PDF Winner and Our New Bed

The randomly selected winner of the PDF patterns from the last post is:

Koye Hendrix.  Please email me at hmulder@wecnet.com to receive your patterns!

It was interesting to read all of the comments from the last post.  Though I didn’t count, PDF patterns clearly win!  Many of you mentioned that you loved the fact that there were no shipping costs and you could get the pattern instantly.

Several of you mentioned a couple negatives of PDFs – like having the cost of printing the PDF pattern yourself or paying the same price for a PDF as a paper pattern.  This was one things I wanted to talk about briefly.  A while back I was reading a Facebook post on PDF patterns that got me a little upset.  Some of these comments were nasty – like calling the pattern designers “greedy” for charging the same price as paper patterns.  Their reasoning was that the main cost of the pattern is in the printing, so they should be cheaper.  I realized that there are a lot of misconceptions about PDF patterns and the business in general, so I thought I would share a couple of thoughts on that today . . . . .

In reality, printing is a very small part of the cost that goes into the pattern.  The other costs include fabric, machine quilting, writing the pattern, drawing all of the diagrams, proofing the pattern, marketing (blogging about the pattern, making and paying for brochures, sending out email newsletters, promotional info that goes out to the distributors, etc), the time involved in designing and sewing the quilt (in my case, there are usually several size options that are made for the cover), and the cost of having the pattern tested.  These costs far outweigh the cost of the printing.  The time involved to do all of these things is huge.  In addition, the service that sends out the PDF also charges fees that you don’t have with paper patterns.

But, despite all of that, one of the other main reasons that PDF patterns are the same price as paper patterns is that our distributors dictate that the price is the same.  It has to do with the more boring business side of things, but it is an important factor.  Our distributors and the shops that carry our patterns invest lots of money in buying and storing inventory  (the paper versions of these same patterns and books).  In fact, about 95 percent of our business comes from these distributors and shops.  If we undercut them in price, we are not being very supportive of the people who support us and keep us in business!  In fact, our distributors dictate that if we sell our PDF patterns for a cheaper price, they will no longer carry our patterns.  As a business owner, I would quickly go out of business without the support of these distributors.  Without me being in business, there would be no PDF patterns to buy in the first place.  As you can see, that type of scenario doesn’t work!  We aren’t trying to be greedy – just stay in business 🙂

I will get off my soap box for today.  I just wanted people to know the other side of the story . . .

Now onto something more fun – Do you remember when I said my husband was going for the Husband of The Year award?  We are redoing our room and after looking at lots of beds, he decided to build us one.

We were inspired by a couple of storage beds at Pottery Barn.

My issue with these beds was that the drawers were only around 15″ deep.  We needed way more storage than that.  Plus the cost of $2000 for the bed and $700 for shipping, it just didn’t seem worth it.  For that price, I would like to design it myself.  Joel offered to make my thoughts a reality!!!   (Really – I didn’t ask him to do it!)

First he made the units that would hold the drawers.  That part looks like a bookcase laying on its side.


Next, he made the headboard and footboard.


After the parts and pieces were assembled, and after many, many hours of sanding, we had them painted.  We hired somebody to spray them and it was money well spent.  The finish is beautiful.  There is something about that sprayed finish that can never be achieved with a brush or a roller.


Here are a few shots of the bed in the room.  (Sorry about the quality of the photo – they are just iphone photos.  I will get better photos after the room is totally finished. )


The drawers are a whopping 30″ deep.  Perfect for someone who has lots of hand-knit sweaters!


We already had the night stands and I have repainted the room.  The bed is in place and I am working on the pillows. (in that I have the fabric, but haven’t started sewing)


The large floral you see in this photo is my inspiration for the colors in the room.


We are both pretty excited about the bed.  It turned out really nice and makes our room seem so much bigger.  I am anxious to make the a quilt made for the end of the bed and add the other finished touches.  Below is a shot of how our room looked before.  Click here to see the blog post about it and the “befores” before this one.


Joel requested something a little more “manly” this time around.  No more hot pink and yellow!


