Mary, in a separate blog post, would you consider walking us through your process for deciding which pantograph to choose and the tightness/spacing/size of the design. I know some of that is determined by the manufacturer’s recommendation printed on the batting label. And if you have a lot of small pieces, you might want some quilting to run across there. I see no long-term functional benefit to stitch-in-the-ditch; esthetic, yes, but functional no. If it’s a log cabin type, do you choose something with some curves? I guess these how and why questions would be answered in an online quilting tutorial?
Laura is right, the first consideration is the batting and the recommended distance between quilting lines. I mostly use Hobbs 80/20 or Pellon 80/20. The Hobbs should be quilted every 4 inches and the Pellon every 8-10 inches although I NEVER leave that much space between my quilting lines and I would say that most of my quilting is 4 inches or less without being dense. I don’t like dense quilting – it’s just not cuddly and my quilts are meant to be cuddly!
Curvy lines do look good on straight line piecing but I don’t usually overthink think this. When choosing a quilting design I think about the following:
- First, does the quilt have a theme … autumn or woodsy? I think leaves… for a loved one? Hearts…. the sea? … a watery meander… a floral theme? Flowers.
- Second, I do think about the piecing and if straight line or curvy quilting would enhance it best.
- Is it a “girl” quilt or a “guy” quilt? That might determine if I use feathers or flowers or something more geometric and “masculine”.
- I also look at the piecing and the size of my motifs …. will I actually see the leaves or the hearts or will I just see lines? In some cases I will downsize a design so the motif is more noticeable. It’s one thing I love about the Pantovision on my Innova. I just quilted the same design on two quilts but on the second one, I felt the heart motif needed to be smaller.
- In an ideal world, I’d freehand quilt as much as I’d quilt pantographs but I probably do more pantographs. However, swirls, dwirling , leaves, freehand baptist fans, and overall freehand designs are favorites of mine.
Ebb and Flow is a favorite pantograph for veteran quilts.
Freehand baptist fans look great on traditional and string quilts.
I even like to hand quilt using the “ big stitch” method.