When it comes to choosing a pantograph design for a sampler quilt, I like to choose one that unifies the quilt. Samplers are a mix of block personalities. And when a customer asks for a pantograph, I dig through my designs until I find the one with the least amount of uneven open spaces.
So the Rose Garden pantograph by Apricot Moon was just the thing. A Baptist Fan also does a wonderful job of unifying sampler quilts. But this quilt seemed to be wanting something a bit more floral.
The first row just happened to fit nicely into the border, too:
Sampler quilts also change the way I choose thread. I like to find a color that looks good as it travels across all of the colors. My own personal preference is that I don't want dark thread on light fabric, and I don't want the top to look "thready" when it's done. Too much competition between thread color and block personalities harshes my gig. But that's just me. And since my customer said "I don't care what you do to it", I applied my own preferences.
The wrench in the works of my thread choice was caused by the simple blue and white palette. I love her palette. But my thread choice was limited to white or blue. No matter which blue got auditioned across the fabrics, it always looked too blue. In my gut I knew white was the only choice.
The one thing my customer does prefer is cotton thread. But how would I avoid the thready look of white all over the dark blue sashing? My white thread supply suddenly became dismally inadequate. Don't you hate when that occurs to you after the customer's quilt is on the rack??? All the cotton I own is Aurifil 50 wt. and 40 wt. (which is reliable but kind of thick), and YLI Soft Touch 60 wt. (which is not always reliable).
So to make sure I didn't spend a week on such a small quilt, messing with tension or picking out stitches, I went with the most reliable combination I know of and that's 40 wt. on top with 50 wt. in the bobbin.
Which ended up looking thready:
Not so much in this light:
Evenly textured, but still . . . thready:
The pantograph is wonderful - the perfect design. And it's kind of casual, so a beginner would benefit from it not needing to be perfect. The only heads-up I would give is that it is very dense. If you can digitize it, I would recommend making it larger.
But if you like a dense, uniform look then this is just the right pantograph. And because it can be stitched out either vertically or horizontally, it has become one of my new favorites.
Up next is another Bali Pops quilt, in a positively berry colorway!
I am leaning toward this pantograph, Hyacinth Grande by Patricia Ritter, quilted vertically to take advantage of the vertical piecing: