Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Thread guilt

     How much quilting is enough?  Or, do I just have thread guilt.  Sixty years ago, my grandmother  quilted enough to hold the top to the backing and to hold the pulled cotton batting in place.  She did a lot of simple cross-hatch quilting usually 1" to 2" apart.  Today we are gifted with batting that allows for quilting up to 8" apart and we seem to be expected to quilt about 1/2" or less apart.  Rough calculations mean we are adding at least 4 times---and that could double even--- as much thread as required!      And I am guilty of stepping/falling/rolling in this bottomless pit of more, more, even more quilting.  Enough, I say!
   What brought this on......quilting the table runners, and then requests for entries into large regional shows.   I don't do "show" quilts.  Yes, I enter quilts into my local guild's show, as support for the efforts and fun.   I quilt for expression and for others.  I quilt because I like it.  I quilt because I am addicted to fabric.  I do not design or quilt just to "show".  This is my path, my choice.  I am merely reminding myself to not be caught up in thinking otherwise.

  The floral table runner....covered in feathers because I like stitching them.  It has been a while since I did feather stitching....and I had a few wobbles.  I left them in and carried on.  In the grand scheme of things, no one will notice or even care!   I used a light purple Aurifil thread.  I took the hint from the background fabric....a mottled purple tint and creamy yellow.  I made sure all the floral prints in this one picked up on that color way.

  The blue batik table runner  has a light blue print on the backing.  I had intended to use straight lines, matchstick style quilting.  Yet when I drew the lines on a plastic overlay and placed it on the runner.....I thought ugh!  It was just too much thread and did nothing to enhance the runner.  Or maybe it just wasn't my style.  Either way, I decided to practice some wings.....I call them butterfly wings.   It is from  Luann Kessi's design called "plumify".  I like the overall blend of this design stitch.

I have to round up some binding strips to finish these two off.

   Insight:  Stitch with no guilt.  Make it flat, leave it puffy,  let it blend,  or make a statement.   Find your style, improve your skills. It is your quilt and that is enough.
Happy stitching.   


  1. Wonderful post, Debbie. Loved your insight about how we could now quilt every 8", but we leave less that 1/2" of space. So true!! : )
    I'm with you on not quilting for "show". A big, upcoming show in my vicinity has extended their entry deadline a second time and they sent out an email pleading for more quilts. For half a second I was wondering if anything I had on hand would do and then I came to myself and asked, "What were you thinking?!?"
    The past couple of days I have been spending some time with Gidget. Haven't quilted for some time, and I was rusty, but am unpicking NOTHING!
    The quilting on both runners is beautiful. Love your feathers, as always, and the design from LuAnn looks perfect for that runner. I want to give that one a try. : )

  2. I think the judges at the shows seem to be looking for over the top quilting and the rest of the entries get thrown aside even though they may have better design and color use. I love the fabric so I see no need to completely change its appearance with tons of quilting just to say I did it. I agree we each need to find our own style and go for it with no quilt or feeling inferior.

  3. And that was supposed to be guilt, not quilt in that last sentence!!!

  4. I'm with you 100% on this! Personally, I love the fact that batting allows us to quilt our designs a bit farther apart, and since if we're machine quilting we're already adding twice as much thread as hand quilting the same design, a quilt can get stiff pretty darn quickly. The quilts everyone gravitates toward to wrap up in are my hand quilted ones, that look and feel soft and comforting. I do like the closer quilting on wall hangings though since it gives them stability. Your table runners are wonderful BTW, and thanks for sharing LuAnn's design.

  5. Good post Debbie. It's so easy to get caught up in someone else's standards rather than finding our own unique style.

  6. ...and by the way, your style is beautiful.

  7. I like your concept of yourself, do it your way, make it yours. Your quilting on your table runners is beautiful & definitely YOU!

  8. Boy, you said it! If I'm not quilting what I like then why bother. Your quilting is always beautiful and when I think of feathers I think of you, it's become a signature for you and why not, they're beautiful. I think most quilts tell us what they want for quilting. The gorgeous fabrics you use and the layouts are almost always calling for your style. I was a little surprised when you said you were doing matchsticks, LOL.

  9. Thank you for reminding us that it's okay to do it our way! While I can admire the talent of many of the quilters who practice densely quilting every inch, I really prefer a more relaxed approach. And I'm a little tired of fm quilters who imply that meandering is just plain lazy and uncreative. I like to meander. But I also wish I could master feathers. Really enjoy your blog.

  10. Thank you! I'm packing on of my grandmother's last quilts to send to her great great about to be grandaughter, and I have finally finished my first UFO that took two years because of this very issue


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