Deciding what “Quilt as Desired” is

Screen Shot 2018-04-11 at 8.38.59 PM

Lately, I’ve seen people in blog-land asking about how to decide on what to quilt. Sew, I thought I’d blog about what I do.

I used to absolutely HATE it when I saw “Quilt as Desired” on a pattern.  It made me wonder if the designer had no idea on how to quilt what she/he designed?  As a beginner quilter, it left me frustrated and at a loss of what to do.    Now – it just gives me the freedom to do what I want without any outside influences.

SEW … that brings me to “How do I decide what to quilt?”   I have a quite a few Pinterest boards with links to various sites: Free Motion Quilting (FMQ), Leah Day,  Ruler Work and links to FMQ videos   All of these provide inspiration and ideas.  I have a few books with quilting ideas in them.  But my favourite of all is my own personal notebook.  This book was a gift that a quilting friend made – isn’t it cute?img_2420.jpg

When I take a class or see something I think I may want to try, I jot them down in my notebook.  Here is a sample of a few of the pages: the the bottom on the left is from a class I did with Kathleen Riggins.  She is an awesome teacher …

By the way: I can usually quilt better than I can draw.

The next thing I do is to take a large sheet of clear heavy weight plastic that has painter’s tape on all 4 edges. The sheet is about 4′ x 4′.  The painter’s tape is to alert you to the edges as you don’t want to colour on your quilt.  When it’s not being used, it’s rolled up and sits in a corner of the room.

I lay the sheet on top of my quilt and try out various designs using dry erase pens.  I try to remember to take pictures because what I did first, I might like best.

When working on the Sudoku quilt (see HERE), I knew that I wanted 9 different designs – one for each of the blocks.  So, I played around with different ideas and then choose what I liked best.

You can see the painter’s tape on the  pictures above. Unfortunately, with the glare, the pictures are not clear, but it’s the ideas I want, not a perfect picture.  And, in real life, it is enough to give me an idea of what I’m thinking of.  Edit:  Roseanne, a friend and fellow blogger, posted today about using an acrylic sheet to do the same thing as my plastic.  Go HERE to see her post.

Here are a couple of close-ups of the drawing.

Sew … if you are deciding what “Quilt as Desired” means to you, do the following

  1. Gather your inspiration
  2. Pull out your sheet of plastic and dry erase pens
  3. Play with different ideas
  4. Take pictures
  5. Quilt it out

And, yes, some quilts need to languish  an intermission break until you have the inspiration to quilt it.

As I was writing this, I was going to put “languish” in … and I went to languish synonyms and it said, “suffer from being forced to remain in an unpleasant place or situation”  We do not want our quilts to suffer or remain in an unpleasant place!  We want them quilted and DONE!!!!

You can see the finished Sudoku quilt HERE.


I was featured again on Wednesday’s Wait Loss with this post on my Serged top.


Happy Quilting!


Linking to:





13 thoughts on “Deciding what “Quilt as Desired” is

  1. I like both ideas. I saw some clear plastic on the bolt at Wal Mart and though I might pick some up. I think being able to roll it up and out of the way when not in use will be helpful for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great tips! I think “quilt as desired” hangs a lot of us up. It’s very intimidating especially when you are new to quilting. I love using Plexiglas and markers to audition designs and Pinterest is a life saver sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Gail! That’s for the shout out. I just adore the way you quilted your Sudoko quilt. I think it was incredibly clever to begin with, and now to see the back story on how you decided how to quilt each square is just so cool. I do need to add the tape to the edges of my acrylic board so I don’t lose my head and mark right on the quilt itself. I find that I can quilt much better than I can draw, too! Thank heavens. HAHA! ~smile~ Roseanne

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Roseanne … it just made sense to quilt each block consistently! Perhaps, I should have shown the “process” as I was preparing the quilt, but I just took a few pictures, started the post and figured I’d post it when it was ready!
      Yes, go add tape to the edge of your board NOW!!! (otherwise, if you’re like me, you’ll forget and you’ll think of it when your dry erase pen slips off the edge) …
      Happy Quilting! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: A Nice Acrylic Board Addition – Home Sewn By Us

Comments are closed.