Pattern prices have risen steadily in recent years. As a technical editor, I fully understand the process (and expense) involved in bringing a new pattern to the marketplace. It’s a lot of hard work. What I have noticed is there seems to be an emerging trend among some designers to take a super simple traditional quilt, format the instructions with a cutesy font, add some modern graphics, then plaster social media (especially IG) with carefully staged photos to launch this “new and modern” design. Most of the patterns in this category are digital downloads and are priced at $13-$15.
I did a double take when a friend shared a picture of a simple quilt pattern her daughter found online. $15.00 for a downloadable pattern on how to make a basic charm square quilt. No cutting, no HSTs, just the charm squares laid out in rows and sewn together. Knowing the parent has a tight budget, I suggested they take a look at this tutorial first. She could always buy the pattern later, if she felt she still needed it.
There’s definitely a quilt pattern out there for everyone’s taste and budget. If you are new to quilting and sewing, know that it is a community where members love to SHARE – extra fabric, supplies and even sewing machines – but most of all knowledge in the form of tutorials. Despite an uptick in the monetization of nearly everything quilting and sewing related, there still remains a lot of content available at little or no cost. My longarm quilter friend stopped quilting because she feels quilting has become too commercial. It’s now all about money – not about sharing the love of an art form and craft. She has a valid point.
Librarians are big about resource sharing, which is why I encourage stitchers to utilize resources available at the public library, their local quilt guilds and quality resources available online for free. I do NOT advocate violating copyright laws.
Tip: Pinterest is a crafter’s best friend. Before you click the “buy now” button on a pattern, pin the image to Pinterest and see what other suggested pins are generated. Most of the time, you’ll probably see a pin for a similar project with a free tutorial linked.
Below is a curated list of sources for free, beginner quilting and sewing projects:
All People Quilt (American Patchwork & Quilting)
We All Sew (Bernina)
Your favorite fabric manufacturer
Your sewing machine manufacturer’s website
Your local quilt guild’s community service page (usually contains links to easy, free patterns)
and last, but certainly not least –
Your local public library (use Libby app for access to lots of quilting and sewing magazines!).
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the above links nor do I receive any renumeration.