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Thread: how I come up with a quilting motif

  1. #1
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    how I come up with a quilting motif

    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

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    I isolated the repeating block.
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    Then I isloated a unit of the block to get a basic shape to repeat. I chose this heart shaped unit.
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    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.
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    And here is what the completed block looks like all quilted up.
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    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?
    Last edited by feline fanatic; 03-16-2014 at 09:53 AM.

  2. #2
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    Feline, that is absolutely beautiful! Don't we love secondary designs?
    Have a great day sewing and remember to "not sweat the small stuff"!!



  3. #3
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    When I first saw the top, I thought it was just a mish-mash of unrelated shapes. But seeing what you have done with the quilting - wow! It is transformed. You've illuminated the shapes that were there (that I couldn't see) and added more interest as well. Absolutely wonderful! Now you have to show us the whole quilt -- please!

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    WOW!! Breathtaking! I just joined this group 10 minutes ago and this is the first thing I saw.

  5. #5
    Super Member AngeliaNR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunster View Post
    When I first saw the top, I thought it was just a mish-mash of unrelated shapes. But seeing what you have done with the quilting - wow! It is transformed. You've illuminated the shapes that were there (that I couldn't see) and added more interest as well. Absolutely wonderful! Now you have to show us the whole quilt -- please!
    Yes! From "ho-hum" to "oh wow"! Beautiful work.
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    http://theeclecticabuela.blogspot.com/

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    It is going to be gorgeous!

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    Super Member PurplePassion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunster View Post
    When I first saw the top, I thought it was just a mish-mash of unrelated shapes. But seeing what you have done with the quilting - wow! It is transformed. You've illuminated the shapes that were there (that I couldn't see) and added more interest as well. Absolutely wonderful! Now you have to show us the whole quilt -- please!
    Exactly what I was thinking! Wow!

  8. #8
    Super Member DebbieJJ's Avatar
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    Just transforming! The quilting made this quilt! Yes, please show us the whole quilt......
    A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes. ~Hugh Downs
    Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns.I am thankful that thorns have roses.~Allophones Karr
    “The happiest people I know are those who lose themselves in the service of others." — Gordon B Hinckley

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  9. #9
    Super Member Cindy60545's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunster View Post
    When I first saw the top, I thought it was just a mish-mash of unrelated shapes. But seeing what you have done with the quilting - wow! It is transformed. You've illuminated the shapes that were there (that I couldn't see) and added more interest as well. Absolutely wonderful! Now you have to show us the whole quilt -- please!
    Boy, do I agree! I thought the quilt didn't have any rime nor reason to it til I saw your quilting! Please share the finish!

  10. #10
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    Wow from busy to beautiful. Thank you for the tutorial.
    Would love to see he finished quilt

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    Wow, I thought the quilt was pretty before but you use the quilt like an artist canvas! It amazes me and the quilt maker is one lucky person to have you add so much to her quilt.

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    I'm not a scrappy person and, obviously I can't see potential. I didn't like the quilt at all when I first saw it. It's just totally not my style. What you did with that quilting was magical! It transformed the "what I considered" a Plain Jane mish mash of a quilt top to a Drop Dead Gorgeous Quilt that I would be proud to have in my house. You are the quilt magician. Kudos!!!!

    Thank you so much for explaining how you came up with the design. When I first starting quilting I thought the quilting should echo the piecing. After looking at the pics on this board for only a very short time, I realized quickly that the quilting I liked was the ones like you did here. Thanks for the education and the beauty.

    After reading your commentary again, it seems I need to become more familiar with Karen McTavish's work.
    Last edited by Barb in Louisiana; 03-17-2014 at 04:57 AM.
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    Stunningly beautiful.
    Mother yourself just as you would your own children, you will be surprised how much better you feel...Debbie Marie

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    Power Poster ann clare's Avatar
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    Love quilt and quilting.
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  15. #15
    Super Member mimiknoxtaylor's Avatar
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    Agree with the other, you transformed this scrappy into beautiful!
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    stunning!!

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    Super Member Happy Linda's Avatar
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    Thank You for taking the time to post this. VERY helpful.
    Linda

  18. #18
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    Marvelous ideas. I appreciate your sharing with us your way of determining a quilting motif. It makes wonderful sense when you show us how to do it and then show us how it was executed. At least a great number of us struggle with this area of quilting. Thank you! It is a great lesson for today.

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    Unbelievable! You're a miracle worker. I have a new LA and 10 charity quilts waiting for me to come up with an idea on how to quilt them. I love playing with my new toy but it's like pulling hen's teeth to figure out how to quilt them. Thanks for the insight. I think I'm inspired.

  20. #20
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    Thanks for sharing this info. I am just learning to Fmq. Ok, I have been 'learning' for about 5 years. But this helps a lot.
    The quilt is now stunning. Wow, oh, wow.

  21. #21
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    Oh never in a million would my brain go to that. It's gorgeous. I must, must look at books and tutes like this to quilt lovely quilts. Thanks.

  22. #22
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nativetexan View Post
    Oh never in a million would my brain go to that. It's gorgeous. I must, must look at books and tutes like this to quilt lovely quilts. Thanks.
    Start with this book
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Secrets-El...=Karen+Mctavis

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic View Post
    Thanks for putting that link in. I ordered all 3 of her books, figured if you recommended one her others would probably be valuable also. Your quilting is AMAZING!

  24. #24
    Super Member wolph33's Avatar
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    wow that is beautiful
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/Upnorthcrafter

  25. #25
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    The quilting is beautiful. It makes the quilt!
    A quilt is like a good life. It's full of mistakes, but, in the end, it looks pretty good.

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