Quilt Pattern / Survey Insights

Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to complete the Quilt Pattern / Color Survey I shared on Tuesday. I purposefully held back a little on Tuesday because I just wanted to present the survey without accidentally influencing how anyone was thinking, so I want to share a bit more background about why I put the survey together.

Sometimes I collaborate with someone (a magazine editor, a fabric designer), and a quilt I make is based on requirements born of that collaboration. Sometimes, a quilt speaks loudly to me and there is no question in my mind about what colors and fabrics to use. And sometimes, I am making a quilt to be the cover quilt for a pattern, and I get to choose color and fabric. I was hoping that the survey would give me a tool to use to help me wisely make future business based quilt making decisions.

To be honest, ideally I would be able to make (or pay another quilter to make specific quilts) a quilt in many colorways and maybe even have many covers for a pattern. So my second purpose in creating the survey was to find out if presenting graphic renderings of alternate colorways would be an option.

Because buying quilt patterns is the most important filter for my questions, my first question helps me to understand the rest of the data and questions. The first two responses, “Yes, I love quilt patterns!” and “I sometimes buy quilt patterns when the design is just what I need,” account for 74% of all the responses.

Only 2 people skipped the second question, which shows that the color of the quilt on the cover of a pattern strongly influences the purchase decision. Good to know!

Here are a few responses from the final question that I want to respond to:

Comment/Question: Do you include fabric suggestions/recommendations on the back of your pattern covers? Yardage requirements are always needed. Also helpful are alternate colorway illustrations, which can be CAD.

Yes, I have additional images/graphics on the back cover, and I am definitely open to showing alternate colorways there (or inside the pattern). The main goal of my back covers is to have the yardage requirements.

General/Overarching Feedback: Why just warm/cool?


General/Overarching Feedback: I can’t see the image.

I was being deliberate about warm/cool to set up the cover question later in the survey. I’m sorry to hear the image did not show up for some who took the survey – it was the orange vs. green cover shown above (yes, the styling was different, and I appreciate the detailed feedback on that as well). I followed up with a big list of favorite color because that was also interesting to me but I anticipated just asking about warm vs. cool to be very limiting.

Which leads to this final bit of data: when asked warm versus cool, 25% selected warm and 75% selected cool. When shown the cover, 17% selected orange (warm) and 83% selected green (cool).

And in closing, if you do have a look at my Triangle Transparency pattern, you will note that the back cover does show the orange quilt on the back as an alternate option. I also personally like how the orange version shows going light to dark and dark to light as a possibility (but that might just be me!).

Thanks again for your time and feedback, it is deeply appreciated.

16 thoughts on “Quilt Pattern / Survey Insights

  1. Libby Smith says:

    As a former teacher, I am well aware of how much color and/or fabric style affects a quilter’s choices so I always tried to show a variety of examples in my promotional material. I picked up your pattern at the Cookeville shop Tuesday and it was very helpful to see “live” examples, especially the prints.

  2. After seeing the back of the pattern, I definitely choose the green cover, because on the back your have a straight on view of the quilt as well

  3. Kaja says:

    You have learned some interesting things from your survey (sorry, I only just saw the post). Oddly, although I much prefer green, I am more drawn to the orange picture above, but reading your comments I think it is probably because it goes from light to dark as well as dark to light – I like the movement that creates.

  4. So, here’s a question I’m pondering. I wonder how much the photo of a quilt on a pattern influences the colors the quilter uses to make the quilt. In other words, if quilters see your pattern in the green color way, do they tend to make the quilt with similar (or same) colors? Sometimes I have a difficult time getting the photo out of my head so that I can choose a different color way. Does that make sense?

