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Old 10-10-2007, 05:27 AM
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I have been practicing machine quilting in more "interesting" patterns than the boring old "puzzle piece" kind of stippling that I have been doing on almost every single quilt I've made lately. I looked at the style called "McTavishing", and that's similar to what I would like to do, if I can make it less dense. I don't want to completely flatten the project! What kind of batting are you using for that? I like needlepunched cotton or low loft polyester, but when I used those, the finished project had NO loft at all and was even a little stiff. I don't want to lose the drape-y feel of a quilt.

I've done loops and other designs, but I kind of like the paisley shapes and swirls - but not so dense! How do you achieve a continuous pattern? What other patterns are you using?

I have an old Viking Turissa that works great for freemotion machine quilting, but not a long arm.
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Old 10-10-2007, 12:10 PM
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I would suggest trying some warm & natural or something similar & just do a practice square & see if that gives you the effect you are wanting. You may just have to sample some different battings. Maybe someone else on this site with more experience on McTavishing style would have a better idea?
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Old 10-10-2007, 02:36 PM
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Cathe,

McTavishing can be done much larger to achieve the desired effect, look, & feel. You do not have to stitch it out small and dense. Lin posted some beautiful pictures of her version http://www.quiltingboard.com/posts/list/2463.page

You will see how she varied the sizes of her designs to add visual interest and different textures, which will also keep it from being stiff (if done on a larger scale) and give you the drape you are wanting to keep in your quilt.
As far as the loft, Pam is right in telling you to experiment with different battings until you find the one you prefer. You might like a wool batting as it will quilt nicely, pucker slightly, but still maintain a little loft, and no matter how much quilting you do, it will drape beautifully.
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Old 10-11-2007, 06:02 AM
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Hi Cathe,

I did two quilts for a client using the McTavishing technique and both quilts draped nicely when I was done, despite the heavy quilting. I didn't micro-McTavish, which is really REALLY close together, but my stitch lines were usually as close as " apart throughout the quilt. She chose a very thin cotton batting, and I used a very fine bobbin thread (60wt Bottom Line) and also a really fine (50wt I believe) embroidery thread on the top. So even though the there was a lot of thread in the quilt, keeping the batting thin and light as well as the thread made a huge difference. I was concerned at first too, that the quilt would lay like a board on the bed, but thankfully it didn't.

If you use the McTavishingi technique, you probably won't ever achieve a "soft, lofty" look with your quilt, but that doesn't' mean it will have to look stiff. You can do this technique as large or small as you want. Make it your own! No rules here. :) I saw a small quilt at a museum recently that was micro-McTavished and I was floored with how close she got that design-it ranged from 1/16" to 1/8" and in places the threads were nearly on top of each other. It was done on a miniature quilt, and yes, it was really stiff! LOL But for a tiny wallhanging I guess that would be ok. :) I think it's more important to use the design idea (the way Karen McTavish chose to make the lines flow) rather than worrying about how far apart each row is from the other. It's really a pretty flexible design. Just practice a few swatches and see what you're comfortable with. :)

HTH!
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Old 10-11-2007, 12:46 PM
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Thanks! The McTavishing is very similar to what I want to do. I guess I just need to make it bigger and looser - that will probably solve the loft issue, too. I didn't try the McTavish style with cotton yet... just the low loft poly. Wool might be a good idea. I just hate to try it until I am skilled enough to justify the cost and not RUIN my quilt.

I have paisleys in my head! :lol:
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Old 10-11-2007, 01:24 PM
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Her paisley style was very pretty, but I haven't tried that one yet. Did you say you have her book and video? She shows how to do each of her different ways of using her technique in the video and her paisley is so neat!

I've found that sometimes even the low-loft polys can be stiffer than natural fibers after they're quilted. Especially if there is a scrim. I was surprised and delighted when the cotton that I used turned out to fall nicely off the side of the bed! One of the days I'll spring for the wool. :)
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