Thursday, April 19, 2012

a clean room and a question

I cleaned my craft room this week (because I was procrastinating) and I thought it would be good to snap a photo for reference sake. HA! It's SO NICE to work in a clean space. I forgot how much so because it's been so long!! But don't be too impressed. The rest of the story is the landing (right outside my room) is a huge mess. Hopefully things will be reckoned with sooner if I keep walking over them. We shall see!

The question I'd like to discuss today is...."Where do you draw the line between a tutorial vs. a pattern?" I've been pondering this question a lot over the past few months. And quite a lot just this week. I've also been talking it over with my husband, and Tara, and Cheryl. It's still not settled in my mind and I thought it would be interesting to hear your thoughts on the matter. Do you think about this at all? What is your take on it?

edited to add: Thanks so much for your comments on this discussion so far! It's been very interesting to read your thoughts. In the comments Tara phrased my question much better. (thank you Tara!) So...the more detailed question is: How do you decide if a quilt should be made into a free tutorial on the blog versus if it warrants a pattern to sell?

(please be gentle in your comments!) :)

108 comments:

Grey Cat said...

Off the top of my head...

A tutorial should demonstrate construction or a technique. A pattern can do the same, but provides measurements and instructions for completing the intended entirety of the project.

LB3K said...

a tutorial demonstates more of the technique, but requires the reader to make their own measurements and do some of the work. a pattern should make it super simple for the reader-- all the measurements are already figured out, etc. all the reader has to do is cut and sew.

hope that helps! it is kind of tricky to figure out. . .

leisel
brown paper packages

kimbelina said...

I think that a pattern gives instructions to complete a project (and assumes that you know how to complete the various steps -- i.e. bind a quilt) whereas a tutorial may or may not walk you through an entire project but provides specific, detailed instructions with a goal to teach.

(That made much more sense in my head.)

Erin @ Why Not Sew? Quilts said...

I think this is a great question and one I wonder about myself. In my mind a tutorial is like a how to or a walk through of a certain skill or technique. I think a pattern is more specific maybe more of an original idea. I think from a pattern I would expect to have a completed or specific project. But I have used both terms interchangeably so I am really curious as to what others think too.

HOPE said...

Good question! I prefer tutorials for a HANDS ON DEMO of some areas that need attention to detail and such a help to people like me...who have no good quilting insruction nearby...lone Quilter and self taught.

I too...am purging a room...I can focus better in a neat, natural lighted area..surrounded however by color..and inspiration. I have a board in my room the ribbon crisscross kind and put my IDEAS or pics of Quilts I like on it...it inspires me each time I look up!

Thanks
HOPE

Brenda said...

Great looking room. Mine looked like that for a nano-second until I started another project.
A pattern is: Make this exactly like mine. A tutorial is: Make this inspired by mine. So it is prescription vs. inspiration.

Anonymous said...

I agree with kimbelina. A pattern gives instructions from start to finish on making a quilt, tote, etc. A tutorial shows a specific area giving detailed instructions to bind, machine quilt, construct a block, etc.
cindy

Gra said...

First of all, English is my second language so with that said...I¨ll tell you what I understand. Tutorials show you a technique...and sometimes could also include measurements (in this second case I would call it free pattern).
A pattern gives measurements and a "how to"..but not necesarily as clearly as in a tutorial. Hope this is not confusing.

Becky said...

Ahhhh...it is so nice to work in a clean space. Yours looks great!
The way I feel a tutorial is different from a pattern (that you might sell) is that a tutorial should be simple, with not too many measurements or pattern pieces (maybe even no pattern pieces) and a pattern would have more instructions and actual pattern pieces (something more complicated perhaps?). Anyway, that's my opinion, for what it's worth.

Ashlea Tenner said...

I love a clean sewing room! That reminds me, I should probably clean mine this week. :)

Kimberly said...

I'm advice-less but just wanted to commend all the answer-ers. Great answers to a thought provoking question, everyone!

Gra said...

I like the way Brenda puts it in words!

Cathy said...

A tutorial covers a specific technique, such as how to attach binding, how to paper piece, how to put together a specific block - say Ohio Star. A pattern provides directions for a finished product or item, say a quilt that uses the Ohio Star block but the pattern provides more than just instruction on how to put that one block together. It includes fabric rquirements, cutting, assembling, etc.

Deana said...

Agreeing with most of the commenters - Tutorials are a general how to and pattern gives detailed instructions and measurements.

Vickie and Mrs. Rice said...

I am a little worried about what I might find if I ever got my sewing room clean! More lost projects, I am sure.
- Mrs. Rice

Cathy said...

I agree with the other comments. A tutorial might cover the construction of a block and maybe brief details regarding putting it together as a quilt but without all the precise details such as so many blocks for a queen size. A tutorial usually would not include fabric requirements in detail.

Vickie and Mrs. Rice said...

I think a certain amount of clutter provides a certain amount of inspiration, but congratulations on finding the floor!
- Vickie

bobanda said...

