As a longarmer there are several different processes that you can follow in order to longarm quilt. I wanted to share one with you all as I go through the process of quilting a wonderful quilt from one of my customers, who allows me to do whatever I want to do for her. Here is a pic of her wonderful quilt!
This quilt is very special in that each block contains pieces of fabric from many people in her family. So, what I do is put it on the frame (or sometimes up on the design wall) until it "speaks to me". I know that sounds kinda crazy, but it will speak if I let it. Sometimes, if I don't have time to wait around and wait for the conversation...I have to just go with something that "works". Just looking at this quilt it is fairly traditional in the blocks in that these patterns pieced in the blocks are blocks that have been pieced by quilters for generations. The usual suspects in a traditional quilt are Baptist Fan, Feathers, Clamshells and/or Meander. When I spoke to her we talked about "swoopy swirly patterns" there are many swoopy swirly type patterns of feathers, but not so much of the Baptist Fan or Meander.
Then, I go to the patterns in my computer and online to see what other type pattterns might work or even better be optimum. For many people, I would go with a flower pattern "swoopy, swirly" of course, but my customer is more geometric type I think. (When I say geometric - I mean shapes that aren't recognizable as anything...like swirls, squares, circles etc...not flowers, leaves etc.) A shape that I think would be good for this quilt is a heart...I have found two patterns with swirls and heart shapes...here they are:
Another thing that I have to consider when I am picking the pattern is what thread am I going to use. On this quilt I think the colors to consider are a patriotic selection...red, white and blue.
Due to the heart patterns, the blue is out! So, it is between the white and red. I really love the first pattern with the red thread. So, I am going to take a break and let it settle... I sit in front of the quilt and look at the patterns and try to visualize. Then, I go on the computer and look at the patterns online and see if there are any hearts that I like better. There are some hearts that look like feathers instead of hearts with swirls...since she and I talked about swoopy swirly, I am going with the hearts and swirls. I have decided on the first pattern with the red thread. I will post a picture when I get it done and you can tell me what you think. Then, when I give it back to the customer - I will let you know what the customer thought.
Woke up this morning and turned it all on its head...decided on another pattern feather hearts called Holly's Hearts and decided to go with White thread. Here's a pic...stitching it now.