This is a looonnnnng question.........
I send almost all of my quilts to the longarm quilter.
But I also like to have a quilt around that I can pick up and hand quilt as I watch TV.
I learned to hand quilt from my mother and grandmother who had big patterns on enormous pieces of paper. All of their quilt backs were always light-colored fabric. They would lay the fabric on the large pieces of paper and trace the pattern with pencils.
I have tried various other methods to mark quilts. I often use the plastic templates available in quilt stores and trace around them.
But---the patterns that I trace onto my fabric often seem a little disjointed. If I trace a flower from a stencil into the center of a block, sometimes I am at a loss as to where else to quilt so that the pattern seems cohesive. Does this make sense? Sometimes I just add outline quilting--for example I just outline quilt an Ohio star. Sometimes I add straight lines and quilt those.
Do you have suggestions as to what kinds of patterns to use to make my hand quilting more cohesive?
Thanks for your help. :-)