I just want to say a BIG thanks to my BH for making this for us!  It is one of my favorite pieces in the house and that much more special because he made it.  He spent at least three full Saturdays making it, plus several nights, so he put a lot of time into this.  His furniture building skills are probably what led to us dating in the first place – which is another story for another post.  Napoleon Dynamite wished for nunchuking skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills… “You know, Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills”.   I happen to think furniture building skills works too!

About Heather Peterson

Quilt pattern designer
This entry was posted in Decorating, Family, Quilting. Bookmark the permalink.

48 Responses to PDF Winner and Our New Bed

  1. Paula W. says:

    What a beautiful bed and a talented husband! Well done! And thanks for explaining your business. People tend to forget that this is your business and that you have to work with others like your distributors. You have a great talent and while it might seem like fun to us, I am sure it takes hard work to design such beautiful patterns and fabrics. Thank you.

  2. SuzK says:

    I totally understand about the pdf patterns. My feeling about pdfs is that you save money in shipping and you can store them on your computer until you want them, thus saving space.

    Your husband’s work is wonderful – do you rent him out? Beautiful “after” room.

  3. DianeY says:

    Love the bed!
    But really wanted to thank you for the explanation on pricing for printed vs. PDF patterns. Now it makes sense!

  4. Joan says:

    I have bought PDF patterns and love them. I usually wait till someone has a sale
    and buy them then. The only problem with PDF is when there is a template. I bought
    a pattern and it had a template, when I printed it out it did not come out the correct size.
    I tried printing again and it did not work. I even emailed the pattern designer and asked
    what to do. She did not know how to fix it. So I try not to buy PDF patterns with templates.
    Just wish I would know which ones have templates. I will continue buying PDF patterns.

  5. cac19az says:

    Your new bed is beautiful. I hope you have many good nights of sleep. I also liked that you pointed out that there are more elements to designing a pattern than printing it. I just completed a digital design program and all of the work involved with pattern, be it printed or PDF is the same, and should be considered in the cost. I also like that you pointed out market pricing. I personally don’t feel that a pattern should be cheaper because it is a PDF. Paper tears, gets lost, etc. If you back up your PDF document, it lasts a long time. And you don’t necessarily need to print everything on a pattern.

  6. Vickie E says:

    Great points about the pattern business and pdf’s! Thank you so much for writing this. I think I am going to share it on twitter and facebook…and my blog…um IF I get around to blogging.

  7. Great bed – and I consider myself lucky that my husband is pretty handy that way too and his father and my father are both wood workers too. It’s almost a lost art.

    And I totally agree with you on the pdf pattern pricing. Don’t listen to the naysayers. 🙂

  8. Candie says:

    Joel is an awesome talent of a furniture builder! and you the awesome talent of a quilter & knitter = a perfect union 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  9. Julie Holahan says:

    Hi Heather, I just spent the last 2 hours reading your blog posts! I am in love with your cute little guy….Carter….besides all those gorgeous, colorful quilts. You’re a wonderful photographer by the way and I love that you aren’t chinzy on the phots for your blog. Keep taking those great pics!

    I’m definitely looking to buy your new book and ruler because I’ve been looking for quilt patterns that don’t have ‘the same old quilt look’. After a while, they all start looking alike. I know that sounds crazy, but until I found your patterns that what I was thinking.

    Also, I would love the challenge of learning how to work with angles. I’ve got some fabric that I’m holding on to until I find just the right pattern and I’m pretty darn sure one of your patterns is going to work perfectly. It’s called Galleria.

    I’m in Georgia and wondering who in the Atlanta area sells your books and rulers? Thanks, Julie


  10. Tammy says:

    What a gorgeous bed. He did magnificent work on it…It looks store bought.

  11. Jean says:

    Another beautiful addition to your home. I look forward to the picture when the quilt is finished.

  12. Karen Brettschneider says:

    Wow! Great job. My husband made a daybed for me with drawers as well (also inspired by a Pottery Barn day bed) I loved the deep drawers. I kept cross stitch patterns and fabric in the drawers. It cost less than half the original catalog model. Looking forward to seeing the finished room.

  13. I thought there would be some catch for distributors to sell paper patterns/pdf pattern prices, but didn’t really understand what it was~ thanks for taking the time to explain! 🙂 And WOW! Your DH is definitely a keeper! Love the new bed frame.

