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Thread: "Quilt as desired"...Aarrgh!

  1. #1
    Member SoSewSue's Avatar
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    "Quilt as desired"...Aarrgh!

    Please let me rant for a moment...

    What is with all the "quilt as desired" instructions? Patterns go to great lengths to tell you what fabric / colour/ size and method you should use to assemble the quilt top and then 38 instruction steps later say "quilt as desired". As if whatever you do from now on won't really make a difference. Magazine patterns often state (from my observations) "quilt was quilted with an overall stipple" when clearly (if you tilt the picture just so...) it wasn't. It's like half of the whole quilt making process is getting swept under the carpet. (yes I realise that fabric companies sponsor most patterns and once the top is made they are happy - but surely the quilting industry / art form is more advanced than that by now).

    I realise it is very trendy right now to say there are no quilt police and you should do want you want - but this supposes that I understand all the options - and the resulting effect of each option. From my limited observations (being a very new quilter ) - it appears to me that quilt designs can make or break a quilt top. Sometimes the designs enhance and sometimes they overpower and sometimes they totally let down the quilt top - yet I struggle to find any kind of analysis of what works with which design - or better yet the impact or effect a quilt design has on a certain pattern.

    Is there a source / book / guru / divine light that can help me with this ? I dream of a book which shows many different pieced patterns done with multiple quilt designs so one can see the impact of different quilting styles.

    Or am I over-analysing /over-agonising and it really won't make that much of a difference ?

  2. #2
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    I really like your suggestion of pictures of the same pieced pattern done in different quilting styles! That would be most helpful.

    I also agree that the quilting can either enhance or detract from the pieced design. Most of the ones I've seen on this site do a very good job of enhancing the design. However I've seen ones at various quilt shows that totally overpowered the pattern of the design.
    legendarycandles.com
    Just discovered I qualify for FABLE (Fabric Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy)

  3. #3
    Super Member Raggiemom's Avatar
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    I agree with you, I'm not sure what designs work with what quilt patterns. Usually I just do stitch in the ditch but I (hopefully) will eventually do more advanced quilting designs but have no idea how to go about picking what one to use.
    Heather

  4. #4
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    That's why I like American Patchwork & Quilting and Quiltmaker magazines. They show a quilting diagram. I can't execute many of the designs as well as the quilter in the magazine but at least it gives me something to aim for.

  5. #5
    Senior Member abc123retired's Avatar
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    You are so right about this problem. Piecing is pretty straight forward for everyone, but quilting really depends on one's talents and experience. It might help to just view a lot of quilts, on line or at quilt shows, and take notes on what appeals to you or what you feel you could do with something similar. Personally, I like to try and emulate what quilters did years ago at quilting bees, but with my walking foot. I also do fmq in spaces that need more and feel like much of what longarmers do is toooo much. Keep looking until you find "your" style.

  6. #6
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I agree completely , just a little guidance on how to quilt the top would be a big help. It's just one of the reasons I stopped my magazine subscriptions. In my mind not providing the quilting is an incomplete instuction. Granted we may do something else , same with picking the fabrics, but at the very least give the quilting that was used in the photo.

  7. #7
    Super Member QuiltingKrazy's Avatar
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    You have read my mind! I can copy a pattern really well! but to come up with a design on my own... AIN'T no way!
    I finished a quilt recently and really wanted to quilt it somehow other than Stitch in Ditch or corner to corner. But I just look at all the different blocks in it and draw a blank! I don't have a long arm so I am limited as to what I can do but heck I can't even see a "vision" of what could be done. I need instructions! I may not always follow them but at least it is a start for me!
    Lisa B in NC
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    http://www.quiltingkrazy.blogspot.com

  8. #8
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltingKrazy View Post
    You have read my mind! I can copy a pattern really well! but to come up with a design on my own... AIN'T no way!
    I finished a quilt recently and really wanted to quilt it somehow other than Stitch in Ditch or corner to corner. But I just look at all the different blocks in it and draw a blank! I don't have a long arm so I am limited as to what I can do but heck I can't even see a "vision" of what could be done. I need instructions! I may not always follow them but at least it is a start for me!
    You are not alone and I do have a long arm. I often just draw a blank!!!!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Diannia's Avatar
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    I totally agree! I also crochet and found a book of crochet patterns that show each patter done in 1,2, and 3 colors. I love it. I wish quilt patterns would show it with tieing, simple quilting and something more advanced...

    Diannia
    I am too blessed to be stressed and too anointed to be disappointed!

  10. #10
    Super Member audsgirl's Avatar
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    There was a book called It's Not a Quilt Until It's Quilted that did offer some different looks for a quilt using an overlay (I think) or maybe just the same quilt made up with different quilting designs. I don't know if it's still around, but someone might have it.

