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Thread: Can there be too much quilting on a top?

  1. #1
    Senior Member spinnergs's Avatar
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    I have seen some very big award winning quilts and my first thought was WOW, who pays for their thread! Some of them have no space unquilted. I just quilted a king top this week and it took two large spools with simple line quilting. My last hand quilted top I did quilt very close patterns with several colors of thread. But, are we getting carried away with all the quilting that ends up making the quilt top stiff? Just thinking.

  2. #2
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    I also think tons of quilting makes a quilt stiff. But it's so beautiful!!

  3. #3
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    My personal preference is for minimum quilting so it is nice and fluffy, more like a comforter. It also seems to be warmer as well as softer that way.

  4. #4
    Super Member Qbee's Avatar
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    I think it just depends on what the quilt will be used for. Obviously, I'm not going to ask a long arm quilting artist to "do his or her thing" on a baby quilt but I might would for a quilted wallhanging for the baby's nursery. Does that make sense?? For my bed and snuggling....I too prefer very little so it is SOFT :D But the quilting that these artist do is so beautiful.....I love to look at it :D

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by sueisallaboutquilts
    I also think tons of quilting makes a quilt stiff. But it's so beautiful!!
    I also love the quilts with lots of very intricate quilting detail, but I would consider most of those to be "art" quilts, intended strictly for display. I would not over quilt a piece that was meant to be used for its traditional purpose.

  6. #6
    Super Member Kyiav10's Avatar
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    I started hand quilting my pink and purple OBW (finally). I am quilting it by hand with FMQ (it looks like this anyway).

    I moved the hoop and found it pretty stiff but I soooo love the look and feel of it. It is going to be a wall hanging. It is no longer for my sister as originally plan b/c she would like different colors.

    Kyia

  7. #7
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    I saw quilts at a show this weekend that were so heavily quilted that you could no longer tell what fabric was used..nor that it had batting in it...it was horrid...not to mention that all the quilting compromises the fabrics longevity. Used to be that we all understood that if you use poly or rayon thread on cotton fabric it WILL cut through the cotton in time..the quilts I saw this weekend would never live through a washing machine cycle..not once...the original fabric would just shred! ANY friction on those quilts, folding, creasing, etc...will ruin them in a short period of time...so what is the point?

    I just don't see why they feel the need to quilt to death....McTavish if you must but NOT on any of my quilts....

    and you are right, not one of those quilts hung well, they were stiff, see thru, full of needle holes, just horrid I tell you!

    OH, and these were the quilts from the OK longarmers assoc. competition!

  8. #8
    Super Member kateyb's Avatar
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    I think some quilts do have to much quilting.
    I do my own FMQ on my home machine and keep it fairly simple. I have started to experiment with the pre-programed embroidery stitches on my machine for quilting.

  9. #9
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    while looking at those comp pieces, what I heard most the crowd saying was the same thing....I would never pay a quilter to do that to my quilts!

    makes you wonder why the LA industry finds it so necessary to kill a quilt with quilting!Oh wait, aren't most award winning LA quilter's sponsored by thread companies??/hehehehe

  10. #10
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    I just have to ask, is the quilt being judged on the quilting or on the QUILT?

  11. #11
    QM
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    In our great grandmother's time, quilts needed to be closely quilted to keep the batting from shifting and falling apart. 1/2" was common. Modern batting is different. I use Theremore, which says to quilt at least every 10". I have seen award winning APQS quilts with 1/4" between rows of quilting. IMHO, that's fine for a wall hanging if it gives the effect you want. I generally have my quilting 2-4" apart. I have won a bunch of blue ribbons in the 10 years I have been doing it.

  12. #12
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    For me it is a big difference if the quilt is quilted by machine or by hand. I have never seen a hand quilted item that is "overdone" in some way. For one of my quilts I used about 10 spools of thread each with 250 yards on it.
    Unfortunately I don't have the possibility to see many long arm quilted quilts here in Germany. But on several quilts I saw it was a little too much quilting.

  13. #13
    RST
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    Sure it can be overdone, but I also see quilts that would be much improved by more quilting, or more thoughtful pairing of quilting design with the piecing patterns.

    RST

  14. #14
    Super Member gale's Avatar
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    I like to go no less than 2" apart and maybe even 3. I like them soft and bendy.

  15. #15
    Gal
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    I guess there are no hard and fast rules here, it must surely be down to the kind of quilt you are making and what kind of batting you use. Some require less quilting on account of the batting which does not migrate in the way others might. I happen to like a softer quilt hand quilted and made to to used, but a wall hanging might need to be stiffer and have plenty of texture in the decorative areas requiring more dense quilting. Every one to their own I think, I love to look at art quilts some of which have heavy quilting but I wouldn't be interested in making one, it is all down to the individual as I said and there are no rules.

