Some of my customers who bring or send me projects to quilt ask me to just “do my thing”, be creative, and stitch whichever designs I think will look good. These people get what I like to call “Ann Quilting” 🙂
Some have decided ahead of time that they just want a simple edge to edge design as their main goal is to get their project finished as quickly and as economically as possible.
Others have no particular idea in mind when they bring their projects and they want my input to help them figure out which way to go.
Whenever I’m making suggestions, I try to determine the end result they desire by discussing the intended use of the quilt and what is most important to them in their project: the fabric, the piecing, or the actual quilting. Here are some suggestions I make that I thought I’d share here in case they’re helpful to others:
Fabric is most important: a stitching pattern that will provide texture and dimension and a thread that will, for the most part, blend in rather than stand out so as not to take the focus away from the fabric itself (and you don’t want to be paying for detailed stitching that you won’t really see if the prints are busy)
Piecing is most important: a stitching pattern that follows the piecing lines, or at least accents the piecing pattern, in either a blending or contrasting thread, depending on their personal preference of color and weight
Quilting is most important: a detailed stitching pattern that will become an “extra” design layer on top of the pieced design, rather than blending in with design elements already present in the quilt top
Intended use is important because, for example, if it’s going to be a baby quilt, most often a more open stitching pattern is desired to keep the quilt fluffier, softer, and lighter overall. Dense quilting uses a lot of thread and that does add a surprising amount of weight. Batting choice can also determine overall softness. More intricate and detailed designs are usually desirable on heirloom quilts, whole cloth quilts, or wall hangings where the quilting and even thread painting enhances the artistic elements of the project. Of course, the detailed designs are also desirable on any quilt if the customer is a real fan of the actual quilting and wants it to be fancier than a simple edge to edge design.
Obviously, each of these choices also determines the cost of having a project quilted, and sometimes budget is the main deciding factor.
Hopefully that gives you some ideas about making quilting decisions either for your own work or for quilts you send out.
If you’ve been reading my posts at all you’ll know by now that my favourite part is the quilting process, my favourite part of the finished quilt is the actual quilting, and I’m never overly excited about any quilt top – including the ones I make myself – until it’s quilted! So when I’m doing my own quilts, most often it’s all about the quilting and the thread. I sometimes lose interest in whatever piecing work I’ve done because I like to just run my hand over the finished quilt to appreciate all the texture and the various shapes and motifs in the stitching! We all get our kicks in different ways … LOL
Occasionally I do an edge-to-edge-let’s-just-give-it-some-texture design in blending thread if I’m working on baby quilts or others that have a lot of printed fabric where detailed quilting won’t really show up anyway. But give me some solid fabrics and my Magnifico thread and I will play happily for hours!
The baby quilt pictured above is an example of me playing in a wide open field of negative space with a simple all over plume stitching pattern that has nothing at all to do with the piecing. It’s a completely new layer on top of the modern style color-blocked quilt top and it’s curvy design contrasts with the geometric square blocks. I could have chosen a brighter coloured thread to give it even more pop.
Possibilities = endless! Had I wanted the inner squares and the sashing as my main focus, the stitching would be completely different 🙂