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. :-)
Actually any design can be used for quilt designs. Look at the beautiful pics of quilts on the board....there are tons of ideas. And sometimes I get mine from magazines or just make my own.
I have this wonderful book, Readers Digest "1,000 Great Quilting Designs for hand or machine stitching" ISBN 0-7621-0490-2
Available from rd.com.
My brother bought it for me for my birthday. It starts with telling you how to set up a design, and then offers placement suggestions, and then has 1,000 designs, it even tells you if these are better for the machine or by hand and how to magnify for the best fit.
I highly recommend it.
There used to be books of quilting designs as well as stencils.
chek out on line catalogs from
Quilting Creational International www.quiltingcreations.com
The Stencil Co www.quiltingstencils.com
Both have many many designs which will give you ideas.
I get my stencils from LQS; Joanns; shows. I mark with a #2 mechanical pencil usually. Have no issues with it washing out upon completion. Have never used a paper stencil. I think I might be too hard on them and not be able to re-use them. I have also designed my own when I wanted to do initials. I've not tried it but have read elsewhere that children's coloring books are great for quilting designs. Very simple. I, too, sometimes find the plastic templates hard to follow. Most have 'registration' marks - single holes to line up each time you move the template. Others do not and then you just have to 'wing it'. Good luck.
I always find a lot of inspiration while looking on pictures of antique quilts. Many of them have really intricate quilt patterns and background quilting and they give you tons of ideas.