Many's the time when I spotted a pattern that I particularly liked, and then saw that someone had made a pattern and was trying to get people to pay for it. Which, I have no objection to. When effort has gone into the design, then, sure, monetary recompense should be a given.
What I'm thinking of, though, is that often I have sufficient quilting and design skills to work out how to do something without actually requiring a pattern for it. Like, if a quilt design is basically full of HSTs, then I can easily put together a bunch of them in the correct colour groupings, work out the layout, and sew it together. I don't need the pattern for that level.
Some people do, and I'm not saying that's bad. I'm saying that I have the mental energy to try to work out how to do something that I perceive as pretty simple, and if I think it's that simple then I'm not willing to pay money for it.
And then, on the other end of the spectrum is the kind of skill and knowledge and design that one pays for.
I made this quilt a number of years ago, working out the pattern by looking at the design.
And then there are some designs that you just pay for, because the effort to work it out? Way more than the time is worth!
That's the Technicolour Galaxy, it was a Block-of-the-Month quilt back in 2014-2015 or around then, and it's a showstopper all the time. I still have a spare pattern for it (there were some pieces that could be only be used once unless you wanted to get complicated about printing on more stabiliser) which I plan to use...someday.
For some intriguing anecdata, I've quilted with women older than me, and I've quilted with women younger than me. By and large (and this is a very broad generalisation) the older women get grumpy about paying money for quilt designs, while younger women tend to emphasis the importance of paying for everything from block designs to quilt patterns. It's worth noting that the older women are accustomed to thinking of their quilting as a 'hobby' and not something that makes money, while the younger women are trying to either make a living off this, or add to their income.
On a semi-related note, I once had a bunch of people chide me in instagram comments for not crediting the pattern-maker for a mini-quilt that I made. Several tagged the pattern-maker, or added the tag of the pattern-maker's name for the design. Not one of them apologised when I noted that it was a design that I saw in the background of the tag on a Marti Mitchell template and worked out how to make using a hexagon cutting template.
Yes, that kind of 'working things out' is how I roll.
No, it wasn't this quilt! I paid for the pattern for this one!
Do I think design and process work should be appreciated and paid for? Yes. But if I don't think the effor that's gone into the design and process work done by the person asking me to pay for it is worth what they're asking, then I'll work out the pattern myself. Exactly how complicated it needs to be before I'll pay for it? Well, some of that is up to the design, some of it depends on my state of mind.
Where's your line drawn between paying someone for their design-and-process work vs. working it out yourself? Do you have such a line?