Keep scale in perspective when sketching
Is your purse full of little scraps of paper with quilting design ideas doodled on them? Does your checkbook register look like an artist’s pad? If you’re a doodler, you are already on track to become a more confident freehand quilter. However, that does not mean that “non-doodlers” can’t be good freehand quilters; it does mean that you have to get out a sketchbook and practice!
Here’s the key to successful practice drawing. Use a sketchpad that is at least 12 inches wide, not a typical 8-1/2 x 11-inch piece of paper or your checkbook register.
While you may be able to sketch out a concept in a smaller scale, you will find that it becomes difficult to execute it with your longarm if you haven’t actually drawn the design in the size you intend to quilt it.
Dry-erase boards are popular tools to use for sketching and practicing. They come in many sizes and are inexpensive. Paper tablets allow you to maintain a permanent collection of your ideas, drawn to scale.
If you don’t have an art/craft or an office supply store nearby, visit the supermarket and buy a roll of freezer paper. It is wide and can be expanded if you need a bigger sheet. Simply cut two pieces to length, the overlap the two edges by about an inch, with the waxy side facing down on each paper section. Iron the two pieces together with a warm iron. Of course, you can also tape the paper together to get it to the size you need.