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Thread: I am embarrased to ask, but....

  1. #1
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    I have been quilting for awhile now, and while I really love it, there is one step that I wish I could skip-the actual quilting. I do my own on a frame and mid-arm and that is all great, but how in the world do you decide what pattern to use on the quilt once it makes it to the frame?
    I have read books, asked other quilters and no one seems to know if there is a formula or something to tell you which pattern to use, and yet when you look at a quilt, the quilted pattern seems to suit it.
    Another question- what about thread color? I now use varigated and that seems to look ok and blend well.
    Soooo, does anyone have any ideas on how to choose a pattern? I would really appreciate your thoughts, otherwise I will be quilting squiggles all over my quilts for the rest of my life!

  2. #2
    Senior Member retired2pa's Avatar
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    Good question!!! I love everything about making a quilt...except the quilting. Go figure...LOL. My problem is: I know what quilting design I'd like for a quilt but I can't do it!! I have struggled with FMQ for a long time and just can't get the hang of it so I stick to simple straight stitches that I know I can do.

    I think it depends on the quilt pattern what design you choose for the quilting. I've seen some gorgeous quilting (by long armer's) but sometimes it seems there is too much quilting on a piece. Every square inch seems to be covered. Maybe that's me, but I don't like everything covered.

    I just finished a very simple fence rail for a friend of mine and would like to put some circles on it for the quilting because everything is so "square". I'm not sure how I would do that, but I think the quilting should add some interest to the quilt and not overwhelm it...IMHO :)

  3. #3
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    I believe I discussed your question on a segment of QuiltersTV. Go to the site on the internet and under Quilters Cafe check to see if the show is scheduled.
    There is a book titled "Quilting the Quilt" that deals with the subject also. It shows the same quilt but quilted with different motifs.

  4. #4
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    As discussed in another thread, intended use plays a huge factor. I have seen some spectacular art quilts where the quilter has truly turned the actual quilting into an integral part of the design.

    For regular quilts, I prefer simpler patterns. I am not a huge fan of generic, overall patterns though.

    I do agree that choosing the correct pattern is not easy and probably comes from lots of experience.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holice
    I believe I discussed your question on a segment of QuiltersTV. Go to the site on the internet and under Quilters Cafe check to see if the show is scheduled.
    There is a book titled "Quilting the Quilt" that deals with the subject also. It shows the same quilt but quilted with different motifs.
    Thanks so much for the link- it is helpful and I didn't know this topic was popular. I'm watching it now.

  6. #6
    Super Member grammyp's Avatar
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    That is my biggest problem. I just have no imagination for those things. I have to look for pictures with similar patterns for inspiration.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holice
    I believe I discussed your question on a segment of QuiltersTV. Go to the site on the internet and under Quilters Cafe check to see if the show is scheduled.
    There is a book titled "Quilting the Quilt" that deals with the subject also. It shows the same quilt but quilted with different motifs.
    Many thanks - I am also watching your show as I type :-)

  8. #8
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I have the same problem. I love the quilting part but spend a lot of time deciding the quilting pattern to use.

  9. #9
    Super Member cbridges22's Avatar
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    I too hate the quilting part but can't afford to send out.I just so the basic all over and hope it works.

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    I also watched the video, and it was nice Holice.

    One thing I would add is that using a self-threading needle is extremly helpful in tieing and burying threads. (Don't have to depend on those bifocals that way!) Or if a self-threading needle is not something you have on hand, then using any larger eyed needle works very well (not a between!). I tie and bury both threads together, at beginning and ending of the quilting process. This works well for me.

    If you still need additional tips on choosing a design to fit the quilt, just let me know. I'll be happy to share what I've learned/taught as well.

    Debbie in Austin

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgmoby
    I also watched the video, and it was nice Holice.

    One thing I would add is that using a self-threading needle is extremly helpful in tieing and burying threads. (Don't have to depend on those bifocals that way!) Or if a self-threading needle is not something you have on hand, then using any larger eyed needle works very well (not a between!). I tie and bury both threads together, at beginning and ending of the quilting process. This works well for me.

    If you still need additional tips on choosing a design to fit the quilt, just let me know. I'll be happy to share what I've learned/taught as well.

    Debbie in Austin
    I bought one of those things that you put your needle in and lay the thread across a spot and then put a lever down and it threads the needle for you. I can't remember the name of it, but it is quite handy and saved my patience several times.

    Please share your tips with me/us? It sounds like others are having the same problem I do. Thanks for any help/tips.

  12. #12
    Super Member tjradj's Avatar
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    I look at the block, and then the overall patterns of the quilt. If it's very angular, I try to soften it up with curvatious quilting. If the patterns are softer, then I do less quilting to let that come through.
    When using a panto, I try to pick one that is relatively the same size as the blocks.
    And sometimes, I just 'wing it."

  13. #13
    Power Poster Lacelady's Avatar
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    You can audition different designs. Get yourself some plastic that is good for Overhead projectors. (at least A3 size is good)
    Bind the edges with a tape so that you know where the edges are.
    Lay your plastic sheet over your quilt and use Overhead Projector pens to draw possible designs in the blocks of your quilt. If you don't like them, erase and try again. The tape helps to stop you useing your pen right on the edges and inadvertantly marking the quilt.

    This isn't my original idea, I saw it somewhere on the net, but can't remember where.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lacelady
    You can audition different designs. Get yourself some plastic that is good for Overhead projectors. (at least A3 size is good)
    Bind the edges with a tape so that you know where the edges are.
    Lay your plastic sheet over your quilt and use Overhead Projector pens to draw possible designs in the blocks of your quilt. If you don't like them, erase and try again. The tape helps to stop you useing your pen right on the edges and inadvertantly marking the quilt.

    This isn't my original idea, I saw it somewhere on the net, but can't remember where.
    this is a really great idea- I will look for the plastic. thank you.

  15. #15
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    For me, it's far easier to just take a digital photo of the quilt, print it out as a full page (gray scale so I'm looking at values, not hues) and doodle on the quilt until I find something I like.

    IF I have repeating blocks and want my quilting design to relate to the blocks, I will just put the block on my scanner (or a photocopy machine) and print out several copies. Again I play around and doodle on those with a marker until I find a design I like. The actual doodling helps create a brain/movement connection and makes the free motion quilting come more smoothly.

    RST

  16. #16
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    If the quilt has lots of straight lines in the pattern I use curves and circles to quilt it. If the quilt has curves in the pattern I use straight lines. This is the basic rule I follow when I can't decide.

  17. #17
    Super Member franie's Avatar
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    I just let the quilt talk to me. No formula. Most I quilt for leave it up to me also.

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