Thursday, March 28, 2013

Two finished quilt tops - what to do?

Quilt tops by Judi Madsen 
Okay, part of my balance with quilting is to keep my designing up.  I love to draw out and piece my own quilt patterns.  It is so fun for me.  These two tops have been finished this year (and holy cow they are my favorite designs by far), but the question is - do I make them into individual patterns or save them for another book? My dilemma is that I want to quilt them like I would like to - and push the quilting design limits like I do on other quilts, but if I am just selling an individual pattern, that might be a wasted effort.  I don't know - I have this problem with making my own decisions sometime, so I thought I would ask your opinion.  

Are you more likely to enjoy an individual pattern, or do you like the thought of having several designs in a book? Does it make a difference on how I quilt a quilt top determine whether or not you would buy a quilt design?  Sometimes I think when I quilt the way I do, it may discourage quilters to piece my designs because not everyone quilts as detailed as I do.  Anyway - it's a tough call - my mom says I should save them for a book - that thought just makes me giddy because I want to write another book.  Anyway - what do you think?

Oh, one more thing, I don't get out to visit many quilt shows, but I am thankful when we have one close to home and tomorrow I am heading to the Dixie Center to the Gems of the Desert Quilt Show.  If you are in Saint George, you should stop by and visit our local quilt shops and designers. It should be a lot of fun!

62 comments:

Elise Lea said...

I think if you are trying to sell a pattern (whether in a book or by itself) you should let the pattern be the focal point of the piece over the quilting.

Don't get me wrong you do incredible quilting that adds so much dimension to your pieces, I just think that you should let the patterns shine. Let the average person see what their quilt could turn out looking like! Hope this helps!

-Elise Lea

Tamie said...

I'm much more likely to buy a book than an individual pattern. I'd quilt it like you want to. Ultimately, it's your quilt.

Chris S said...

I would personally prefer an individual pattern. The quilting doesn't matter much to me. I look at the pattern, and quilt how I wish (I'm not as talented as you lol). I say quilt as you wish, and make an individual pattern!!

Kristina said...

i prefer to purchase books for the simple fact that you get more bang for the buck! your quilting is gorgeous...and since you get to keep the quilts...quilt them as you would prefer.

Debbie Collins said...

I personally prefer individual patterns. And as far as the quilting goes; I love your quilting, but for a pattern you may need to do both, one with your lovely quilting, and one with the quilting scaled back a bit.

Missy Shay said...

Why don't you take before and after pictures and include both in your book, so the ones who might be discouraged can see the before, and the ones who want quilting inspirations, can see the after? I think you should quilt it the way you enjoy to quilt it ans stay true to yourself. You quilt because you love it and so just enjoy yourself and do what you want!

jen said...

Your quilting is gorgeous. However, most machine quilters do not have your skill...and if the cover quilt is quilted fancy...my customers think I can quilt it just like the picture.

quiltcookstitchbreathe said...

I guess if I had your business, I would look at the two quilts in terms of profit. Which would sell best, individual patterns or a book? As for quilting the top, I never am really concerned at how a long-arm quilter quilts her tops, because it's purely a personal decision. I LOVE your quilting, don't get me wrong, but it's out of my league. I have a Viking sewing machine and use preloaded Viking designs to quilt my quilts, and I'm perfectly satisfied with that. I have no use for quilting templates or instructions, but other people might want and need that. Good luck!

Kate C said...

I say go for the next book! That way, you can also show the quilting in progress, maybe with some options for keeping it simpler. Also, I am much more likely to buy a book than a pattern, I feel like I learn more from books because of the photos, explanations, etc.

alice chancey said...

As a long arm quilter I buy books with quilts that are let's say quilted to death as I love to look thru them and get inspired by the quilting. I prefer a book to a pattern too. So quilt them as you wish, they are your quilts.

Frog Quilter said...

I much prefer a book. I get inspired by the design AND the quilting. When is your book coming out?

Heather said...

This is what I would do. Put it in a book for the quilting but don't include the pattern. Release the pattern at the same time as the book. People will fall in love with the pattern in the book and want it. Make it available for purchase then.

