How much Quilting? QOTD

karpetJuly 10, 2012

How much quilting do you like on your quilts and why?

I am on the sparse side with my quilting - it started because what draws me to a quilt is the top and only secondarily do I look at the quilting. Then it was because I did not like the quilting process so I did just enough. Now I am enjoying the quilting more since I've been doing FMQ, but I still like a minimal amount because I like a quilt that is soft and will drape. Some of the areas where I've quilted more intricate/close designs end up feeling so stiff to me. It is interesting to look back in quilt magazines from the 80's and see how the amount of quilting on a quilt has increased since then.

How about you?

Karlene

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nanajayne

I quilt according to the pattern the blocks make and the type of batting that is being used. I also try and consider how the quilt will be used. Sometimes it is the least that would work and at others medium. I seldom do real tight quilting as it too stiff for my taste but for effect in wall hangings and such it has it's place.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 11:18AM
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calliope

Oh really, I didn't know that, but then again I never looked much at quilting magazines back then. I know that I have a few old quilts made 'waaaaay' back when and they are heavily quilted. I use mostly the low loft cotton batting, and just finishing up one quilt with the bamboo batting and I find that loft and drape seems to work well with heavier quilting. I think heavy quilting with the poly batting seems incongruous, in that the batting is so light and the stitches so stiff against it, it doesn't bend and drape well. However, the heavier cotton batting makes the article bend and drape, IOW it stands up to the stiffness of heavy quilting well.

Myself, I love, love, love the feel of heavy quilting. I find it visually interesting and very pleasing in a tactile sense. Sometimes at night, when I'm half asleep I'll run my hands over the top of a quilt to feel all the little grooves and bumps.

There are patterns in which I find heavy quilting distracting from the overall impression and other patterns where it's necessary for interest, and it's nothing more than an aesthetic call and preference. How much depends on the quilt and the quilt user. Personal preference and as long as it holds the batting secure and it doesn't travel around, it's correct. LOL. I absolutely adore the whole cloth quilt my husband won at a church auction. There are a gazillion tiny little stitches on it and a beautiful and intricate pattern. It's a no brainer how much work went into it and it's an heirloom I'll pass down one day.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 11:21AM
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lola99

In general I am drawn to quilts with a lot of quilting. I particularly like to look at the intricate designs and I marvel at how good quilters incorporate the quilting to add to the overall impact of the top. On the other hand, I am not (yet) skilled in this way, so I think I've detracted from some of my quilts by adding too much quilting. But I'm still learning and getting better...

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 12:03PM
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day2day

I like a quilt that is soft and has a nice drape.
Maybe part of it is that I am not good with the actual quilting part of making a quilt so I do only what's necessary.
Also, I use poly batting and, as Calliope mentioned, maybe dense quilting doesn't look good with poly batting.

I look at some quilts and the dense and intricate quilting is beautiful and the quilt looks gorgeous. I admire the work and patience that went into the making.
But for quilts that I will use, I prefer less quilting. It's just a personal thing.

~Geraldine

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 12:07PM
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rosajoe_gw

Ima hand quilter just starting machine quilting and have not learned FMQing yet. My machine quilting is pretty basic beginner stuff!

My first quilt was a hand quilted whole cloth and I didn't know to read the instructions on the batting for the recommendations for the quilting. Now I do lol!! The last one I made recommended quilting in intervals up to 2 inches apart. The quilt is still soft with that amount of quilting.

I see some drop dead gorgeous machine quilting on quilts and it is amazing how much the quilting can transform a very simple quilt top.

BUT I still love the look of hand quilting the most. Both are different skill sets and take practice to learn. I will not spend the time to hand quilt a gift that I know the person will love and wash a lot, and I want them to use it, not put it in a closet. (Like some of my family does lol!)

IMO all of the heavy machine quilting makes the quilt stiff. I would love to be able to see in person some of the beauties I have seen posted on forums to see just how well they drape.

Some of our members have become very skilled machine quilters. I'm looking forward to reading their opinions on this.
Rosa

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 12:14PM
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teresa_nc7

Unless it is a wall hanging or table runner, I prefer to have just enough quilting to hold it all together and make the quilt interesting. I don't want an excessive amount of quilting to interfere with the drape of the quilt. I don't want my quilts to be really "puffy" either, so I use low loft batting. I do love the look of echo quilting and repeated lines.

I learned to not pay too much attention to the show judges that tell me there's not enough quilting in my quilt. Excuse me, but that's the way I wanted it!

And, you will never find that extremely dense stippling on any of my quilts. I really don't like that! Sorry if I stepped on anyone's toes.

Teresa

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 12:49PM
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rosajoe_gw

Oh, I forgot about the quilting making the quilt much heavier!

I have been drawn to Pam Bono designs and the 1x1 units and thin strip pieces really make the tops heavier due to the many seams.

I would think that the heavy quiting would make the quilt really heavy.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 1:19PM
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vasu_texas

I do minimal quilting - just enough to keep the layers together and not look too puffy. I mostly do stitch-in-the-ditch or echo quilting since my FMQ is horrible. I would like to master FMQ - I expect it makes it easier to quilt larger quilts. If I need to quilt larger quilts, I quilt them in sections and then join them.

I like intricate quilting patterns on wall hangings or bedspreads - items that are not meant for cuddling :-)
Vasu

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 2:35PM
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K8Orlando

Mostly I'm in the minimalist camp on this one: just enough to hold it together and make it interesting. In quilt shows I love looking at the more intricate quilting but I want my quilts to be soft. I've played around with tighter FMQ on some wallhangings and small quilts but I end up not liking it as much.

Kate

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 4:04PM
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magothyrivergirl

I am all over the place on this subject. I freehand quilt with a short arm on a frame. That forces me into about 6" of space. I like to try different motifs and designs, so my quilting is closer together than it would be if I had a larger throat. Mostly I use Warm and White cotton batting. I have found the quilts to be very soft, and cuddly.
On some quilts I have quilted pebbles and small micro stippling and even some thread painting. I have not found the quilts to be stiff. I really like to make the quilting special, and relate to the person or theme of the quilt. Sometimes I quilt the name of the recipient somewhere within the body of the quilt - just for a touch of whimsey!

The problem with quilting a closer design is it uses alot of thread, and sometimes takes a long time!

Good question!!!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 5:31PM
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ritaweeda

This wall hanging I'm working on has TONS of quilting and thread painting in it, but I wouldn't like it for a regular quilt. It is very stiff. This one is really an experiment for me, a lot of just playing around and giving the free-motion skill-building a work-out. I've done raw-edge applique on a couple of things before but they were regular quilts and had the normal amount of quilting in them, this one is a monster.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 5:42PM
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littlehelen_gw

Good question indeed...I'm a real novice on FMQ...I'm still practicing my FMQ and have done two. I think both were disasterous looking quilt jobs, comparatively speaking, but knew better than to try anything fancy. The feel of both was fine in my mind. I enjoyed doing it and will continue to practice.
Good reading all these comments...much to learn...
V.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 7:18PM
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quiltnhen

I love the fun of "drawing" with thread on a quilt. My work is pretty primitive, but I love getting "in the groove" machine quilting. In some I follow flowers, in some, like baby quilts I have made bunnies as a border. One baby quilt I incorporated airplanes for the Mom's flight attendant job and fire hats for Dad's fireman job. They were all really fun to do.

I love the soft drape too for things I'll be using and touching often.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 10:11PM
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