Machines to start your business today

Starting a business can be exciting! When it comes to choosing the right machines for your projects, we’re here to give some pointers on which machines work best. Whether you’re creating quilts, or dog collars, having the right machine can make your business experience easier and better. Follow along as we go over different machines in our JUKI lineup, and which small businesses would benefit from having them in their studio.

Quilting businessMiyabi J-350QVP with QTC 5

When it comes to owning a quilting business, you need the proper room for creating, and the right tools to make it fun! The machine we recommend for a quilting business is the Miyabi J-350QVP, the stand-up version. The reason this machine has gained such a popular following is because of its size options, regulated stitching, programmable LCD touch screen and so much more.

The J-350QVP offers different options in frame sizes, ranging from 5ft to 12ft. it also offers 10” height, easing the tension on your shoulders and body while you quilt. If you’re starting your business, and expect to have a large number of projects and sales going, we recommend checking out the Quilter’s Creative Touch (QTC5) add-on!

The QTC5 is a quilt automation software, which means that it will allow your quilting machine, the J-350QVP, to move all by itself and do the quilting for you! The process for adding a QTC5 to your machine is simple: you add a motor to the carriage of your machine, add dry felts to the length of your frame (this is how your machine will steer), and a tablet to host your QTC5 program.

This software already includes a variety of designs, helping you stay away from the extra work of using stencils. You can also create and purchase new designs, import them onto your program, and resize them before beginning to quilt! Whenever it’s time to start working on a project, and you’re short on time, the QTC5 is the perfect addition to building your business.

Bag businessHaruka TL-18QVP with Throat Plate for Thick Fabric and Invisible Zipper Foot

If you’re a lover of bags and find yourself creating them, you know how important it is to have the right machine to handle those thick sewing pieces and materials! One of the top recommendations for bag creation, and even apparel, is the Haruka TL-18QVP, our high-performance sewing machine. Known for its durability, power, and industrial-like strength, the TL-18QVP is the perfect machine for bag creators, quilters, and apparel creators alike.

Using the same technology found in our industrial machines, this workhorse offers a 6” high by 8.5” wide workspace and includes an extension table covering 23” in length. Its industrial box feeding system is the selling point for bag makers, creating stitching that is strong enough to go through thick materials, and still creates beautiful stitches. This machine also includes button options for the needle up/down and slow-motion stitch, these features are perfect when bag creating as they allow you to move the needle up slightly, and get those tight corners.

These machines also come equipped with a Micro lifter floating function. This addition to the TL sits on the right side of the top of the machine and it’s perfect for handling thick fabrics. Floating 0 to 2 mm above the material, it can easily handle thick seams. This feature also prevents uneven sewing on velvet, and handling stretched stitches on knit fabrics. Ideal for bag makers, you can now comfortably go over layers of vinyl, denim fabrics, or faux leather.

Lastly, the accessories available for this machine offer you a versatile selection of projects you can create. From zipper attachments to buttonhole creation, the accessories available make sure you can create a bag from the first stitch to the last on one machine.

Fashion businessSayaka DX-3000QVP with Invisible Zipper Foot and Button Attaching Presser Foot

Creating fashion has never been more fun! In a world where trends are constantly evolving and growing, creating apparel is a business that many can come to love with the right machine by their side. Our recommended machine for apparel is the Sayaka DX-3000QVP. With its wide workspace area (12” throat space), digital tension, JUKI Smart Feed, and an interchangeable single needle system, this machine offer quality stitching for your garments.

The DX-3000QVP also offers the zig-zag stitch, allowing you to create beautiful seams, attach appliques, decorative stitching and so much more, bringing your pieces to life with texture. It also comes equipped with 351 stitch patterns, allowing you to decorate your fashion pieces, and freshen up old ones you love. Using the 20 professional buttonholes available you can also add button closers for blouses, button-downs, coats, and more.

Using its intuitive touch panel and bold technology, the DX offers apparel creators a vast array of options when it comes to producing their work. The DX also offers multiple feet accessories that apparel creators shouldn’t live without! Using the right foot, like our Invisible Zipper Foot and Button Attaching Presser Foot, is one of the reasons creators enjoy using the DX-3000QVP. Accessories like these offer sewist easy solutions for what’s usually a tedious task. Simplifying the work you need to do, this machine makes running a clothing business fun and exciting!