I agree with other comments but I also think of patterns as having been paid for and tutorials for free.

I am irritated when quilters expect to be paid for a "pattern" that probably should just be a tutorial. I feel like a pattern is for a comprehensive project that can't be figured out by looking at it.

For example:
An ideal project for a tutorial is http://www.cluckclucksew.com/2008_10_01_archive.html


An ideal project for a pattern is
http://www.cluckclucksewpatterns.com/2011/05/seville.html

But, while the tutorial for the disappearing nine patch is wonderful, I'm not so sure that it is advanced enough to warrant and pay-for-it pattern, when we can all look at a DNP quilt and tell what it is and how it was put together. Make any sense? I hope so. :)

P├ętra said...

It seems like everyone has a similar concept of the two. I had never really thought about it before and agree with previous comments. I would add that my favorite patterns include links to tutorials or mini tutes in them if there is a new technique to share.
There are many tutorials on people's blogs that are actually patterns though, I know I have a page. Could it be that we do this online because we include so many pictures and it seems more appealing?

Vercareli On The Farm said...

I have never thought about it before now! But, I think many of the above answers are very good. So, having read every elses comments above, I would agree that:

A PATTERN gives you specific measurements, tells you everything you will need and you end up with a finished product. A pattern is like a recipe -- you use it to gather your supplies, and if you follow it exactly, it will always come out the same.

A TUTORIAL focuses more on teaching a technique and then you would decide how, when and where to use that particular technique.

Good question!

Hope you have super day!

ircabbit said...

I would call something a pattern if it is a blueprint for how to achieve a particular finished product.

A tutorial is a more general term that could be applied to a pattern OR to a set of instructions explaining a technique.

Also it seems worth discussing that perception-wise, people are more likely to sell "patterns" but tutorials are usually offered for free. There is an accompanying expectation that a pattern is a more professional offering that may have been tested by others and, for example, include multiple set sizes vs. a tutorial which might be for a single size and relatively untested.

Rachel said...

Yup i agree with everyone! and in fact jsut had this debate in my own head just yesterday as i do a lot of tutorials on my blog, but have never considered myself doign a pattern yet. A tutorial shows a technique or a piece of the puzzle. A pattern shows everything from start to finish, and may not have as much detail for each piece (ie you would include a binding tutorial in a pattern per say, the quilters). I would expect to be able to end up with a finished quilt when I was done with a pattern, whereas when I get to the end of a tutorial I wouldn't expect to have anything finished, but will have learned a new method I can apply to many things later. I guess that's a good distinction to make.

Cheers!
Rachel
Scrapendipity Designs

Denise said...

Until I started reading blogs; I was not aware of thinking Tutorials vs Patterns. I saw the word "tutorial" as the norm for blog sharing vocabulary and yet, I thought pattern especially if there were lots of pictures.

I am a seasoned, seasoned (not smelly old), but "seasoned" seamstress....so I don't always need measurements and the full recipe to complete a project.

With that being said.

I agree.

A tutorial focuses on a technique or a new skill with out concern to specifically match the shown finished inspiration.

A Pattern is a full recipe to a finished product of the designer's specification.

Molly said...

I'm with everyone else on this pattern/tutorial question. A tutorial goes over the technique and the pattern is the recipe with exact measurements that always turns out the same.

I've never used a pattern because I like to "wing it" and use what I have and adjust as I go ... but sometimes with disasterous results! (A quilt made for my 13 year old niece comes to mind).

Some people must like the certainty of the outcome and knowing exactly what they need before they begin.

simply living said...

Patterns (and directions) can be confusing and with experience these can be figured out. Those without experience are left in the dark. A tutorial can show how to put something together and nothing gets left out (pictures and drawings skip a possble steps). A beginner would benefit from tutorials.

Nina said...

For me the line is simple: a pattern has pattern pieces. I bought a "pattern" for a wallet on Etsy, and it turned out to have no pattern pieces (or even a diagram of the pieces to cut, or a cutting layout). That's a tutorial. I've never used a quilt pattern, though, only clothing and accessories patterns, so I don't know if the norms are different.

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

I agree with Ircabbit...hope I spelled that right. The clean sewing space...please do mine!!!!!
It is the last room of my spring cleaning...I walked in there this afternoon to start...moved a few things was overwhelmed and left...lol

I have too much stuff in there!!!!
Tomorrow is another day...hahaha

I need Ty Pennington....

aSprinkling said...

To me, the difference between tutorial and pattern is this - patterns have to be printed/drawn and cut out and traced or cut around in order to complete the project - tutorials use measurements and simple shapes. To me, a tutorial is simpler and easier to complete.

Tammy said...

Great job on cleaning your workspace! I just deep cleaned mine a couple of days ago. I moved things and cleaned behind them that have not been moved in quite some time!
Feels good except for the small pile in the middle of the room that I still need to sort out.

