Fat Quarter Patterns

Paper versus PDF

Hi friends!

Today I would love to ask you a question- which do you prefer: paper patterns or PDF patterns?

Paper is nice because maybe you can see it in your local shop and because you don’t have to print it yourself. It comes all set and ready to go!

PDF is nice because, if you are buying online, you can get it right away!

I like to support local quilt shops so I always offer my patterns initially as just paper. But after a time, I have some offered as PDFs. I just don’t seem to get a lot of PDF orders so I was wondering what you all thought about PDFs.  Yea or Nay?? Tell me in the comments!

And while I am asking questions, I just picked up these totally adorable fat quarters the other day.


I had no need of them, but I just couldn’t resist.


I mean really-  aren’t those cats adorable?

So what should I make? They would make a great Kozy Q Scarf


or I could make a table runner using Row House.


So what do think? A scarf or a runner?

Please let me know your thoughts in the comments.  I really want to know!

happy quilting,


10 thoughts on “Paper versus PDF”

  1. My local shops are few and far between so I buy online often and love pdf patterns. No waiting to get them and no added cost for shipping. Also, I’ve been chatting online about patterns with a quilter in Canada, and for her the shipping costs are often more than the cost of the pattern. So the availability of a pdf might be the difference between buying a pattern and not buying it.

    1. Lisa Marie,
      Thanks for the information. Good points!
      I have had a few customers request PDFs on patterns I don’t have in PDF format yet so I am debating adding more.
      Thank you for the input.

    2. Seconded on the Canada aspect of things. I can buy patterns from designers all over the world if it’s PDF. There was one pattern I really wanted to make, but it was a few years old and I couldn’t find it anywhere. Finally found it in Texas and had to pay shipping and had to wait 2 weeks. Plus we’re still dealing with the aftermath of a postal strike, so no telling when a paper pattern will get to me. But PDFs, on the other hand, are friction-less. I can buy it on my phone while at a shop and read it immediately. I can use Paypal and other easy methods. But I do understand that they can be stolen significantly more easily than paper patterns, so I understand why designers don’t offer them. I probably won’t buy another paper pattern though unless it’s in front of me in a shop, or I’m buying fabric online anyways and expect to have to wait for it.

      1. Stephanie,
        Thanks for commenting. I hear you about shipping- especially to Canada. And the postal service can be unreliable, even on a good day. I have had patterns take 12 days to ship across 6 states! And yes, pattern theft is a huge issue for designers but it happens with paper patterns as well.
        Thank for your input!

  2. I also like PDFs for patterns, but I rarely print them out. I do have a back-up of my computer in the cloud so when my computer crashes I don’t lose everything on it. I tend to lose paper patterns because I put them somewhere safe and forget about them, but having a PDF on my computer in my patterns file makes it easy for me to keep track of them. I do understand that many people with share patterns with others and that is more easily done with a PDF, so I understand why designers don’t like to offer them. But when I pay $4 for a pattern, I really don’t like to pay $5 for shipping, so I frequently just don’t buy the pattern because of the shipping costs.

    1. Susan,
      I have a huge bin of paper patterns that I have bought over the years and truly, I have no idea of what I have and what I don’t have! So I can see how having them in the cloud where you can access and check on what you have is a great way to stay on top of it!
      Thanks for commenting; I appreciate hearing from you!

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