Summer Pattern Designer Spotlight: Quilting Designs You Can’t Resist!

Whether you are getting a jump on your Christmas quilting or you are relaxing with some quilting projects this summer, you are probably always keeping an eye out for great patterns.

To help you in your search, we dove into our pattern store and asked some of our top Indie designers about their top patterns, what inspires them and more.

Learn more about a Bluprint quilt designer below:

Pattern Designer Spotlight

About the designer:

Our featured pattern designer is Karen from 2 Strings pattern store. She’s been sharing her designs on Bluprint since January 2013 and more than 100 original designs in her store — 13 for FREE!

Visit the 2 Strings pattern store here.

KLee-2-Strings-Pattern-Store

Q&A with 2 Strings designer Karen:

Why did you start your store?

Sewing and quilting have always been my favorite hobbies, and after I retired from teaching in 2007 I finally had time for uninterrupted hours in my sewing corner. I discovered Bluprint when it was very young. The online community of crafters fueled my creativity, and I experimented with new skills like free-motion quilting. What a life changer!

One day, as I was going through Crafty’s patterns, it dawned on me that many of the “Indie” designers were just ordinary people like me. I thought about that. I had never been able to use a pattern without tweaking it, and I made most of my own designs. My friends and family encouraged me to take the risk and publish a pattern of my own.

Coffee Break Apron

In January 2013, I published Coffee Break Apron as an experiment. I really didn’t expect anything to happen, so I was surprised and encouraged when a few patterns sold. I made several mug rugs patterns next.

April Showers Mug Rug

When April Showers, the second pattern in the silhouette mug rug series, was shown on the Bluprint facebook page, my business was launched. I still find it hard to believe that only two and a half years after that first pattern was published I have a store with over 100 of my original designs.

Get the Coffee Break apron pattern here.

Get the April Showers mug rug pattern here.

What would you like to tell Bluprint members about your store, your craft and yourself?

I love to tell stories, and I’m a teacher through and through. Each pattern I make is designed to tell a story, set a mood, or reflect a season. My patterns are written for beginning quilters, so there are no terribly complicated elements. The instructions are very detailed, and I include pictures and diagrams wherever I think they may be helpful. I add my personal contact information to every pattern because I truly do want my customers to feel comfortable about reaching out to me. I love to help those who are just learning or who are in need of encouragement. I respond to every email, comment or question as quickly as possible and as thoroughly as I can.

What’s your most popular pattern? Why do you think it is so popular?

Autumn Flight

is my most popular pattern. I think people are drawn to the vibrant autumn colors and the strong sense of motion in the piece. The appliquéd leaves dancing in the wind and the border of flying geese are meant to capture the essence of autumn in the central plains. There is nothing complicated or difficult about the design, either, so it isn’t at all intimidating.Autumn Flight Table Runner

What are your top 5 summer patterns?

Four of my top five top summer patterns are mug rugs.

Flippity Flops for Everyone

and On the Road have been consistent summer favorites since they were first published. Flippity Flop Mug Rugs for Everyone

Get the Flippity Flop mug rugs pattern here.

On the Road

Get the On the Road mug rug pattern here.

Spools

isn’t themed for any one season, but it’s very popular this summer.Spools mug rug

Get the spools mug rug pattern here.

The patterns attracting the most attention right now are Sun’s Up, a pair of chicken-themed mug rugs, and the table runner, On Vacation.

Sun's Up

Get the Sun’s Up Mug Rugs pattern here.

On Vacation Table Runner or Wall Hanging

Get the On Vacation Table Runner or Wall Hanging pattern here.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned through your craft?

I’ve been forced to learn patience. We live in a fast-paced world, and I’m impatient by nature. Sewing forces me to slow down and relax as I work. I’ve learned that trying to finish in a hurry only leads to mistakes, or even worse, sloppy workmanship. Precision and attention to details are terribly time consuming, but they make all the difference in the quality and appeal of the finished product. I’ve not only had to be patient with my work, but I’ve had to learn to be patient with myself. I’m always discovering something else I want to learn, but new skills aren’t perfected overnight. Learning to do anything takes time and practice. I constantly have to remind myself to take a deep breath, focus on the process, and forget about when I’ll reach the finish line.

What advice would you offer someone looking to start their own store?

1. Above all else, be true to yourself. Your own personality reflected in your style is the one element that sets your designs apart as unique.

2. Make sure that your patterns are well written and that your instructions are very clear. Engage another person to edit for you.

3. A photograph really does speak a thousand words. Your sample should be beautifully constructed so customers can see this pattern at its best. Showcase your pattern with appealing photos that complement your design.

4. Color choices matter! When people are scrolling through page after page of patterns, their eyes are drawn first to color.

5. Don’t expect instant success. It takes time to become established and attract a following. Remember that in the beginning you are an unknown. Publish a few free patterns and keep your prices low enough that customers won’t be afraid to give your patterns a try.

6. Search for new knowledge about your craft! Take online classes, read books, and study new trends. Increasing your knowledge base and expanding your skills will help prevent stagnation and keep your patterns fresh and new.

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