evolution of a design

i have a long arm and i'm not afraid to use it. sometimes, i get a quilt that makes me step back and go, hmmmm?

kathy brought me her quilt to quilt and it has this log cabin type flower block. not exactly screaming at me at how to quilt it.  i'm going to share a short peek inside my head while i design the quilting motif for this block and the why.

first i grab my mylar plastic that i use to 'sketch' my ideas onto with a dry erase marker. the marker wipes off easily with a piece of scrap batting. this is also handy because i can draw the design the exact size i'll be stitching, so i can get the muscle memory practice.

i know i'll need 'travel' points (where i transition from one section to another) my style is to use intersecting piecing points. so i chalk the straight line through the points of the log cabin pieces (you can see the faint line. i don't need to be able to see it from across the room- just enuf to see it as i quilt. plus by making it faint makes it easy to remove when i'm done. i use Miracle Chalk. it removes by steam, water, and dusting with a lint brush)
it is a flower block, so i start playing with ideas that would look like a flower. i doodled the petal shapes and i like them and decide that this will be part of the design.

the only problem is that it doesn't bring me back to my chalked travel points.....okay now what???

i could just use a ruler and SID back, but i'm not a SID fan...plus i'm using a purple thread and it could show and be unattractive. plus ruler work would push the cost of the quilting up, and it's not included in the proposed estimated budget.

i am putting feathers on another part of the quilt, so what if i echo the petal shapes back to my travel point???

perfect, and a simple CC type line will get me to my next area! throw in a little 'toot' at the top and i have my design.

that's exactly what i did and here's the finished quilted block. i quilted up the left side, and came down the right side- starting and stopping at the same spot.

so there you have it, a peek inside my head as i doodle on a quilt.

quilt smarter, not harder :)


  1. Thank you for sharing your design process. Thats the hardest part for me. What you came up with looks great!

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  3. Thanks for the process. I reach for the ruler WAY too often. You make it look so easy. My new motto: Quilt smarter, not harder!

  4. They are fabulous and thanks for sharing the process!

  5. It looks beautiful! Great quilting idea.

  6. That is a fabulous design Shannon, I too use this technique but with flower wrap. I'm interested to see what you are going to do in the white area of that block?

    Best Wishes
    Kay in Scotland

  7. Wonderful, Shannon...thanks for sharing!

  8. OH, I enjoyed the process...thanks!

  9. What's a CC type line?

    1. CC stands for 'Continious Curve' it's a line that gently arks from one point to another.

  10. Do you know how many times that saying has popped into my head in the last 3 weeks???? Thanks for sharing your quilting thought process with us. Love the design. CindyT

  11. Thanks for this - very helpful.
    Your customers are lucky to have you!

  12. Thanks for the lesson, it took me a few minutes to suss the path, you are so clever, if you are ever in the UK do you fancy a teaching job?????


  13. Thanks so much for showing how you design a quilting design for a quilt! I don't have a longarm but your tip about using a piece of mylar and using dry erase markers is brilliant! Thanks for sharing!

  14. THis is so pretty. What a great idea. I have an apqs midarm, but it doesn't have front controls, and my control button on back is just an on/off button, so it is very hard to free motion quilt! I have tried a little, but mostly just wavy lines and echo quilting. I am in awe!


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