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Preparing for Tech Editing

by Mary Catherine Longshore of DuePinoli

notes and calculator for pattern tech editing

We want to thank Mary Catherine for her article for Quilt Pattern Writers! It's always good to share other designer's perspectives and support their businesses. If you would like to share a blog post with us, please drop us an email.

Is your pattern tech-editing ready?

It’s no secret that quilters appreciate understandable and accurate patterns. Tech editors are invaluable to making sure your quilt pattern is high quality, ensuring that your instructions make sense and your math is correct!

As quilt pattern designers, we all know that feeling of looking at our pattern for so long we can’t see our mistakes anymore. It’s nice to have someone double-check your work so that you can sleep soundly knowing your pattern is error-free.

Here are a few tips for quilt pattern designers based on my own experience as a tech editor that will help your pattern get edited faster and with fewer edits and will keep your customers happy.

  • In my experience, the section with the most edits tends to be the Cutting Instructions. Double-check your formatting (bullets, indentations, abbreviations, etc.) and math (number of pieces to cut, piece sizes, labels, etc.).

  • Be consistent when listing lengths and widths in your cutting instructions and piecing instructions. Always list length x width (4” x WOF) or width x length (WOF x 4”).

  • Use the same phrasing when repeating instructions. For example, if you say “Press” don’t say “Press seams” or “Press seams open” elsewhere in the pattern. Or, if you say “Place (1) Piece A and (1) Piece B RST and sew” don’t say “With RST, sew (1) Piece A to (1) Piece B” on the next step. Choose one phrasing and stick with it so the quilter doesn’t get confused and frustrated.

  • Use mixed case to make website and social media links easier to read: capitalize each word to make it more legible (@ExampleQuiltInstagramHandle rather than @examplequiltinstagramhandle).

  • Check the little details including page numbers, font sizes and styles, figure numbers, and your brand information for consistency and accuracy.

  • Decide what kind of feedback you are open to and share that with your tech editor. Are you open to thoughts on the quilt design? Ideas for ways to use less fabric? Style notes on the formatting?

  • Let your tech editor know if you have a certain request or design requirements. If you want a specific amount of extra fabric in your fabric requirements, for example, share that with your tech editor. Or if you want feedback on the colors in your graphics, ask for it.

  • Use your tech editor as a resource! Tech editors are usually experienced quilters and quilt pattern designers and might have great ideas if you are stuck or need reassurance.

  • And finally, grab some chocolate when reviewing your edits. Even the most experienced designers receive lots of edits, and sometimes tech editors add the same edit in multiple places so that you won’t miss it, and it can be a little overwhelming to review. Remember, your editor is helping you to make your pattern shine!

Photo of Mary Catherine of @DuePinoli

Hi, I am Mary Catherine Longshore of Due Pinoli and I live in central Colorado. Quilting is my restorative escape from daily life and raising my two little pine nuts (“due pinole”). I created Due Pinoli to help others find joy from quilting with fun and easy projects to help build their skills. Follow me on Instagram at @DuePinoli and visit!

"We help fellow quilt designers make their designs into a reality!"

Pattern ghostwriting, quilt pattern tech editing, digital illustrations, and more.

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