A lot of the quilts I make are on commission. Sometimes it can be really difficult to walk a client through the decision process so that they select a quilting pattern that they will love. I have been working to develop a short questionnaire that I will occasionally use before digging in and discussing actual quilt patterns because being able to narrow down options can save a lot of time and confusion. I thought I would share my work in progress today as my Tuesday Tip in case it will help you or in case you have feedback that will help me improve it for me, too! 🙂
First, I like to get a sense of how much quilting detail a client is looking for. I ask them to select “A” or “B” for these 4 questions:
- A. $ B. $$$
- A. Basic B. Unique
- A. Simple B. Intricate
- A. Classic B. One-of-a-Kind
Mostly “A” answers indicate an all over or edge-to-edge kind of design, and mostly “B” answers indicate a custom quilting preference. If necessary, I can also reference people to good examples of simple, intermediate, and intricate quilting.
Then, I try to get a sense of the types of quilting patterns I should present to the client by having them select “A” or “B” for a second set of 4 questions:
- A. Curvy B. Straight Lines
- A. Organic B. Improvisational
- A. Loopy B. Rectangular
- A. Free Form B. Even
“A” answers make me think of loops, swirls, and spirals. “B” answers lean me to think about straight line quilting, back and forth lines, and crisp geometric meanders. Again, having many examples to be able to show to a client for explanation or clarity can also be beneficial. Some quilters even have quilted samples they can pull out to show clients.
Finally, I wrap up with 3 questions to help guide me on initial thread color selection:
- A. Blended B. Bold
- A. Understated B. High Contrast
- A. Quiet B. Daring
These answers help me to know if I am looking for a blended thread or a high contrast thread. They also help me understand if I am looking at a densely quilted or lightly quilted design. Again, having a few examples to use for further discussion is always helpful. I like how the quilts below showcase both blended and high contrast thread usage simply because I chose one thread and used it all over the quilt.
I don’t use this technique all the time, but I have found it useful for people I can only communicate with via email. Breaking down decisions into this kind of either / or choice can really break down their fears of “choosing the wrong thing”, too, and empower them to have input into their quilt design.