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Thread: Machine Quilting Density?

  1. #1
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    Machine Quilting Density?

    Do you have a preference for how much stitching (quilting) your quilts have for a quilt used for covering oneself (bed/couch/lap)?

    I think "medium" would be my preference - stitching close enough together so that the layers don't shift and far enough apart so that the quilt can drape/bend.

    I consider "art" - for looking at only - quilts to be another category.

  2. #2
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    I think medium too. dense quilting doesn't seem to let the quilt drape as well and makes it heavier too. still, I love that look also. but for me, medium works well.

  3. #3
    Super Member Jeanne S's Avatar
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    Same here, medium. I usually don’t do fluffy quilts, and too much quilting like pebbling is attractive but makes the quilt somewhat stiff even after washing.
    I just want to spend the rest of my life laughing.

  4. #4
    Super Member Onebyone's Avatar
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    I don't care for overly dense quilting but enough to keep stress off of the stitches when the quilt is used. So I say between medium and dense.
    I love my life!

  5. #5
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    Light to medium. My utility quilts (for the couch, for picnic blankets, etc) get as little machine quilting as I can get away with without the layers/batting shifting when washed. For bed quilts I hand quilt up to medium density. Heavy density quilting is not my bag, at all.

  6. #6
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I think density is in the eye of the beholder... If you have someone else do the quilting, pick from a sample or panto they have. Another option would be to have the quilting so many inches apart.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
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  7. #7
    Junior Member jackiesmith's Avatar
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    Light to medium for sure. I don't care for the stiffness of heavy quilting. It is beautiful tlhough.
    Kindness matters

    Jackie

  8. #8
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I prefer a large meander.
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  9. #9
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    I'd say medium to dense for hand or machine quilting.
    I have some antique quilts that are very densely hand quilted and are stunning.

  10. #10
    Senior Member IceLeopard's Avatar
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    Medium here too, about like most pantos. Don't like the stiffness of dense quilting.
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  11. #11
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    Medium here too. I do have the quilter add another layer of batting in the EMB machine quilts. It gives a nice poof and they're usually decorative ones.

  12. #12
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Please do not discount dense machine quilting!!

    Dense machine quilting can have a nice drape, bend, and feel to it.



    My preferences to FMQing vs. straight line quilting and the densities of each,
    vary according to the quilt, and what it is calling for!

    As do my choices of fabrics, battings and threads used.
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  13. #13
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I am just getting into FMQ and I am letting the quilt tell me what it wants. Not a fan of microstippling and really tight quilting but everything else goes.
    Martina
    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric!

  14. #14
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    Remember the batting tells you. It will say how close or far you can quilt. Some are 3-4" and some are 8", so be sure you know when you plan your design.

  15. #15
    Super Member Wanabee Quiltin's Avatar
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    I look at the fancy dense quilting and admire it but I never do it myself. I prefer seeing my piecing design.

  16. #16
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    I prefer a more open quilt design to let the quilt drape nicely.

  17. #17
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    As I mentioned above I have some antique quilts that are densely quilted by hand and they drape beautifully. I've never densely quilted by machine but from seeing some they do seem stiffer.

  18. #18
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    I vote for medium quilting here also. Less quilting allows for the batting to loosen and shift and those overly quilted ones with every inch quilted are pretty to look at, but wouldn't want one if it were given to me.

  19. #19
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    I have two handquilted whole cloth bed quilts-not done by me/acquired thru estate sales-and they are quite densely quilted, but do drape easily....I think dense machine quilting may have a more stiff drape because stitches are two threaded and one after another.......just a thought......

  20. #20
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    How are we defining medium? I try to aim for at least 1/2" to 1" of space in an all-over FMQ design. Since I can't machine quilt without using my Martelli gripper ring, I can't do larger designs where I'd have to smoothly move over a large distance, as I am always stopping to shift the ring.
    Lisa

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geri B View Post
    I have two handquilted whole cloth bed quilts-not done by me/acquired thru estate sales-and they are quite densely quilted, but do drape easily....I think dense machine quilting may have a more stiff drape because stitches are two threaded and one after another.......just a thought......
    Yes, I think it's having both a top and bottom thread and no space between stitches that makes machine quilting feel stiffer! I don't believe a handquilted quilt would feel stiff no matter how densely quilted, because either top or bottom you always have that space that isn't stitched.
    Lisa

  22. #22
    Super Member Ariannaquilts's Avatar
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    I am with wannabe, I like to see the design details of the quilt. Sometimes quilts are so densely quilted that it seems to change the design of the quilt. I have seen some quilts that I have had to almost do a double take to determine the design. So for me personally I like a medium density quilting, especially for the drape.
    Maria
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  23. #23
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    My dilemma is that my personal preference is for less dense quilting but now that I am working on my free motion I tend to do it more densely. I think because I am practicing. Maybe when I evolve I will do less dense again.
    Alyce

  24. #24
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    Hand or machine, I like my lines about an inch apart. Which to me is lightish-medium

  25. #25
    Super Member Snooze2978's Avatar
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    I agree with medium as too dense seems to make the quilt stiff and we don't want to lay under a quilt that's stiff as a board do we?
    Suz in Iowa
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