Starting Your Business

Once you have an idea of what machine you need to begin your business, it’s time to start creating! Whether you choose to create apparel, quilts, or something different like dog collars and raincoats, having the right machine will always make your work easier.

Are you ready to start your business? Learn more about how JUKI can help you here!

How to Start Your Quilting Business

Do friends and family members ask for you to make quilts for them? Is someone asking where you got that pillow that you quilted yourself? Sometimes, when we get good at our craft, we find people who want to buy our work. That’s when a business starts to grow, so where do you start?

Today we’re going to dive into how you can start your own at-home quilting business. Now, a quilting business doesn’t mean you have to create projects endlessly; in fact, there are possibilities in pattern creation, custom requested works, and more. In this post, we’ve pulled together some steps to make your own quilting business and how to start.

Create Your Business Plan

While a business can start with some scribbled plans in your notes app, creating a successful one without a real plan is much more challenging. Businesses, large and small, begin to see success when some serious planning and budgeting is put into play. A business plan is a roadmap you create for your company.

Business plans should include:

  • Description of your business
  • How do you plan to manage it
  • The products and services you plan to sell
  • Market and competitor research
  • Budget and finance plans
  • Marketing and advertising plans

All of these things can be completed by you, but if you decide to build your brand and go legal, look for a professional who focuses on small businesses. They can help you decide on a business structure that’s best for your plan and are more likely to have contacts that can help you in finance and marketing matters when you need it. Need help creating your plans? Keep up with JUKI Business Plus blog posts to help you start your business here.

Getting the Right Equipment

Now that you have your business idea in motion let’s start thinking about the equipment you’ll need for your small business.

The Machines

The best thing about quilting is it doesn’t require a specialty machine. There are two basic types of machine quilting that quilters can access on most sewing machines—straight line and free motion.

Straight-Line

This type is best accomplished by replacing a regular presser foot with a walking foot and even feed foot. A walking foot is a specialized pressure foot that grips the top of the quilt sandwich, advancing it through the machine at the same rate as the quilt’s back, which touches and is moved along by the sewing machine’s feed dogs.

A machine like the TL-2010Q is perfect for basic straight stitches and piecing. However, a free motion quilting machine like the TL-18QVP or Miyabi J-350QVP is required for designs like curves and intricate patterns.

Free Motion Quilting

With free motion quilting, you’re able to create intricate designs as if you had hand-stitched them into the quilt. Learning FMQ takes time, but many resources are available that teach you to create unique designs.

For FMQ, the machine’s feed dogs are lowered, meaning nothing is in place under the quilt sandwich to guide it along. The quilter is in total control of the motion. Now your speed and how fast you run the sewing machine work together to determine stitch length. You have options on sewing feet like a darning foot or a special foot for machine quilting. Remember that special feet resemble a darning foot but have larger openings.

A machine like the Miyabi J-350QVP is perfect for free motion quilting since you have a large workspace and can use the machine bars to move and design intricate pieces.

What to Sell

If you’ve thought about opening your quilting business, you probably already have some ideas set aside on what you would sell in your shop. However, there are so many ways to make money with your long-arm or sewing machine, so let’s review some options for what you can do with yours!

Quilts Commissions

Not everyone has the skills for quilting, and that’s where quilters like you come in to help! With so many quilt lovers in the world who don’t have the time and skills to create their ideas, you can offer services for making custom quilts. A venture like this is excellent because of revenue, as shoppers pay well for handcrafted personalized items.

Mass Production

Use that machine! Mass production doesn’t have to mean creating 100’s of quilts, but instead using simple designs and creating multiples of the quilt to sell in marketplaces or e-shops. Also, not every quilt has to be unique, as many homeowners enjoy simple pieces they can add to family rooms and bedrooms.

Patterns

Owning a quilting business doesn’t mean just selling quilts. Many quilters love to try their hand at creating new projects. Create patterns and upload their PDF files onto your site! By selling physical copies to your local quilt shop, you now have a product that people can continually purchase that doesn’t require you to quilt!

Long-Arm Rentals

Do you have a long arm at home? Many quilters work on domestic home machines, meaning they don’t have that large workspace long-arm quilters have. Offer long-arm rentals to local quilters for hourly rates, and enjoy that time to work on other projects. You can also offer your skills for rent and finish quilts for others on your long arm.