I've been pondering your question about tutorial and patterns. I think I agree with most of what has already been said, but to add to that, I think that many bloggers add tutorials (and/or patterns) to their blogs to attract more followers, especially if they have advertisers on their pages OR if they are selling a pattern or service.
Just my 2 cents worth.

Heather said...

Tutorial = technique taught, Pattern = product produced! Hope that helps!

Suzanne said...

I am in agreement with the preceding comments and will add that if I consider the roots of the words, the difference becomes clearer. Tutorial has the same root as tutor. To tutor is to guide. A pattern often comes with pieces to trace and is much more specific. While many quilt patterns now do not need actual templates, a pattern would have calculated pieces.

As for the clean office, I remember that technique prior to finals in college. Some things never change for me.

Live a Colorful Life said...

I hadn't considered where to draw the line between pattern and tutorial, but there are some good comments here.

My brain functions better in a clean sewing room, so obviously I'm not functioning very well, very often. And I'm totally visualizing the landing. Ha!... :)

Alli said...

Heh, I was thinking of this purely in terms of how sewing people seem to use it on their blogs, and in that case, I think of tutorials as instructions that are free and patterns are instructions that you pay for. :D

Rachel said...

I pretty much agree with what everyone else said. I would just add that it seems that a tutorial has a lot more detail/pictures. I even think that if you produced a pattern for a certain quilt, you could also produce a tutorial to go along with it, with lots of pictures and explanations. The whole Tutor idea.

dolores said...

I want to see the landing!:)

Before even reading the comments the first thing that came to my mind was a tutorial is free and online and a pattern is something you pay for and hold in your hand!
After reading comments I think I was on the right track!:)

Maria said...

Great question!!!
On my blog, I have a group of posts I call "Tutorial technique" and another I call "Tutorial project". In the first category I explain for example how I make hexagon flowers, needle turn applique and so on. In the other I walk through the whole process off making for example a small bag, a purse, a bookmark...

In both categories I try to make a good explanation with lost of pictures focusing on the main issue of that post.

But this give me something to think about!

Maria from Denmark

Another interesting question could be: "What defines a good pattern?"

Rachel said...

I am pretty sure I would feel better about my disaster if I could see the landing? LOL...I agree with Suzanne (shocker!) on the tutorial vs pattern. good thoughts all around :-)

Jacqui said...

Lovely working space. I laughed when I read about the mess on the landing though. I cleared my bedroom last week and the same happened. I haven't got up into the loft yet so the boxes move backwards and forwards every day. We're getting used to falling over them now!

michele (maryland) said...

My first quilt was from one of your tutorials. And I thank you for that. It taught me how to make something. It gave me a pattern and intense instructions on how to proceed, every step of the way. I have made many quilts since then, I have your book and love what you do. Also, I think a tutorial is free, a pattern we should pay for. Hope this helps a little.

Chatty Kathy said...

My two cents: A tutorial demonstrates a specific process (how to sew a drunkard's path curve). A pattern (My Drunkard's Path Quilt) would include specific directions for sizes, no. of blocks required, layout suggestions, sashing, setting squares, borders, etc. There is nothing "unique" about a tutorial on how to sew two curved pieces together. There may be something unique about a specific layout for multiples of those pieces in a specific design. That would be your "pattern".

Anita said...

I think there is a lot of cross over out there. Some tutorials could easily be patterns and some patterns should be tutorials. But generally, a pattern would include more detail and information for a completed project. That said, I've crossed the line on that quite a few times. So I think it comes down to what are you willing to share for free and what do you feel deserves a little more compensation.

Penny said...

I think of a tutorial as a technique not a complete pattern. Yet not everything that we make, sew or quilt requires a pattern. Often someone's technique will make a completed project. I always appreciate a "tutorial" that simplifies or gives a technique that makes it easier to use a pattern.

sewmeafumberlant said...

Great question, I just posted my first tutorial on my blog last week, and I had the same thoughts. I am a relative newbie to sewing myself and while I wanted to share my simple project, I felt it was by no means sophisticated enough to develop into a pattern. I think all the comments cover what a tutorial is, but I do like your question Maria "what defines a good pattern?". I have bought very few quilt patterns as most quilts I have made were very simple to workout without a pattern. But I also sew clothes for the kids and here I mostly like a pattern. I like the satisfaction of cutting out those pieces sewing them up and having a great looking garment (little more complicated for grown ups as we are shaped more uniquely!
). So for me a great pattern is well tested, accurate, with great cutting instructions/pattern pieces. I wish they had more instruction (which is why I love all the crafty mum/independant patterns) but as I learn more this is less necesary.

Doreen said...

This conversation line is interesting cuz it follows closely after the discussion from a few weeks ago regarding what is legally protected and what is not. Tutorials, generally, are done in video format with a verbal/voice over set of directions given for a technique or item. A pattern, however, is in printed form with "copy" (printed directions/supplies),full sized shapes (or dimensionally depicted pictures) which will, when used with the supplies, produce the intended item. To do a photocopy of a pattern/directions would be the same as "plagiarizing" any written matter (that is, taking the info "word for word" and presenting it as your own). That is illegal. Now, as we have discovered in recent days, there seems to be a questionable "gray" area that may push the limits of what is protected. That discussion is for another day/place, however. Thanks for raising a very important issue. Respecting each other's thoughts and giving credit where credit is due are old concepts that may have been forgotten/pushed aside.

