Edge-to-Edge or Custom Quilting? Part 3

So now we know what is meant by Edge-to-Edge (or Overall) Quilting and Custom Quilting, but how do we decide which one is right for a quilt? I usually consider 3 things :

#1 How will the quilt will be used? Is it for a child or college student – meant to be loved, dragged around, washed often? (Choose E2E).

Edge-to-Edge Daisy pattern on baby girl's quilt

Edge-to-Edge Daisy pattern on baby girl’s quilt

Or is it to be brought out only on special occasions, or maybe hung on a wall – an heirloom to be passed down through the generations? (Choose custom or heirloom).

#2 Will the design of the top allow fancy quilting to show? For example, an appliqued quilt top will almost always be enhanced with a custom quilting job, as will a Lone Star or other pattern with large areas of plainer fabric.

The plain background of the Lone Star quilt lets custom quilting designs stand out.

The plain background of the Lone Star quilt lets custom quilting designs stand out.

Whereas scrap quilts with lots of small pieces, or quilts with busy fabrics, often will not show any kind of fancy quilting designs so an overall pattern is more suitable.

A strippy quilt with no defined blocks is the perfect place for an edge-to-edge design.

A strippy quilt with no defined blocks is the perfect place for an edge-to-edge design.

#3 What is the customer’s budget? (Or if you are quilting your own, how much time do you want to put into the quilting?)

After asking yourself these questions, you should have a better idea of whether E2E or Custom is the right choice.

Let’s say you decide on E2e. Now, what pattern to choose? The other considerations are the age and sex of the recipient – I wouldn’t put hearts or flowers on a 19-year-old boy’s quilt, nor would I put basketballs on a 6-year-old girl’s quilt (unless she really happens to be into basketball!). I often choose based on the recipient’s interests, or some motif in the fabric. Sometimes the quilt will tell me how it wants to be quilted. Now that may sound weird – but with some quilts, as soon as they come in the door, an idea will pop in my head of how to quilt it.

Softball T-Shirts made into a quilt just screamed for an overall softball quilting pattern.

Softball T-Shirts made into a quilt just screamed for an overall softball quilting pattern, featuring bats, balls and gloves.

Whereas others may take me a LOOOOONG time to decide. That is called the “Stand and Stare” factor. Because I do exactly that – I stand there, staring at the quilt for many days, trying to decide what’s right. This usually happens with custom or heirloom quilts, which is another reason why they cost more. I often have to go searching for or spend time designing just the right pattern to fit a particular space.

I plan on showing you some more examples, but it may take me a while to find them. I’m VERY good about taking photos of every quilt before it leaves my Studio. I USED to be very good about filing those photos into the customer’s folder as I took them. I’m NO LONGER good at the filing thing. I now have 12,500 – YES TWELVE-THOUSAND-FIVE-HUNDRED photos on my laptop!!!! Okay, not all of them are of customer quilts. I’m guestimating 1000 photos are of my quilts and quilts I’ve taken at quilt shows, and 500 are personal photos of my house, and yard, and dogs, and family, etc. That leaves ONLY 11,000 photos that I need to organize!!! I should be able to get that done in a couple of hours, don’t you think????? So as soon as I get that done, maybe I can post some examples of what I chose to quilt on a top and why…….

In the meantime, don’t forget to visit the website to see the large selection of wide quilt backs I now carry. Purchase one (or more) during March to be entered to win that back for free! And if you feel the information I’m presenting here would be valuable to other quilters, please feel free to share my blog with your friends, on your online groups, Facebook, Pinterest……wherever.

Photos

As for me, it’s back to sorting photos……

Memorex in the Round

I was not going to do a custom quilt using IQ until after the holidays……no time to figure it out……I knew in the beginning it would take longer………I should just keep pumping out those overalls…….uh, huh…..I have no willpower 😉

This top was a perfect candidate for Memorexing (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, go here.)

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It’s a very cool lone star/mariner’s compass done on QuiltSmart foundations. My customer wanted to make it round and had marked the outer edge for me. Now it was up to me to decide how to quilt it.

You may be able to see some light lines on the green background areas. When I’m auditioning designs, I often use white school chalk. It allows me to play, but brushes off easily if I want to try something else. I decided to create some triangle shapes with straight lines, and fill those areas in with feathers. 

IQ can stitch straight lines easily for you, you just move your machine to the beginning and ending points of the line, ‘clicking’ at each endpoint, then press ‘go’ and voila, a beautiful straight line. Then, I wanted my feather motifs to be symmetrical. So, I turned on the record feature, and stitched half of my design. Then I was able to copy it, flip it, take out a few ‘blips’, and connect it to the first half. Now when I needed to repeat that motif eleventy-gazillion times, I showed IQ the boundary of the triangle, and it stitched the design over and over for me – with all of my handguided imperfections that were in the first motif! Here is the first one I handguided:

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I also created a second motif for the triangles that were going the other way around the circle:

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The whole thing:

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And some shots of the center, which was handguided. I figured IQ deserved a rest after all the work it did for me in the borders!

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I did do an overall after this. I had another lone star and we decided on baptist fans.

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Baptist fans isn’t the easiest overall to do – in order to get it to overlap correctly, I really needed to monitor it the whole time it was stitching. But overall I was very pleased with how it came out. And the customer seemed to really like it too, which is really what matters, isn’t it???

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