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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Quilt as desired

How do you decide to quilt a quilt?  I bet it is one of the most asked questions when it comes to learning to quilt.  Maybe it is because it is a hard subject to explain, and that is why quilting magazines and pattern use those infamous words, "Quilt as desired".  Well, like most things in life, when I have a question, I turn to the experts.  In this case I turned to antique quilts.  I study them every time I see them.  I also turned to some great books, some are no longer in print, but I find them more valuable than any other quilting books I have. 

With the internet you can find free quilt patterns and quilt a longs, so many that we often get so distracted that we end up starting so many projects that we don't have time to finish them, ask me how I know.  One day I seriously sat down and thought about what drew me to the quilts I love. It was the balance of the fabric and quilting design. So these days I plan my quilts from start to finish before I even start them. I look at the pattern and decide is that something that I will enjoy embellishing with a quilting design?  If I say yes, then I am happy to see those words "Quilt as desired" because I have  thought the process thru and can continue my journey. Like every trip there may be a few pot holes or curves, but these days I always reach my destination.  So I challenge you to look at a quilt as a journey, they take a lot of time to make, think about the whole process and give some thought to the quilting design before you even start and I think you will really enjoy the trip.

6 comments:

  1. Carla, I find your outlook very wise. Can you share how you plan out a quilt before you start? I am another one who has multiple folders on my computer of quilts I liked and thought I'd make. Now I wonder what I was thinking!
    I'm heading over to Amazon to look up some of those books.

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    1. Eileen, May I suggest you look thru your folder and see if their is something in common with the quilts you love. In my case, I was really drawn to applique quilts, two color quilts, and quilts with alternate squares. They all have places that quilting can be showcased. So before, I start the quilt, I also look at my quilting design books and find designs that catch my eye. With today's printers and copiers they can be adjusted to fit so keep an open mind. On the other hand there are quilters that love to piece, these quilts can be very busy, so an all over quilting design might work better there. Then there are instances where a quilt could be tied or big stitched. So what I am suggesting is pay attention to what you like, look thru the whole project so you have an idea of where you are going so you don't get stuck or discouraged. My last pyramid quilt was made cause I wanted to use a wine glass quilting design. It is good to keep folders or pictures of what you like, and if you use that information by thinking about the whole project before you get started I think you are more likely to enjoy the process and love how it turns out.

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  2. Can you recommend a good quilting design book please? I am quilting my first quilt, a sampler. I am keeping to very simple quilting, just outline, some echo around appliqué blocks and straight line from corner to corner across some of the more geometrical blocks. The only thing is that it does not look like a cohesive design like that but as all the blocks are different that is difficult to achieve.

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    1. I would say my favorite book is: Quilt it! by Barbara Chainey. Each chapter deals with different types of quilt. Page after page is filled with drawings of quilts with different quilt designs. She does a great job at showing you how you can combine blocks with design and also how to take that to sashings and borders. I find if you think about all of these steps before you start you have a better chance of reaching that cohesiveness.

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  3. It looks like you have some great quilting books! Will have to check some of them out.

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  4. Carla...I wrote a comment and it disappeared. I'm the author of Quilt As Desired, the basic guide to hand quilting, published in 1998. I googled that title tonight and saw your page come up, it was a fun find! My new book is a revised publication and titled Basic Guide to Hand Quilting in a soft cover and Kindle version through amazon. I'm on your fb page already and thoroughly enjoy it!

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