We have been talking about machine quilting, and machine quilting designs, for quite a while now. Last week, we looked at an actual example of a quilt top and considered the options for its machine quilting design. We worked through a number of iterations trying out different ideas, some of which we kept and others we discarded. The whole notion of auditioning quilting designs is our topic this week.
We can audition quilt layouts in software like EQ7. We can audition fabrics on a design wall. But how can we audition quilting designs? Here are a few ideas.
Because I have created my own appliqué designs, I already have them drawn full size on paper. These drawings can be used as a base for auditioning quilting designs. You can create your own drawings of your blocks to use as a foundation. Be sure to outline the fixed elements with a permanent marker and use a pencil to audition the quilted elements.
This is my drawing of one-quarter of the trumpet block in the quilt Instruments of Praise. The red lines are fixed (appliqué) and the black lines are quilting lines.
Here is the block quilted.
Tracing paper can also be layered over the actual quilt to audition quilting designs. Watch a demo here.
Materials such as vinyl, plastic or plexiglass are see-through and work well for auditioning quilting designs. Be careful when laying clear plastic over the actual quilt not to draw past the edges and onto the quilt itself! Quilter’s Preview Paper, specifically designed for this purpose, is printed with a line on the edge to define the edges so you’ll know the boundaries of your drawing surface. Watch a demo here.
You can also use smaller clear plastic sheets such as page protectors, report covers, or overhead transparencies to audition quilting designs on printed quilt photographs. The downside of this approach is that the actual quilting designs will need to be enlarged before they can be used.
Quilting designs can be auditioned using your computer. Draw over your digital photos using Photoshop or other photo editing software and a graphics tablet. If you have an iPad, you might want to check out Adobe Ideas.
EQ7, from the Electric Quilt Company, includes a library of quilting stencils and a layer on the quilt worktable for auditioning quilt designs.