  5. Kathleen McCormick says:

    Very informative. I am not surprised at the color choices – orange is tough for a lot of people. In reading Wendy’s comment, I know how difficult it is for many quilters to get the pattern colors out of their head – often it is what drew them to the pattern in the first place. I don’t see as many patterns with the grey shades to really show the dark/med/light rather than the fabrics. Sometimes I think that is a help for people. I also remember seeing many grey blocks that put those dark/medium/light in the other places to show what other kinds of combinations work is a great tool too. The two different colorways do show it but some people are so literal and if they hate a color they couldn’t approach that option. Its funny how it is so hard for some people and so easy for others. I could sometimes go right to fabrics that worked for people – not because I am a great colorist – but because I knew the fabrics in the store.

  6. Lisa C in Dallas says:

    When I was growing up my mother made a lot of our clothes. Her friend would buy a pattern and search high and low for fabric that looked exactly like the fabric on the pattern. My mother and I always laughed at that because it just didn’t show any imagination. Now that I’m older, I know that’s just how some people are wired. What I probably should have added in your survey is that I appreciate in a quilting magazine where at the end of the pattern section, an alternate colorway is shown and it’s generally in a different “type” of fabric.

    My aunt (late 60s) also quilts and she bought me a pattern and the jelly roll used in the pattern for Christmas. She’d seen the quilt made up in a store and knew I’d like the style. When she gave it to me, she said she could see me using black for the background instead of white. It was fun to hear her take and imagine an alternate version.

    I think Instagram has helped with seeing alternatives once people post what they’ve made.

  7. Wow, how insightful. I’m a warm color person so much so that my creativity is strained when I work with cool colors. I’m completely blown away by how generally liked cool colors are so including a cool color option with mybpatterns will probably work well for me. This is such a great topic thank you.

  8. Wanda Bamberg says:

    Thank you for explaining the survey. All aspects are interesting to me.

  9. Nadine W. says:

    Thanks for explaining the reason for the survey. Love seeing the results and that I was part of one of the larger percentages. Does that mean I am “semi-normal”? Even though I sometimes get the color way of a quilt pattern (or any pattern) stuck in my head, it can always be imagined in different colors. I tend to be a scrappy quilter most times but love buying precuts as it takes some of my quilting anxiety away. (Is this going to work together? Will that work together?) rnwillis@velotech.net

  10. Patty says:

    Quite interesting!

  11. Sarah Ruiz says:

    Thanks for sharing! Really interesting.

  12. Kate says:

    Interesting set of responses. Hopefully it helped you better design your next pattern packaging.

  13. helen says:

    Interesting answers. We should all be clever enough not to be influenced by colour choices or display. But then the burgeoning marketing world shows just how easily influenced we are by all this. I was thinking about my answers since. I wrote I rarely buy quilt patterns. Why not? Is what I should have been answering. I buy loads of knitting patterns, I buy cookery books. Why not quilt patterns? I used to buy a load of quilting magazines, then I weaned myself off the habit. I mean, I had bags and bags of them. Really I found that most quilts I want to do are either block based, in which case you just make the blocks. Or, I join in a quilt a long, such yourself has. And then there is not much time left over for making more quilts! Would I pay for a quilt in a quilt a long? After all, I have bought patterns for a knit a long? Yes, I would. But it would be as much because I “liked” the designer and the other people taking part as much as I would need to like the quilt.

  14. Interesting! I wouldn’t have thought cool colours would dominate so much. I’d have thought it would be more balanced, to be honest. Definitely something to consider as I’m working on quilts for my own pattern covers 🙂 Thanks for sharing the results!

  15. Bernie says:

    Super interesting Yvonne. I took the survey, though late, because I wanted to see the questions.
    I love looking at this sort of data.
    As with the commenter above, I also made lots of my clothes from the ages 11 to about 30. When I chose the pattern, it was incredibly hard for me to NOT choose fabrics that look like the pattern. I am heavily influenced by that. Just the way the brain works. I suppose it even applies to home decorating. When we have bought houses I have to make a conscious effort to remind myself that if I don’t like the look or fee of the room, it is probably the color and not the structure. I have a difficult time looking at it and visualizing it in a color I would prefer. I believe this is quite common as realtors often say one should repaint any strongly colorful rooms in a neutral color.

  16. Very interesting results, thanks for sharing this!

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)