I'm Frustrated finding Quilting Designs

ritaweedaSeptember 4, 2012

I'm wondering if I'm the only one. When looking at magazines and online to see different quilting designs, I'm finding that the main emphasis is on the piecing design, not the quilting. In other words, there are very few close-up photos or descriptions of the actual quilting designs. Even my favorite quilting magazine has stopped showing the quilting design used on the featured quilts. Some photos are clear in the quilting but others it's very hard to tell. I know there are books on this but I don't have the money to spend on them. Does anyone else have this problem? I wonder if the reason is that so many people send their quilts out for quilting? I had to come up with my own design for this diamond quilt for the diamonds, and now I'm trying to look up designs for the setting triangles and it looks like I'm going to have to come up with something for those, too.

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Rita, I end up doing an image search, just like I do for quilting patterns. It seems to vary each time on what search word gets me the best results (or else I forget each time!) but 'pantographs' 'continuous line' seem to bring up the best results. Don't you just love the instruction "Quilt as desired"!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 9:29AM
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I think Karlene's advice is just right. I use Google Images to find lots of things and it's been great for quilting designs. Here's a link to show what you can find with a search for "machine quilting designs": Google Images for quilting designs.

"Continuous line quilting designs" and "pantographs for quilting" bring up lots more beautiful designs.

Hope that helps!


    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 10:15AM
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Here's a link to a company called Quilts Complete. They have some really pretty stencils for use with chalk or fabric pencils. Also computerized designs and paper pantographs. Lots of great ideas!

Here is a link that might be useful: Quilts Complete

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 11:00AM
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Thanks, this is very helpful - I had already decided on the setting triangles this morning but this will help in the future.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 11:11AM
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Rita, the links and ideas listed by Kate are helpful, but I'm with you as well. I'm new to FMQ and I have practiced a few of the Leah Day designs, it will take a lifetime to master for sure. Maybe we should start a discussion on suggested quilting motifs...what works for busy fabrics, what works for HST, what works for large or small borders. I agree w/ Karlene...lol quilt as desired...I'm open to ideas/ suggestions/ recommendations...
(I'll check my machine tonight for the sereptine stitch-thanks)

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 12:39PM
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Leah Day's tutorials are awesome, but I was looking for simpler designs to fit the diamond. I really didn't see anything in her tutorials that was both simple and suitable for my situation. Other than her site, there isn't much emphasis on choosing the right quilt design, it's all about picking block patterns, colors, and construction technique. I also haven't found the perfect pattern marking tool yet, especially for intricate designs. Every marker I've ever tried I've found fault with. I finally traced out the diamond shape on several pieces of paper and just doodled different designs on it until I came up with what I wanted, then I practiced it over and over until it came naturally to me and I free-motion quilted it with no markings.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 1:24PM
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I find this an interesting topic too. Hi Kate are the stencils at Quilts Complete plastic stencils or are they made of paper? If they are paper how does that work - is it just a printed design or are they pre-cut like a plastic stencil? I have only used plastic stencils so far so I am just curious.

Best to you and thanks,

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 2:15PM
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Sandra, the ones just listed as stencils are plastic and require chalk or whatever. The paper ones are typically used with long arms I think but I've seen them "poked" so they could be chalked. If you run them through your sewing machine with no thread on the needle it will create enough holes to let the chalk through. Heard about it, but never done it.

My suggestion for those sites was primarily for ideas, not for specific patterns. If you see a leaf shape you like, for example, trace it and expand or shrink it to a size that will fit in a triangle. Practice it, as Rita does, until you can free motion it. With Leah's patterns, find one you like and expand the size to fit what you need - again, it's all about the inspiration more than it is about doing her tiny patterns with skill.

There are lots of books available on quilting motifs and some are specific to types of quilts. I've found one recently on modern quilts that I really like. I don't buy many books but had to have that one. Look through the offerings at your local quilt or book store, or shop Amazon.

I agree this would be a great topic to get into further! We can share ideas and book titles. I'm getting better at all-over patterns but still really struggle with what to do in a single block. Most of what I've seen feels too traditional for me, but the more modern patterns are too tightly quilted to be soft and comfortable. I need some middle ground!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 2:46PM
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When I was hand quilting, I collected a few plastic templates and also had DH make me a few. Don't see why they couldn't be used as a pattern. For instance, for a corner or triangle, get your pattern the size you want, cut Golden Threads quilting paper (or copy paper?) to fit the pattern, staple a few sheets together with the traced pattern on top, and run the unthreaded needle around the pattern. Now you can tape or pin the single pattern to the area you want to quilt and just follow the needle holes.

Granted, I've never done this, but have been reading and want to try it......


    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 5:38PM
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Sharon...interesting idea...thanks! I may need to try that w/ the next quilt top once I figure out the design.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 6:14PM
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I haven't checked for quilting designs because I like to tie my quilts, but I do like to go to the library for quilt design ideas. It seems like a different book strikes my fancy each time I go. How about checking out some books from your local library?

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 6:27PM
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The link below is preprinted paper pattern of quilt designs to be used on your quilt and quilted on your domestic sewing machine (not a machine on a frame). I have used them, found them to be a pain to remove the itty bits of paper left behind, but they allow you to produce /stitch an accurate design. Personally, I would never use them again-they were part of a class I took (year long QAYG - still not finished). I'm glad I had the opportunity to use them, just for the experience.

I find the stitching on Leah Day's designs to be too close/ condensed to be practical for a full size quilt, but her designs and methods are excellent for learning the designs, and how to maneuver around the block. Great for fillers.

I am a book lover- I use the library, I have purchased books and look at a lot of You Tube - and practice-practice-practice. What Rita is doing is the right way to learn - draw and practice.

Most of my quilting is now accomplished with a Shortarm table top Pfaff on a frame, so I am mostly moving the machine vs moving the quilt. I look at many, many quilts on blogs to get ideas, and practice.

I would not recommend buying Pantos for use on a regualr sewing machine. Instead, I recommend looking at the designs available in the Pantos for ideas. Redraw on a scrap sandwich and practice some simple designs until you feel comfortable. I hate marking, so prefer designs that are more free form and flow, mistakes(?) there are none:~)

Here is a link that might be useful: Paper patterns

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 7:58PM
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