Last month before I quilted Hypnotic Eye I spent two nights lost in Zentangle. I printed out four copies of the block I designed, which makes up the entire quilt, taped them together and started filling them in with my pencil.
I wanted to focus on designs that could be accomplished with my free motion foot or my walking foot. I was really quite delighted because once I started quilting I was able to use my free motion foot for the entire quilt. This was only possible because my foot has some very nice markings that I was able to use for reference and guidance on the sections that I wanted to look straight.
While this process may seem a bit excessive, I have to say it gave me lots of confidence knowing the overall visual impact the quilting would have before I started. I doubt I will do this with every quilt, but at least I will have this technique in my back pocket for the future.
Do you ever pre-draw your quilting designs before you start quilting?