Whether you are hand quilting or machine quilting, choosing a quilting design is one of the most difficult parts of making a quilt. The problem is that since the quilting design is such a personal thing, it’s difficult for someone else to tell you how you should quilt it.
In a way it’s like choosing the fabric for your quilt. Even when you get a quilt kit with all of the fabric chosen and cut, there are probably fabrics in the box you would rather not use in your quilt. Maybe you even switch those patches with other fabric, so you will love the quilt when you are finished.
Choosing quilting designs is somewhat the same thing.
When you buy a quilt pattern, often there is a suggested quilting design. Sometimes it is just perfect – in your view. Other times, you wouldn’t even consider quilting the quilt that way.
The quilter who designed the pattern thought it was perfect, and therein lies the point – it’s personal preference. And that is why when you get a quilt pattern, it often says “quilt as desired.”
Early in my quilting days, I found some quilting design books. They contained tons of patterns in all different sizes, and served as guides and inspiration for quilting ideas for my quilts.
Most of these designs are taken from vintage quilts. Another perfect place to get ideas.
When you are at a quilt show, take pictures of the quilting designs – whether the quilts are vintage quilts or ones made last week. As you look through books, make notes (or copies) of quilting designs that interest you.
And invest in some quilting design books. Today’s books are much easier to store, since they are smaller in size (mine are about 11 inches by 17 inches). You simply copy the designs and increase or decrease the size to fit your quilt.
All that said, here are some hints to help you choose your design:
- How much is your quilting design going to stand out in your quilt?
- How formal or casual is the quilt?
- What style is the quilt – traditional, contemporary?
- How much do you enjoy quilting?
You’ll get more details about how to use these considerations in choosing your quilting design when you visit: