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……

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Learning the IQ

The IntelliQuilter is a tablet computer mounted on top of the machine, with motors that drive the machine head around the table. Here it is at work on my first customer quilt:

It’s quite easy to use, I started a customer quilt the day after I got it! But there is still much to learn about the system, and I need to train this old brain of mine the right steps to take. So right now I’m only doing overall designs with it, until I can do those without thinking about it so much. Here are a few of the ones I did this week:

Those two are done with a pattern called Oh My Feathers from Intelligent Quilting that came with the IQ. It’s a beautiful pattern and stitches out well. I also did one with A Rose is a Rose, but I guess I didn’t get a picture of that one. But I had a sample on muslin, and two customers that dropped off quilts this week chose that pattern.

I played with one of the geometric patterns, and think this would be a fun overall design on the right quilt. But I also think just the one row would make an awesome border! I can’t wait until I let myself learn how to do borders!! 

I did give myself one challenge this week. I had a T-shirt quilt to do, and one of the shirts had a pocket on it. I thought it would be fun to leave the pocket unquilted. I wasn’t sure how to do that, so I asked on the IQ List. I had several answers on different ways to accomplish the task. The one I chose was to watch the IQ when it approached the pocket, stop it at the edge, and use the ‘Restart’ feature to start stitching again at the other side of the pocket. Since I had just one pocket to avoid, it worked great.

And the way the pattern came out, it looks like there is a hanky sticking out of the pocket LOL! (Am I showing my age? who uses hankies anymore anyway???). Here is the rest of the quilt:

You can see the pattern the best on the back:

I call it Wonky Square Spirals, I played with the Square Spiral panto in the system and purposely made it off kilter.

I am SOOOOO lovin’ my IQ!!

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