I guess I wonder why, if you have a book on quilting design that is amazing would you include patterns for quilts. To me they are two different things. I'm inspired by the quilting and buy the book for that, not for the pattern. But if I love a pattern in the book it sure would be nice to be able to buy it. In fact now I need to go and look to see if patterns are in the books I have on quilting because I have not ever thought to check that out. I just love the pictures and the description on how to do it myself.

Hildy said...

I vote for book because it's something more special than a single pattern.
And I never compare my quilting to a professional one because I quilt on a 30 yo domestic sewing machine.

Melanie said...

Personally, I fall in love with individual patterns. Everytime time I buy a book I'm disappointed that I really only like one or two items in the book. Therefore I am discouraged from buying books. I am an intermediate piecer and quilter. I love your store and your design quilting!

MaterialGirlQuilts said...

I vote for book (especially if you love these patterns so much!) I also think you should quilt them as you like. We all know that your skill is way above ours, but it gives us each something to aspire to :) Good luck!
Amanda

Patty S. said...

First, I think you have a distinctive quilting style that people recognize as YOU. As in writing, it's your voice. Quilt them as you envision them. Even if I can't quilt a pattern as you do, I can find something in a design that's doable on my HQ Sweet 16. Second, where can you get the most return on your designs and workmanship? I'd imagine it's with books, so start that next one so your first one stimulates the second one's pre-sales.

Quilting Babcia said...

Ultimately, if the quilt is for you or someone you love, you should quilt it with your heart, not with the thought of profiting from it. Quilts that are made just for the purpose of selling a pattern or a book don't show the love of the creator, but that love is ultimately what draws quilters to a design or a quilt. I personally prefer books. If you were to use these quilts in a new book and they are more heavily quilted than most machine quilters are capable of, you could also make up some individual blocks in the same pattern showing alternate quilting motifs for illustration of techniques, design ideas, etc.

blocksandmore said...

I'm one to vote for a book.
I like the idea of several patterns to make alone or to mix and mash into something the same but new.
The story of designing, and strategies to quilting are helpful for not just quilts in your books, but can help with other projects.
Patterns could be sold alone after book release for those who don't want the whole book ?

Auntie Pami said...

I'd go for the pattern now. Remake them for the book. I've seen this alot, and though not my favorite reason to buy a book, I need instant gratification and I know you make the cutest quilts and blow them away on the quilting. Also, you may want to tweak them a little for the book.

Deb said...

book. always, always, always a book.

Molly said...

I think you should quilt them as fabulous as you do your custom quilts. If I bought your book, I would enjoy photos of the quilting as well as the pattern. That is what sets you apart.

marcella said...

I love books. Sure I buy patterns but I really buy more books and thumb through them more than a stack of patterns. Also, with a book there are more details and instructions and even more of the authors personality. If the book is a book of quilt patterns then I say quilt them however you like. We love your quilting! Alternate quilting ideas can always be given. If quilting design how to is the book, then the way you quilt will matter - it needs to be something you can teach through the book.

Margo said...

Whether you do a pattern or a book why couldn't you include line drawings of several different options for quilting designs (like they do in "On Track" magazine)as well as up close photos of your own fabulous quilting? I like Heather's plan of offering both and having them available at the same time.

Robin Hill Quilts~Eileen G. said...

The comments are so interesting~As a long arm quilter I am so inspired by your quilting....You have such a gift when it comes to threadwork and how it will enhance a quilt design~
I think your patterns should be offered as patterns and your next book can give us all both the thrill of the quilt patterns and your beautiful threadwork with perhaps a glimpse into each design~the inspiration behind it and how you decided to quilt it!

Please don't ever scale back~ Let us all decide as quilters what we want to try from your beautiful example~And thank you for your tutorial! Keep those coming please!! xoE

Judy said...

Well, I hate to have to wait for a book. I have pre-ordered your first book and can hardly wait to get it. I like the idea of offering a pattern now, and then including them in your book with other patterns/designs. That way, we can enjoy your work both now and later.

