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Thread: Ever "too much" quilting?

  1. #1
    Super Member moreland's Avatar
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    It seems as Long Arm Quilting becomes more and more accessible, the amount of quilting seen on laq quilts has exploded. I have to sometimes wonder if the quilting is trying to outdo the piecing/fabric/design. I am not a laq and I am not taking potshots at those of you who are, but I just wondered if anyone else ever thought about this. I am not convinced that having quilting on every piece of the fabric that is visible is necessarily the "best way"--I tend to feel like it becomes "one upmanship" between piecer and quilter.
    Do you think as we get past the initial rapture of now being able to quilt as much as we want to/can, that there will be more balance? Perhaps I'm the only one who thinks it is often out of balance???

  2. #2
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    LAQ do what the customers want. So as to whether there will be more balance? Who is to say what the next trend will be. I have done both, little quilting and a lot of quilting. It really depends on the quilt for me.

  3. #3
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    Oh I agree completely. I feel the quilting is to enhance the quilt, not take over it. Personally I prefer to SID because it doesn't detract from the design and is easier for me to do.

  4. #4
    Super Member justwannaquilt's Avatar
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    I personally don't like a lot of quilting on MY quilts. I have seen some very beautiful quilts that are COVERED in quilting though! I wonder if they are more for show? I think the more dense the quilting is the stiffer the quilt becomes, I wouldn't want to lay under a "blanket" of thread. I might hang it on my wall though.

    To each their own though right?

  5. #5
    Power Poster Mariposa's Avatar
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    I have done both, and I prefer a moderate amount of quilting rather than lots. Let the fabrics and pattern show. We all have different tastes, which makes it interesting~

  6. #6
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    I like all kind of quilting. Minimal to maximum. I'm not picky!

  7. #7
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    I don't think it is good for the quilting to overpower the pieced design. Rather the quilting should enhance and compliment the pieced design. Wholecloth quilting on the other hand is a showcase for the quilting itself and the quilting IS the focal point.

    I have seen some quilts at shows where I felt like the quilting would have been better suited to wholecloth rather than a pieced quilt.

    On the other hand, especially on this board, I have seen some absolutely gorgeous quilts with exquisite quilting that enhanced the pieced quilt way beyond what it was initially.

    So, yes, I do think the quilting can 'make or break' the quilt. And sometimes it can be too much of a good thing. But when the balance is there it is totally awesome.

  8. #8
    Senior Member spinnergs's Avatar
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    I have seen some of the top quilts at the top shows and it is an investment in the thread company for sure. I enjoy looking at it and can understand it. When I start machine quilting I have to remember to space out the design or the quilt gets so stiff you loose the "cuddle factor"

  9. #9
    JJs
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    I think a lot of that "perfect" stitching is done on the computerized machines....

    but some to me look like the ones at Cracker Barrel - the quilting is the thing or something....

    I like a little of this, a little of that, some fancy feathers, a little bit of curlicues, etc but not that overwhelming fill every spot stuff..

  10. #10
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    I do a reasonable amount of SID (because that is all I know how to do) and I love the "floppy" fee; of the finished quilt. Now I signed up for a quilting class series (8 classes) and I hope I won't go crazy. Not too crazy about the stiff feel of an over-stippled look.

  11. #11
    Super Member SharonAnne's Avatar
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    I am glad for this discussion because as a new quilter, I have been baffled about the quilting part. Granted, I have yet to take a class, but I have done a lot of looking at pictures on this board. I love each and every one of the quilts/projects I have seen, and the quilting of feathers, curliques, etc is exquisite, but still, I am afraid to do it. As an example, I am attaching a picture that I still do not know what to do with. I think it is beautiful "as is" and am scared to ruin the simplicity and beauty of the cat by running thread all over him. Small projects such as potholders and placemats can "take" and often demand a lot of stippling, but I want this quilt to be natural. So, my dilemna is - should I or shouldn't I do anything but SID on this one. Can't make up my mind, thus this has sat as a UFO since February, 2010. I don't need it until Christmas, so I still have some time to deal with it. And this is my problem with all my projects. Is less more? Is more too much? Does this come with experience or is it a personal like/dislike thing? Thanks for listening and for your potential comments. Oops, how do I put my photo here?

