When deciding to work with a longarm quilter, or quilt your own top on a standup frame system, one of the first decisions you need to make is whether to have your quilt custom quilted or finished with edge-to-edge quilting. How do you decide? And what exactly are the differences?
Edge-to-edge quilting, also known as overall quilting, ignores the pieced design of the quilt top. A random, usually repeating pattern is stitched on all portions of the quilt. Sometimes this is done from the back of the machine, tracing a paper pattern called a pantograph (panto for short), with a laser light or stylus. An overall design can also be worked from the front of the machine as a freehand design – in effect the quilter is ‘doodling’ on the quilt top, making up the design as she goes.