Teach Quilting

If you’ve been quilting for years, attended quilting classes yourself, and find yourself teaching friends and family, look into teaching! Contact your local quilt shop’s favorite sewing brands, or start your own social media channel. There are always new quilters in the world looking for instruction, and with technology, you can offer online and in-person education.

How and Where to Sell

Now that you have an idea of what services and products you can offer let’s discuss how you will reach your audience and sell to them. In our day and age, many small businesses begin on social media platforms or e-shops.

Social Media and Sales

The best way to reach your audience is through social media platforms. Easily accessible and free to use, sites like Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, and more have opened up new sales channels for small businesses. One of the first things you should do when starting a side-hustle is set up a business or company page. Many customers now run to social media sites to see if your company is legit before ordering. In addition, these sites offer customers the opportunity to see what kind of products and services you offer, customer reviews, and so much more.

Social media sites now offer selling points for businesses as well. Facebook marketplace, for example, is perfect for selling home goods. Anyone can post an item for sale, and you can hit niche markets easily by discovering pages and groups for specific topics. Facebook marketplace does hold guidelines that sellers must abide by when selling, and can be found here. (link guidelines)

Instagram offers its version of an e-shop now as well. With Instagram shopping, you’re able to post products for sale directly onto your Instagram account. Think of this as a digital storefront for your shop. You can include graphics, videos, shopping tags, and more to drive sales. It also allows you to place full product descriptions, advertisements, and more. However, unlike Facebook, there is an approval process for selling on Instagram’s shop. To have a shop on Instagram, you need a business page, Instagram shop approval, and a small fee is applied.

Remember that you don’t need to invest money when selling on social media off the bat. Instead, you can focus on organically growing your business by word of mouth, using engaging posts, and attaching hashtags to your descriptions.

E-Shops

If you feel you’ve outgrown selling on social media sites and want to upgrade, the next step we recommend is researching e-shops. Now there are multiple options when it comes to opening an e-shop, so we gathered a few of the top ones below:

eBay: This eCommerce site has been a go-to for sellers since 1995. With the ability to sell any form of product and service, you can sell services like finishing quilts, or you sell your hand-made projects. Their fees include non-refundable product/service listings and fee charges if you’re placing your product in multiple categories for sale. The perks of this site revolve around its popularity. With eBay constantly having high traffic, your items can easily be accessed by customers all over the country.

Etsy: Artisan-focused and highly popular, Etsy is the perfect e-shop location for someone opening their small business. This site allows you to promote and sell your handcrafted products at low fees. Listing fees are $0.20 for each item and will last for four months. This site is great for upgrading their shops but isn’t ready to fully commit to a website.

Shopify: Shopify is an excellent option for those opening their first e-shop. With Shopify, you can create a website to sell your products and customize the site to your aesthetic. This is a significant step when building your credibility as an established business! Everything is now done on this site, from placing products and selling to handling inventory and processing payments. Shopify comes with a monthly fee from a Basic package of $29 to an Advanced package for $299.

In-Person Sales

If you’re someone who enjoys selling in person, research your local farmer’s markets and artisan fairs! You can purchase a shop space and sell to new customers you wouldn’t have reached online by communicating with these event planners. These events do require a larger budget and should be planned accordingly. Keep in mind the furniture you’ll need to showcase your products, how you’ll handle money, and other variables like food, inventory, and more. ‘

Get To Work

Now that you have a basic rundown of what you need to start your new side business, it’s time to sit down and plan! Circling back to the start of our planning, it’s time to create that business plan. Remember to include your product/service plan, marketing plan, budget plan, and finance plan. Starting a business plan is like building a roadmap. Follow the roadmap, and you’ll have a much higher chance of reaching your destination, a thriving business, than trying to jump into this with a few notes written down.

We hope this has been able to help you get a clearer vision for your future quilting business! So if you’re looking to start your own quilting business, join us here to learn more about JUKI Business plus and how we can help you today!

JUKI Spotlight: Blossoming with Flower Sew!

