Quilt tops sit in the unfinished pile when we don’t know how to quilt them. The question is what design to use? I try to consider the final destination/use of the quilt and the time available for the quilting process when I am settling on a design.
This is my current longarm quilting project – a top made from Swoon blocks in patriotic colors. From the start my goal has been to donate this quilt to the Quilts of Valor Foundation. This means I can choose a simple design that will stand up to daily use and multiple washings. A pantograph or all-over design would be fine but I decided to do a custom design because of the high contrast in colors and the various elements of the block.
Rather than jump right into the quilting process, I used EQ7 to print out a diagram of the block. This gives me a practice sheet or coloring page to sketch my ideas. I started with the star and diamonds shapes and quickly found a continuous line design that I feel compliments the piece elements. I wanted a simple background fill so I used wavy lines in the house sections f the block.
When I took this design to the quilt and started thinking about thread color, I realized that I did not want the houses and background to be the same color. I substituted a loopy meander in the house sections where I can match thread color, and I kept the wavy lines in the background. I filled in the sashing with lines and loops.
On my last project, I began quilting all the thread colors in one row before advancing the quilt on my longarm. In the past,I would quilt all of one color throughout the quilt, before changing thread colors. This meant rolling the quilt back and forth several times. For this Swoon quilt, I am doing a combination. I started with white thread, then changed to red and gold before advancing. When I get to the bottom row, I will change to blue thread and work my way back to the top.
Using matching thread means that some of the quilting design is less noticeable, but it will still have great texture and I’m sure it will be a great quilt to cuddle under!
What is your standard quilting design?