Deb Robertson said...

I thought I knew the answer till I saw the other comments. A pattern definitely assumes you know what you are doing, whereas a tutorial doesn't. A tutorial is usually free whereas a Pattern has some copyright issues.

Dedra C said...

A tutorial is showing us a technique to a block or pattern, that is not original, but the writer finds more simple. [I've written a tutorial for the pinwheel, a way I found easier. I could never sell that technique or tute because I don't own the rights to the block.] A pattern is an original design which you wrote, with all the same information as a tutorial, but you are the only place we can go to get the info.

The Tulip Patch said...

Well I've done a few patterns and a few free quilt tutorials. I feel like a pattern involves a lot of hand holding, perhaps a more innovative technique to achieve the same result, and details from start to finish. When I'm doing a tutorial it feels less formal, more easy breezy and "make it work with what you have".

If I'm selling a pattern I try to have everything in the pattern where in a tutorial if I don't know if I should I elaborate I'll say "email or leave a comment if you have a question." I act like the person won't have a way to contact me when I write a pattern and I try to answer every question that could come up as I go.

Heather said...

I agree with many of the other comments. The thing I love about a tutorial is that I may learn a new technique or block pattern but what to make and how to use it is still up to me. If I am using a pattern I pretty much follow the instructions cause the math is already done for me. Tutorials tend to open my mind to new ideas and creativity.

Ariane said...

I'm a self-taught quilter, that has learned to quilt from all the wonderful tutorials online. Some tutorials are quite detailed, with instructions to complete a quilt from start to finish. Often these may be done in a series, like a quilt-a-long. These types of tutorials are patterns. They give specific information for cutting, as well as, visuals for every step needed to complete the quilt. Sometimes, a blogger has tutorials for basting, bindings, etc... Already posted on there blog. Or will direct you to another blog link for this process. But the pattern is still being given in the tutorial, even though not all the steps are covered in the one post. They don't need to be covered, because a resource has been provided to finish the quilt. You have many tutorials on your blog that are patterns. I've used some to make quilts. If you share a tutorial on your blog, you are giving instructions to a free pattern that you are providing. A written pattern that you sell, is a pattern that you don't want to share for free. It may be simple, or complex. Some Quilters could easily copy it just by looking at the picture. But others need all the instructions to make it. You are looking for compensation for all the work you've put into making the pattern. So you've chosen to sell it rather than make a tutorial. As some of the others have shared, some tutorials don't give instructions to complete a quilt from start to finish. But the block pattern is still being shared. A printed pattern doesn't usually have as many photo's either. But, in my opinion, both are patterns shared in a different form. Some are complete, and some only share a portion ( block), or a technique. That's my 2 cents!!!

Patty said...

My thoughts would be the: a tutorial is when you want to share an idea free of charge and a pattern is when you want to sell your idea.

Emily {Creative Chicks} said...

Interesting... I've got my own (long) list of thoughts on these type of topics...

Tara said...

Having discussed this with you, I think you were looking more at the question of how do you decide if a quilt should be made into a free tutorial on the blog versus if it warrants a pattern to sell. So to you other commenters, how do you determine if you are going to buy a pattern or not?

If you can look at a quilt and grasp the assembly, is it worth it to you you to purchase a pattern of said quilt for the fabric requirements and cutting instructions?

I know I personally buy patterns when the time and effort it would take me(not to mention the potentially ruined fabric from mistakes) to figure out the math is not worth it. So I buy the pattern that someone else has taken the time to do the math on.

Anna Lee @ HootnHaller said...

I think that a pattern includes instructions and measurements for multiple sizes of a project. A tutorial should offer the basics for putting together one specific project - but in only one size. I think that if you spend a significant amount of time to take the photos and produce the instructions you should be getting paid for it!

Jenny in Texas said...

Replying to Tara's post, when to buy a pattern...
I appreciate when someone has gone to the trouble to work out various size options for a pattern, so that I don't have to.

Some patterns I have purchased are along the "simpler" of quilt designs but the time/effort for me to work out the math makes it worth my while to buy the pattern.

Katie said...

I think of a tutorial more as learning a technique where with a pattern you actually come out with a finished product.

charlotte said...

I agree with Tara. I buy a pattern when someone else save me the time doing the math. I have been quilting long enough to figure many patterns out for myself just by looking at a quilt. Tutorial to me is a technique taught and is free. You can then take that and make what you will with it. BTW, I have your book, and love it. The quilts in there are part pattern, part tutorial and I want to try them all.

angela said...

Interesting! I need to find time to read through all the comments here.

Here in craft blog land, for me it's simply - Tutorial=free and Pattern=$ because the content is often exactly the same.