From quilting to bag making, Flower Sew has you covered! Today we’re meeting up with Daisi Toegel, Flower Sew’s shop owner. In 2017, Daisi founded Flower Sew only one year after learning how to sew. Flower Sew began as an idea out of curiosity for the sewing world. After watching endless videos of other sewists creating bags and projects on video sites, Daisi found herself wanting a sewing machine to start her journey in the community. A year after seeing these videos, Daisi’s boyfriend surprised her with a sewing machine to begin, and the rest was history.

Daisi went on to practice and practice some more after receiving her gift. Finally, a year after receiving her gift, Daisi began constructing bag patterns, creating and selling them. Since completely self-teaching herself, she sewed and sold bags for three years at her local craft fairs and on her online e-shop, Flower Sew, named after her now husband’s pet name for Daisi, Flower.

After three years of focusing on bag creations and patterns, 2020 changed the course of Daisi’s business. She began creating and selling masks during the pandemic, creating and designing over 2,000 masks. Daisi, later on, realized she wanted to take a step back from sewing masks and find a new craft within the sewing world. So she began venturing into the quilting world, where she taught herself to quilt, and began expanding her knowledge and business along the way.

Taking a step back from her bag-making days, Daisi jumped into the quilting world head-on. Using her social media platforms, she began sharing her progress and work with her followers, re-building her brand along the way. 

Now focused on quilting, Daisi has held six ambassador roles over the years that range from small notions to beautiful fabrics. These programs helped her not only grow her business but allowed her to make connections in the sewing and quilting community.

After discovering her passion for creating quilts, she moved on to pattern designing, a hobby she had picked up in her bag-making days. When she started patterns for her bags, she was inspired to design something different and new. Quilting was no different. She bought a design program and began drawing! Starting small, Daisi began with baby-sized quilts and built herself up through trial and error. Through this practice that she’s been able to create seven patterns; 4 on her own and 3 in collaboration with different craft and sewing magazines. Many of her patterns interwork the ambassador programs she’s involved with by including their notions and fabrics. 

As someone who’s been able to grow her business and obtain credibility from other sewing and quilting brands as an ambassador, we asked Daisi what advice she has for those out there trying to build their brand.

“Forget about money. In the beginning, it’s all about gaining value and confidence before you gain any money. If you need to give your time, work, or product for free, do it. The reward is certain, just know everything has its own time to come. Being an ambassador doesn’t involve anything but receiving products in exchange for your time and work, and it is the most wonderful experience I have had in the quilt world; it’s fun, and I learn a lot. There’s nothing that says that.”

Daisi’s brand continues to grow each day through her social media channels filled with new pattern works, projects, and her quilt progresses. What makes Flower Sew unique is the designs and patterns created by Daisi, inspired by ideas that bring her happiness and not trends. Focusing her attention on bright colors and fun designs, Daisi’s page is filled with bright fabrics and colorful looks. As she continues to grow her skills in quilting, we’re looking forward to seeing more patterns released!

The future of Flower Sew is blossoming beautifully! Daisi’s plans for her small business include more original pattern creations, with the hope for a pattern book soon, and continuing her ambassador programs with new possible positions. Currently, a sketch is in motion for membership for Daisi’s business, but we’ll have to wait and see for that one JUKI lover!

We hope you enjoyed getting to learn more about Flower Sews and its owner Daisi Togel! When you’re building your brand, learning skills like pattern designing or diving into ambassador programs are great ways to get yourself out there and grow your business. We hope reading Daisi’s story in how her business has grown and changed over the years inspires you to begin yours!

To follow along Daisi’s journey, follow along below.

Visit Flower Sew’s shop here!

Follow Daisi’s quilting journey here!

5 Quilting Project Ideas for You!

Celebrate National Quilting Month by bringing out your favorite charm squares, jelly rolls, and sandwiches! Whether you’re creating for friends and family or your small business, we’ve put together a few fun ideas for projects you can quilt next. 

Wall Hanging

Decorating new office spaces or livening up current homes is easy with wall hangings. Projects like these are perfect because you can create smaller designs than quilts and use them for seasonal purposes. With the ability to create on a large or small scale, you can try new techniques like adding embellishments and accents (for example, cording) that you wouldn’t have thought of using before. This project is excellent for when holidays and birthdays come around since it can brighten up any room, from a nursing home to your kid’s college dorm. 

