Monday, December 3, 2012

What is your favorite design?

This might seem like an odd question - What is your favorite design? - but surprisingly enough, it led me to an interesting connection.

free motion quilting | Leah DayI've been busy designing and planning for 2013 and on Saturday I decided to make a list of my favorite designs.You might assume that my list would be very long, but it actually wasn't. All told, my list of favorites is around 25 designs.

But then I started looking at the list further and began to see a connection - every single design on the list was one I'd used significantly in a quilt.

So are these really my favorites, or just the designs I've gotten to know a bit?

If you think about it, a design you've used and quilted for 4 hours or 4 days is bound to stick in your head a bit. For your next quilt you might use it again because it will easily come to mind. "Ah! I know what to put here. I'll use Paisley!"

The more you use it, the more comfortable it seems until it's the design you use for every single quilt. It is your favorite after all, and favorite designs get used the most often.

But go back to WHY it is your favorite - it's your favorite because you used it in one quilt and got lots of practice with it!

As always, practice is the ultimate key. The more you stitch a design, whether it's on a quilt, a practice sandwich, a pot holder, or placemat, the more you stitch it, the more connections you will make with that design.

If you're feeling frustrated by free motion quilting right now, return to one design you feel comfortable with. If you don't feel comfortable with anything right now, pick one single design and start quilting it on everything.

So today take a look back at all the designs we've learned so far this year and see which ones stand out as easy and fun, and which still feel difficult or tedious. How much time did you spend working with them? How much space did you cover?

If you're looking to build skill in any area, with any design, the solution is simple - go quilt it!

Leah

9 comments:

  1. My go to favorite is paisley, but I absolutely love is spiral matrix.

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  2. Cubing, matrix, pebbling, Overlapping triangles! I love these most because they are easy for me to quilt on a larger scale. My very vey favorite is coffee beans though!

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  3. Hi...I would have to say ...Zippling! I absolutely loved that design and it came as a total surprise to me that I actually was able to complete a whole section with that design when doing the Wonky Block quilt. Apart from that I liked the Whole Cloth and would not mind doing more practice around feather designs as they still don't come that easy to me...at least not freehand.

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  4. I'm a big fan of paisley and trapped paisley. They are fun to stitch, and I love the look of them.

    Goldilocks is another favorite, along with stippling and loopy line.

    Yeah, I think I like the ones that I learned to do well, but I also think I learned to do them well because I like the way they look! If I learned how to do feathers well, they would be high on my list.

    I'm about to do Matrix on a quilt, and I bet if it looks good, it'll also become one of my favorites!

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  5. Number one on my short list is Flowing Leaves. I tend to do art quilts that incorporate leaves in the image and this makes a great filler motif that reflects the theme. Because I return to it again, again it naturally flows while I am executing it. When I want contrasting textures I turn to Goldilocks and her sister designs - anything that I can sneak in between the flowing lines. Note the word FLOW and how it repeats in my comment. It is the Zen of the pattern, the tranquility it creates in both appearance and when stitching it that makes a pattern a favorite with me.

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  6. Number one on my short list is Flowing Leaves. I tend to do art quilts that incorporate leaves in the image and this makes a great filler motif that reflects the theme. Because I return to it again, again it naturally flows while I am executing it. When I want contrasting textures I turn to Goldilocks and her sister designs - anything that I can sneak in between the flowing lines. Note the word FLOW and how it repeats in my comment. It is the Zen of the pattern, the tranquility it creates in both appearance and when stitching it that makes a pattern a favorite with me.

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  7. Pointy Paisley, Modern Art, Ocean Current, Pebbles in Stream, after that the names are little more jumbled/less remembered. I'm loving spirals, pom poms, there's that new one that I don't know the name of but love how easy it is.

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  8. Paisley does come very naturally to me. But I have to admit I had fun quilting the triangle paisley.

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