Judy

Tracey Holzer said...

I'm voting for an individual pattern that is available in PDF form. I'd but more patterns if the authors had them available in a PDF form to purchase online...such as the bag I previously purchased from you.

Abby said...

I'm DYING to see the star one on top - can't you give us a sneak peek? I don't know what to tell you. How it is quilted doesn't determine if I buy a pattern or not - but if you love the quilts you should quilt them how you want for you!

I am Just One Mom said...

Decide who the audience is for the book, you know the audience for the pattern.
Quilt the tops however you want as it inspires and teaches just by looking at your FMQ creativity.
However, is the book going to be a technique how-to PIECE your new quilt design or is the book about FMQ design/technique work?
If you offered the indiv patterns now, that would not prevent me from buying the book (more instruction detail usually.)
I would love an FMQ book that had pics of quilt tops and provided 5-6 alternative FMQing for that top. Including the pros & cons of each FMQ for that top.

Lisa said...

I personally would by one pattern over a book. I would probably be discouraged from trying a pattern if the sample is heavily quilted. I would think mine would never look that good. Just my opinion though.

Mary said...

I would also buy a pattern before buying a book - but it depends on the book. If it's a $25 book, and there is only one quilt in the book I am interested in making, I'll leave the book on the shelf. If there are several patterns in the book that interest me, or it's a pattern I MUST have, I'll buy the book. With all those caveats, I still purchase patterns more frequently than books.

As far as the quilting, I say, go for it! Experiment! Try new designs! Quilt the heck out of those tops, lol! I would buy one of your books for the photos of your quilting alone, forget the patterns. It's a source of long-arm quilting inspiration for me.

Sally M said...

Quilt simply. If someone is as advanced as you, they already have that vision. Simply, show off the pattern.

Sew Pink said...

What will the focus of the book be? will it be creating the quilt of the quilting? To me, you need to answer this before you can decide. I personally can quilt in straight lines and that's about it! And for me seeing images where people have done simple quilting makes it more achievable for me.
However, I absolutely love looking at your work and what you can achieve with your machine.
If the book is primarily about piecing then maybe include different ways to quilt it (as suggested above) for beginners and more advanced quilters. If it's about quilting then go to town and do your thing with as many step by step instructions and your thought processes behind it (also suggested above).
Good luck, I can't wait to see the finished products either way.

LynCC said...

I'm another book person. :) And I'm at the stage where I buy things with more intricate quilting because there's a flood of easier stuff available. It seems that more often than not, patterns are kept very simple. That is surely advantageous, though, when marketing to the newcomers and folks who just don't have time to put in more involved work. So... I guess it's like writing - first you have to decide what your targeted audience is, and then you'll be able to decide where to go from there.

Unless you want to do them for yourself, of course! Then you just do what your heart desires and fit them in where they'll fit in with patterns/book plans. ;D

Quilt Hollow said...

The internet is loaded with oodles of FREE patterns and in today's economy not many quilters are spending. A pattern is less expensive but a book is wonderful to drool over while relaxing and just thumbing through. I say, follow your mom's advice. *wink*

Leeanne said...

Interesting comments. I have the opinion that if you get only 2 or 3 patterns in a book you like, that is good value. As a professional quilter I often buy books for quilting inspiration, my eye tends to go straight to the quilting before I really the see the piecing.
Have you ever thought of making the same quilt twice, but quilting it two completely different ways? That would be a great book. More work for you making the same quilt, but a slightly different spin on a book. (You could get someone else to make the second quilt top.)

Angela T said...

I prefer books over individual patterns for the most part. Your quilting is amazing and I think it would be great on a book quilt, but maybe a simpler quilting on a pattern quilt. Either way I can't wait to see what you've come up with.

Sharon - Lilabelle Lane said...

I love individual patterns but on the book front, I would love to see a "coffee Table" book of quilts you have quilted. I think I would just sit, drool and be inspired over and over again and I am sure that every time I looked at it I would see something different and I would be looking through it again ans again and again :o)

Heritage Keepsakes said...