Accessories like the Couching Foot are perfect when creating wall hangings. They allow you to add three-dimensional textures to your projects, bringing in an extra element that will make your design pop. Use decorative threads like yarn and cord or other thicker threads that don’t fit your needle. 

Pillows 

Pillows are great for many reasons:

  1. You can create beautiful personalized décor and treat pillows like a small sample for a quilt idea you have by making that one block you need. A pillow allows you the freedom of creation like a quilt, with less fabric and space required.
  2. You can treat pillows as an add-on to your quilts and create matching or complementary designs.
  3. Creating simple add-ons like pillows is a great way to increase your revenue if you have a small business. 

Look into an accessory like the Glide Foot when creating décor like pillows. This foot can help you glide along with applique, and other three-dimensional textures, allowing you to get creative and add more personalization to your projects. 

Table Top Décor

Have holidays motivated you to create new table runners? Have the seasons changed, and do you want to brighten up your home for spring? Table décor is a great way to bring color to your home! Create pieces like table toppers, table runners, dresser décor, storage covers, and so much more. Perfect for protecting your furniture while bringing in color and a theme to your rooms, these patterns are great for anyone who wants a touch of color in their home. 

If you want to add fun shapes and lines to your designs, look into quilting rulers like our JUKI Ruler Set. You can create different textures from straight lines to circles and waves and bring your designs to life.  

Totes, Pouches, and More!

Bring your artwork outside your home by creating beautiful travel gear! Show off your quilting skills by creating pieces that can hold your money, electronics, or clothing. Work in matching sets like wallets and handbags or traveling sets like make-up bags and carrier totes to brighten up your trips. The possibilities are endless when it comes to hitting the road with your creations. 

Tools like Grip and Stitch are great to have one hand when you’re quilting those detailed projects. They make free-motion quilting fun and easy and allow you to easily add on fun designs like spirals, feathers, and more. 

Quilts and More Quilts

Whether your project was created for comfort and lounging, or décor that can bring in bright colors, quilts will never be out of style. Quilts can be so versatile when we step outside of the box. Decorate your home by placing quilts on racks and ladders, use them to upholster chairs and love seats, toss them on white couches for pops of colors. Whether you’re using them for comfort or because the pattern was just suitable for your aesthetic, you can never go wrong with creating a quilt. 

Look into extension poles when quilting more significant projects for a more effortless and more fun experience! By adding extension poles, you can easily design quilts from twin to king-size on your stand-up quilting machine like the Miyabi J-350QVP.

While quilts may have started off as a necessity in the past, they’ve become their own form of artwork for current generation quilters. So branch out and try your skill in new quilting projects like the ones mentioned above the next time you start on a new project! What are your favorite inventive ways to use your quilts?

Let’s Create A Quilt Pattern

Have you been dreaming of a quilt idea, but you’re not sure how to bring it to life? At JUKI, we want to help you elevate your quilting skills, which comes with learning how to create your own quilt patterns and designs. So we created a base for you to start with different methods to make a pattern and applications that can assist.

Start from the Beginning

Before we can dive into creating a pattern, let’s touch base on the creative process it takes to get there. One of the best things you can do is begin a design journal, where you can jot down notes, attach scraps of fabrics, place photos, and more that will lead you to create the design you’re imagining.

Learn to upload your ideas into a digital surface. You can redraw and clean up your designs from their sketch versions here. Create a library and label it with a title like ‘New Patterns’ to keep up with your ideas. With this digital organization, you can keep a hold on pattern ideas and add touches as inspiration comes until you have a quilt design you’re ready to work with and bring to life.

If this is your first time designing a quilt, and a blank page seems daunting, lean into the power of self-imposed limitations. Create with quilt size in mind, limit yourself to fabrics already in your arsenal, hold yourself to only using 6 fat quarters. When you start off, creating limits on designs creates a constraint on specific variables, allowing those free variables to make you think outside the box and design quilts you wouldn’t have created otherwise.

Breaking Down A Quilt

Let’s begin by breaking up the layout.

Look at your design and find the repeating elements. Here is where we’ll start forming the blocks. Figuring out your blocks is usually an easy process; however, working more towards modern or complicated patterns can be more challenging. When you first start creating your patterns, start with repetition and begin building your blocks for the quilt and pattern from there.

