Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Review: The Quilt Pattern Shoppe

Recently, I've had several suggestions to blog about some of my favorite products/stores quilting related since all of my quilting stuff is packed up for our move. (We closed on our new house on Monday... YAY!!!) Shortly after, I received a request from The Quilt Pattern Shoppe to do a review of their store on my blog. In full disclosure, I have been asked to write this, but the opinions are mine, and only mine. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this store as well.

The concept for The Quilt Pattern Shoppe is the immediate availability of quilting patterns via download instead of waiting for your pattern to ship and arrive at your door like when you typically order a pattern online. You also don't need to go to the store. I guess you could call this a "green pattern" since the only traveling this pattern does is through the busy cyber-highway.

With over 200 patterns, I was quite interested in seeing all of the patterns available. When I was searching through the website, I was interested to see what kind of patterns were available. I have been into exploring a lot of the pre-cut packages out there lately, so I searched for those first. I could search by charm pack, jelly roll, etc. which they classify under "technique." I wouldn't have thought to classify them that way, but that's where they were. I was a little disappointed in the lack of variety of quilts for pre-cuts.

One of the things that I liked was that for SOME of the patterns, it listed the required materials so that I could see if I had all of the necessary materials to make the quilt. I disliked that not all of the patterns had this. I imagine that I would use this type of service when I'm looking for a new project, at home, using the fabric from my stash. If they could add the fabric requirements to all of the patterns so that they're viewable prior to purchasing, I think many of the patterns would me much more useful and marketable. When purchasing a pattern in a store, I always have the ability to know the fabric requirements before I purchase the pattern.

Some of the things I liked about The Quilt Pattern Shoppe:
  • download for immediate use
  • "green" because no travel is required by you or a shipping company. You could even keep it on your computer and reference it from there (unless you need an applique template I guess) if you really wanted to be "green."
  • See the amount of fabric required for some patterns.
  • Several free patterns - who doesn't love a free pattern?
  • Over 200+ patterns, which is more variety than a lot of small quilt stores.
  • They have a blog. I actually really enjoy reading blogs from a store/manufacturer of quilting merchandise to get a different view than from a quilter's point-of-view (although they almost always are quilters anyway)
  • They have promotions occasionally. Who doesn't love a sale?
  • They easily tell pattern producers how to submit their patterns for sale at the store. As someone who has contemplated making their own patterns, I found this very interesting and helpful.

Some of the things that could be improved upon:

  • Not all patterns list the required materials like I mentioned before.
  • Their classification and search could use some improvement.
  • There seems to be a lot of applique and BOM patterns and not as many pieced patterns. I would have liked to have seen more pieced patterns, as I'm not big into applique and I'm already doing several BOMs right now.
  • You have to log-in to see reviews of the patterns. Every time I'd log in to read a review, I'd try and read it and it would tell me to log in. I work for a technology company and I'm very tech savvy, and I couldn't figure out how to stay logged in to read the reviews.
  • The website seems very basic, and could use some "modernizing" to feel less 1995 and more 2009.

All in all, The Quilt Pattern Shoppe offers a unique service of instantly downloadable quilt patterns. If you're bored one night and are looking for a new project, check The Quilt Pattern Shoppe out for an instantly downloadable quilt pattern that you can begin right then and there.

We're in the process of moving from our apartment to our house, and wont' have Internet hooked up until the 21st at the earliest, so I'm probably only going to be able to blog during my breaks at work. Happy Quilting.

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