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Thread: How do you know how much quilting you need on a quilt?

  1. #1
    Senior Member krysti's Avatar
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    How do you know how much quilting you need on a quilt?

    Hi everyone. I finally have my first quilt all basted and ready to quilt and am working on the nerve to start quilting it. This first one is a simple quilt; just rows of 4 inch squares. I thought about just doing stitch in the ditch; but then I wasn't sure if that would be enough. How do you know how much quilting you need, how close together or far apart, etc etc? Please help give me some guidelines! Thank you in advance!

  2. #2
    Moderator Up North's Avatar
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    What did your batting package say? That is what I usually go by

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    Senior Member krysti's Avatar
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    Donna
    Duh; I hadn't thought of that. I just looked at it and it says recommended distance 2 to 4". So if I understand correctly then, the stitch in the ditch would just barely fit into those guidelines right? I'm sorry;I don't know why this seems so hard for me to comprehend, when it's something that should be really simple

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    Super Member Christine-'s Avatar
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    It depends on the batting you used. Some of the batting you buy has a scrim inside, and when there is a scrim you don't need to quilt as closely. Scrim is a polyester grid of sorts. When a batting says it contains 97% cotton, 3% polyester... it's the scrim that makes up the polyester part. Scrim is added to stabilize the batting through the years of washing, etc. It holds the batting fibers together. Hope this helps!

    Christine-
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  5. #5
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Hello! Look at the package of your batting. It will tell you how far apart you can stitch the quilt. You can do it closer but not wider then what is on the package. Also if the quilt has squares you might quilt across the squares versus in the ditch. I find it looks ncer that way. If you do not feel comfortable to just shoot from one corner to the opposite corner just draw lines with a special wasable pencil. Have fun! I can't wait to see the pictures. Oh besure to secure the quilt by pinning or spray basting, using a walking foot and set the stitch lenght to 3 or 3.5.
    Anna Quilts

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    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    mainly how much your batting says you must do as far as distance in between stitches. but if you do a lot of quilting in one area, you wouldn't want to leave other areas with hardly any in them. just be consistent all over so it will all look good.

  7. #7
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    Depending on the pattern, SID may work. If you have very large blocks, you will need to do more quilting

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    Thanks everyone, I was snooping and appreciated the info as well. Teresa

  9. #9
    Super Member Christine-'s Avatar
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    I found a great chart that shows the differences in batting on the market. It's an exhaustive chart, full of information, I had to pass it along...
    http://www.villagequiltworks.com/ima...ttingChart.pdf

    Christine-
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    Bernina 640, Singer 201-3, Singer Centennial 15-91, Tin Lizzie 26" long arm

  10. #10
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    Don't read the instructions on the batting package. Instead, think of the use to be made of the quilt. Will it be heavily used and washed. My guide is a quilt should have a consistant of density of quilting overall without large areas unquilted. If for a child then more quilting may be required If a bed quilt and only used by adults then the ditch may be sufficient. So think of the use. I don't know how a company determines the closeness of the quilting. Do they make one and quilt it at various widths wash, drag it around, wash it again etc etc etc. I'm going to ask someone at one of the companies this question. What test did they make. Also how do you want the quilting to show. Would quilting in ditch and then 1" out from the ditch add a decorative touch to the quilt. Would an X in each block add to the appearance? For me, scrim, needle punched, no scrim makes no difference in my decision.

  11. #11
    Super Member azwendyg's Avatar
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    You've been given some good advice on how close to quilt, and I want to offer another suggestion that might make this experience more enjoyable for you. I certainly wouldn't want to plan to do Stitch in the Ditch on a large quilt. I think it would be more than just a little difficult to keep up the concentration it takes to stay right in the ditch for all that quilting!

    Instead, you could perhaps do diagonal lines from edge to edge through the centers of the blocks as Annaquilts suggested, or even just wavy lines in an all over grid pattern. I LOVE to mark with blue painter's tape. You can just follow the edge of the tape with your presser foot edge, or use it to just form general guidelines if you are doing wavy line quilting. It is much faster than marking with a marker, and removal is WAY easy! Just be careful not to ever sew on top of the tape. You can even pull the tape off and reposition it a few times before it looses its stickiness.
    Wendy

  12. #12
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    Hi, I used to SITD all the time as I thought it was the easiest way to quilt; but I would always agonise over the number of times my stitching came out of the ditch and wandered along a bit before I got it under control. Also, my hands got tired spreading the quilt seams open, even when I used quilting gloves to grip the fabric. Then I decided echo quilting would look nice on some small squares I had used in a lap quilt. Was that ever a revelation! I now LOVE echo quilting and find it so much easier than SITD -- I just run my foot alongside the seam which is much easier than staying straight in the ditch. My last quilt was all pinwheels and looked great (in my opinion LOL) with triangular echoes in every second segment, and also along the outside border. I may never use anything else!

  13. #13
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    rule of thumb used to be no space larger than your closed fist should be left unquilted.
    In today's world of "over quilting" or better known as "quilted to death", I think it is a bit too much!
    So for each quilt, one must find their own happy place! Only you know what you are capable of and what you want the quilts end result to be. Have fun with it!

  14. #14
    Junior Member An Arm Long's Avatar
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    I agree with the echo quilting as easier on the eyes and concentration using your foot as a guide. But don't be afraid to be creative even if it is your first quilt. Just make a practice quilt out of old fabric or muslin and try it!
    Beth in Maryland

  15. #15
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    i hate stitch in the ditch - if it's not precise, then it can look sloppy. I agree that echo quilting is simpler. I hand quilt, so i like to use stencils to make designs in the blank spaces. I am consistent w/ the density of the quilting on the quilt.
    my name is becca and i'm a quilt-a-holic :-)

  16. #16
    Senior Member krysti's Avatar
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    Thank you all so much! I thought of the echoing; but wasn't sure about it. This quilt is going to be worn out. I started my first quilt to be for my 5 year old little guy; because I knew he wouldn't notice all the errors. 2nd one will be for the 7 year old girl for same reason. Then I'll work on quilts for the rest of the kiddos because hopefully by then I'll be a bit better. I definitely think I will try to do a little echoing and see how that turns out as well. Oh, also--what about the borders? Do you quilt them as much as the rest of the quilt? Thank you all again! I LOVE this board!!!

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