Funk & Weber Designs

Pattern Layouts

antarctic-night.jpgI have now completed three different layouts for the new puzzle pattern. The real choice is between #2 and #3, and I’m going with #2. I’m letting it “rest” today and will look it over one last time tonight then send it off to the printer along with Antarctic Night which needs to be reprinted.

I do not have a graphic design background. Nor do I have sophisticated software. I continually wonder if better software would make the job easier; I make a twazillion clicks to do my layouts, but putting a layout together is a puzzle, and you know how much I enjoy puzzles.

To the best of my current knowledge, I can’t just export my larger charts to the design program. I have to manually break them down into the different parts for different pages. I also have to manually separate and manipulate the highlighted overlaps. For layout #2, that was 15 different chart pieces that were isolated, manipulated, and pieced together in the layout.

Each of the 15 chart bits was highlighted, copied, pasted into a new chart page; each new chart page was resized, had center marks removed, changed to show symbols, sometimes created with a gray background, and then saved. Then the little charts were exported through a wizard that asked me 6 questions each time. I counted 31 “clicks” for one chart bit. That’s 465 clicks just to get the chart bits set up for use in the layout.

I insert into the design software all the chart bits on their appropriate pages in their appropriate signatures: pages 8 & 1 (back and front cover), pages 2 & 7, pages 6 & 3, pages 4 & 5. The pieces are re-sized individually. (There’s a puzzle!) You might think it’s easy to snap the different pieces together–and maybe it is and I just don’t know how!–but for me it’s tedious work of aligning and nudging elements. I’m a needleworker–I love tedious tasks.

Finally, I label the different overlaps, the pages and images, create new center marks, and attempt to distribute the objects so they are attractive and easy to read.

I did this three times for the new pattern, trying to cram a second variation of the design into the layout (as I did with Puzzle Pisces). It didn’t work. The new design is almost square, and we’re dealing with a rectangular layout. A second version of the pattern is by no means necessary, but it might have been nice. Unfortunately, cramming the second one in resulted in two inferior pattern presentations, so I’m going with one good presentation. More was not better in this case.

So the chart is in six pieces, rather than four. How do you treat multi-paged patterns? My inclination is to cut them out and tape them together into one over-sized pattern, but the truth is I rarely do that. I hope providing overlaps eases the pain of page-switching.

Laying out our Stitchling patterns is a piece of cake compared to these big ones.

And now I’m fretting. Is the pattern accurate? Did I mess something up in all my copying and pasting? Is this the best possible layout? Does it make sense? Will stitchers be able to follow it? Did I use the right file (I have about eight)? Are there any mistakes? Is the company info correct? Is anything inverted? Have I forgotten to include any info? Are the colors and symbols listed correctly?

There’s no end to the questions. As some point, I just have to hold my breath and click “send” to the printer.


Categories: Funk & Weber Designs

2 replies »

  1. I just got two more of your patterns yesterday (my Needlework Show order came) I actually think you are very good at layouts, with lots of info, visually clear and appealing. So there.

  2. Wow. Thanks, Becca. The current hurdle is recommending how much floss to purchase. Stitching with the “blob” method means mileage may vary more than usual. Add that to individual stitcher usage and it’s a bit like pulling numbers out of the air.