I find that the most appealing quilting designs are ones that are repetitive. I think that is probably because things in nature are repetitive and we are probably drawn to repetitive designs. Nature is full of fractals which are never ending designs that repeat themselves mathmatically. So when I come up with a motif, I try to figure out a way to break it down and repeat it by mirroring and duplicating. Karen McTavish calls it elemental quilting, she breaks the design into a few simple elements then by mirroring and repeating you end up with a pleasing design that looks really complex. Here is how I do it.
This hand pieced quilt was delivered to me for quilting
I isolated the repeating block.
Then I isloated a unit of the block to get a basic shape to repeat. I chose this heart shaped unit.
I placed a piece of tracing paper over the unit and traced the outside line of the unit then came up with a simple swirly motif for the outer part and a teardrop shape in the inner part. You can also use a clear piece of plastic or plexiglass and erasable white board markers. I am old school and like paper.
And here is what the completed block looks like all quilted up.
Sometimes you get pleasant surprises. In this case the unquilted area coming off the center hexi forms a secondary star pattern. Can you see the 6 star points?