Pattern Followers vs. Pattern Creators


Welcome back for another week, readers! Glad you found your way back. As always, thank you for your comments!

This week, I’d like to continue with our “Quilter’s Mart Personality Test” a la the Myers Briggs Personality test. So far, we have:

Fabric Hoarders vs. Fabric Minimalists


Project Multitaskers vs. Project one-at-a-timers

 Our next category is: Pattern Followers vs. Pattern Creators


Are you a Pattern Follower.....

Photo by Andrew Ridley on Unsplash

Or a Pattern innovator.....

Photo by Vanessa Ives on Unsplash

This category is a little bit less “either or” and more of a spectrum, I think. But if I had to pick one for myself, I think I lean towards the Pattern Creator side of things.

Even when I work with a pattern, I usually do something to change it to better suit my mood. But more often than not, I’ll just make something up as I go along.

When I adapt a pattern, it is usually scaling it up or down in size, adding or taking away borders, or sometimes even incorporating a 3D element. But generally speaking, it ends up recognizably related to the original pattern.

When I go completely rogue, I love to make a bunch of triangles and see how I can put them together in a fun new way. Or piece together a 4-square and then slice it up, rotate some pieces, and sew it back together. Or do strips with more interesting pieces sewn in to disrupt the flow and make it more visually appealing.


Fat Quarters - 9 Pc Lot - Mixed Purple Floral Cotton Fabric Set

Fabric by Quilter's Mart

The beauty of free-styling, to me, is that I can go wherever my creativity takes me, and there is an infinite number of possible outcomes! I often don’t know where the end will be until I get there. And that is a thrill!

The downside to making up my own pattern is that I end up having to do a lot of math. Adding all those seam allowances so the puzzle pieces end up fitting together can sometimes turn my brain into mush. But it is always worth the extra work, and I'm sure my high school geometry teacher would be proud.

Where do you land on the spectrum? Are you a devoted Pattern Follower? Or do you freestyle and call yourself a Pattern Creator?



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  • Carolyn Knees
Comments 16
  • Nancy McKeown
    Nancy McKeown

    Fabric hoarder, multi tasker and pattern follower.

  • kat

    min imalist, pattern follower

  • Susan Rattray
    Susan Rattray

    I am a fabric hoarder. Can never have enough.
    As for patterns I use them as guidelines and go off on my own. I have fun with it.


    I am a hoarder, multi tasker ( focusing on one project only becomes boring ) and mainly a pattern follower


    I am a hoarder, multi tasker ( focusing on one project only becomes boring ) and mainly a pattern follower

  • Deb Murphy
    Deb Murphy

    I am definitely a pattern follower. I sometimes make small chances, different boarders, etc, but I am comfortable with the patterns. I express myself through the fabric.

  • Juanita in OH
    Juanita in OH

    Oh, this is a good one…I can only say that I was NOT allowed to color outside of the lines, lol. I strictly follow the pattern even when sewing and knitting etc.

  • Anita Bradshaw
    Anita Bradshaw

    I am a pattern creator who actually started designing and selling my patterns in 2005. The upside is that I get to share my designs with lots and lots of people, and the downside is that I am so busy folding, stuffing, and mailing patterns, that my “play time” is very limited, now! It’s all good, however. (If allowed, my business name is Another By Anita! Check me out!)

  • Sonya

    I love these ‘classifications’!
    So far i am definitely a hoarder, ( a custom sewing room that would rival some shops), multi Tasker ( have at least 4-5 quilting projects on the go plus the same knitting projects), and i would consider myself a pattern creator ( I find it a challenge to make any pattern a ‘better way’ ie more efficient, more interesting and always different) …. after writing this i think i have a problem – not enough time!

  • Velda Roy
    Velda Roy

    Mostly I look at quilt blocks on line or in my magazine stash for inspiration…then head out on my own adventure. I feel your pain about math, so I use quilt block apps on line that do my math for me, or in a pinch, drawing block components out in aph paper is a great way to make sure things measure up.

  • Carol Nolan
    Carol Nolan

    I consider myself a pattern creator sometimes, but a pattern hack all of the time! Even when I’m sewing garments, I start with a commercial pattern and then the alterations begin!! Collars, sleeves, necklines are where I begin on garments, then the fun begins with making sleeves larger or smaller, hemlines and darts are the greatest fun!! I do the same thing with quilt patterns. And sometimes it’s just fun to look at the block patterns in books like Barbara Brackman’s “Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns”, Block Base or Jinny Beyer’s books. There’s so much to be inspired by!! The best label for me is a “hack”!

  • Bobbi

    I think I fall into a pattern type of girl, becoming a hoarder! But I love the idea of art quilts

  • Sheryl Kaplan
    Sheryl Kaplan

    I am definitely a pattern creator. I like to personalize nearly every pattern I use. I generally use the pattern as a starting point for measurements and block designs. I usually change up most things to being scrappy in looks if not actually using scraps. I also tend to change techniques in an attempt to make things go more quickly. Where there is a plain block between pieced blocks I like to add applique to those [plain] blocks. I have bought patterns and fabric to match the designer’s actual look, however I have yet to make any of them. Maybe someday…

  • Trish Parker
    Trish Parker

    i am also a fabric hoarder, multi tasker and a pattern creator, love your blogs keep up the good work.

  • Sheryl Hunt
    Sheryl Hunt

    I am a fabric horder, multi-tasker, and pattern follower. What I do look for are uncommon patterns.

  • Debra Brown
    Debra Brown

    So far I am a fabric hoarder, a multi tasker & a pattern follower. I’m anxious to see where I fall on the Quilters Mart Personality Test.

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