Thursday, February 28, 2019

Encyclopedia of Designs for Quilting

Choosing an appropriate quilting design really depends on the design of the top, of course, and the possibilities are nearly endless. 

Once again by popular demand, I will teach another session of Hand Quilting 101 at Patches Quilting in Mt. Airy, Maryland this month. Students sometimes bring a quilt top, wondering what patterns to quilt. 

I might suggest a feather vine, or a pumpkin seed design on the sashing.

Wait! What is a Pumpkin Seed? How do I make a feather vine fit my border? What is meant by ‘in the ditch,’ or ‘by the piece’? How do I mark an overall grid? 

That’s when I suggest one of my favorite books on this topic – Encyclopedia of Designs for Quilting, by Phyllis D Miller, published by AQS in 1996 – still available Used and inexpensive on; check out the "Look Inside" for a preview.

Diagrams and thorough descriptions explain how to create your own unique quilting designs. From straight lines, squares, diagonals and diamonds, to curved cables, ropes, and feathers, this book shows how to draw them AND fit them on your quilt using simple tools. Then you can create variations of common designs such as the aptly named Pumpkin Seed. Several color photos of quilts also feature examples of such designs.

To inspire designs of your own, one chapter offers simple representational motifs, such as birds and hearts, and ideas to give your quilt a personal touch. 

Why not quilt a small pair of hands drawn by a child who might be the recipient of your quilt?
Keep Quilting!
Barbara M. Burnham
(c)2019 Barbara M. Burnham. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any kind is expressly prohibited without prior written authorization.


  1. Thank you for the suggestion! I just ordered the book.

  2. Wow! Excellent design and great article.. Awesome your blog post..I am interesting your blog post.Thanks for sharing your informative with us...
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