I just finished custom quilting a quilt for my customer, Edie Johnson. This quilt was made by one of the ladies in Quilting From the Heart’s Sampler Series. A couple of months ago I quilted another one for these for a different customer, Blanche Grauman, same blocks but a little different setting. I like how both quilts turned out. They both have merits. I thought it would be interesting to compare these quilts and talk about how to choose between edge to edge and custom quilting. But 1st, let’s make it clear what custom and edge to edge mean.
Edge to edge quilting means a pattern that is repeated from one edge of the quilt to the other, and where the rows of this pattern interlock. Pantograms (a line drawing on paper that Longarm quilters follow with a laser pointer) are one type of edge to edge quilting. Another type would be freehand fills.
Custom quilting is a unique collection of designs that are picked to suit a particular quilt or element in the quilt. They are often designed or redesigned to fit a specific space in the quilt. Custom quilting is more time consuming to both plan and to stitch out than edge to edge quilting.
Let’s look at some pictures of these two quilts.
As I said in the introduction, I like how both quilts turned out. So why did one choose custom and the other edge to edge? Probably the biggest factor is price. Custom is considerably more expensive than edge to edge. Another consideration is end use. Is the quilt going to be washed a lot, or put on display? Some consider how the quilt feels in the end. A custom quilt is usually quilted denser, and feels stiffer as a result than one quilted with an edge to edge design (although washing a custom quilt will soften it considerably).
In the end there may not be a right or a wrong choice. It simply comes down to personal preference…