I have long been a follower of Kirsty Cleverly, owner, pattern designer, blogger at Bonjour Quilts. (And for a quilt pattern designer and maker, isn’t her last name just awesome???) I think I first found Kirsty a while ago when there was a movement called May is for Makers to support indie pattern designers. I remember I bought her Fleur pattern at that time (which I have yet to even use, sigh.) After that, I started to read her blog and eventually signed up for her newsletter. In return for signing up, she gave me a great pattern called When You Wish. I did make this one though! The pattern is now available in larger sizes and is called Color Explosion.
Since then I purchased the larger version of the pattern and look forward to making it as a queen size.
OK – I am getting off topic. What I really want to talk about is this incredible post Kirsty recently wrote discussing the costs of bringing quilt patterns to print and then selling them – both privately, through quilt shops and through large scale distributors. Kirsty had posed a few questions in a recent newsletter, gathering information from her (13,000+) readers. I thought it was an interesting topic and as such, responded to her and we had a nice exchange about it. The resulting blog post is compelling. I love interacting with and supporting our indie pattern designers in the quilt community but have to say, I didn’t know the extent of the costs of running such a business. I really, really (!) hope you will click over and read Kirsty’s post as it applies to so many designers who provide both free and paid patterns. One aspect of the post that I was surprised by was the discussion around pricing PDF and print patterns at the same price. I suspect you will find it really interesting. Another part of the article I greatly appreciated was her list of suggested ways to support indie designers. There are ideas listed which are easily done.
As a small business owner, this article was very helpful to me. I carry a couple of Kirsty’s quilt patterns in my shop right now. I buy these patterns via a distributor because of the high shipping expense that I would incur if I bought from Kirsty directly (she lives in Australia). But I had not given thought to how this affects her revenue as a designer. Maybe someday the postage will work out such that I can buy from the designer but for now, it wouldn’t make sense. At this time, you will find Diamonds in the Deep and Triangle Twist available in the shop. In another week, I will also have Fleur (mini quilt version) and Go West. I am proud to carry Kirsty’s work as the aesthetic is wonderful, her quilts are not ones that will take forever to make, and the instructions are easily understood.
I am quite curious to hear your thoughts on her post. If you are a designer, do you have any thoughts to contribute that might not have been covered in this article? Let me know in the comments! Have a good weekend all.
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