  14. Karen says:

    Bed is beautiful!! personally I don’t think it is that hard to print out a pattern from a pdf file or all that costly — and never even really think about it. I print stuff out all the time. patterns are not always free – fact of life.

  15. Maria says:

    That is fabulous!!! And the walls are neutral enough for photo shoots of lots of different quilts!!! Good job, Joeoeoeoe!

  16. Koye Hendrix says:

    I am so excited to be the winner of Gypsy Girl and Little Charmer 7 patterns. I just love your fabrics and your patterns and am such a fan of yours. I love the bed. Your husband is very talented as well. Thank you so much. I have several of your books and am wanting to start the Here Fishy quilt as soon as I get some of that fabric. Koye Hendrix

  17. Marilyn says:

    What a beautiful bed!!! You better keep your hubby:):) And about the pdf patterns..thanks for giving us the other side of the story..honestly, I would rather buy the pdf even if they would be more expensive..I have a terrible habit of losing my paper patterns:):) Keep up the good work!!!!

  18. Mary-Kay says:

    Wow! What an awesome bed! You have one talented husband! One time, while admiring my neighbour’s furniture building handiwork, I asked my husband if he wished he had such skills. His answer was “no”. Instead I got one super computer geek. Lucky you!

  19. Cindy says:

    Your new bed is gorgeous! I’ve been looking at beds and they are so crazy expensive like you said. Sure wish I could borrow your carpenter for a while!

  20. Patty F says:

    Your bed is stunning and Joel did an outstanding job!! His bed easily rivals the Pottery Barn model. Love the colors also!!

  21. Sue Benson says:

    OMG!!! Joel you did a fantastic job. The bed is absolutely beautiful. I’m so jealous. You lucky girl Heather. You’ve done a fantastic job of decorating too. As always. You’re both so talented. Wow.

  22. Sandy D says:

    I appreciate being able to get patterns just by making a few clicks. I have the pattern right away instead of having to wait a couple of weeks We live in Canada) I save money on postage which is great. Thanks for making them available.
    What a great bed your Hubby did a great job.

  23. Sandra Davidson says:

    What a gorgeous bed he did a wonderful job and your room looks beautiful. I agree with you on the PDF patterns nobody thinks about all the work that goes into them before there ever printed, some people just don’t think do they?

  24. Monika says:

    Your bed is beautiful! And the whole room is really nice, too! Love it! I’m glad you pointed out many of the reasons PDF patterns are the same price as printed. The price has never bothered me, but I do like to know what goes into making a pattern.

  25. Joan says:

    Your bed is gorgeous and the storage is great. I am so happy to receive the PDF’s right away since I live in Canada. Thanks for sharing!

  26. Ann says:

    Thanks for the information about the PDF patterns. Interesting about the distributors… and understanable.

    Joel did a wonderful job on your bed! He is a keeper! It is gorgeous!!! What kind of mattress is on the bed?

  27. Kate says:

    Beautiful! I just got a new bed too but it’s no where near as spectacular as yours (mine has no storage).

  28. Pam Peterson says:

    Having written but one pattern (for our local quilt shop) I have a great admiration for all of you quilt designers – especially ones like you, Heather, who have your patterns ‘tested’ and read by others so they are clear and easily understandable with great graphics. Thank YOU! Pattern prices are pretty reasonable to support creative individuals such as yourself.
    Love the bed! Does Joel do custom work for hire ? Up North? 🙂

  29. Donna P says:

    What a beautiful bed and bedroom. It looks so warm and inviting. Your walls are also beautiful.
    What a talented husband you have; what a talented team.Did you ever stop to figure the difference between your bed and one you could have purchased in cost? I bet there was a big savings.Love seeing makeovers.

  30. Becky says:

    Thanks for helping me understand all that goes into the making/marketing of patterns. I had erroneously thought that a major portion of the expense was in printing, not thinking about all the other expenses you incur developing & marketing it.. I love your patterns & appreciate all you do for the quilting world. I’ll continue to buy your patterns in either format!

  31. Gale says:

    I’ve already shown my dh your awesome bed. Maybe I will get one for my Christmas gift. A girl can always dream. Thanks for sharing the pdf information. Need to see some new photos of baby Carter Please.

