward to knowing what you think of a new pattern. I want to know what works and what doesn’t…but only if you want to be part of that process. Please read this pattern testing commitment document and, if everything looks good to you, contact me via the link at the bottom and we will add you to our pattern tester list. Excited to have you as part of the team!
Here at Faith and Fabric, new patterns are released several times a year. Our projects are often smaller in size (not full bed quilts, but table runners) and centered around faith (i.e.: Christmas, Advent, Pentecost, All Saints Day, Easter, etc.).
Here’s how the pattern development process works:
- A new quilt top/block is created and I write up a pattern.
- A photo of the quilt top (can be digital) is emailed to the pattern testers; those interested in testing the pattern reply back within five days. The first 4-6 replies will be included in that test group.
- The pattern (.pdf) is emailed to those testers who are now formally part of that testing group. All testers then test the pattern based on the time noted in the initial email.
- By the end of the testing period, the pattern testers send their feedback (either edited in a .doc or handwritten and scanned/faxed) back to me along with a photo of their final product. I’ll incorporate all the notes/comments and make changes to the pattern. Comments can also be shared in our Facebook Pattern Test Team Group.
- The pattern is formally released; all pattern designers for that project will have their project photo (and blog if applicable) highlighted as part of the release and will receive a copy of the final pattern for their personal use.
In any relationship, it’s important to set and share expectations.
What You Can Expect From Me
- Flexibility: Each time a pattern is ready for testing, you’ll receive a message. If a pattern is not for you, or you are too busy to take on the testing within the time period, just let me know. You’ll still be notified of any subsequent patterns as they become available for testing.
- A well-written “first draft” pattern: All patterns that you are testing have been written to the best of my ability. I can’t guarantee there aren’t a few bumps in there, though – in fact, I’m sure there are (that’s why we’re testing!). I do promise you will not receive a sloppy pattern…just one that may have a few hic-ups that need your help in uncovering.
- Fast communication: All emails are responded to within 48hrs. If I am unable to respond, you’ll receive an auto-response letting you know when I’ll be back in the office (aka sewing room).
- Sharing and more sharing: I am so thankful to have your feedback on the pattern and wish I could pay for your testing! Since that isn’t an option, I will instead promote your work (including a photo and a link back to your blog if you have one) at the time the pattern is released. This way, folks who wish to purchase the pattern can see the fabrics you chose, see your final project, and connect with you online. You’ll also receive a second pattern of your choice in exchange for any quilt you make as part of the test period.
What I Can Expect From You
- Commitment: Once you agree to make pattern, be sure to follow the materials list and instructions as closely as possible, calling attention to any areas where they are unclear. Be sure to complete the project within the time frame given. Though it goes without say, please don’t sign up just to get a free copy of a pattern.
- Testing the pattern as it’s written: We are all creative – it’s why we quilt. That said, this is all about testing the pattern – so I need you to follow it to the letter. It’s not about relying on your experience, as we want our patterns to be understood by even a first time quilter. If something is unclear, but you can figure it out, please tell me it’s unclear. If you think the quilt would look better if you did X, Y, and Z to it, you can – but just not on the version you are testing. Save that for next time. You can, though, choose any colors you like as long as it utilizes the same number of fabrics if noted in the pattern.
- Honest feedback: If something doesn’t make sense, please suggest how you would modify or reword it so that it does. Saying, “this isn’t clear” on a step isn’t very helpful…saying, “this would be better written like this: xxxxxx” is.
- Timely communication: Your role is so important to me, and I want to make sure we have the chance to share feedback. If there is a period of time that you will be out of town while you are testing, or if something comes up and you’re unable to complete the pattern, please let me know as soon as possible.
- Copyrights and privacy: Remembering that the pattern you receive is for your personal use only. Do not copy, share, or sell the pattern you receive.
- Patterns are developed and tested throughout the year, and the pattern itself will be formally released a few weeks before the targeted holiday/feast day. This means you may be testing and making an Advent pattern in May, which is then released in October. Or perhaps we will be testing a 4th of July pattern in November, which will be released in May.
- Prior to the formal release of any pattern, you will be notified (assuming you are part of that test group). This way, you can gear up – if you want to be part of that online blitz that comes with a new pattern being released! – and prep your blog for the release day. Not a blogger? No problem! Your photos will still be shared on the day of release because this pattern would never have been as good as it is without your help.
- On the day of release, the pattern will be shared online and communicated via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google +, email, and any other social media that happens to be available (ha!). All patterns are released via our Faith and Fabric blog and the pattern itself can be downloaded from our shop. You can share, too, and link back to our shop so folks know where to buy the pattern. (Tip: Do you have a blog? Sign up to be an Etsy affiliate, and you’ll earn based on anyone who purchases a pattern through your affiliate link!)
I can’t thank you enough for all the work that you, the pattern tester, do! Patterns today, made by indie designers, are so (so) much better thanks to the awesome feedback given prior to a pattern’s release. We’ve all been there – we’ve purchased a pattern, only to reread step 3 multiple times and still have no idea what to do. Your help in testing ensures that the steps to complete the project are clear, concise, and can be done.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask! If you accept the terms and conditions above, and still wish to become a pattern tester, send me a message at: faithandfabric <at> yahoo <dot> com. Excited to share this journey with you!