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Thread: how much unquilted space is safe......

  1. #1
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    how much unquilted space is safe......

    I am going to ask this because I have for all these years believed, must have read that somewhere, that non-quilted areas should not be more than a fist size...relatively speaking. And I keep that rule on all the quilts I have done. Yet, I have seen some lovely quilts on this board that have very large spaces where there is no quilting......I would be afraid that the batting will shift and get lumpy like the quilts that one buys for 39.99........or am I wrong???? I have noticed on antique quilts that the quilting is not overly heavy, but evenly distributed, not leaving any large gaps of unquilted areas....So I guess, my question is what is your personal guideline?????

  2. #2
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    I think it depends on the batting and on how the quilt will be used. If my (decent quality) batting says 4-6", I might stretch that to 7"-8" if the quilt won't be washed more than a couple times a year.

    If I expect it to get heavy use and get washed a lot, AND it's for somebody besides me, I'll stick with what the batting says.

    I'm not big on extra-close quilting all over the quilt. I like to showcase the fabric and applique/piece design rather than the quilting.

    I'm pretty new to quilting tho. Others will have better answers.

  3. #3
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    I like four inches at the max for me, but your bag of batting will tell you. I think Warm and Natural is 10", but I've never bought it. Most of mine say 4".

  4. #4
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Many people go by the batting requirements. I do use the batting requirements as a guideline but I prefer to space the quilting so that it compliments the quilt. I took a class with Karen McTavish and she also quoted your fist size recommendation, especially for show quilts. I have also had situations where the quilt required more quilting to reinforce a few bad seams or to quilt out fullness in areas.

    But many of todays battings have scrims or are needle punched in such a way that quilting can be spaced as far apart as 10".

  5. #5
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    I think sometimes it appears that there are large spaces that aren't quilted in a picture when in actuality the quilter may have done SITD.
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  6. #6
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    I usually go with the 4" - 6" spacing because that is the look I like. For some things (like Grandmother's Flower Garden or Double Wedding Ring) I would do it much closer in order to duplicate the antique style of outline quilting those patterns.

  7. #7
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    It would depend on the batting I am using and how the quilt will be used.

  8. #8
    Senior Member petthefabric's Avatar
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    It depends upon the type batting, type quilt, quality of piecing. Quilting does more than stabilize the fabric, it is another element of the design.
    I like snuggling quilts loosely quilted to keep them sofy. Wall hangings I like the quilting to definitely contribute to the artistic statement.

  9. #9
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    quilting....picture or purpose?

    I quilt evenly around, even if it is straight lines criss-crossed. I heard, a long time ago, when quilts were made to be used, that the spaces should be 2" to 4" [which is where I guess the "fist size" came from]. Now I quilt so that it can be used and washed and still retain it's shape...that usually ends up being 1" - 2" spaces. It does depend on the batting, but it more depends on WHO [or what] it is for. The other benefit of the closer stitching is that it "irons itself" in the dryer!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjbart View Post
    I quilt evenly around, even if it is straight lines criss-crossed. I heard, a long time ago, when quilts were made to be used, that the spaces should be 2" to 4" [which is where I guess the "fist size" came from]. Now I quilt so that it can be used and washed and still retain it's shape...that usually ends up being 1" - 2" spaces. It does depend on the batting, but it more depends on WHO [or what] it is for. The other benefit of the closer stitching is that it "irons itself" in the dryer!
    Yes, this is my thought too. However, I have seen pics of some lovely quilts that are really lacking enough quilting to keep them looking lovely after some using/washing...and that is rather sad.....the proper quilting of a pieced top is just as important as the design of the piecing-JMHO

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