Other than here, I would equate a tutorial with a teaching of some specific technique. Whereas a pattern is a set of exact details to make some specific object.

Clair said...

Surprised to see your design wall COMPLETELY EMPTY.:) I think if you are talking about sewing things, a pattern and tutorial are nearly the same thing as far as what I have seen online.

angela said...

To Tara's comment - I buy a pattern for two different reasons. I am a math person, so I can look at just about any pattern, and figure it out myself with a pencil and some graph paper. So, if it looks like the person may have a technique that I think is new, I will buy the pattern to learn that technique. Other times, I buy it just as a show of support for the person that I like.

Lynn said...

Hmmm, something to think about. First of all I love tutorials because they have helped me be a much much better quitler and sometimes lead me into techniques I may not have tried otherwise. I agree with many of the other comments that teaching a technique is a tutorial, while measurements are patterns. I think that if you are showing how you did something that there is more than one way of doing it that would be a tutorial, like pinwheels, or hst's or flying geese, or binding.... sharing your way because it's easier. Maybe a original design is a pattern vs a tutorial. Hmmm.

Rosa said...

I have never thought about this difference between a pattern and a tutorial. I love tutorials - they teach me specific techniques and are a great inspiration to me - and the patterns I make my self. For me this is very easy and no problem - I'm an engineer, love geometry/math so I just need to se a quilt or the cover/photo of a pattern to figure it out.
I have bought one pattern once that I could not figure out by just looking at the photo. It turned out the pattern was badly constructed, lots of errors and simply impossible to work with:-)
I still wonder how that quilt was done!
So for me it is a bit different I think... tutorials are sort of
"patterns" to me and the base I use when making a quilt.

stitchinpenny said...

I am not good at this quilting thing, but I believe the difference is detail. A tutorial is broad brush based on the assumption that the techniques are common enough. It will give you a finished product (Whether the product is a whole quilt or a method of binding) without holding your hand. If I get a pattern, I want each and everything spelled out for me, with special attention to concepts such as when to square blocks, the direction to press the seams, and warnings where tricky things are happening so I can go find a tutorial on a given technique. I tried to write a free pattern on a quilt I developed around a panel I bought for a lady that asked. I decided that I don't give enough detail for a person to create something stand alone from my directions, but it was for free and I just made the quilt for my niece.
Attention to minutiae that is the difference in a tutorial and a pattern.

Cathy said...

For me, I think a tutorial is something that is free and a pattern is something I pay for. Regardless, of which one, I would that it would be understandable for all levels who want to use it.

Becky B. said...

I personally enjoy your tutorials. They are really easy to follow and you keep it real. On the other hand the patterns I read in your book seem to be equally easy to follow. There is nothing wrong with makine some money off your work you put into your quilts. (But it would be nice to get a teaser with a free tute every now and then.)

Lucy @ Charm About You said...

Isn't that funny, such an interesting question! I agree about the gist of a tutorial being a technique and a pattern being step by step of a complete design. What's funny though is all this blog reading seems to have got me assuming a tutorial is a free pattern. Really people should call them patterns if that's what they are.
I think I need to lie down now, I'm confusing myself!!

Lucy @ Charm About You said...

oh and I love your clean room :)

Erin M. said...

In thinking. I have used two quilt patterns in my life that were purchased. I don't think we really needed to buy the first pattern, but that was 10 yrs ago and I don't remember how much we referenced it when putting together the quilt. The other one was for a paper pieced wall quilt where the templates for the piecing were a part of the pattern. That I needed to complete the project with any speed. The majority of quilt patterns offered by people I think I could recreate a "good enough" product by figuring out the requirements myself. Things with not 90 degree angles and more complicated value change dependent patterns would be things I'd be willing to buy.

I enjoy the discussion. Thanks.

Sew Distracted said...

I agree with pretty much everything said. However I also think a pattern someone is selling should be there original idea, not a quilt that there are tons of other patterns for if that makes sense.

Cheryl Arkison said...

Here's an interesting perspective...

http://r0ssie.blogspot.ca/2012/04/kelp-quilt-tutorial.html

Alisa said...

I'm not going to put my whole opinion down here, but just to add to the discussion a bit. I think when one is paying $10 or more on a pattern you should expect to get several size options and clear instructions and if possible, line drawings rather than photos. JMO :-)

Alisa said...

Wanted to add something - You have been very generous with your tutorials, Amanda Jean, and it is very appreciated. I often point new quilters to your site as your tutorials are simple and great! Thank you, thank you!

Donna said...

Great discussion!!

Perfect example is my macrame plant hanger. I have a free tutorial on my blog for anyone wanting to learn macrame. And then I have a pattern of one that I designed which is more complicated (complete with almost 100 photos) than the free one.

That's how I decide. The more involved, more detailed, more complicated, my own design, not seen anywhere else... I offer as a pattern for sale.

Sarah Craig said...