Definitely I think a book is the best option to showcase your talents with these quilts to be. If your love is the quilting, don't hold back here, just go for it! A book is referred back to more often for inspiration, than a single pattern is. The thought of a second book from you makes me giddy with delight just thinking about it.

Bobbidink Designs said...

I work at a quilt shop and with the exception of a book being a class requirement we sell far more individual patterns than books with patterns in them. Plus teachers want customers to sign up for classes and try to keep cost low so there aren't too many of them that involve a book unless it is technique based. So I guess if I were you I would sell it as a pattern and continue to write books about quilting for maximum sales opportunities (in our store anyway....)that said- love all your stuff, happy for your successes.

Pam said...

for me... I have a pattern collection... (books and individual...) and I buy sometimes for the quilting on the quilt... so... go for it!! and.. the quilts will be yours... so I would quilt them the way you want to have them... they are yours!!

Patti said...

I'm on the book list too! As for the quilting, I want to see what you create because that is who you are! I already know that my quilting will be completely different(read as on a domestic machine :-), so it would never stop me from buying the pattern.

Michelle Hill said...

I would prefer to buy a single pattern. I find it more cost effective as I seldom make more than one pattern from a book.

Melia Mae Quilting said...

I would say a book. I get inspiration from an entire quilt, which would be both the quilting and the actual "top", so I would quilt it as you envisioned it!

Judi said...

I usually just buy a pattern. Even if I buy a book, it's usually just because of one pattern I want. So for me it is more economical if I can just purchase the pattern I want. But that said, I LOVE your quilting, and think it's part of what inspires me about your patterns anyway. Do the fancy quilting!

barbthequilter said...

I would go for a book over a pattern. And it seems like you may have a unique niche in the market place and give people a double portion with both quilt patterns and machine quilting ideas...now is the book vs. pattern dilemma mutually exclusive? Can you do a book now and then reissue it as a pattern? Or vice-versa?I am pretty sure that Piece O' cake did that with their stars in the garden quilt pattern. Good luck I cant wait ti get your book.

Dawn said...

I think you are all about the quilting. I say quilt your heart out and write the "quilting" book. Don't put the patterns in the book but release them at the same time as the book. Personally I purchase your books for the quilting ideas I get and would rather have them than the patterns.
Have a great weekend!

debbie said...

I think you have an amazing talent and that you should quilt the quilts in whatever manner will make your customer and you happy. That is all that really matters, in the end.
That being said, my personal taste is for a quilt more minimally quilted. I like the look of a heavily quilted quilt as I see it as "an artist at work", but I don't have any desire to own one myself. Isn't it nice that we all like different things? xx debbie

Carla said...

I've too many quilt books as is! I don't purchase them anymore ~ though I've purchased a few pdf patterns. Easy, smaller, and cheaper.
Probably easier/cheaper on your end, also.

Maria Wallin said...

To be 100% honest; I'm not really a quilt book buying person. I really don't like the space they take up as I have very limited room in our little apartment and prefer to buy individual (PDF in particular) patterns to books. I however buy a book if they teach a specific technique, but not "pattern collection" books or what to call them. =)

If I see a pattern that inspires me and I want to create and I find out it's available through a book, I'm much more likely to just wing it and make my own version then to actually purchase the book to get the pattern. While I love to purchase patterns (even though I rarely use them to be honest, usually to much text and to few pictures *lol*) to support the quilters I admire - it's not worth it to buy a book that will just be taking up space most of the time. So I guess what I'm saying is, PDF patterns all the way for me, instantly available for me in Malta and so easy to store =)

Regarding the quilting, I absolutely prefer elaborately quilted quilts in patterns. And I love your quilting so quilt your heart out! I'm a beginner FMQer and it inspires me for what I could attempt to do with a quilt of that pattern it! A simple all over pattern usually doesn't get me as interested to be honest =)

grandma said...

