Planning a quilt
customer quilts

Planning a Quilt

Planning a quilt

What all goes into planning a quilt?

Planning a quilt doesn’t just entail what quilt pattern we are going to use to piece the quilt top. Most of the time we see a quilt or think up and design a quilt without much thought to how it is going to be quilted.

I thought I would give you some pointers from my point of view as the longarm quilter who may have the privilege to quilt it for you.

There should be some thought to how you want it quilted.

  • How will it be used?
  • Do you want it to be a showstopper?
    • Maybe for a quilt show.
    • Or displayed on a wall at home.
  • Will it be a much loved and used quilt for your sofa?
  • A seldom used spread for the spare room?
  • A picnic blanket?
  • A gift?
    • If a gift, how do you envision the recipient using it?
    • Will they value it as much as you do? Believe it or not there are some people who don’t think quilts are anything more than a blanket.

Your answer to that question can help you plan your quilt and the quilting you want on it. Making a quilt is a huge investment, in time and money so the time you take now planning out what your desired outcome will help later on when the time comes to having it quilted.

Most of us (myself included) make a quilt because we love to sew and love quilting in particular. We want to give it as a gift, or keep it to use on bed, sofa or even a wall. The final destination will help you determine the type of quilting you will want on it.

Let me tell you a little story:

Years ago I made a beautiful quilt for my son Nathan. He wanted a Celtic cross and I found a pattern that I could adapt and enlarge to make a king size quilt for him. It was the biggest quilt I have ever made and I decided to have it appraised. Then I made the mistake of telling him what the appraisal was. 🙂 he was afraid to use it. I am happy that he values my quilts but I did intend for him to use it and he does now but it resided at my home for several years.

But I have also seen quilts that were quilted with love, lots of money spent of the fabric and custom quilting and it was used to cover the sofa where the dogs laid and was eventually ruined. We can’t be in control of what happens to the quilts after we gift them but we can plan according to what we would hope would happen.

Nathans Celtic Cross

Now that you have decided the eventual use of the quilt lets look at options to quilting it.

    • Utilitarian quilt – I consider any quilt that is going to be used heavily and not always in the best way a utilitarian quilt. Picnic quilts, throw on the sofa or ottoman, one for a toddler/baby to play on etc. You don’t want to spend a lot of money to quilt a utilitarian quilt so one of these would be a good choice.
      • Simple meandering
      • Pantograph designs
      • Free motion edge 2 edge designs


    • Bed quilt- something that will enhance the rooms decor but often much more than a bedspread, and can serve the purpose of keeping you warm in the winter. (I tend to sleep under a couple of quilts in the winter and one light quilt in the summer)
      • This quilt can be quilted with the same as a utility quilt and often you will find that a pretty pantograph is the perfect compliment to the quilt top without taking away from the pattern and fabric.
      • Pantograph designs
      • Free motion edge 2 edge designs
      • Custom quilting to enhance the quilt block layout.


    • Wall quilt- Most every quilter that I know has made at least one wall quilt, and they are just for show. You can get many different looks depending on what you like best.
      • Pantograph designs
      • Free motion edge 2 edge designs
      • Custom quilting to enhance the quilt block layout.
      • Heirloom custom also is a great option for the wall hanging.


  • Show quilt- If you are making a show quilt and entering it into a juried quilt show then you will want to spend the extra money to have it quilted especially nice, I wouldn’t want anything but the following for a quilt destined for a juried show.
    • Custom quilting to enhance the quilt block layout.
    • Heirloom custom also is a great option.

I am no longer quilting for hire but I hope the information you find on my blog helps you out in your quilting journey.

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