As you design your quilt, figure out the arrangement style you plan to work with. While some block designs need to be in even numbers for the quilt to come out right, other times you can create symmetric blocks that allow you to use either odd or even numbers. Remember that patterns can be built with one size in mind or edited for different size options. If you’re someone who plans to sell their patterns, customers look favorably upon having the option to choose sizes.

Once you’ve determined the design and size of your quilt, you can choose between adding borders or not. Borders are an excellent addition for multiple reasons; cleaner finish, more breathing space when creating, or as an addition to the size of your quilt pattern. Depending on your design, you can widen or tighten the border size and allow those who use your pattern the option to decide what best fits them.

Keep in mind that a quilt block size averages 6″ to 18″. You have the option to create other shapes like triangles, rectangles, and more if you want to venture away from traditional squares.

Guidelines for Pattern Creating

Now that we have a design idea, we can begin writing instructions. As you start creating the instructions and erasing and creating some more, you’ll begin to build an instruction guide that others can follow along with. Here are some things to keep in mind when writing out your pattern instructions.

  • Who is this pattern being marketed to?

Break down your pattern and think about who will be trying to follow along. New quilters will need more instructions than advanced quilters that don’t need much detail. Keep this in mind as you add instructions, tips, and illustrations to your work.

  • Instructions

Patterns don’t usually have instructions on basic techniques, like baste, quilt, and bind. Still, it usually includes instructions for advanced techniques like binding corners and adding curved piecing. To keep patterns from being overfilled with instructions, you can include links to videos and blogs that dive deeper into specific techniques.

  • Keep A Pattern Piece Library

Your first pattern creation might be complex, but once you have a few under your belt, you’ll find that it’s easy to re-use previous patterns when creating new ones. If you keep up with past projects and use them as foundations for new ones, you’ll save time, and your patterns will begin advancing.

  • Be Consistent

If you’re writing patterns to share with others, make sure to be consistent in quilting terms. When it comes time to patent your patterns if you’re choosing to sell, not having the correct terms can cause you to lose the patent. The consistent format also includes focusing on writing your measurements, quilting terminology, and your action and verb tenses. Keep in mind to label your fabric pieces, like Fabric A and Fabric B, so that the instructions are easy to follow.

Breakdown the Quilt Measurements

Now that we’ve moved on to instructions, math is the most crucial factor. Follow along as we go over a quilt example to show you an easy way to calculate your quilt squares and cutting requirements.

Step 1: Quilt block and Cutting instructions

Let’s begin by breaking down the block into its individual components. Our example quilt comprises a 3 x 3 arrangement of components.

Let’s break down these pieces further! Include pieces like HST components here.

You are now at the individual fabric pieces if you’re creating a simple quilt like we’re showing here. However, if your designs are more complex and have more components, keep breaking it down until you’ve hit every piece you need for each block.

Now that we know the individual pieces needed let’s multiply the fabric pieces per block and place that in its own column. Our example quilt will have 12 blocks in a 3×4 block placement, so we will multiply by 12. Once you’ve calculated how many blocks you’ll need, your last column should showcase how many fabric pieces you’ll need for the project in total.

Now that we have the pieces planned for our quilt, let’s move on to creating cutting instructions.

A. Charm Squares: 24 are used as-is for making the HSTs (6” x 6”) and 12 trimmed for the centers of each block (5 ½” x 5 ½”).

B. Minimum background fabric required:

                1. Figure out how many pieces can be cut from a single width of fabric (WOF) strip for each of the fabric pieces:

Dividing 50” (our assumed WOF) by 5 ½” you get 9.09 so round down to 9. You can get 9 squares 5 ½” x 5 ½” from each 5 ½” x WOF strip.

Dividing 50” by 6” you get 8.333 so round down to 8. You can get 8 squares 6” x 6” from each 6” x WOF strip.

                2. Divide the number of fabric pieces needed by the number of pieces you can get per strip to figure out how many strips are required.

Our example pattern requires 48 background squares (5 ½” x 5 ½”) and you can get 9 squares per strip so 48/9 = 5.333 which rounds out to 5. In this case, to cut 48 squares, you will need 5 strips of 5 ½” x WOF.

Our example pattern also requires 24 squares for the HSTs (6” x 6”) and you can get 8 squares per strip so 24/8 = 3. To cut 24 squares (6” x 6”), you will need 3 strips of 6” x WOF.

