You've finished your quilt top and now your ready to have it quilted. Congratulations! The question now is how to have it quilted. The most common way is Edge to Edge (E2E) because it fast and the most inexpensive. Finished & done!
Pantographs are an E2E pattern that goes entirely across your quilt.
Custom Quilting requires more time and is more expensive.
To determine which method would be best, you need to ask yourself these three questions:
1. Who is this quilt for?
Is this a quilt for a new baby? This quilt will be used frequently; and, most likely, will need a lot of washing. E2E would be the best choice for this type of quilt. If this quilt is for a wedding or a quilt you are entering into a contest, custom quilting would be more appropriate.
2. How is this quilt going to be used?
Will you be using this for picnics or outdoor events? E2E would be my choice. Memory quilts or something you plan on passing down to family members may be a type of quilt that you would want to showcase with custom quilting.
3. How will it be cared for?
E2E would be best for a quilt for that you made for your child heading off to college and will be used in the dorm. Most likely, it will never see a washing machine! On the other hand, custom quilting would be better for quilts you will want to showcase as works of art that you will be displaying on the wall.
One method I didn't mention is Semi-Custom quilting. This method falls between E2E & Custom. Depending on your pattern, you may opt for this method. It is custom made for your quilt but doesn't involve quite as much work and time as heirloom custom quilting. This would be good for blocks and/or borders.
If you are unsure which method would look best on your quilt and fit your budget, ask your longarm quilter.