Quilt As Desired

June 14, 2022

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I hope you are doing well today! Before we dive into choosing how to quilt your next quilt, in this Quilt As Desired tutorial, I wanted to give you a quick introduction. I am a professional quilter, pattern writer, and educator.  Kansas is where I call home and I have been quilting for clients for over a decade. Every step of the quilt-making process I love, but the actual quilting is my very favorite part. I have quilted hundreds of quilts in my role as a longarm quilter and I thought I would share my favorite designs with you to make your next decision a little easier.

If you are on the hunt for a longarm quilter for your next project you can learn more about me over on my website tiacurtisquilts.com  Mention QUILTERS CANDY if you submit a quilt through my form and save 10% on E2E quilting for your first quilt. Thank you, Elizabeth for letting me wax on about quilting!

The Actual Quilting Step

You have finally finished the last stitch in your latest fantastic quilt and are at the end of the pattern and you read the dreaded words “quilt as desired”. How do those words make you feel? Are you overwhelmed with the possibilities or do you know exactly how to quilt your quilt?

Quilting is simply sewing layers together. This can be done by hand, by tying your quilt with yarn that will felt up a bit. It can be done by a domestic sewing machine with either a walking foot or a free motion foot, moving your quilt beneath the machine. Or it can be sewn by using a Longarm to quilt your quilt by moving the machine over your quilt. For this article, I would like to concentrate on the digital Longarm quilting route.

A longarm quilter can quilt an Edge to Edge (e2e) all over your quilt or do custom quilting or a combination of both. An E2E is one quilting design that covers the entire quilt. Custom quilting is quilting separate motifs and designs in each block and border. E2E quilting is definitely the most affordable and there are literally thousands of different options available ranging from fairly simple to incredibly complicated. 

I am asked all the time what my favorite Edge to Edge designs are so after much thought here they are…


Rainbow colored quilt with The Baptist Fan quilting design

The Baptist Fan  This is a classic design that dates back to the beginning of quilt history. It looks great on traditional quilts and is super clean and modern on contemporary quilts. I consider it the little black dress of digital quilting. I like the versions that nest well. Some don’t so be careful when with which Baptist fan you choose. There are also so many different versions of the Baptist Fan available. Some have many arcs and others only have a few that are even some with fun little designs in the center. You can’t go wrong with a Baptist Fan.

Rain Drops On The Pond long arm quilt pattern.

Raindrops On The Pond  I love swirls. I especially love swirls that overlap. This design is perfect for quilts with lots of beautiful negative space and creates fabulous texture. I also like to use it on quilts that are quite busy. There is something soothing about the combination of swirls and busy fabric.

Jessie’s Swirls I love how this design looks. It swirls but is not overwhelming. This one is an open swirl that creates a beautiful texture. I hunted for some time to find a nice open swirl that resembled my favorite hand-guided swirl. This is the closest I have come. I think it is a great substitution for a Mander or Stipple.

Orange Peel quilting design on greens and yellows
Orange Peel on house and tree quilt pattern

Orange Peel This is another classic quilting design. It looks great on all quilts. I love how it looks in the negative space of this green quilt and how it just becomes texture in the Fairytale quilt on the right. Orange Peel is another classic design with many different variations so you are sure to find a version that you love.

Anything by Krista Withers quilting design over reds, pinks, oranges purples, yellows...

Anything by Krista Withers I love using any of Krista Withers Designs. Some of them concatenate well and I can create a very custom look, but on an e2e budget. I think I used 5 different designs on this quilt. It is so pretty against all that beautiful solid fabric. 

  • Fun fact! Did you know there is an entire niche of the market that specializes in digitizing quilting designs? Quilt Artists digitize their free-hand work and longarm quilters can purchase the files to quilt them on their client’s quilts. It is pretty incredible. Some of my favorite Digital Quilt Artists are Karlee Porter, Krista Withers, Julie Hirt, Jess Ziegler, and Bethanne Nemish to name just a few. 
plus sign quilt design with Window Pane quilting

Window Pane This design is great on modern quilts. It creates an illusion of a grid or cross-hatch without the drama of trying to line up all the lines. It also creates such beautiful texture.

Karlee Porter's Graffiti Designs on scrappy multi colored fabrics

Karlee Porter’s Graffiti Designs I love how custom Karlee Porter’s digital designs can look…but don’t come with the price of custom work. Many of her designs do cost a bit extra due to how complicated they are and how much thread they tend to use, but they are worth every penny.

The Baptist Clam quilt design

The Baptist Clam is another great option that looks incredible on both traditional quilts and modern quilts alike. There are many Baptist Clam designs available with fun little surprises in the center like the design on the right. Those hearts are pretty sweet.

Uneven Grid quilt design

Uneven Grid This might be my favorite design for my own quilts…besides Custom. Sometimes I just need to get one of my personal quilts quilted quickly. I love how an uneven grid creates great texture but also lets the design of the quilt itself be the star. Sometimes I go back and over quilt elements of the quilt with black thread like I did with this quilt. It gives it a sketchy look that I enjoy. An uneven grid is just splendid for modern quilts. I saw quite a few at Quiltcon including one that I quilted for a client. 


I hope this has helped you think about quilting designs. There are so many available and most are just as simple for a longarm quilter to quilt out as a meander or stipple. These are some that I enjoy using on quilts there are thousands more available 

If you would like more information about any of the quilts in this post including the makers and quilt pattern names please check out my Instagram feed. I feature the quilts I have quilted for clients with all the pertinent information there. If you would like me to quilt a quilt for you, please check out my website and fill out my quote form. Don’t forget to mention QUILTERS CANDY for 10% off your next quilt. 


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