I once read a comment by a longarm quilter, that she refuses to accept the following from her customers: “Oh, quilt it with any design you like. You have a better idea about this than I do, after all, it's your job.” Her response was to take out the same pantograph pattern with cowboy boots all over it. Suddenly, her customer would have a definite opinion of what to put (or, not put) on her quilt.
I always start a consultation with a customer the same way. “What do YOU see for this piece? How do you envision it being quilted?” And, sometimes it takes a little coaxing on my part for a customer to open up and let me see inside her mind.
Recently, towards the end of the consultation, my customer said, “Well, I guess I ought to tell you what I didn't like about the last time I had a piece quilted professionally.” She went on to explain that her king size quilt was finished with lots of tiny curls all over it. She hated it so much, she gave it away. Certainly, a very large quilt would look out of proportion with any tiny, tight pattern all over it. Personally, I can't imagine quilting any large quilt with a tiny design; it would take WAY TOO LONG. But, more importantly, the quilting motifs must be in proportion to the size of the quilt, especially in the case of a edge-to-edge design. Maybe, that's one of the reasons I don't use pantographs...the design is set in stone.
I kind of got the impression that she didn't originally plan to tell me this little piece of information. Maybe she didn't want to disparage another quilter. Maybe she was afraid to have too much input into the process. Maybe she didn't think it was really important. EVERY piece of information on how you feel your quilt should be finished is an ESSENTIAL piece of information. Or, you could end up with cowboy boots all over your floral applique quilt!
After the customer and I decided on the type of leaf vine to place on the quilt, I doodled a bit on paper and this is what I came up with. The leaves average 4 inches in length. Just right, I think, for the size of the quilt.