Quilt patterns are a great way to design a quilt, especially for those of us who enjoy the process of quilting but don’t feel quite so confident of our artistic or creative abilities. Quilt patterns can be purchased in places as diverse as arts and crafts show, quilt shows, crafts stores, resale shops and thrift stores, and even on the internet.
Many quilt patterns feature traditional themes and motifs, such as Sunbonnet Sue, the double wedding ring, and log cabin quilting. Many of the most common patterns are known by different names, depending on geographic region or time in history.
Quilt patterns are very versatile and can be achieved by several techniques, including blocks, patchwork, and appliqué. A decorative embellishment may be applied as one focal point, such as a medallion, or it can be repeated on a smaller scale for equally dramatic effect.
Crazy quilts represent a rather free-flowing design instead of the more traditional quilt patterns. When making crazy quilts, the end result is more likely to resemble a landscape painting, portrait, or abstract work of art as opposed to the more symmetrical, uniform design associated with traditional quilts.
Not all quilt patterns are the result of the colors and fabrics incorporated into the work, however. In many cases, the number of fabrics and colors used are minimal, in order to present an elaborate display of stitch work in more prominent fashion.
Trapunto quilting is achieved by inserting fabric, cording, or some other form of stuffing between two parallel rows of stitching to form quilt patterns that are somewhat subtle but prized for their elegance in design and detail.
Shadow quilting is typical of the Hawaiian-style of quilting, where one very prominent appliqué is attached to a solid-colored piece of whole cloth using traditional stitching. This line of stitching which secures the appliqué to the whole-cloth background is then repeated in closely spaced parallel lines of stitching throughout the solid-colored background, producing a shadowing effect. Shadow quilting and echo quilting are the same quilt patterns although the names of the technique are used interchangeably.
Even with standardized patterns available, there is no limit to the quilt patterns available for use today. If a desired pattern cannot be found, it’s now quite easy to design one’s own patterns using computer-aided design software tools that make designing quilts, and almost anything else, quite a snap.