Video Tutorial: How to Choose the Perfect Pantograph for Your Quilt

image of double wedding ring quilt with a paper pantograph laying on top of it and text reads "Choose the Perfect Pantograph for your Quilt - Longarm Quilting Tips - Quilted Joy

One of the most common questions we get at Quilted Joy is, how should I quilt my quilt? It’s so common we’ve dedicated a whole section of our Quilted Joy Clubhouse to the topic! We have a brand new video for you where Angela shares her tips and tricks for how to choose the perfect pantograph for your quilt! Watch the video below!

By using the clues you find in your quilt top’s genre and fabrics and considering the quilt owner’s tastes and preferences you’ll find it’s much easier to choose the perfect pantograph for your quilt!

Look for Clues in the Fabrics

When our quilt fairies are helping a customer choose the perfect pantograph, the first place they look for inspiration is the fabrics. In the video, Angela looked at Cheri’s quilt with lots of stars, stripes, and other patriotic fabrics. A pantograph like Swirly Stars, or really any of the pantographs in our Patriotic Valor Paper Pantograph Package, would be perfect for Cheri’s quilt! The pantograph matches the stars in Cheri’s fabrics and adds to the patriotic feel of her quilt.

image of a patriotic tumbler block quilt with the Swirly Stars paper pantograph

Choosing the perfect pantograph for Cheri’s quilt was super easy compared to the other quilt Angela looked at in the video! Nancy brought us this fun scrappy double wedding ring quilt. The scrappy nature of her quilt meant there wasn’t an overarching theme to the fabrics at first glance. But look a little closer and you’ll see many of the prints in Nancy’s quilt are very floral. One particular fabric has a very baroque style floral print. The Quilt Fairies thought a pantograph like Lorien’s Phoenix would be a fun nod to those floral prints.

close up image of a double wedding ring quilt
image of double wedding ring quilt with the Lorien's Phoenix Paper Pantograph

Consider the Quilt’s Style

The next factor we consider to choose the perfect pantograph is the quilt’s genre and style. While the tumbler block piecing in Cheri’s quilt didn’t lean towards a particular genre, the patriotic fabrics certainly did! The scrappiness of Nancy’s double wedding ring had us scratching our heads a bit. So next we considered pantographs with designs as traditional and classic as the double wedding ring!

image of double wedding ring quilt with the Nemesh Feather Grande Paper Pantograph

Feathers and orange peels are classic quilting designs you’ll see over and over again in antique quilts. They’re tried and true and well loved for a reason! Angela looked at the Nemesh Feather Grande pantograph for Nancy’s quilt, but felt it was maybe a little too modern for Nancy’s quilt. But don’t completely disregard a modernized pantograph of a classic design! Sometimes the the piecer uses more modern fabrics, like in this contemporary double wedding ring quilt where we used a fun double bubble pantograph for the quilting!

Who is the Quilt For?

Sometimes the best clue for choosing the perfect pantograph is in who the quilt is for. Take some time to consider who will be using the quilt and how they’ll be using it. While Angela’s aunt might like a flowery pantograph on her quilt, her sons would prefer something more masculine or gender neutral. Think about the Nemesh Feather Grande pantograph Angela showed with Nancy’s quilt. That pantograph would be perfect if the quilt was for Angela because she likes traditional designs with a modern twist. But Nancy told us she prefers a more traditional style, so we wanted to look at different options like the Mandarin Lace pantograph for Nancy.

image of double wedding ring quilt with the Mandarin Lace Paper Pantograph

Did We Choose the Perfect Pantograph for Cheri and Nancy?

image of a patriotic tumbler block quilt

So what pantographs did Cheri and Nancy choose for their quilts? Not surprisingly, Cheri wanted a very patriotic theme for her quilt. But the Swirly Stars pantograph was a little too dense for her taste. Instead she opted for the Shooting Star Pantograph, which has big open stars paired with swirling loops.

image of double wedding ring quilt

Nancy chose a completely different design for her quilt! While she liked the floral and lacy designs we looked at, she really wanted something a little more traditional to go with her double wedding ring quilt. She opted for an updated orange peel pantograph that mimicked the look and movement of the rings in her quilt.

It’s always important to remember, there isn’t necessarily one “perfect” pantograph for your quilt. Following cues from the quilt top’s fabrics and genre and considering who the quilt is for will narrow down your choices considerably. But what matters more than finding the perfect quilting design is the joy of snuggling up under a handmade quilt!

Discover even more longarm quilting tips in Quilted Joy’s Learning Center! Grow your skills with tons of helpful longarm quilting tutorials, videos, articles, and downloadables.

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Angela Huffman- Triplet Momma. Quilter. Teacher. Thread Bimbo

I’m Angela- Co-host of the Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting PBS show. APQS Long arm Dealer and Educator. Triplet Momma. Designer. Thread Bimbo.

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