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density of quilting

density of quilting

Old 02-24-2013, 08:33 AM
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Default density of quilting

When quilting my quilt I want it to be soft and warm. I finished one using high loft polyester with minimal quilting and do love it. I would also like to try feathers etc and heavy stitching but fear that it would turn out like a piece of cardboard, altho pretty to look at. Any suggestions on how to merge these two? What do you do?
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:01 AM
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I am strickly a handquilter for my own use. Handquilting allows you to "adjust" the tension of each stitch if you so desire. I have worked with almost every kind of batting and still have no problem with using poly even though some people consider it inferior. A medium weight poly seems to give me the look I want. While cotton or wool give a special touch that are often a lot heavier. Since I sleep under a quilt everynight I appreciate the light yet warm poly batting. It also launders very well.
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:06 AM
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It helps to switch to a finer thread when doing more quilting. Aurifil 50wt 2-ply would be one choice; 60wt or 70 wt polyester thread would be another. Some quilters even use 100wt silk thread, although that's not the one I would start with!
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:50 AM
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Have you actually felt a densely quilted quilt? Are you just assuming that it would feel like cardboard? I quilt mine pretty densely, and I don't think they feel like cardboard at all. I realize that we all have our preferences, so perhaps the best thing would be to make a small sample quilt, quilt it densely, and then see what you think about its texture and weight. You might like it. (I agree about using lighter weight threads, and the batting can make a big difference too.)
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:58 AM
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i've seen some very soft, cozy, wonderful quilts with very dense quilting- alot depends on the batting being used & possibly the thread choice- dream wool & hobbs wool batts are fabulous batts that create a beautiful/drapable, cozy, lofty soft quilt that really show-cases detailed quilting. if you start with a (stiff batt) like W&N your quilt will be flatter/stiffer than if you use a nice lofty, soft batt.
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:09 AM
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Mynani, Of course dense quilting is going to make a firmer quilt, but you have to think about what you like best about quilts, especially the ones you have made. I really concentrate on the pattern and I actually meditate on the person for whom a quilt will be made, sometimes for months, before picking out fabrics and beginning. So, my emphasis is on the design of the quilt itself. I do NOT want a lot of quilting done because it interferes with the design (I don't use patterns).

We all have our own bias and attitudes. When I see a wonderful floral quilt that, perhaps has taken first prize at a large show, I am impressed, but have no desire to go there myself. Sometimes I see designs that amaze me and I go up close to study them and am taken back by the "excessive" quilting, which to me, interferes with a very interesting design. We all are different. Study your quilt and come to YOUR decision. Yes, a lot of quilting makes a quilt stiffer and less quilting allows more of the batting "feel" to come through. They all are wonderful. It is a matter of you deciding, perhaps with each quilt independently, what you want for that quilt. Follow your instincts!!!!
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:41 AM
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Thank you. All these replies are very helpful. I am trying to learn to be less rigid and realize that there is no RIGHT ay to do things
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:14 AM
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The one critical piece of info you don't say is "are you hand quilting or machine quilting" It makes a difference in the kind of answer or suggestions to give.
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:24 AM
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I wanted to add also that many vintage quilts were quilted very closely. One of the reasons they remain soft to the touch is because traditional cotton batting was used -- which is thin, made without scrim or needlepunching. (Mountain Mist Blue Ribbon batting is an example of this very traditional cotton batting.)

Machine quilting puts double the amount of thread that hand quilting does into the quilting lines, though, so that needs to be taken into consideration. This is one reason why using a finer thread for machine quilting helps with the softness factor.
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Holice View Post
The one critical piece of info you don't say is "are you hand quilting or machine quilting" It makes a difference in the kind of answer or suggestions to give.
sorry, I am talking about machine quilting
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