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Thing #4 How I see a quilt…

For a long time, it never occurred to me to consider that I might see quilts differently than others see them.  I have had countless conversations with people about quilts, usually theirs, sometimes mine.  One of the most common things I hear is “don’t look at the mistakes”.  I usually laugh when I hear this since it would be quite a challenge for me to quilt a quilt without looking at it.  The truth is, however, that I rarely notice “mistakes.”  Quilts are hand made, they are all unique, and believe me, I have not seen a perfect one yet!  Maybe that’s why so many people are drawn to quilting…it gives us an opportunity to strive for that ever elusive dream of getting all of our points just right without being cut off, while still managing to produce a remarkable thing of beauty,
even when we don’t manage perfection.


One thing that has caught me by surprise is that, with a few exceptions, I have no trouble thinking of quilting ideas for clients quilts.  I can also look in a magazine and come up with a few ideas for quilting the sample quilts.  However, when it comes to my own quilts…I can be stumped for months.  Some of my tops have yet to be finished because I can’t imagine how to quilt them! I find this to be somewhat frustrating, but I think I know why it happens.

When I am working on a project myself, it is hard for me to see it as a whole.  I can visualize how it will look when it’s done, but I just can’t seem to see the “forest for the trees.”




Since I have been involved in the fabric selection, as well as the cutting and piecing process…I think I have some sort of mental block about the finished product. However, with a client’s quilt, I have never seen it in any other state…so all I see is the whole.


This can have it’s benefits.  Since I don’t always know what the individual blocks were intended to be, I can often add a new design element to the quilt by accentuating a secondary pattern through quilting.  At times, however, I think it can also make communication difficult.  For me, it is important to be able to fulfill the client’s vision for their quilt, this can be a bit of a challenge when the client and I are seeing two different things.  I always strive to communicate with clients to the point that we are both seeing the same thing, I hope this is the case more times than not!

I hope this information helps you with your next visit to your long-arm quilter.  Do you find it difficult to choose quilting patterns on your own quilts too?

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