Thursday, 5 May 2016

May is for Makers! - Support Designers and Artisans

Well I am sure most of you have read by now all about the thoughtful initiative 'May is for Makers', which aims at giving something back and supporting independent talent. 

May Is For Makers |
Lindsey Rhodes over at 'lrstitched' opened up the question of how much longer our community of independent designer’s can sustain a thought culture of makers that have come to expect a lot of support, patterns and resources for free and whose perception of what is worth purchaising might have become somewhat warped.

Food for thought indeed. I believe some people might be in danger of loosing perspective but on the whole, there are also many truly supportive people out there that do in fact acknowledge the worth of the work of designers and artisans. On my part, I am not of the opinion that everything should be provided for free. I am indeed very aware of the substantial amount of work that goes into creating patterns and other resources. Cheryl at 'Meadow Mist Designs' recently hosted a blog series on pattern writing that is an interesting read and illustrates nicely how much effort it takes to create a pattern. 

I have on occasion bought patterns from indie and other designers when I wanted or needed them for a project. On the other hand, I too rely heavily on free online resources for support, how-to-advice and inspiration. I can honestly say that I mostly use free resources and why not, as they are specifically designed to be used by interested parties.
Diane Bohn @ 'From Blank Pages'

Even so, it is good to remember that those free online resources very often are being provided by very active independant indie designers, who, whilst sharing my passion for sewing, also need to make a living and require support to grow. 

I applaud Lindsey for her resolution to support a different pattern maker each week throughout the month of May by purchasing their patterns in order to tell those designers that she is grateful for the time, effort and passion they put into their brand.
Jen Sorenson @ 'A Quilting Jewel'

The initiative is currently being taken up all over the net and the talented Lorna at 'Sew fresh Quilts' nicely put it as 'This campaign is heating up over on Instagram and spreading like wildfire! Do a search on #mayisformakers'

Of course there are other ways of supporting design talent. I also commend Lisa over at 'Sunlight in Winter Quilts' for having taken on patronage of a young designer. Incidentally, Lisa explained just earlier this week why she considers it important to support young designers.
Terri @ 'Arizona Quilt Co.'

I think there are quite a few things we already do and can do more of to show appreciation and support to those who put so much effort in designing things and organising events that the wider community then benefits from.

So again a novel length blog post to merely let you know that I am hopping on the 'May is for Makers' bandwagon. I have purchased the above patterns to support their designers.

Oh boy, more things on the to-do list!


  1. These are beautiful patterns Katrin, I've been trying to decide what patterns to buy and these three are wonderful.

    1. Hi Lisa, I think like to think so. I had a hard time choosing too but my criterion was that I wanted to purchase patterns of designs that I really would NEED a pattern for in order to make the project. Ususally, I am pretty good at figuring out how blocks are composed and in such cases it feels redundant to me to buy the pattern in addition. With the above purchases I am pretty sure that I would not have figured them out on my own =) I have secretly harboured the wish to make a lone star quilt for a while now, so I will consider having purchased the pattern a first step in that direction.

  2. I use both free and purchased patterns as well as adapting my own. This year I have purchased patterns from Lorna (Sew Fresh Quilts), Yvonne (Quilting Jetgirl) and the new book from Lara, (BuzzinBumble) Crafted Appliqué. I think the secret is striking a balance. On the other hand I only buy if it's a pattern I like. Even if I want to support designers, which I think we all should, you don't buy a pattern if you don't like it just for the sake of it.

  3. I, like Kate, use free patterns, purchased patterns, and sometimes create my own. I typically purchase 1-3 patterns per month whether it is for quilts or various types of bags. I think May is for Makers is a GREAT idea and i totally agree that some people have a warped since of a patterns 'worth'.

    Just a thought - i think Pinterest helps this line of thinking. Its a one top shop for tons of free DIY tutorials and we've now been taught to think it "should" be free if were looking to make it. (i hope that makes sense lol).

    Great post!

  4. I like supporting indies, but will also use freebies. It seems that I purchase most of the patterns through Craftsy.

  5. Truthfully, I have seen the May is for Makers hashtag but haven't had the time to explore what it actually was. Thanks for giving me a heads up. Before May is over, I'll definitely do some looking at indie pattern designers to support. Lately, though, I've been drafting my own patterns for quilts and enjoying the creative process, so I haven't purchased any patterns recently.


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