I come from a long line of sign writers and am happiest with a brush and some paint! Add
paint to fabric and I get really excited!!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Spaced out on pantographs

One thing about quilting for yourself is that you end up having a lot of binding to sew on. I am currently finishing two quilts right now - one I quilted with a freehand design and the other is my first pantograph. For anyone unfamiliar with the term, a pantograph pattern is a to-size pattern that you lay at the back of your longarm. Using a laser, you trace the panto from the back while your machine simultaneously stitches this pattern on your quilt at the front. It can also be referred to as edge to edge quilting.

When you buy an APQS longarm, an assortment of goodies is included: some needles, bobbins, batting samples and a couple of pantographs. The pantos I received didn’t suit the top I was working on, so I photocopied one I liked from a book I had purchased, taped the pages together and stitched away! The next top I have chosen to quilt is a space themed quilt that I made with artwork created by my children when they were very young. They drew space pictures with discharge dye paints and I built on a selection of these drawings to create a top. As always, I had great intentions at the time. Somehow time got away from me and it has languished on a shelf ever since. This seemed as good a time as any to load it on my machine and get it done.

Since I had just successfully used a pantograph and was happy with the results and the time invested in quilting, I decided I would use one for this quilt. All good practice! I am not sure how panto designs are generally created, but this is how I created mine. I drew some space objects in pencil, cleaned them up with sharpie marker, created a flowing design with these elements on two pages. When I was satisfied that my design did indeed flow and could be continuous line quilted, I photocopied the pages and then built up my design. To make sure I had good design spacing with balanced negative space between the rows, I laid out the pages so that I could adjust the design if necessary. I did have to make one adjustment which I made on all necessary pages with a different colored marker.

The placement of the second row is only for design purposes at this point- I am studying the positive and negative areas for design flaws

Tomorrow I will start the quilting as an alternative to sewing binding on. I am looking forward to seeing how well my design quilts up.


  1. I think your space panto looks awesome. Maybe this us the start of something new? You seem to be a natural.

  2. Very cool Jennifer! An awesome personal touch to your quilt.

  3. Thanks, Linda! I am anxious to see how it turns out!