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How important is your quilting design

How important is your quilting design

Old 09-05-2018, 11:13 AM
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Default How important is your quilting design

Iím very blessed to be able to have a long arm, and I really do enjoy quilting the tops I finish. I find ruler work tedious and not my cup of tea, though I admire those that do have the patience for it. Iím also sure that my ability to be a professional freehand fabric doodler with good results is in the same category as the latter. I usually just end up doing a meander or a hand guided pantograph, but somehow feel that a meander is a cop out. I bought robotics for my machine and plan to spend the winter months mastering the program and hopefully Iím able to get my quilts to look better with quilting designed to better fit the top.

How important is your quilting design to your quilt top? How do you choose a quilting design for your tops?
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Old 09-05-2018, 11:42 AM
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I don't have a long arm - still trying to decide - have the $$ and space, but, I am trying to get better on FMQ on my Brother 1500 and don't want to confuse myself with the different techniques. I have also considered a sit down long arm. I play with the machines at quilt shows. I really enjoy the quilting process. I am improving, with still more improvement needed. I try and pick a quilting design that I'm capable of, that won't interfere with the piecing, but will highlight certain areas if they need it. Sometimes that takes me the longest - deciding on a design. I'm one of those that likes to do the entire quilt myself so I've never sent one out for quilting. I realize there are different strokes for different folks and it is all good - just that is my personal preference. And I don't like dense quilting designs but as I practice I see that they are easier for me and look good. A dilemma!!!
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Old 09-05-2018, 11:44 AM
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Hi Lisa, I don't know if I'm much help but here goes:
So far my large quilts are sent to a LA'er. I have no interest in it but love that there are people who do it. My last two quilts were a Log Cabin and a Shakespeare in the Park. Because they both had a lot of straight lines and points (SITP) I opted for swirly type quilting. For the LC I had her do flowers with leaves and vines. I'm so pleased with the results. For the SITP she did curves and I forgot what else. Love them both.
I am basically a hand quilter but am learning FMQ so I can do some smaller quilts.
Sorry if this isn't what you're looking for as I don't have a LA. But I really like those pantos.
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Old 09-05-2018, 01:07 PM
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Quilt designs have become much more important to me than they used to be. As Iíve grown in skill and confidence, and can better visualize how to enhance the piecing with creative quilting, I now enjoy the planning of that step. I used to dread it and not really value it. That said, I have only awe and respect for quilters who can think of (and execute) many designs precisely.

Last edited by zozee; 09-05-2018 at 01:08 PM. Reason: Grammar
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Old 09-05-2018, 01:10 PM
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It has become more important as I have evolved as a quilter AND as the numbers of those who Long arm quilt increases. By that I mean since more people either have their own LA or pay someone to quilt their tops that is the new comparison point. It seems like at least 50% of quilts that you see now are LA. The past few quilt shows I went to confirmed this for me. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but in my mind it has moved the goalposts as to what a finished quilt looks like. Buying a LA or paying someone for the service are not in my budget so I will continue to quilt my own. To answer your question, quilting design is pretty important. I don't choose the quilting design until after my top is completed, but then when I do, I try to choose something that is complimentary to the blocks, or try a motif I haven't tried before. I won't say that the meander is a cop out, its perfectly suitable for many quilts; I just find now that it's not the best motif to give a quilt a WOW factor. I am amazed by what people can quilt with a long arm, so I just try to keep up the best I can. :-)
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Old 09-05-2018, 01:18 PM
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it depends on the top. Sometimes I have a quilt that where specialized quilting looks great, and I have others that I do an all over computerized designs - and it also looks great.

I think I have ended up with way more quilts that I spent a lot of time on and in the end, an easy all over pattern would have worked great. I don't think I've ended up with any that I wished I'd done a more specific pattern instead of an all over type.

I like having the option to get a quilt quilted in an afternoon using a simple pattern, and then I can take 20-30 hours on something with special quilting if I want to. I've got 11 tops waiting right now. I still like piecing more than quilting.
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Old 09-05-2018, 02:02 PM
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IMHO the quilting design can be just as important as the piecing design. There are so many considerations that can and do have impact on how I quilt something. For utility quilts an E2E or all over design that ignores the piecing and the blocks is perfectly appropriate, especially in quilts that make a very strong visual impact before any quilting or have utilized such busy fabrics no fancy quilting will show anyway. Also time is a valuable consideration so if I am making a quilt with a tight deadline I will choose a panto for the quilting or a freehand design I know I can execute fairly quickly and won't require marking (or very little marking). This quilt is a good example of that (with a bit of a theme thrown in) : https://www.quiltingboard.com/pictur...t-t293883.html

For quilts destined to be in a show or are extra special or just because you want to show off a little then custom quilting is very important. I have found my niche to be theme quilting. Sometimes the theme is in the fabric selections used or the end recipient. For example, I currently have a quilt on my rack (for a customer) that is going to be gifted to a Buddhist teacher. The fabrics are all Asian prints, fussy cut circles appliqued onto squares. I have chosen quilting design elements that are meaningful in buddhism so I am doing Lotus flowers and Dharma wheels and the borders are being quilted with a gingko leaf motif to tie into all the different Asian print fabrics, while filling up the space in a visually pleasing way that adds to the quilts piecing.

For my own quilts, I often consider what kind of quilting I want to do before I even start piecing. This often involves doing a lot of research on the net for appropriate ideas and doing sketches of what would look good in the negative space of the quilt. I have even come up with the idea for the quilting first and built a quilt around it, like this one: https://www.quiltingboard.com/pictur...t-t290958.html

Sometimes I have to stand and stare at a quilt for a while before an idea comes to me. Other times the instant I see the quilt (or a picture of it) ideas pop into my head and I run with them. Other times I will see a picture on pinterest of something with a motif I really love and want to somehow incorporate it, or something like it into the quilt. That single motif can spark a fire of ideas or create a theme I want to run with for the rest of the quilt. That was how I approached this quilt: https://www.quiltingboard.com/pictur...c-t289353.html

I don't have robotics on my machine so it is all hand guided or ruler work for me. Luckily I enjoy ruler work but you are right it is very time consuming. But I don't find it tedious or boring. Doing pantos I do find to be boring but often it is quick and it is easy and often it is the perfect quilting choice for many quilts.

Even when I hand quilted I usually found a theme for the quilt top for my quilting designs.
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Old 09-05-2018, 03:27 PM
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The quilts I make are definitely about the drama (design) and the piecing. I would like to (and keep trying) to get better at the quilting. I would like to get good enough to say I could make a quilt about the quilting. That being said I do not have the money or space for a long arm machine. I don't have to money to have my quilts (except for the most special ones) quilted by someone else. So I try and figure out quilting that will look good (or nearly disappear) but still be in my skill level (straightish lines w/ a walking foot mostly)
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Old 09-05-2018, 03:55 PM
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I only do edge to edge pantographs.

However, I do try to find patterns that reflect the nature of the quilt. So far, no one who has received a quilt from me has complained about the quilting.
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Old 09-05-2018, 04:34 PM
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I start thinking about quilting design and thread colour before sandwiching. Sometimes I want my quilting to blend in with the back if I think I might makes some boo boos. As for quilting designs, I am always trying to quilt to enhance my top but also expand my FMQ or ruler work skills.
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