I think a tutorial is basically a class in how to do something. A pattern assumes that you know the techniques, and just need the directions. I also think that a pattern should be for something new or unique, or at least put together in a new way. A tutorial can be as basic or as detailed as the recipient needs!

tahoe34 said...

Just for the record, I have actually made a quilt or block from a blog tutorial and then purchased the pattern later if it is made available. I think that $8 or so for a pattern that someone has gone to the creative process to share is more that worth it!! And I like looking at the actual patterns later rather than searching for them on my computer. Love your blog, Amanda Jean, and read every new post!

Ann Ferguson said...

I think Grey Cat at the top said it all. Patterns are specific and tutorials demonstrate a skill.

JennX said...

I'm trying not to read others so I won't be swayed but I think a pattern generally has instructions + more measurements, fabric and/or colour choices/selection/recommendations and a tutorial has instructions + photos. I also think a pattern TENDS to be something 'new' where a tutorial is more something 'old or borrowed'
Lastly I think of a tutorial as a 'how to' and a pattern is more than that.. (maybe a 'wow + how to'). Does that make sense to anyone other than me?!

April (Polkadot Sparrow) said...

Cool question! I usually buy patterns for things I couldn't figure out myself: such as non-square things like purses. I usually draft my own quilt patterns because I make different sizes than what the pattern will offer. One time I did buy an entire pattern book for one pattern inside and then didn't even use it because I made a different-sized quilt. Doh! :)

Mary said...

I think a tutorial is a technique and a pattern is a design.

Your room seems very bare right now. I want to see that pile in the hall!

Rebecca said...

I think a pattern to sell should have a couple size options, a chart for how much fabric to purchase, and should be tested out by someone other than the author to be sure the instructions are clear.

Tammy said...

I think a tutorial can range from "teaching" a certain technique to completing a project from start to finish. The key word is "teach." A tutorial should teach someone something they do not already know. Nice clean room you have there.

Anonymous said...

I would say if you want paid make it a pattern. If you want to share with people make it a tutorial. Please don't share a picture of it then don't make it available to the how to's to go about making the item. When it comes to quilting I'm all about giving to a "hobby" that I feel strong about and for the fact I feel its a dieing tradition. The choice is yours and you will know in your heart what you need to do. You do beatuful work. Good Luck!

tarabu said...

I think all quilt patterns you design and write should be available for sale. I also think that, once a year or so, it's nice to do a multi-step tutorial or quilt-along.

Jamie Lee said...

Your room looks great! I just painted my room and have reorganized it. My new lamps arrived FedEx yesterday and my husband will be putting them together this weekend...yay!

I think a tutorial=free and a pattern=$, but really there doesn't have to be a difference. Lots of bloggers post free patterns and call them tutorials. But usually I think of a pattern as having all the measurements and dimensions, and that it's been tested and displayed in different colorways. I appreciate free tutorials, but I also am willing to pay for a pattern. I know you didn't ask this question, but I think under $10 is reasonable. But I am not buying a pattern for $14.95.

Sandra Montgomery said...

Hi Amanda

I loved your post about your lovely tidy sewing room. I just received your book whilst I was having lunch. It's great and I will now enjoy browsing through while drinking my tea.
Sandra

Julie B. said...

I love your display on the wall with all the sewing thread. I am looking for one of those to store some vintage thread spools.
I think I expect more from a pattern that I buy - details, exact measurements, helpful tips, etc. A free tutorial is something I might be able to figure out for myself but don't want to take the time to do. Or it is something to attract followers. To have both would be ideal!

Susie at ProsperityStuff said...

I think a tutorial makes sense when you're teaching something not-too-complicated, or something traditional that's not a new design; like "How to make a basic nine-patch quilt", or "How to stitch a traditional Log Cabin Block".

I think a pattern makes sense when you've put a lot of time/creativity/calculation into a custom-design, a style that nobody's seen before, a technique that requires a lot of explanation. That sort of thing.

Anonymous said...

I love your tutorials! I learn a ton more from your very clear instructions, photos, measurements, ect... than I ever had with a pattern or book. Thank you! Your website is so inspirational!

So your question really is, how can I make money off of all the time I spend giving away free patterns/tutorials online on my blog? Hopefully you are making $ from your new book, retreats, and online patterns. My patterns seem to sit in my sewing room unused. Tutorials seem to inspire me to do a new project or complete a project. I would pay a monthly fee to visit your blog or a nominal fee to see a tutorial (Maybe $5).

Most people start blogs/facebook to advertise products or a business. Have you thought about becoming a touring lecturer? Our guild pays for wonderful quilters like you to come and do classes/ demonstrations/ lectures. You would be fantastic!

Thee FireWife said...

I'm thinking Skills - tutorial. Actual whole-put-together-finished quilt - pattern. Seems only fair, and yet still generous!

Josie McRazie said...

