Quilting Pattern

Pantographs and the Pursuit of the Perfect Quilting Pattern

When there is a will there’s a way, and I will these chain-piece bias squares away. I feel like they’re always watching me, brooding as I stroll across my sewing room. They sit there looking like they’ve been punished toddlers, sitting indefinitely in time out for whatever reason.

My grandson will soon be a teenager, and I’m making him a quilt that he can hopefully take with him through high school and into college one day. I about fell out of my chair when he told me that he’d like hot pink and teal for his color choices. WHAT?! Hot pink? Teenage boy? Are you sure? Once he explained that it was the athletic shoe company Adidas’ color of the year it made a little more sense, but still. Teenage boys are much different than they used to be.

I’m one of those rare old gals who likes to improvise her quilts as she goes along. I like to begin and see where the night goes, you know? I tell my quilter friends that the fabric speaks to me.

The new patterns, while beautiful and fun on the eyes, are not my favorite. I’m pretty partial to the old styles such as Hovering Hawks, Puss in a Corner, and Log Cabin. Probably because they all have angles that are 45 degrees or larger. I’m just not about having to work as hard, and I’m trying to cut back on my cussing. Old habits die hard. I truly love the scrappy looking quilts, and my extensive fabric stash gives me a nice variety to pull from.

I’ll start by pulling out all of my teal fabric (or whatever color it is that day) and get to pressing and clipping. I almost become hypnotized by the patterns as the quilt starts to take shape. I’ve always said that I won’t know who the quilt is for until the quilt decides what it wants to look like. That is, unless I’m making one for someone in particular.

Brainless chain-piecing is probably so hard for me because I’m not getting any younger- I can’t stand up to clip, press and trim for long periods of time, I can’t sit to piece them all together for that long either. I definitely can’t move back and forth from the ironing board to the floor like I once could. Now I find that when I’m making a quilt specifically for someone it is easier for me to start with a pantograph. I think it helps me piece together ideas, gives me an idea of the fabric and types of patterns I should pull. Maybe I can combat the hot pink by more masculine pantograph patterns such as Boardwalk, Jacob’s Other Ladder, Hot Rod, or Biggy Smalls (RIP).

Anyway, I better get off this chair on get to work on these tedious chain-piece squares or they will never get done.

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