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Thread: Complex quilting patterns

  1. #1
    Super Member MaryKatherine's Avatar
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    Complex quilting patterns

    I love all the quilting variations that I see on the board but I need some hints from any LA's on how to remember what you are doing. My system is totally manual and short of drawing out all the motifs I'm going to use I am not confident about tackling complex designs in my customer quilting.
    How do you remember what you did, where?
    MaryKatherine
    marykayhopkins123.blogspot.com

  2. #2
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    ​I am not a long armer but if I want to track a work in progress, I snap pictures with my iPad. When I am done, I just delete them. Easy Peasy and so much better than trusting my memory.

  3. #3
    Senior Member lfletcher's Avatar
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    I take pictures with my phone and then delete when done. Sometimes I sketch them, but the pictures are much faster.

  4. #4
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    A picture is great, but sometimes you need more information, like measurements, so the motifs will be the same size or will meet in the middle the same way. For that I think you need to sketch it out with notations.

  5. #5
    Super Member soccertxi's Avatar
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    I had trouble remembering border quilting designs from one end when I got to the other. I use a combination of pictures and what I call a 'road map'. I note a sketch, measurements (like from one motif to another or the size of a swag, and even what template or measuring tool I used for each quilting design. Its not perfect and from time to time I have to unroll the quilted quilt off the take up bar to see what I quilted at the beginning!

  6. #6
    Super Member Debbie B's Avatar
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    Good question. I don't quilt with a LA, but I do machine quit on a frame. There have been times (especially when I first got my set up) that I would forget the scale of my quilting when I was getting towards the bottom half. This mostly happened after I had stopped & then started again the next day. I started drawing it out for reference on paper. So, I will be following your question to see what answers you get.

  7. #7
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    My quick go to method of remembering what I rolled up while L/A is using a child's magna-doodle......draw it on. Continue quilting. When I get to ??? Place. I just look over at m/d and there it is........ This works for quick reference... But if it is very complex pics or drawing on paper is better...JMHO

  8. #8
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    Pictures are good, and a sketch is great!

  9. #9
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I am a quilt marker. I will premark an entire quilt, especially if the motif exceeds the size of my quilting space as is very common in wholecloth. My most favorite of all markling tools are the blue water soluble markers. For dark fabric I like my white ceramic mechanical pencil because the marks are very easy to remove for both products.

    Motifs that repeat and need to be the same size, if I have not premarked I make a template from my final sketch or design source out of watercolor paper or card stock and trace around it with a water soluble blue pen as I go. Border motifs, I will photograph or sketch so I have it available to me by the time I get to the bottom bit. I am also big for marking registration dots, especially when doing ruler work. 90% of all client quilts that hit my frame have a minimum of 2 to 5 hours at the "drawing board". I do a lot of sketching before I start quilting and that sketch pad is up in my LA studio with me when I start quilting so I can refer to it.

  10. #10
    Super Member Mitch's mom's Avatar
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    This is a serious question. If a person can't draw (Me!) is there any hope of them becoming a decent quilter? I can barely sign my name legibly let alone draw a motif!

  11. #11
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch's mom View Post
    This is a serious question. If a person can't draw (Me!) is there any hope of them becoming a decent quilter? I can barely sign my name legibly let alone draw a motif!
    Absolutely! You can trace a design. If you have access to a photocopy shop they can enlarge or reduce designs to the size you need and then you can trace it. You can get an overhead projector that enlarges and pin your quilt on the wall, project your design on to the quilt, trace it then follow the line quilting. Well placed loops like lower case cursive L's and cursive E's make great fillers as do back and forth lines. Pebbling is nothing more than a bunch of circles butted up against each other and I think they look better when they are all different sizes. Do not under estimate the power of texture several narrowly spaced squiggly lines give. Stencils are great and I use them regularly.

    If you can trace then follow the drawn line with your needle (either LA or DSM) if you can place a squiggly line in between two straight lines, if you can make a loop or a circle (even lopsided) you can be not only a decent quilter but a great one!

  12. #12
    Super Member Snooze2978's Avatar
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    As I have a robotic system, I use ProQ Designer to lay out my patterns. Then I print it and write down any certain info I need such as sizes of each particular pattern, where the jump starts and how to match up sections if unique. This gives me a complete layout so I have an idea what it will look like when I'm done.
    Suz in Iowa
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  13. #13
    Senior Member littlebitoheaven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic View Post
    Absolutely! You can trace a design. If you have access to a photocopy shop they can enlarge or reduce designs to the size you need and then you can trace it. You can get an overhead projector that enlarges and pin your quilt on the wall, project your design on to the quilt, trace it then follow the line quilting. Well placed loops like lower case cursive L's and cursive E's make great fillers as do back and forth lines. Pebbling is nothing more than a bunch of circles butted up against each other and I think they look better when they are all different sizes. Do not under estimate the power of texture several narrowly spaced squiggly lines give. Stencils are great and I use them regularly.

    If you can trace then follow the drawn line with your needle (either LA or DSM) if you can place a squiggly line in between two straight lines, if you can make a loop or a circle (even lopsided) you can be not only a decent quilter but a great one!
    This is a great reply. I just want to add one thing. IF you DON'T have access to a printer that enlarges a design, this is what you may do: trace your design then fold this paper into segments (i.e. in half (both ways) in half again etc.). When you have several segments, choose or tape papers together the increased size that you want. Then fold this paper as closely to the same pattern as the traced pattern. Then you can draw the lines that you see in each "box" onto your larger paper. I hope that this is clear, if not PM and I will try to go into more detail. I learned this system in art class years ago. It has always worked for me. Good luck! Yolanda Wood River

  14. #14
    Super Member Gannyrosie's Avatar
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    LOL, Mitch's mom, I'm with you. As I was reading "feline fenatics" response, my mind went "wow", then came your's. I'm glad I'm not the only one. I know I will never be a LA'er.

  15. #15
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    Also, have you checked your local library to see if they have any long arm quilting pattern books? Mine has a couple and a design you like you can photocopy and adjust to what's needed. Plus there are some websites that have free patterns you can download. I mark the spacing for designs. That helps so much. I'm still learning and have a long way to go!

  16. #16
    Super Member knlsmith's Avatar
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    I start with a sketch, take pictures each roll and make notes. Also, remind yourself to flip the bottom/opposite border if it is directional. Lol. Glad I forgot on my own n not a customer quilt. Now I put a sticky note that says rotate borders right where I will notice it.

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