  11. #11
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    Smile

    Are you planning to quilt this yourself or are you planning on taking it to a long arm quilter? If you are thinking of doing it yourself there is some thin paper on a roll you can get from kingsmen's quilting that you can write or trace on then lay it over your quilt to audition it. As a long arm quilter I like to get the client as involved as possible in the quilt design process. By asking the right questions I am able to help you realize the vision or feel you are working toward.
    Cheryl Robinson
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    APQS Millenium Longarm with Intelliquilter

  12. #12
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Another book showing different quilting patterns for the same top is Machine Quilting Solutions by Christine Maraccini. The thing I like is that she gives practical reasons for choosing the type and design choices.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  13. #13
    Super Member Cybrarian's Avatar
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    I hope the quilting mag staffs are reading this. Having a couple of suggested approachs and some step by step in how to execute it would be very helpful. Even B&H and Quiltmaker don't go far enough. Thanks for posting!

  14. #14
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    BEST IDEA I EVER SAW... purchase a 20 inch piece of plexiglass. CAREFULLY use a dry erase marker to audition different designs on top of the plexiglass and lay it on the quilt. This gives you a good idea of how the design would work. You can use the books from Leah Day for inspiration or bookmarked quilts from some of your favorites on this forum.

    BTW... I firmly believe that just as "cozy" describes a cramped and impossibly tiny home, "quilt as desired" really means they were too lazy to come up with a few decent ideas to display.

  15. #15
    Senior Member BSKTLOFR-QUILTER's Avatar
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    Patsy Thompson has DVDs and books on free motion. Leah Day has free motion quilting designs online. I am new to this so am attempting some stipling and feathers. Right now I'm doing a log cabin and want to do a pine cone design. Guess what, I can't find one. So I'm going to start drawing....and I'm NOT an artist. I attended a machine quilting class and it was strongly suggested to get out a piece of paper and start drawing, and drawing, and drawing. Draw a design you like 10 times and that trains your brain on how the flow goes. I believe the key is practice, practice, practice. Okay, I start tomorrow right after I finish cutting fabric for a quilt. There seems to be something else I can find to do. I guess I need to set a time to pick up that pencil and get started.

  16. #16
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    print costs money! Quilt as desired means there are sooooo many choices, and with so few people quilting their own quilts anyway, they figure why waste the ink/paper!

    Invest in some of the electric quilt/quiltmaker software that allows you to print off hundreds of quilting designs you can choose from! STUDY quilt books that show quilts done like yours so you can see how others quilted them. Or even Helen's print and use designs. Golden threads also has a CD-ROM with pantographs you can print off to use with the Golden threads paper!

    As for tieing..I don't think anyone needs a Graph/chart/pix to show you how to tie..you just aim for intersections and knot!

    get some clear folders or the over head projector transparency sheets and draw some designs on them to audition on YOUR quilt!

  17. #17
    Super Member faykilgore's Avatar
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    Some of the older block books had the quilting lines included with the block, which as a new quilter, I really appreciated and followed religiously. I'm still a newbie to FMQ so must practice before I will put the needle on the actual quilt (a standard-throated Bernina). I like making a practice block with fabric scraps, pinning it into a sandwich, then drawing the design on it and doing multiple practice runs. With the drawn-on design, you get an idea of how it will look. The first run gives a better visual, then the rest of the runs are just practice to get the flow going. The key is to do this right before doing the actual quilting. If I have to put it down for very long, I have to get the practice block back out and build back up to it. I really hate taking out quilting stitches.
    Fay

    "You can't help that. We're all mad here." - The Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland.

  18. #18
    Super Member nstitches4u's Avatar
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    I agree with your idea of a book that shows several different quilting patterns to use for each quilt. I can copy really well, but I can't look at a quilt and say, "I know the perfect quilting pattern to use on this.". I need all the help I can get. lol

  19. #19
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    I think the book I am thinking of is: Quilting makes the Quilt. It has different quilts and shows each quilted 4 different ways. It shows there are options.

    I just doodle on a plastic sleeve over a print out of the quilt top til I find what I like.

    This might make a good guild challenge. Everyone make the same quilt but allowed different fabric and different quilting options. Hmmm.

    ali
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
    ali

  20. #20
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    i too have trouble deciding how to quilt my tops especially since i quilt by check which means i have to let someone
    else decide or suggest since im a semi beginner as well. i see things i really love like charismah curls or beauitful
    feathering however i have no idea how it will look on my particular quilt. i just got a baby quilt back from the local quilter and she suggested a tractor pattern since it had farmall fabric and tractors fussy cut and 4 patch squares and a multiple tractor fabric border. i put a rusty marbly red back on it and the tractors quilted on it was perfect. it really pulled the farm theme together. most of the time i just say do whatever you think would look good this time it was perfect and she does a good job im always pleased but it would be nice to have a vision of an alternative.
    carla m

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    There is a book but I can't find it where the author shows a series of quilts - same quilt but quilted 4 ways. Shows how they look I couldn't find it tonight but will look for it and post it here. I believe it written by Barbara Chainey.
    Some patterns do give qulting design suggestions. However, I imagine other do not since the quilting motif is such a personal decision and there are so many ways to quit it. I tried to deal with the subject in the quilterstv.com series on "Quilt As Desired". Hopefully it will help.