  32. Beautiful bed! And I know the majority of the cost of the pattern is in the designing. There is no greed involved in pattern writers charging what they do for their patterns. 🙂

  33. Chris says:

    Hi Heather, Your new bed is beautiful!! What a blessing for your husband to be able to make it! I love your new color scheme as well. I noticed that the walls are stenciled the same pattern as one of your fabrics in the header of your blog. NICE!! I have orderd the paper pattern, Little Charmers 7, from my LQS after I saw your newest color version, on your blog. I fell in love with it. 🙂 I actually pulled up your blog at the quitl shop and several of the ladies there “OOhhed” and “ahhed.” 🙂 They may have ordered seveal! 🙂

  34. Paule-Marie says:

    What an awesome bed. Wouldn’t mind one like that, except with a 30 inch base, I would need a step ladder! As far as patterns – PDF or paper – I figure that if I want it, I will buy it. I took a class a few years ago on pattern alteration for shirts, the teacher told us how much it took to get clothing patterns to market. If I remember correctly, it was something like 50 or 70 thousand dollars. Sure makes 12 or 13 dollars for a pattern sound really reasonable

  35. Anna says:

    Heather, I love it. I am so into lighting things up right now. Love the white. So very special that he made it for you. What a guy. Also love the pictures of your little one. He is so cute. My sister and I talk about how cute he is. Love your blog and so enjoy checking it to see what you are up to. Keep up the great work.

  36. Marsha Nelson says:

    Joel is really talented in woodworking. Great job! Your new bedroom is beautiful and restful. Enjoy. As far as cost for patterns, if I really like it, I buy it. Thanks

  37. Linda P says:

    Oh my, Heather, I was just looking at that bed, and drooling all over the catalog!! Woot for Joel to come thru – it looks super!! How sweet of him and to make extra deep drawers.
    I didn’t get in the discussion the PDFs but I’ve always prefered to have the pattern in hand – I’m usually out of ink or color doesnt show, and then I some times like to make my own notes, so can’t do that unless it’s printed out. I’ve got a fortune in books, that one day, my grands may enjoy and always thought who would think to look on my computer for quilt patterns – I understand the pricing, but if I can’t find it at a local shop, I wouldn’t mind the shipping.
    Soooo now my big question – how did you paint those walls???

  38. charlotte says:

    Awesome job on the bed, Joel. I have one of the PB beds and I do love the storage. I love the new peaceful colors of your bedroom. I do love yellow, but a bedroom needs to be more peaceful, I think. Thanks for the explanation of the PDF pricing. I don’t think most of us know that stuff. It helps to know.

  39. Debbie B says:

    First off the bed is fantastic. Everyone needs more storage.(Could be a new place to store fabric as well) Don’t worry about the pdf complaints, there will always be complainers. If you gave away the patterns, there would still be a complainer or two. To me, the pdf patterns are awesome because I can get the pattern I want in my hot little hands as soon as possible.

  40. janita says:

    You are a lucky girl! I need to find a way to make a handy husband out of a not so handy husband 🙂 What is the best way to do that ????! Thanks for sharing. janita

  41. Julie Delaney says:

    Wow he is good! You should rent him out😂room looks wonderful, love the colors.

  42. Shelly Gruber says:

    Great explanation on PDF patterns Heather! Appreciate and understand it better now that you gave same background. Thanks!

  43. Cathy Fugitt says:

    Hi! I discovered your blog while searching for sewing room inspirations. Shame on me for not finding you before now! I’ve seen your patterns and fabrics in my favorite sewing shop in Lexington, KY and have used them to make gifts – wonderful projects. Thank you for sharing your special talents.

    Littlestitches / Cathy

  44. Pingback: Refresh | Trends and Traditions

  45. brendaryder@hotmail.com says:

    I have been searching everywhere for the perfect bed for my handy hubby to make for us, and I just found it! Is it possible for you to tell me the dimensions such as height of headboard, footboard, width of drawers, and what type of wood he used? I am in love with it!
    Thanks so much!

  46. Nicole says:

    Beautiful! It’s nearly exactly what I’ve been looking for in a pattern to make for our bedroom. Is there a PDF pattern that can be purchased from somewhere with instructions, materials list, cut list, etc? I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks!

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