These days, even home printers are getting fancier and adding in more settings. Sometimes this makes it a bit of a pain when you’re printing off a pattern and trying to get it to size. So here are a few hints and tips for when you’re printing off one of my patterns.
The majority of my patterns have a 1″ square to use to check the scale. Measure it with your quilting ruler.
If it’s a fraction off, you can still go ahead and piece your pattern. It will end up a smidgen under the final size. But if you’re making a one-off block, it doesn’t matter. If you’re making it to fit with other blocks and need it to be exact, consider sewing the joining seams together with a scant quarter inch.
If it’s off by a lot, then there are a few settings you can check. I’m not an IT expert, and there are so many different printer types, I can’t offer individual advice. I suggest you check through your printer settings to see if you can find what it might be here. But here are some things to look for:
- Print to actual size, or with no scaling, or at 100%
- Check that the page hasn’t been automatically centred
- Check that there are no margins automatically added on the page
If there is a tiny bit of the seam allowance not printing on the page, you can still piece your block. Just use your ruler when you’re trimming the block to add that quarter inch all around the block.
If still no luck, change the paper source to A4 rather than Letter size. Like most of the world, we use A4 size paper in Australia so my patterns are set to A4 (as alllll of my computer settings are designed for A4 ). Letter size is the paper size used most commonly in North America. A4 and Letter are slightly different in size. However I work to have my patterns fit to print on either size of paper.
If there is a template that needs to print over two pages and be taped together before sewing it, then I frequently offer the pattern in the two paper sizes A4 and Letter. The patterns are identical other than formatting. Just print the one that suits your printer.
Resizing a pattern
If you want to size a pattern smaller, simply change the percentage size on the print screen (i.e. 50% if you want it half size). Just remember that you need to still have a quarter inch seam allowance. The printed seam allowance will obviously also be smaller, so you need to remind yourself to add the quarter inch allowance around all the sections – both when piecing and trimming.
If you want to enlarge a pattern that is bigger than what will fit for home printing, take it to your local copy shop and they can assist you with that. Again, remember that the seam allowance will also be expanded, but you still only need the quarter inch around all sides.
If required, permission is granted to have my patterns printed at a copy shop or library but for personal use only. Permission is not granted to print these on a large scale. Please do not print the templates to give to your friends. As an independent designer, the sale of these patterns is the income that supports my family. If your friend loves the pattern and would like a copy, please send them to my shop to purchase their own.