  22. #22
    Super Member Vanuatu Jill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AliKat View Post
    I think the book I am thinking of is: Quilting makes the Quilt. It has different quilts and shows each quilted 4 different ways. It shows there are options.

    I just doodle on a plastic sleeve over a print out of the quilt top til I find what I like.

    This might make a good guild challenge. Everyone make the same quilt but allowed different fabric and different quilting options. Hmmm.

    ali
    I have (had-think I sold it on this board) that book, "Quilting Makes The Quilt" and it does help in a basic way, showing one block (or quilt) and how different designs change the look. One of the reasons I always liked Quiltmaker magazine is that it always gave quilting patterns for the quilts they had in the magazine. For me, not having any support or help during all the years in Vanuatu while I was learning, it was really good. I also like the fact that they were mostly good for machine or hand-quilting. I also liked the fact that they showed many of the quilts (or at least a block from the quilt) in a different fabric.

  23. #23
    Senior Member QuiltNama's Avatar
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    I think part of the "quilt as desired" is that every quilt pattern that we make will be done differently. We all use different fabric and anyone who is designing a pattern cannot know the stage a quilter is at. If they show one way, one person may feel it is too much or not enough. An example is that I design patterns for baby quilts and take them to my guild for suggestions as to what needs to be done to the pattern for ease of use. I did a large star pattern, made it out of darling star fabric, then quilted it with a cute star design as a suggestion, and everyone said that the quilting design was too hard and over the top for a baby quilt. So in order to make quilting suggestions on the pattern, I would have to make at least 3 or 4 of each pattern just to give suggestions that most people are not going to use anyway. I many times will give some written suggestions on how to quilt, or what fabric would look nice but in the long run it is up to the individual person to make the decision, for the choice of the fabric as well as the choice of quilting. There are many books, free patterns on the net, etc. that offer many suggestions on how to quilt something. When I see something quilted up and I like the design they used, it's an extra bonus for me. These are just my opinions and not meant to step on anyone's toes.
    Brenda

  24. #24
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Such a great topic. I have both feet firmly planted..... On both sides of the argument! LOL. I have several books that offer suggestions on how to quilt particular quilt and I love that these books give me starting ideas that I can use or disregard as I see fit. I am always, always, always on the lookout for quilting motifs/designs/ideas.

    On the other hand, as a long arm quilter, I take a great deal of pride when I can come up with a completely original idea/design based on how the quilt speaks to me. If someone else uses my design because they saw a picture I posted, great, but share the love and give credit. Many LA quilters do feel that way, especially ones that do really original work, like Green Fairy or Angela Waters. And then you have LAers who make a living by selling original quilting designs they come up with.

    Then you have the quilters who feel the quilting is form of customizing their quilt.

    I agree that a happy medium would be to have just one suggestion on how to quilt it with each pattern for those of us who simply cannot come up with a quilting idea no matter how hard we try, along with "or quilt as desired" for those of us who have our own ideas of how to finish up.

  25. #25
    Super Member QuilterMomma's Avatar
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    I seem to be full of advice today on quilting. So I have been doing this awhile, am a longarm quilter as well, and people bring quilts to me and say whatever you think. You do have a point on the quilt as desired. What I have done for myself and my customers, I am not selling myself here just giving advice to help you with your quilting, is to just look at the quilt, decide what it will be used for, how much I want the quilting to show, and what pattern the quilt is. When i decide on these things, I go from there to pick out a design. you have mentioned some books that are good and I have in my aresonal, but look at Pam Clarke's site and she has some real basic and easy ways to tackle quilting any quilt. When I get in a basic nine patch quilt, I use her methods to come up with a design. Also, her suggestion of using plastic sheets and a dry erase pen on top of a square really helps you get down the pattern of a quilt block to ease in the machine process, yes draw, draw, draw, and draw some more so your hand gets the memory of the pattern before the quilting. I hang my quilts up on my design wall and use the vinyl clear tablecloth so i can draw out the quilting ideas before even getting it ready to quilt. this helps my customers get an idea of what they want on their quilt and what I can do for them. I am with a group of quilters, both domestic and longarm, and these are suggestions I have learned over the years. Hope this helps you. the clear vinyl I bought at Joann Fabrics several years ago and works great. be sure to tape around the edge so you do not go onto your quilt, then that is anothe rmatter to deal with.
    Life is short, live it while you still can. QuilterMomma

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