Quilts: Editing Guide

(added March 2015)

In addition to routine editing tasks, such as watching for spelling and grammar errors, editing quilt projects requires careful attention to many other details. Most of the following suggestions can be simplified by keeping two rules in mind:
1. Never assume numbers are correct: Be skeptical of every measurement, quantity, and step number.
2. Never assume terms or names are correct: Be consistent with words used for fabrics, blocks, units, etc.

Start with an overall spot check
• Spelling and style of project title, subheads, and sidebar title(s).
If possible, compare project title to what’s listed in Table of Contents and in the pattern packet.
• Subhead consistency (i.e. Assemble the Blocks and Finish Quilt use “the” inconsistently; the style varies with magazine).
• Folios: Check each page for month/season/website and page number order, if possible. Every spread needs at least one folio.
• Bullets/symbols and indents where needed in Materials, Cut Fabrics, etc. (style varies with magazine)
• Step numbers
Consecutive order (watch for repeated or skipped numbers)
Type style consistency (i.e. if step number is bold, the period or parentheses after it should be bold, too; style varies with magazine)
Spaces and/or tabs after numbers should be consistent
• Orientation of styled photo: Make sure the Quilt Assembly Diagram and flat photo are oriented in the same way. This requires careful color/fabric comparisons in scrappy or complex quilts.
• Check for designer credit (verify website, if provided).
• Check for photographer credit.
• Check for machine-quilter credit (not always included).

Materials list
• Verify order of fabrics: They should be listed in the order used (keep track as you read assembly steps).
• Check fabric uses, making sure each use is correctly named and watching for omissions.
If Materials says 2 yards blue print (blocks, setting triangles), possible errors are:
Incorrect usage name: If blue print is actually used to make setting units, then setting triangles is not accurate.
Omission: If blue print is also used for binding, that use needs to be added to the parentheses: (blocks, setting units, binding).
• Verify sizes of backing yardage, batting (round up quilt size to whole numbers, then add 8” to width and length), quilt size (including seam allowances on binding edges), and block size (without seam allowances). Remember that a square quilt or block has one dimension, 10” square (not 10×10” square).
• Make sure these items are included:
Finished quilt size
Finished block size, if applicable
Sentence on yardage
Sentences on measurements
Sentences on pressing seams, if applicable

Cut fabrics
• Fabrics should be listed in the same order as they are listed in Materials.
• Fabric names should match Materials: If it is blue floral in Materials it should not be blue print in Cut Fabrics.
• Number of pieces cut should equal the number of pieces used: Keep track as you read assembly steps.
• Size progression: Pieces cut from each fabric should be listed from largest to smallest (i.e. 2×10” rectangles are cut before 6” squares).

Diagrams (or how-to photos)
• Check diagram number order, watching for repeated or skipped numbers.
• Make sure every diagram has at least one text reference. Add a directional to a text reference only if the diagram is not on the same spread.
• Check notes and measurements within each diagram. Verify measurements as you read assembly steps.
• Check for arrows indicating pressing directions, if specified in Materials.

Assembly steps
• Make sure every fabric is named exactly as it is in Materials and Cut Fabrics. A blue print in Materials and Cut Fabrics should be called blue print throughout, never blue floral, blue dot, blue stripe, etc.
• Check measurements of all fabric pieces mentioned to make sure they match Cut Fabrics.
• Check the math for blocks, units, quilt center, borders, etc. For example, if nine 31/2”- square units are joined in three rows to make a block, the block should be 10” square (including seam allowances).
• Tally the pieces used. When a project is complete, the number of pieces used should equal the number of pieces cut. If they don’t match and you can see where the mistake was made, correct it, highlighting the change for the editor. If they don’t match and you aren’t sure where the mistake was made, query the editor.
• When units, strip sets, segments, etc., are constructed within a set of steps, make sure all are used in later steps.
• Verify references to previous steps. Make sure they give the information required. Pay careful attention if steps have been renumbered.
• Watch for the word “repeat.”
If a step ends with Repeat to make five blocks total, make sure only that step needs to be repeated. If more than one step must be repeated, begin a new step to explain.
If two steps are repeated, use “and”: Repeat steps 1 and 2 to make …
If three or more steps are repeated, use an en dash to connect the numbers: Repeat steps 1–3 to make …

• Verify subhead accuracy: Assemble Bag Front is incorrect if the entire bag body is constructed before the next subhead appears. Check the last step or two to see what is accomplished under a subhead.

Make note of
• Patterns, embroidery diagrams, or coloring diagrams that will be included in pattern packet.
• Techniques (i.e. Set In Seams, Miter Borders, Cut Bias Strips, etc.) that reference Back to Basics or, for Quilts and More, Learn More pages.
• When you edit the pattern packet, Back to Basics, or Learn More pages, cross-check your lists to make sure all noted patterns, techniques, etc., are included.

See also Quilts: Editing Checklist.



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