    UFO - My 2nd Quilt. Maybe I should call this "Fraidy Cat"
    Name:  Attachment-108554.jpe
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Size:  89.7 KB

  12. #12
    Super Member Maggiemay's Avatar
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    I enjoy the piecing part of quilting the best & tend to want that to be the main focus. I don't send my quilts out to be quilted so my (very amatuer) quilting designs let the piecing be the focus. I love your avatar quilt!

  13. #13
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Really old hand quilted quilts are quilted 1/8th to 1/4th of an inch apart over the whole quilt. Batting was originally just handfuls of carded cotton laid cross ways to each other on the backing. The only way to keep it from bunching up was to quilt it very close.

  14. #14
    RST
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    I like a lot of quilting, but since I'm both the piecer and the quilter of all my quilts, it's certainly not about one-upsmanship. I don't find that my heavily quilted quilts are stiff at all, at least not after the first washing. A lot depends on the fabric choices and on the overall style of the quilt. I've never been fond of all-over automated quilting when it doesn't relate to anything else going on it in the quilt. Nor do I like a grid that's just there, regardless of the piecing or fabric pattern -- if I wanted to look at randomly placed grids, I'd display a mattress cover.

    SharonAnne --- everyone will have their own take on it, but in your piece above, I do think that the pale green squares would look great with a free motion tropical leaf design. I'd do maybe some matched thread loose stippling on the purple flowers and animal print, or wavy lines, and then outline the two leopard figures, again in matching thread, but otherwise just SID or simple grid to keep the focus on the dramatic images.

    RST

  15. #15
    Super Member SharonAnne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RST
    I like a lot of quilting, but since I'm both the piecer and the quilter of all my quilts, it's certainly not about one-upsmanship. I don't find that my heavily quilted quilts are stiff at all, at least not after the first washing. A lot depends on the fabric choices and on the overall style of the quilt. I've never been fond of all-over automated quilting when it doesn't relate to anything else going on it in the quilt. Nor do I like a grid that's just there, regardless of the piecing or fabric pattern -- if I wanted to look at randomly placed grids, I'd display a mattress cover.

    SharonAnne --- everyone will have their own take on it, but in your piece above, I do think that the pale green squares would look great with a free motion tropical leaf design. I'd do maybe some matched thread loose stippling on the purple flowers and animal print, or wavy lines, and then outline the two leopard figures, again in matching thread, but otherwise just SID or simple grid to keep the focus on the dramatic images.

    RST
    Thank you for your response, RST. I like the sounds of what you said, and I do not think that would be overkill. I want to dramatize the cats, not diminish them, and your idea fits the bill. I'll be sure to repost when I get all that done. Looking forward to other comments, also. Nice to have more than one opinion, although then I have to make decisions or combine each idea into one finished product.

  16. #16
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RST
    .

    SharonAnne --- everyone will have their own take on it, but in your piece above, I do think that the pale green squares would look great with a free motion tropical leaf design. I'd do maybe some matched thread loose stippling on the purple flowers and animal print, or wavy lines, and then outline the two leopard figures, again in matching thread, but otherwise just SID or simple grid to keep the focus on the dramatic images.

    RST
    I would do something like this also.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen
    Really old hand quilted quilts are quilted 1/8th to 1/4th of an inch apart over the whole quilt. Batting was originally just handfuls of carded cotton laid cross ways to each other on the backing. The only way to keep it from bunching up was to quilt it very close.
    And I love to do it in a similar way, although it is not longer necessary when using our today's materials like needle punched battings etc. It's wonderful to touch these densely quilted quilts and they have a beautiful drape.
    For me the longarm quilted items are a totally different thing in every way. I really admire and respect that kind of work, but I must admit that sometimes it's "too much" for me. Some of my quilting buddies from here visited the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, UK, a few weeks ago and they all told me that there were only very few hand quilted items to see. That really makes me sad. I hope that all techniques and all styles of quilted work can stand side by side in an eqal way - and in an equal number.

  18. #18
    Senior Member campion's Avatar
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    I don't like too much quilting and as there are not too may LAQ's in England it gets expensive,also if there is too much quilting the quilt becomes very stiff.
    Everyone to their own I suppose.

  19. #19
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    I long arm my own quilts, not that I am really good at it, and I use pantographs. I agree with you that not every inch has to be quilted. My motto is "Less is better." I want people to see my quilts not the quilted design.