Becaues quilting has been around for SOOO long there are 'patterns' that just are not origional. A dresden plate fro instance, does a new pattern containing one constitute an origional design?? I would think not. I guess I am on the fence about this! I think that we are all in this as a community and if you choose to share your ideas as long as they are not specific to someones 'current' pattern I don't see a problem with it! I know I read a blog and she was asked to take down a tutorial because there is a pattern out there right now containing the 'drops' (I forget what they are called) but to be honest, I have an old quilt that has the same block in it! She did not use a pattern, she decided size, shape all on her own!
I just don't get the whole thing! Recopying a book that you bought BAD
using your own ideas on how to do something you see (sepecially with the likes of Pinterest out there) falls in the shades of grey area!
Just my opinion!
I love Leah Day's take on the whole 'copyright' issue!
(Sorry I got so wordy, but...)

Scooquilt said...

Very clearly said! You don't need to qualify your comments- your English is better than many native speakers!

roxi said...

my 2 cents.... thank goodness your your free tutorials that have motivated & inspired hundreds if not thousands of us to try quilting & new techniques. I know I wouldn't have purchased a pattern as a beginner because I didn't think that I could do it. But following many of your tutorials, I have now started purchasing harder patterns. so those tutorials are very important to me! Thank you!

Scooquilt said...

The difference is pretty clear, as all have said. As for copyright, there is surely not anything in a quilt that hasn't been done sometime, somewhere, in a different size or color. People pay for a pattern (I've never used one) for the measurements, the directions, and the handholding. If you spend a lot of time perfecting that, then you should sell it, if you wish.

Love your clean studio! Your thread holder caught my eye- is it a printers box like mine or something deeper? http://m.flickr.com/#/photos/62072073@N08/6950080422/

Jenny said...

I disagree a bit with the common agreement above. I think a tutorial is an online lesson, while a pattern is a printed/downloaded one.

I think it's largely a vocabulary difference. Lots of things that we call tutorials, online, give very specific measurements and walk you through a project from start to finish. Lots of things we call tutorials, online, merit payment (though they're generally free).

Maybe an analogy is in the news business? Is newyorktimes.com considered a newspaper, or a website? I might easily say, "I read in the paper that..." even though I actually read it online. But the two mediums are blurring, and in the meantime there's some overlap and some distinction without a difference.

Just my two cents, of course...

The Sewing Chick said...

I agree with the comments that a tutorial is good for a technique whereas a pattern should be for a more complicated, finished project. If you have taken the time to calculate yardages, measurements, cutting diagrams, etc., I think you should charge for that. I am certainly willing to pay to have someone do that for me then I can spend more time sewing!! Oh and I love pdf's...just a few clicks and I have the pattern and am ready to go.

Kris from DukeSaysSewWhat said...

To Tara's comment and your edited question in your original post, I choose to buy a pattern when a/I think I may be missing something important by just looking at the picture b/I see something in the item that I don't know how to do but want to learn c/I want to compensate that pattern maker because I want to support them (for many reasons but usually because they have given so many free tutorials/patterns previously on their blog). I bought your book for all of these reasons! I love it so it was money well spent - and - it's a way of saying thanks for all of the "free" inspiration and teaching that you provide on your blog! I hope others reading this will also purchase your book to recipicate your generosity! As far as when should it be a pattern vs. a tutorial - I see the two as the same mostly - with one for sale and one for free and it's totally up to the creator as to whether they wish to charge for or give their knowledge.

Anonymous said...

I always enjoy visitng your blog, and I am sorry that I rarely leave a comment. I would like you to know that your efforts in journaling your love affair with quilting are appreciated. :0)

Now to the question at hand.

I concur with Tara's opinions.

As an elemenatry school teacher (25 yrs,) I would say that a tutorial tutors you in something. A tutorial steps out a process. According to the tutorial's subject matter, a product or part of a product may result depending on the tutor's objective.

As a quilting instructor (10 yrs,) I would say that a quilt/project pattern (free or not) provides the information needed to complete a project that you just can't look at to complete.

BTW - I love all of the Sunday Morning quilt projects. I can't decide which to do first. :0)

Thank you for the discussion.

Tara said...

A pattern gives complete and exact measurements and fabric requirements, etc. for the finished product. A tutorial shows how a part of a quilt was done or a technique, etc. In my mind, a tutorial is smaller than a pattern.

Personally, I'm only inclined to buy a pattern if it makes it easier on me-- i.e. I don't do any of the math work or trial and error to figure out how size fit together. If it's very simple and something I can easily figure out on my own, I don't buy the pattern. Tutorials usually require some work on my part to transform it into a whole quilt.

For example, I can/did figure out the swoon pattern, but should I ever decide to make that quilt, I'd probably buy it to save myself the trouble and error of figuring out all the HST sizes (aside from the fact that I'd feel guilty copying something exactly without purchasing it, especially when it's reasonably priced).

Thimbleanna said...

Hmmm. Based on everyone's input, I have patterns, not tutorials on my blog. I've never really thought about it. Interesting discussion! I also found Tara's comment right before me to be interesting. She said she'd feel guilty copying the Swoon pattern -- I liked what she said about buying a pattern to save yourself the hassle of trying to figure out the dimensions (totally worth it!), but the Swoon block is a very common old quilt block, so I'm not sure where the guilt should come in if she decides to make one without the pattern???