Step 2: Let’s Add a Border!

A finished quilt looks great with a border! Let’s go over how to figure out the strips you’ll need for the border.

Here’s how to figure out your yardage for the side borders:

# of blocks x-height of blocks (unfinished) – ½ times [# of blocks -1]

To create the top and bottom borders, use this equation:

Quilt top width + side border thickness + the side border thickness – 1″ (for seam allowances).

Step 3: Find The Yardage For The Quilt Top

To calculate the yardage of background fabric needed, multiply the number of strips times the thickness of the strips for all of the strip sizes you use.

Step 4: Include Binding Fabric Measurements

Calculate the binding fabric (for a straight grain), by adding up the lengths of the 4 sides and adding 10″ of safe space before dividing by the width of fabric.

Step 5: Don’t forget the Backing!

This is a simple measurement; we recommend adding an 8″ overhang, 4″ on each side, to your quilt top width. This is basic for all quilts and what’s usually required by quilters. The best thing to keep in mind is that programs available on your phone and computer can assist with calculating these measurements. For example, Robert Kaufman has a free mobile app to calculate borders, binding, backing, and more.

Let’s Create Our Pattern Sheet

Once you’ve finalized the sizing needed and the designs you’ll create, we can begin putting together a physical pattern. There are programs available to quilters that can help you create patterns. Whether you choose to use programs you might already have, like Microsoft, or invest in higher-tech ones like EQ7 or EQ8, we broke down a few you can look into.

Design and Pattern Layout Programs

Microsoft PowerPoint: This program can be found in most electronics and is universally used. It’s great for the basics when starting off and is very user-friendly. The only setbacks are aligning blocks can be complex, and vector images aren’t accepted.

Electric Quilt (EQ8): This is an excellent program for editing quilts, and it allows you to break down quilt designs so that you can export portions at a time. However, it is challenging to create HST’s and can result in low-quality images in the export process.

Adobe Illustrator: This program is perfect for those that enjoy advanced artwork. You can create vector images and obtain high-resolution photos, and there’s an extensive resource library available for any learning curve. The cons of this program is that it does come with a fee of around $20 per month.

Adobe Indesign: This program is best for pattern layouts and offers the most professional quality. Like Illustrator, it does come with a monthly fee and learning curve.

Corel Draw: Perfect pattern designing and layouts, Corel Draw allows you to create art, export in vector files for high-quality images, and hit a lower cost point.

Images and Graphics to Include

Illustrations:

  1. Cutting: if you have an efficient way to cut, include how in the instructions
  2. Block Piecing: The majority of your illustrations will show the pieces assembled together. We recommend starting from the finished block and breaking down from there.
  3. Quilt Top Assembly: Showcase how the blocks go together into the quilt top.
  4. Optional: Include how the backing is pieced, bonus tips, and templates.

Text:

  1. Introduction/notes: Describe the pattern, inspiration mentions, and more.
  2. Material requirements: List all material requirements, including sizing.
  3. Cutting: Include the calculations and measurements needed for cutting.
  4. Block assembly: Walkthrough creating the blocks and assembling the quilt.
  5. Quilt top assembly: Walk through the instructions of piecing the blocks together and assembling the quilt.
  6. Finishing: Walk through the backing, binding, batting, and more instructions.

When you’ve completed creating a pattern, creating a PDF file is the last step. This file format is the most commonly sold in pattern networks and is the easiest to access across platforms.

Get To Testing!

Lastly, before selling your pattern creations, it’s time to go through some trial testing. Share this pattern with trusted friends and family members who can review your work and provide feedback. Request that they confirm the measurements were correct, that the pattern was readable and that they’re able to follow, and more. Use this as an opportunity to spruce up your creation for potential buyers. Then, build the pattern yourself and see what could be added or removed in your work.

Time to Publish!

Once you’ve triple-checked your pattern and decided it’s time to publish, take time to determine how you’re going to sell and where. Digital PDFs are the easiest to share and sell online, and printed patterns can be sold at markets, shows/events, and local quilt shops. Look into E-shops like Etsy and Craftsy when starting off your online shop, and if you choose to go physical, contact your local artisan markets and quilt shops for possible sale opportunities.