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How to Choose the Perfect Quilting Design

Is there such a thing as the perfect quilt design? Depending on who you ask, yes and no. It's the ideal example of the "perfect" being the enemy of the "good." Ask any quilter, and they'll say that they can spend hours, days, weeks, or even months searching for the right design for their next project. 

It's a challenge because, with the endless scrolling on Instagram and Pinterest, the question is always lingering, "Is there a better pattern out there?" Don't worry. You can implement a clear process that cuts down on decision fatigue and makes finding a pattern fun again. 

Determine Style First 

Do you want something minimalistic, or something bright and bold? Will you use a barrage of patterns with allover designs or use squares to segment different visual elements? Before you even begin looking at actual patterns, decide on these essential things. 

One tip from an old quilter is to grab a scrap for inspiration. You may not actually use that scrap in your quilt, but it can give you a foundation. Find a scrap that makes you want to quilt or makes you happy and then base the style around that bit of fabric. 

Decide Your Method

Even if you're no longer a beginner, you probably have your preferred method of quilting and a specific process you have in place. Will you quilt freehand, with a machine, using rulers, or do finishing touches by hand? Think about how you like to quilt, the tools you have on hand, and then use that as a determining question. 

For example, if you’re using a quilting machine, you'll have a lot of variety and access to different designs. But, if you're quilting freehand, then you won't be very interested in designs that are ruled by perfectly straight lines. 

Study Your Inspiration 

Now that you know your style and method preferences, you can start looking for inspiration. However, don’t go in search of that one design that is your end-all-be-all. Instead, look for bits that stick out. 

Consider these elements when studying quilts for inspiration:

  • Fabric shape
  • Fabric patterns
  • Themes
  • Contrast or complementary elements between designs, shapes, and stitching patterns

Weigh out these elements to help guide you through the designs you’re considering. Study each quilt or square that you see online to identify what is catches your interest.

Design Your Own 

If you’re really overwhelmed, doodle a little bit. Before you start up your machine or pull out your scissors, reach for a piece of paper and a pen. Outline a little bit and see what elements you liked from your inspiration that can work together to produce a stunning quilt. 

When you believe you've found the perfect design, make sure that you give it a rest for a few days. Coming back to a design after you haven't looked at it for a few days should still give you that insta-moment of loving it.

When you’re ready to start quilting, be sure to check out GoldStar Tool for all your quilting needs. If you can’t find what you are looking for, or have questions, be sure to reach out to our knowledgable team for inspiration and answers.