Technical Editing

As many of you have been starting to notice, I have been doing more industry “behind the scenes” kind of work as a technical editor. It is a very natural combination of my technical / engineering background and love for quilting, and I am really loving the work.

When I talk with my former engineering co-workers, instead of saying I write quilt patterns, I tell them that I write “quilt travelers”. A “traveler” is the loose slang for the technical documentation that goes with a part from raw material to installation on an aircraft: it’s the paperwork that says how to build the part, how quality and assurance can inspect and verify the part, and where and how to install the part on an airplane. So, when I describe quilt pattern writing as a “traveler”, my former engineering co-workers completely understand what I mean and the amount of work that goes into creating a quilt pattern.

What I strive to do as a technical editor is to help relieve some of the artist’s behind the scenes work. I help to simplify, unify, and make sure concepts are communicated as clearly, accurately, and comprehensively as possible. For quilt patterns, that means I double check cutting requirements, piece counts, and yardage. I proof read instructions and illustrations for clarity. But most of all, I give peace of mind that another set of eyes has reviewed your content to help it be as ready for your customers as possible.

Sampling of Quilting Jetgirl Clients

As you have probably heard, the 2019 Quilter’s Planner pre-orders begin shipping this week (ahead of schedule)! When you receive your copy, you’ll see me smiling at you from the back page as part of the Quilter’s Planner team: I am thrilled to have taken on a larger role as the technical editor and creator of the weekly content you will find within the planner in 2019.

“Yvonne is a joy to work with as a technical editor. She gives her all to every project, and she is a wealth of knowledge and experience. After I hand an editing project over to Yvonne, I breathe a deep sigh of relief, because I know it is in the best hands.” – Stephanie Palmer

Cheryl from Meadow Mist Designs is my close friend, and she and I trade technical editing work back and forth for each other: she technical edits my patterns and I technical edit patterns for her.

“Yvonne is an excellent technical writer and has a great ability to work through a pattern improving both the math and the flow of instructions for quilt patterns. Her work ethic and ability to keep time commitments is fantastic. I know that once Yvonne has reviewed my quilt design patterns, they are clear, easy to understand, and error free.” – Cheryl Brickey

You can follow along with Cheryl via her Website, Instagram, and Facebook Group.

If you are a Modern Quilt Guild member, you have undoubtedly benefited from Riane’s work as the MQG Communications Manager. Beyond getting to work with Riane as part of the QuiltCon crew, I have had the pleasure of working with Riane as she is starting to self-publish patterns and a book, and I am inspired by her clean aesthetic.

“When I started down the road of self-publishing my own patterns and a book, I knew I needed someone to provide technical editing expertise. Quilt math is not one of my strengths, and having someone I could trust to make sure my instructions were thorough and accurate was crucial. Yvonne was the perfect person for the job! She was (and continues to be) incredibly easy to work with, and with her engineering background I know I can trust her completely. She is quick to respond to emails and questions, and she always sets reasonable expectations for timelines and delivering edits back.

Together, we worked to find ways to explain unconventional quilting techniques and block sizes, and Yvonne helped me alter a few patterns to better fit standard width-of-fabric sizes. Yvonne also suggested ways to improve consistency and clarity for each pattern — going above and beyond the “technical” side of her job and making the patterns as clear and concise as possible.

I would recommend technical editing to any pattern writer to double check the math and construction techniques. A technical editor will give a fresh look to your work and can give you peace of mind when you release your work into the wild.” – Riane

As Riane mentions above, she is doing some very exciting self-publishing work. You can follow along with Riane’s work via her Website and Instagram.

If you are interested in learning more, please email me at yvonne[at]quiltingjetgirl[dot]com.

23 thoughts on “Technical Editing

  1. Lisa says:

    Hi Yvonne. This was very interesting to read. I’m glad that you are doing this type of work. It sounds like a perfect niche for you, complimenting your own creative work.

  2. Cindy Pieters says:

    How exciting for you working the technical side with your engineering background a perfect fit.

  3. Patty says:

    Sounds like a perfect use of your expertise! Best of luck to you with this!

  4. Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts says:

    This sounds like the perfect fit for you Yvonne. It does help to have another set of eyes read/proof patterns, especially someone who understands quilt making.

  5. Liz says:

    See… everyone knows what people who have done your QALs know! You rock!

  6. Rita Long says:

    You are keeping things interesting for yourself. This should work well with your traveling. So happy for you.

  7. I agree with everyone else that this is a perfect fit for you, Yvonne. It was interesting to read about the term “traveler” and how well that describes the quilt process. Having participated in one of your QALs, I know how well done your patterns are, and I know you will bring that level of professional work to others as well. I hope it brings you much joy as you work with others!

  8. Jayne says:

    That is so perfect for you! Any pattern writer needs someone with your ability. Coming from someone who is scared to death of making a mistake, you would certainly be a valuable asset to have in my corner!

  9. aquilterstable says:

    Wonderful! A nice way to use your skills, expand your scope a bit and definitely beneficial to our community.

  10. Jude Brown says:

    Yvonne, it’s nice to see such technical skill and creativity that you bring to this craft. Thank you for that.

  11. Liz says:

    That’s very interesting! I had no idea that this job even existed, it sounds so perfect for you!

  12. Nancy N says:

    Thanks for sharing your story and insight into technical editing. Many people do not realize the value having a technical can be. I also enjoy being a technical editor.

  13. Congratulations on the continuation of your technical editing. I hope to need your services someday!

  14. Jasmine @ Quilt Kisses says:

    With your experience and love of math I’m sure you do an awesome job with this. 🙂

  15. Sarah says:

    I’m afraid to admit this, but I’m an engineer and have never heard the “traveler” term! Lol! Congrats on the new endeavor — I’ve found technical editing to be a really great way to combine engineering and quilty skills. You will be excellent at it!

  16. You “mix ” your knowledge for create beautiful contents! very interesting to read!

  17. lorindadavis says:

    I am so happy you’re doing more technical editing work! What a perfect fit!

  18. As a fellow technical editor, I have to say you’ve explained our behind-the-scenes work very well!

  19. Kate says:

    I can see how your technical skills would fit well with this behind the scenes roll. I hope it’s a lot more fun then editing technical papers (one of my least favorite things in my technical life at work).

  20. Elizabeth E. says:

    I’ve already passed on your name to a quilter I know–hope this enterprise proves rewarding!

  21. You are the best tech editor!! I am so lucky to work with you!

  22. That sounds so perfect for you! I hope you enjoy!!

  23. I think you will do exceptionally well as a technical editor.

    My husband does technical editing as well, both through his job job at government writing and [now occasional] free-lance editing for people’s theses, so I am familiar with and admire those skills needed!

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