Tuesday, January 17, 2017

"Free" Patterns

There's something I feel like I need to weigh in on because there's been a lot of talk about it recently among designers and shop owners who are trying to navigate some challenging times in the quilting and other creative industries.

The number of free quilting, sewing and crafting patterns being offered everywhere you turn is seriously hurting the livelihoods of those who publish quality patterns of original designs and offer them for sale. All of these easily-accessible, free patterns are making so many of those who use them think that all patterns should just be free of charge and happily handed out for nothing. Do they really believe that they’re getting the best quality patterns? Do they think that the free patterns have been tested and proofread to the extent of those that are sold in the marketplace? Are they getting original designs or just another rehashing of an old standard with minimal instruction? Even those have a monetary value when someone has put a lot of their time, effort and talent into making the pattern something from which the end user will benefit, by making their own efforts easier and more enjoyable.

As a pattern designer, I’ve actually had to explain to some people why we sell our patterns instead of giving them away and, even then, some have become disgruntled and behaved almost as though they thought we were stealing from them by selling our work. They’re probably some of the same ones who also think it’s okay to just share patterns among friends - which most of us would never consider. I’ll never understand it.

Designers deserve to make a living from their honest, hard work, just as everyone else does. The vast majority of us do not give our patterns away for free and our businesses shouldn’t suffer because of those who distribute them for nothing online. We’re just trying to offer something valuable to those who enjoy what we do and that should be worth something. We hope that you’ll help to educate those in your own circles who don’t understand everything that goes into creating and making a design and then writing and proofing a pattern to make it suitable for your use. I can tell you, from my own experience working with companies who offer free patterns, you get what you pay for with many of those “free” patterns.

I do want to thank those who support what we're doing at Patrick Lose Studios/Patrick Lose Fabrics by purchasing and using our products and doing such great things with them. We love seeing your work and appreciate your spreading the word about how much fun you have making the projects I design. You're a part of the hope that designers have in being able to continue their work of making sure there are innovative, inspiring and exciting patterns available to the creative people who want them. You're the best kind of ambassadors we could have representing us.

On that note, stay tuned for some information coming very soon about our new Patrick Lose Brand Ambassadors Program. Maybe you'd like to be a bigger part of the work we do and the fun we have at Patrick Lose Studios...?