To say I won the lottery is an understatement. The testers for this pattern were extraordinary. I won't go on and on, I'm going to let them talk about their own experience but I will say this: My approach to working with testers has grown so much in the past year.
You may be familiar with the Instagram-based quilt testing experience. In recent years it's become very popular for designers, especially small indie designers, to put out a tester call via social media. They then chose a handful of talented makers to be their testers. I've done this numerous times in the past... and there's some pros and cons.
Pros: You are able to showcase another maker's talents, giving them exposure. You are able to easily find a good sample of testers from around the world, with different skill levels and design preferences. The fact that the testing experience is usually broadcast pretty well online with pictures, posts, stories, and reels being posted all in the name of your design is pretty sweet. That's really good free advertising.
Cons: Notice how I said "free" advertising? The culture of testing has developed into one of free labor in recent years. Often times testers sign up to test in full knowledge that they will not be paid for their hours of time or for the materials they use. Sure, the designer may give them some store credit or a small gift card as a way to say thank you, but this is in no way real compensation for the work a tester does for a designer.
Hours are not logged, materials are not tracked and contracts are not signed. I personally believe that the ultimate goal should be a fair hourly wage. And so... that's what I'm working towards. I'll write more about this in later posts, but for know I'm happy to be making this transition and also see some other designers follow suit. Check out the #compensatequilttesters hashtag on Instagram for some more info!
Without further adieu, I want to show off my amazing testers I had for Chroma. These are not all, just the ones who wanted to participate in this blog post. In no particular order and in their own words - Meet the Team!
"I have loved sewing as long as I can remember! I began quilting as my main sewing hobby just a few years ago. When I joined the awesome Instagram community of sewists and discovered pattern testing I was hooked! I love being part of a designer’s creative team. It is fun, dynamic, and mentally stimulating."
"I was literally mind blown when I saw this Chroma pattern. I could not even imagine how Tara conceptualized a pattern that yielded two totally different looks just with fabric placement! Crazy! I wanted to make a ranunculus just as soon as I saw the Bloom option. Tara helped me picked fabric colors and placement based on inspo photos and …wow!! Stunning results, if I do say so myself!"
Sarah Ruth Morris
"Started hand sewing when I was 8 with my grandma, hand stitched a quilt top then, but DNF 😂 made my first quilt when I was 18 and have been quilting ever since. I just started pattern testing this summer and I adore it! I feel like it is a good fit for me in the quiltiverse since I don’t desire to pattern write but love quilty math."
"My chroma was designed around the colors of an Appalachian Tennessee sunset (specifically Roan Mountain on TN/NC border on the AT) and I’m currently hand stitching it to keep myself mentally stable during the holidays 😂"
"I started quilting 8 years ago when I was pregnant with my son as a way to stay home and earn an income, and I've been hooked ever since! I always try to think outside the box when approaching a new quilt pattern, and when I saw Chroma I knew I wanted to try a color wheel quilt."
"I love Kona Solids and playing with colors, so this was such a great opportunity to let my creative side go wild. I had such a fun time testing Chroma, and Tara is an amazing and talented designer!"
"I had fabric bought for a quilt and wanted to start but was intimidated by free motion quilting which was the style that I wanted to learn. I received a Bronco quilt from a volunteer after the tragic accident and that was the push that I needed to learn. I took a free motion quilting class from my local quilt shop and the rest is history."
"When I had the opportunity to test Chroma, I had so many ideas of what fabric I could use from my stash. I chose Tula Pink fabric because the pattern is great to showcase large prints."
"I started quilting when I saw a fabric that I just had to do something with. It was terrible (holes, seams don’t match at all) but I learned from it so I could keep going. All self/internet/YouTube taught although I’ve started attending zoom workshops and really want to do some in person classes when it’s safe."
"For chroma, I knew I would use this quilt daily so I went into my stash and cut that super special fabric instead of treasuring it on the shelf. I splurged on thread for quilting so it would match each section and did ruler work warping into the center. I love love how this quilt comes together. I made a second and have fabric set aside for a third. It’s so beautiful and brilliant, one of my favorite makes of the year."
Tara here. What an amazing batch of quilts, right? I really loved working with this group of people. I hope you give Chroma a try, it really is such a great way to bring out the artist in us all.