Anyway, your sewing room looks fabulous! Mine NEVER looks that good -- even after I've just cleaned it!!!

The Calico Cat said...

It your idea or technique new? (How Eleanor Burnd makes flying geese would be a good example here.) How inspired were you by what you saw elsewhere? (Assuming that "everything" is derivative.) For example, if someone all of a sudden wrote a pattern for spiderweb quilt - seriously that pattern is in the public domain & Bonnie Hunter (as well as others) has done a tutorial/on-line aka free pattern already.

Case in point, I was browsing a quilt book recently that used pre cuts. The author included a quilt that took a charm & added 2 strips to two sides = ala a 1/4 log cabin. IMHO - not deserving a being a pattern... Your miles may vary.

Basically if it truely is new = pattern.
If it is something that a sewer with some experience can figure out easily = tutorial.

Did you have an AHA when you made it = pattern, was it just fun (Think of the Granny Squares that are popping up everywhere) = tutorial.

Did you get people (that you know know a thing or two about sewing) in the comments asking a lot of questions about technique = pattern?

Donna Becker said...

Since I'm not a designer, I can offer a consumer's perspective. The answer hinges solely on my personal decision-making process, not the designer's.
When I began quilting, I bought patterns to help me learn the process with as few errors as possible and quickly gain success that would fuel my confidence.
Now, I primarily buy patterns when (1) the design is more intricate than I've worked with before, (2) I want fast access to reasonably accurate yardages for a project that can be done in multiple sizes, and (3) it's on sale and I know it's a well-designed pattern that I can alter as I need.
By now, two things are obvious to me about my own quiltmaking.
First, there are parts of the process on which I just don't want to spend my time.
Second, I'm happy to pay someone else to do those parts for me.
Printed or video tutorials, for me, are interchangeable with patterns.
To be honest, with all the media we have available, if a consumer wants to do all the footwork, there'd be little need for any more patterns than we already have.
Maybe the question for designers should be less about definitions and more about developing their relationship with their target audiences (which you're doing beautifully, by the way).
Or am I just looking at this all cattywampus?

Carla said...

For me as a learning quilter. I may buy a patter that provides me the cuts and design but a visual tutorial always helps me. Sometimes I don't understand a particular cut when I see a tutorial it makes sense. Just me

Mama Pea said...

I agree with what I've read from a the commenters I skimmed. I think a tutorial is more "general" (i.e., how to execute a strategy) and a pattern provides all the measurements and instructions. Obviously, you could give away a pattern in a blog/tutorial. I guess you're asking what you would sell vs. give away. I see a lot of designers giving away patterns on their website (case in point Oh Fransson!)...keeps people interested and coming to visit. Perhaps you keep the ones you're most proud of/required the most work/and you think will sell really well for pattern sales. A tutorial or freebie pattern might be a smaller, less complex, but fun project. My thoughts...for what they're worth.

Point of sale said...

Such a nice Room decorations are designs.It really nice decorative art in the rooms.Nice chairs and posters are stitch on the wall.

Anonymous said...

I don't mind people selling patterns, as opposed to offering free tutorials, when the idea is relatively original. But it has been starting to bug me lately that there are expensive patterns out there for things that have been around for years and years (and just been tweaked a little for money making purposes).

Amy DeCesare said...

Such an interesting discussion! I had never even heard of tutorials until I started to read blogs. I think of them as "patterns with lots of photos." Here's how I deal with it...I call mine "Tutorial-Style Patterns."

kelli said...

For me (and I'd love to hear your opinion) I get nervous about putting together a pattern that someone could accuse me of 'copying' and now I'm in trouble. There are many patterns and tutorials that simply change the layout or colors and the project has a completely new look but is the idea now original? What are the legal difference between offer a free tute and selling a pattern and where is the line between an original idea and reworking an old classic lay?

Ralitza said...

Very interesting topic! I think it depends on lots of things and especially how the author feels and how the info is presented. It might look reasonable to pay for a nicely done tutorial and not for a great-math pattern. It does not mix the names for me. It is not the payment criteria, it is the approach that makes the difference to me.

Also I know, lots of people buy patterns like Bento box. I even saw a copy-write issues some time ago. And this is really strange - it is not even calculation extensive or have a technique challenges involved in there, nor novelty - it is a cabin variation! Still it may be a reasonable investment and happy to be with purchase for a person who wants instructions and no figuring out at all. It is not my cake definitely, but it is preferred by others.

PS I have not seen how Bento pattern is written or calculated and write this assuming it is a good helpful one.

Ralitza said...

Love the cleaning part and its outcomes mostly. Your area looks just great!

I am not the perfect housekeeper but almost never leave thread clips or fabric pieces laying around my studio. I just neat it all before I finish a day there. I love entering a fresh, serene place starting a new session. It only happens in rush situations to leave it cluttered.