Same Quilting Design ~ Different Quilt

As a teacher and quilter I often get asked, “How do I pick a quilting design for a quilt?”

Often times we get so caught up in the construction of quilt top, the time that we put into making it, the love for the person we are giving it too (because, let’s be honest, do we ever keep our own quilts?) that we want it to be “just right” and everything to work.  Fair enough!

The quilting is singly the most important part of the quilt.  Without it you’d just have fabric sewn together.  It would provide very little warmth and would be near uselessness.  But, once a top is quilted there’s suddenly a useful blanket!

So…how do you choose the right quilting design for your quilt?

It’s not as hard as you think.  When choosing designs I think of the person it is for and what the quilts use will be.

If it’s an every day quilt for the couch or bed then fancy quilting is not necessary.  If the quilt is soft and you want it to remain so you’ll want a design that isn’t too dense so that the quilt remains flexible.

Quilt by Nancy Boyd ~ Quilting by Heather Spence

Quilt by Nancy Boyd ~ Quilting by Heather Spence

My customer, Nancy, brought me this quilt on Friday.  She chose Bamboo Batting because her friend is highly allergic (she didn’t say what to).  The batting is soft and the fabrics are flannel so she chose a design that complemented the feel (texturally and emotionally) of the quilt.

The back of the quilt.

The back of the quilt.

The thread was easy.  Sure, we could’ve gone with a solid color but the variegated color brings out all the colors on the front and it really stands out on the back!  Here’s a close-up:

Close-Up of the back

Close-Up of the back

This is the same quilting design as the previous quilt I posted about.  (Only this is a bit better as I had more practice.)  As a quilter I try to listen to my customer, find out what she’s looking for, provide examples then let her (or him) know that she (or he) can trust me to do what they want.

So…how do I know what’s going to look good on a quilt?  :o)  Ah…that’s the quilters secret.  (Not really, but doesn’t it sound nice?)  Practice and experience!  If you’re a quilter too my greatest suggestion is to keep learning and practicing.  If you prefer to pay someone to quilt for you then my suggestion is to keep ask the quilter if they have samples, what have they been working on lately and could you see their work.  If they don’t have samples available then ask if they’ve got pictures or references so you can talk to someone they trust.

As I tell my customers, “The quality of my work is proof in the pudding.”

Happy Quilting!


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