December 02, 2010

Free Motion Quilting Designs: Echo Designs

Echo designs are designs that echo outwards along the path of a previous line. This is a kind of hodgepodge category but I wanted it to have a mention. Echoes won't be right for every quilt but they are worth considering when you are going for a bold, graphic effect.

A common echo strategy is to follow the lines of the quilt piecing. Echoing around a design element generally emphasizes that element.

Your echoes can be fluid or rigid as desired.

When echoing you'll need to decide how to go from one echo to the next. You can just work continually outwards, as in a spiral pattern. (in these pictures stops and starts are denoted with dots)

You could stop and start with each individual echo, or make a little jog outward after completing one echo, to start the next.

You could vary the location of the jog to make it less obvious.

Depending on the shape you are echoing, the pattern may change as the echo proceeds outward. While convex curves and 90 degree angles won't have this problem, any shape with an inside curve or corner will have the echoes gradually crowd together.

A traditional echoing pattern is the baptist fan.

Fans can be altered by changing the arms (think radiant designs) or by nestling something under each fan.

The "paisley" pattern is also a kind of echo pattern.

Baptist fans and paisley are worth practice sketching, but other than that, sketching echo patterns isn't terribly exciting. Still, when you're making quilting decisions, remember that echoing is an option - it is a very simple technique with big visual impact!

See more Free Motion Quilting designs and tips on the Free Motion Quilting page.


Gail Lizette said...

I read your post yesterday before I went to bed and proceeded to dream all night about my current quilt project and the free motion quilting I'll be doing on it ~ THANKS for all the inspiration and ideas!!! This is great stuff :)

Anonymous said...

I love the paisley pattern. I hope I can make one like your picture.

Helen in the UK said...

Thanks for sharing all your great ideas for pattern variations. I particularly like the idea of using a heart at the start of fans :)

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