What is a PDF pattern?

 There is a lot of words thrown around by quilt makers that might leave an outsider or new quilter scratching their head.  The What Is Series is where I tackle those topics.

View all articles in the series here.

If you have something that you wanted covered, please let me know by contacting me here.


Morning Sun Quilt Pattern


Sweet mornings to you or afternoon or evening, whenever you are reading this.  I haven’t posted in this series in a bit and thought it was high time to cover a topic that you probably already know, but there’s always someone out there new to the quilting world, or new to downloads and what have you, so today we are covering PDF patterns.


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What is a PDF pattern?

There’s nothing wrong with a good old fashioned quilt pattern.  You buy them at stores in plastic bags, use them, store them, and then if you can ever find it again, you might use it again and again.  That’s one way to buy a quilt pattern.

Another way is to purchase a PDF.  A.K.A. :  a downloadable pattern.

You don’t have to leave your house or go to a house.  PDF patterns can be purchased right at home from your computer, your phone, your Ipad, or whatever device you are using.  You can catch a big bug of inspiration and suddenly have a whole quilt pattern in a matter of seconds and begin it that very same moment that bug first bit you.  All so lightning fast, all so modern.

If you’ve ever been perusing Pinterest and seen a quilt that you needed to make then I know this has happened to you before.  It’s certainly happened to me dozens of time.


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Bad Girl Quilt Pattern 


What are the benefits of a PDF?

  1. Instant gratification – You can have the pattern in your hands within seconds.
  2. Be anywhere – It doesn’t matter where you are, sitting at tee-ball practice, cozied in bed, literally anywhere.  If you can connect to the internet, you can buy a PDF pattern.
  3. Clickable links – This is actually one of my favorite parts.  Have you ever been stumped by a quilt pattern and needed additional help, like a video tutorial or more detailed instructions?  Most PDF patterns include clickable links and once you click on them it gives you just that.  It’s like someone holding your hand or like extra help from the designer.
  4. Yours forever – Once you download a pattern to your computer or wherever you download it too, it’s yours forever.  You always have it!  You can’t misplace it or lose it or love it to pieces.  It’s always there, crisp and new.
  5. You got options – Many love having a pattern in their hands, where they can write notes to themselves (me!) or move freely about.  You can print out your PDF quilt pattern and do just that.  I like to keep mine in those little plastic sleeves and stored in a binder.  Others feel no need to print the pattern out at all.  You don’t need to waste the ink or the paper.  You can look at the pattern on your computer, and even move freely about your space with your phone or your ipad in hand and the pattern sitting lovingly right there on your device.


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How they work

After your purchase the quilt pattern that you want, you should either receive an email with your download link or a download link will be included with your receipt.  It’s different depending on who you are buying your quilt pattern from.

This link you are being given, with the exception of a few big platforms like Bluprint or Etsy, will not last forever.  Designers have caps on how long this link is good for.  This is to protect the designer.  Expirations on the link are different from designer to designer as well.  My download links are good for ten days, after that if you try to use it to open the pattern it will tell you that your link is expired.  This happens often.  If you contact me, I always resend (emailing me from your receipt makes this process much easier for me by the way).

Ideally, you are to use the link to open the pattern up and then download it to your PC, your Icloud file, or whatever device you are using.  Save your pattern in a file within your device.  I keep all mine in a file called ‘quilt patterns’.  This way it’s easy for me to find exactly what I need on my computer.  I have a HP computer, but save everything within their OneDrive files.  Then, I’ve downloaded the OneDrive app to my iphone and ipad.  This way I can open up everything that’s on my computer on my phone as well and tablet as well.



Good Girl Quilt Pattern


Other Thoughts

You might think that a PDF pattern should be cheaper than a printed pattern, but that’s usually not the case.  I can’t speak for any other pattern designer, but for me personally every time I add a few patterns to this site, I have to buy more space for my site.  The photos, the posts and the patterns use lots of space.  This isn’t a one time fee either, this is a monthly fee that I have to pay in order to keep this website going and all of the stuff on it from disappearing.



I’m very grateful to all of you who have purchased a quilt pattern from me or told your friends about it.  Truly, truly grateful to you!  I try to keep a decent ratio of paid quilt patterns and free content and patterns.  The majority of my quilt alongs are free.  You can find all my PDF patterns here available to purchase, and if you are in need of something free, you’ll find those here.  When I make scrappy quilts, I usually try to share the details about that, and you can find most of those here.


My Quilt Patterns


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