Choosing a design is somewhat like the '60's "Ball in a plastic maze game." You put the ball in the top hole and run it through a series of horizontal mazes. At the end of each hallway in a maze is a hole to the next level. Only one hole will make it all the way through the four layers of mazes and exit the bottom.
Choosing the design for your quilt is like that 3D maze! The maze you start with should be the most restrictive, meaning it eliminates the most designs that do not fit. An example would be for a baby shower. You might start with the gender level: boy, girl, unknown. The second level would be the occasion of a baby shower, etc.
The levels that I think of are:
- Quilt Design
- Fabric Design
- Design Type
Regardless of the height of the ranking, I believe that this is the level that gets to the crux of the issue: "How does one choose a design that fits the occasion?"
Most quilts are created for an occasion.
That occasion can be narrow or broad. Some examples are:
- Quilts of Valor Quilts,
- Cancer Quilts,
- Challenge Quilts,
Generally speaking, each of these categories defines, or limits, the appropriateness of a design. For example, a patriotic design that would fit a Quilts of Valor Quilt would not be appropriate for a baby quilt, unless the family were military.
This latter example shows the flexibility of the approach.."Military" brought up a level the would include active military, vets, rank, etc.
For Whom The Quilt Is Given
The second question is "For whom is it?" This usually boils down to sex.
Marriages seem to scream heart designs, but that may exclude the male partner. Warrior quilts call for masculine, patriotic designs, but what about the woman warrior?
Likewise, birth quilts usually boil down to boy, girl, and unisex.
The design of a quilt may dictate the design used. For example, a quilt of pinwheels most likely will get pinwheel designs, The same is true for double wedding ring quilts, and so on.
Quilts, except "whole cloth" quilts, are made of many fabrics. Each fabric has a design, or multiple designs. Usually the designs of the individual fabrics are different, so the spectrum of design choices is quite large.You can choose a design that mimics a prevalent fabric design.
This is an unusual category. It usually depends upon the investment you are willing to put into a quilt. Examples are, in increasing cost order:
- Edge-To-Edge With Borders
The cost of a design also increases with the ranking. The Edge-To-Edge design may cost $15, whereas the heirloom patterns can cost over $100, just for the design, with the corresponding increasingly expensive quilting on top.
Choosing a stitching design for your quilt is a series of eliminations. Your longarming professional can assist you in doing this rapidly.This method will rapidly decrease the choices from 5,000 down to one.
I have listed some major design filters or levels. I'm sure that you can think up additional levels of elimination, depending on you, your quilt and the receiver.