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How Should I Quilt This – Part 1

How do you begin a quilting project? Are you inspired by an image on Pinterest, a quilt in a magazine? Or, do you find fabrics that speak to you and you HAVE to use them? At that time do you ask yourself “How should I quilt this?”.

Most people don’t have a clue how they will finish a quilt until after piecing and all borders are in place. In fact, I can’t remember the last quilt I even thought about how to Quilt it!

Quilt projects have a tendency to take on a life of their own. By the time you decide how to actually do the quilting, plans may have changed. In this first installment, I will present some interesting examples of custom quilting and why these decisions were made.

Edge to Edge or Custom?

For most folks, this is the ultimate question. Should I choose an Edge to Edge pattern, meander or ditch work, or should I branch out and do custom elements?

I won’t go into all the reasons for this decision because, for the most part, it is personal. Cost, time, use – all these are major considerations. Instead, I will show you some real examples of custom quilts. These answer the question of custom vs. edge to edge quilting.

Quilt it Custom?

The Golden Pineapple

The Golden Pineapple

A quilt begging custom treatment is The Golden Pineapple. There are many reasons why I chose custom quilting for this project.

  • As a show entry, the chance of recognition is higher. Also, the quilting adds to the beauty of the quilt.
  • The embroidery elements stand out due to all the micro-quilting.
  • Secondary patterns emerge with the embroidery quilting elements.
  • An edge to edge design would have been OK, but custom quilting makes this project spectacular.

This effort took weeks to finish on the long arm and had many thread changes. As a labor of love, it was worth all the effort.

We the People

We the People is not a show quilt. I fell in love with the beauty of the panel. From here I wanted to create something custom that sprung from that inner element. Could I have chosen a simple edge to edge pattern? Yes. It was because I loved the look so much that I decided to put in some extra time.

Drunkard’s Game

Drunkards game

Drunkard’s Game was a fun quilt that deserved some fun quilting. This was the first time that I used gold thread. I was unsure at first, but adore the look.

Drunkard’s Game is a super-fun quilt. This was also the first time I used gold thread on my long arm. At first I was a bit hesitant, but after a short while, i could see the impact. Never again will I hesitate to try something new, you never know what will happen.

This is not a show quilt, even though I used double batting. Instead, I made this for me. As a personal quilt that I use daily, it brings great joy. Custom quilting this one was the right decision.

An Elegant Affair

elegant log cabin

As a custom project, An Elegant Affair is classic. Log cabin blocks are so much fun to custom quilt. There are tons of inspiration online to choose from.

All the quilting was hand-guided, I did not use any computerized designs on this. The borders are continuous feathers, a design I love to quilt out. The block was a custom design I came up with and it really created nice secondary patterns.

Elegant Block Quilting Diagram

This block uses both a feather-type treatment and ruler work.


In this post we discussed how and why I like to do custom quilting. Next week, we will talk more about how to quilt while focusing on the Edge to Edge treatment.

In the meantime, please check out the latest deals at Urban Elementz. Purchasing designs for your projects by clicking on this link helps to support our blog. THANKS!

How do you plan to quilt your next project?

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