    Gal

  16. #16
    Super Member plainpat's Avatar
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    Lots of quilting is ok,as long as I don't own it.Can't use it on a bed & after pics are taken, what do they do with them? Maybe they're meant for banks etc to hang?

    Saw one last yr that I'd dare anyone to tell me what color fabric was used.You couldn't even tell the base color...before it was threaded to death.Even every day quilting by a LA quilter changes the feel of a quilt.No softness, no comfy curl up left.JMO

  17. #17
    Super Member kwhite's Avatar
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    yes too much. I think there should be diffrent categories in quilt shows for "show quilts" and "quilts to be used by real people" There really is no reson for us normal people to even think about entering anything in a quilt show anymore.

  18. #18
    Power Poster Lacelady's Avatar
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    I have read through the responses to this topic, and I do wonder why some of you are using such small spools of thread? I buy big cones of thread to stitch my quilts. I get 4000 metres of cottong thread for 9.50 from a company in the UK - to me, that is good value.

    As for the original question, I love to see the heavily stitched quilts, as much for the effort and artistry in them. If they are full of holes, then perhaps the needle was too big. I have also read that the idea of poly cotton thread cutting a quilt to pieces has been busted as a myth and simply untrue. Perhaps time will tell on that one, but I doubt if I will see it happen in my lifetime.

  19. #19
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    To each his own. I say do what you like, but I would never say that someones quilt is "absolutely horrid" because they don't agree with me!!!!

  20. #20
    k3n
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lacelady
    I have read through the responses to this topic, and I do wonder why some of you are using such small spools of thread? I buy big cones of thread to stitch my quilts. I get 4000 metres of cottong thread for 9.50 from a company in the UK - to me, that is good value.

    As for the original question, I love to see the heavily stitched quilts, as much for the effort and artistry in them. If they are full of holes, then perhaps the needle was too big. I have also read that the idea of poly cotton thread cutting a quilt to pieces has been busted as a myth and simply untrue. Perhaps time will tell on that one, but I doubt if I will see it happen in my lifetime.
    I agree 100 percent with Lacelady - machine quilting is an art in itself. 'Too much quilting', who can judge? It depends what the quilt is for, an art piece or to be used.

    I've seen whole cloth FMQd quilts that are absolutely breathtaking, the English woman Ferret for example (google her, she's fantastic and has had quilts at Houston).

    Our craft is evolving. If it doesn't, it will die out like the dodo. :D

  21. #21
    Super Member kwhite's Avatar
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    Some evolution may be a good thing but I think the direction I have seen quilt shows going is doing more harm then good to our art. i usually walk out of quilt shows feeling, "Why even try". And I know I am not the only one. But that is my opinion.

  22. #22
    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
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    I think it all comes down to what the end use is for the quilted article you are making. A drag around quilt for a toddler that will be washed every few days is just not in the same category as that heavily quilted art quilt for the National Juried Show. In my opinion quilts that are heavily quilted which does make them much stiffer have moved themselves into the art category and should never be judged in the same class as quilts that will be used for warmth and comfort. That's what's so great about quilting - there are so many possibilities.

  23. #23
    k3n
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwhite
    Some evolution may be a good thing but I think the direction I have seen quilt shows going is doing more harm then good to our art. i usually walk out of quilt shows feeling, "Why even try". And I know I am not the only one. But that is my opinion.
    I'm sorry you feel that way. I can only speak for the UK, French and Dutch shows I have been to where every level and field seemed to be represented - traditional to art quilts. Many even had a category for children. I always come away feeling intimidated by some, yes, but on the whole, inspired. :-D

  24. #24
    RST
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    Are those of you who so strongly dislike heavy quilting wanting to enter quilts in competition, and feeling that the judges are slanted away from your less dense quilting?

    Or are you hobbyists who have very strong tastes and just don't like the way other people are making their quilts?

    To me, it's completely irrelevant what other people choose to do in their hobby. Their quilts are in their homes, in their washing machines or on their beds or walls, so they can do whatever they want. I'll make mine however I want (which by the way is pretty densely quilted, because I like that look).

    But if it's an issue of feeling that competitions are skewed toward the long arm / heavy quilting crowd, then it seems to me that the obvious response is to get more involved in the structure of quilt showing and judging, and make sure your aesthetic gets a fair representation in competitions.

    RST

  25. #25
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borntohandquilt
    I have never seen a hand quilted item that is "overdone" in some way. For one of my quilts I used about 10 spools of thread each with 250 yards on it.
    That's because hand quilters don't live long enough to overdo their quilting. It takes us so long to finish. :)

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