The quilting design makes the quilt amazing or not, but the quilt pattern is really what I look for..I am not good at the quilting part..most people are not as creative at that as you..Your patterns and finished quilts are tops and I show them to everyone I know..I would buy any or all of them..do your creative quilting and let the rest of us be inspired !!

Angela Paulsen said...

I think I would buy a book before I would buy a pattern. Your quilting is so inspiring, I want you to quilt them your way, pushing the limits! Thank you for sharing the love.

Jean said...

I like to design my own quilts. It's your amazing quilting that inspires me so much! Your work is so beautiful! I would probably not buy a pattern, but I have pre-ordered your new book, and can hardly wait until it is released!

Always In Stitches said...

Decisions, decisions...What to do. Sounds like my day on a daily basis. After giving this much thought, I think you should quilt it like you quilt and save it for your next book. But my inner self says heck no!!! I want the pattern! But,as a long arm quilter I look for inspiration in both patterns and how the quilt is quilted.If you sold the pattern individually, and my customer brought in the quilt for me to quilt, I would look up the pattern and see how the designer quilted it. Does this help in your decision? Or make it more confusing.I guess what I am trying to say is it does not matter whether you put it in a book or offer it as a pattern as long as you are true to yourself and quilt it as the quilt inspires you.

Whispering Pines said...

I vote for book and quilt them as you like! I look at the quilt and the quilting. If I like a pattern, it doesn't really matter how it is quilted although it would probably sway my decision in the positive way.....I love looking at examples of quilting, it gives me inspiring ideas! You are so awesome, any more of your quilting eye candy we can look at the better!

helen said...

Maybe you could do both. I noticed in some books a friend makes a different colour way of the same quilt. You could do a single pattern and then include the quilt in your book as well

Anna and Sarah said...

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Thanks!

Kelly said...

Judi,
I am inspired by your work and was drawn to it because of the elaborate detail--despite the fact that I may or may not be able to duplicate it. You have without question raised the bar. I think you need to be true to your gift and your instinct. That is what I believe got you to the place you now are at this time. Those who recognize greatness will find you and I sincerely think your business will thrive because you apply your gift. You go over the top and that is admirable and worth taking a second, third, forth, etc...look at. Quilters can always dumb-down their quilting, or as others have suggested you could offer a simplified quilting version of the same quilt on your blog?

I always look forward to seeing what you come up with next. I look forward to your book with great anticipation and hopefully many more to come. I can't always say that with just ho-hum quilters. Congratulations on your work and thank you very much for sharing and inspiring others. Your generosity is appreciated.

Kelly Mousley

Andrea said...

Quilt what you love and maybe have a friend/pattern tester make a second version that is less elaborately quilted. As for the pattern vs. book I buy both so it is hard to have an opinion on that.

Yllek said...

You could always compromise and do one as individual pattern and one for the book. Then you get both.

Also - would second book me more of patterns and piecing - or about quilting aspect?

Some people can piece quilts together all the time, but do not like to do the quilting part of finishing. And there are others that like the quilting aspect more than the piecing.

You could also see it as a challenge to think and quilt like a beginner would say on a home machine.

just some thoughts. I look forward to seeing what you come up with :)

CharlotteP said...

Please go for the book! Your quilt designs are lovely (and maybe you could publish patterns and book simultaneously as someone else suggested)but your quilting is amazing and inspiring. Plus quilting amazing designs is what you love to do...and what your Mom told you!

Rebecca Grace said...

You know, I have an older, kind of outdated quilt book called something like "Quilting Makes the Quilt." The author made 3 identical quilt tops in maybe 10-12 different patterns, same fabrics and everything, and then quilted each one completely differently. It was REALLY eye-opening. I would love to see you do something similar, and I don't see books and patterns as mutually exclusive, either. Why can't you write a book where you show beginner, intermediate and advanced options for quilting some of your patterns? Or, traditional versus contemporary options for quilting? Show how the quilting pattern can emphasize and enhance some parts of the design and make others recede? And then the book would direct readers to where they can purchase the patterns if they wish to make the quilts that are featured in your book.

Jenny said...

I say.....your custom quilting!