Sunday, April 25, 2010

Can A Quilter Not Like Quilting?

I of course don't dislike Quilting as it defines the overall craft, but I am 99 3/4% certain that I don't really like the actual quilting of a quilt, be it by hand or machine. I am spending some time pondering this issue because I have a sneaking suspicion it's because I tend to rush that part of the process, don't plan it well and then allow myself to wallow in uncertainty OR barrel ahead and do a less than great job. So all may not be lost yet. I'm still ruminating over that one. It's just that by the time Quilting Time rolls around, I'm SO EAGER to have the project done that I rush it.

Speaking of quilting, here's my Very Hungry Caterpillar quilt top:

I've quilted in the ditch around all the borders, and I've delineated each of the three large motifs in the center panel by stitching just at the edge of the polka dotted areas.

Now what? I have my machine threaded with some variegated thread in a bright rainbow of colours, and I plan to do some free motion stuff in the butterfly - some basic thread painting to add some dimension to the wings. Same goes for the leaf and the caterpillar, but I will probably use my bright green thread for that. And then I will likely quilt some words from the story into the coloured borders: "one slice of chocolate cake, one ice cream cone..." etc. Wondering what colour thread to use for that - my rainbow variegated? Or the cream I used for the in-the-ditch quilting? Or something else?

Those polka dots can't stay unquilted, even though this bamboo batting says I can quilt up to 10" apart. The heavier quilting I'm doing on the motifs means I have to try to balance it out in the polka dots, right? Should I try a large pebble motif?

And what about the other two borders with the fruit and food fabrics? I could do a large stipple...I don't want to take away from the fabrics, though.

Decisions, decisions.


  1. I'm with you! I haven't done any piecing because I won't allow myself until I finish quilting some tops and I won't quilt the tops because I can't decide what to do. Your quilting plan so far sounds great to me. Good job!

  2. I feel the same way about the quilting part. Ughhhh! Wallow in uncertainty or barrel ahead .... I LOVE it! That decribes me perfectly.

    This quilt is great and I'm sure the quilting will be fabulous!

  3. I feel your pain around quilting! I might do a straight line between each of the pieces of food/fruit, in the neutral colour you used for the ditch, I'm nervous about leaving too much space unquilted - 10" seems like an awful lot! But I'm not sure you need to have heavy quilting all over just because you are thread painting the butterfly and leaves - remember the heavier the quilting the stiffer the quilt.

  4. Along with the oil change in a car - while I "can" do it (my father taught me) I choose to pay a professional to do it for me. With that in mind, I send out 95% of my quilts to be professionally quilted & I tend to let them quilt it how they think it should be quilted - I figure I am paying for that as well as the actual quilting. The professional should know when feathers while lovely would not work on a caterpillar...

    With all of that said - stipple & cross hatch are both "no fail" quilting methods. I find the cross-hatch being the easier of the two.

  5. Okay - I love to machine quilt. Here are some of my ideas - I'm thinking echo quilt with white thread the white backgound of the butterfly/caterpillar/other thing with white background (not sure what it is from the photo); stipple or pebble quilt around the little polka dots with white thread; the solid borders do straight line framed quilting....

    Just some ideas!

  6. I have no imagination, so my quilting could definitely be improved.

  7. I made a caterpillar quilt (still waiting for binding) that is a lot like yours. I had a hard time deciding how to quilt it, but eventually did what Andrea (above) suggested. I did an outline/echo on the panel characters, and on the food in the borders using white thread. I think it looks good as far as design goes, but my quilting still leaves something to be desired!


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