  20. #20
    Senior Member campion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borntohandquilt
    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen
    Really old hand quilted quilts are quilted 1/8th to 1/4th of an inch apart over the whole quilt. Batting was originally just handfuls of carded cotton laid cross ways to each other on the backing. The only way to keep it from bunching up was to quilt it very close.
    And I love to do it in a similar way, although it is not longer necessary when using our today's materials like needle punched battings etc. It's wonderful to touch these densely quilted quilts and they have a beautiful drape.
    For me the longarm quilted items are a totally different thing in every way. I really admire and respect that kind of work, but I must admit that sometimes it's "too much" for me. Some of my quilting buddies from here visited the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, UK, a few weeks ago and they all told me that there were only very few hand quilted items to see. That really makes me sad. I hope that all techniques and all styles of quilted work can stand side by side in an eqal way - and in an equal number.
    Yes I agree ---we went to a very small show at Whitby in North Yorkshire even there, there was a lot of LAQ or machine quilted quilts. This made me sad too.

  21. #21
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    I think it depends on the quilt. If the quilt has wide borders, or fairly large solid blocks in it then those are a quilting canvas and should be use to show case the quilters ability. I think the quilting depends on each individual quilt, what the owner wants, the laq capabilities, etc.

  22. #22
    Super Member sewmuchmore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Candace
    I like all kind of quilting. Minimal to maximum. I'm not picky!
    Ditto Candace :thumbup: :thumbup:

  23. #23

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    One of the reasons I like Fons and Porters Love of Quilting is because they show you how to machine quilt your project. Seems that there is massive quilting on some quilts or rows and rows of the same design with the panogram. (sp) I was in one shop when they were quilting rows of apples. Not on my quilt. We need to think out the design before we jump into it. I am also tired of everything stippled or yards of feathers though I do love the feathers but, not on everything. The quilting should enhance the quilt not bury it. I had my daughter quilt on her sewing machine my Winterwonderland Quilt with hugh hand embroidered blocks all in blue floss on white fabric with snowflake print. She did some stars in it here and there as she meandered over it and she added crystals to the big snowflakes here and there. I had it on the wall for 4 months and I enjoyed my own efforts of embroidery of all the snow people and trees and how beautiful she did the machine quilting. The crystals caught your eye with a sparkle of light. They complimented each other. Love it. The massive design might look pretty on plain fabric but, I will stick with lightly quilted. It serves the purpose of holding the layers together. I have also heard quilters say that I don't feel like I made the quilt when others do it on long arm. I am fortunate to have a quilt that my great great grandma made and the hand work of quilting with the cotton they used in late 1800 is pretty lumpy in that one. They dyed fabric blue for the solid color. It has that lived in look if you know what I mean.

  24. #24
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    SharonAnne, To me your quilt has an art quilt feel, therefore I'd probably quilt it with different/creative stitches (patterns) in the various sections. It seems like the leopard in the lower right needs to be outlined, maybe even around his eyes, ears, nose, etc.
    Be sure to sign it!
    Jan in VA

    Quote Originally Posted by SharonAnne
    I am glad for this discussion because as a new quilter, I have been baffled about the quilting part. Granted, I have yet to take a class, but I have done a lot of looking at pictures on this board. I love each and every one of the quilts/projects I have seen, and the quilting of feathers, curliques, etc is exquisite, but still, I am afraid to do it. As an example, I am attaching a picture that I still do not know what to do with. I think it is beautiful "as is" and am scared to ruin the simplicity and beauty of the cat by running thread all over him. Small projects such as potholders and placemats can "take" and often demand a lot of stippling, but I want this quilt to be natural. So, my dilemna is - should I or shouldn't I do anything but SID on this one. Can't make up my mind, thus this has sat as a UFO since February, 2010. I don't need it until Christmas, so I still have some time to deal with it. And this is my problem with all my projects. Is less more? Is more too much? Does this come with experience or is it a personal like/dislike thing? Thanks for listening and for your potential comments. Oops, how do I put my photo here?

  25. #25
    Super Member PurplePassion's Avatar
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    I sent out one quilt to a LA, and told her to do less quilting, than what she explained she was going to do. When I got the quilt back , I was dissappointed , she had quilted over everything --covering up the designs on my blocks; it was so stiff and not at all cuddly. I will quilt all my quilts myself from now on .

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