Another thing you can do Cyndi is when you create the pattern, save the file as a normal png or jpg file (depending on if it has transparent areas or not) and that way if you do lose your .pat files you still have the original image you created the pattern from.
Most of the designers will do this with their glitters etc once they have made them seamless and saved the pattern they also save the sheet for themselves and for sharing with customers who don't have the same program as the do.
I hope I didn't just lose all your personally designed patterns with my tutorial. I think I'll retire if I did (arrrrgh) or at least keep my mouth shut and not post tutorials
Thanks Kimmie for replying hun, I was sleeping and have just got up on my Monday