Established in Part 1 – I am an everyday quilter. Not a SHOW quilter.
These are just my thoughts (random as they may be) not Rules
Established in Part 2 – Most of my quilting is for clients and the client has the final say.
Boundaries such as clients’ likes and dislikes, budget and use of quilt help point the way to design decisions.
There is always more than one way to quilt a top.
What is the quilt top telling you?
Maybe you have heard longarm quilters say they are waiting for a quilt top to “speak” to them or the quilt top “told” them what was needed. I have had a few like that…you are looking at the quilt top and your brain is telling you “This should go here…and that should go there and over here you should….”
It is great when that happens. But for me, it doesn’t happen often enough. I don’t usually have time for the top to lounge around and establish communication. I have to start making suggestions the minute I unfold a top and lay it on the table…I make a few comments to the client and ask a few questions and listen carefully so I can get a feel for what the client wants.
At the same time I am searching the quilt top for clues. Are there designs in the fabrics that bear repeating in the quilting? Are the fabrics floral and formal, leafy batiks or playful and fun?
The size of the pieces in the quilt top can come into play. Large, swooping quilt design isn’t going to play very well with teeny, tiny piecing most of the time.
Sometimes a client will go home with MOST of a quilting plan because we know what I am going to do here and here, but there are a couple of areas that need more thinking about. When I get to the top in my line-up and start putting it on the machine I might have come up with design for those areas but most often it comes after I get started on the quilt.
I get started doing what I know I am going to quilt and by the time I am ready to work on the undecided areas I have usually got something.