Now, as I have spent more time quilting, and as I have learned how to do it better, I find I want to make less and less of a statement with it. It’s really important to quilt your quilt, as it’s not complete without this joining-of-layers and adding-of-texture…

Many of my recent quilts are simply quilted with slightly wibbly straight lines from top to bottom (and, note, NOT back up again, as this causes ripples. Just go one way!) The thread used is crucial – if your piece is a little bright, it can be muted gently with the thread, if it needs a boost, a bright or slightly contrasting thread may be just the thing. See the first picture – this little quilt in Heide Stolle-weber’s pretty hand-dyes and Oakshott purple has a soft multi-purple-and-pink thread for most of the quilting, and a sparkly highlight in yellow across the diagonal. The lines are less than 1/2 inch apart

 

My silk miniature has a seriously bold thread, to make a statement. Lines 1/8 inch apart

 At this point I will say, that the current trend for asking “is 10 inches apart enough quilting” makes me a little sad. If you really don’t like to quilt, send it out to a long-armer, work smaller, or just grit your teeth; but you do need to quilt often enough to keep your patchwork stable, your quilt flat and nice, and your backing attached.
PLEASE
Maybe not every half-inch for a lap quilt, but nothing looks sadder than a pretty quilt with bunched-up batting and a saggy bottom…

 

Many of my early quilts were very heavily quilted, often with leaves (or spirals). Lots of ends to finish. Matching colours, so the quilting was pretty much all for texture. I still like this, but it’s hard work and my shoulders are getting tired…
I do like to quilt quite closely, and have found that the results are almost never stiff or lacking-in-drape

So, these days I do more Walking Foot work – this spiral is echoed around the motif

And this mini-quilt (Wonky Stars, see part 5 https://ukqu.co.uk/improv-for-beginners-and-improvers-part-the-fifth-now-is-the-time-for-starry-things/
and Part 6
https://ukqu.co.uk/improv-for-beginners-and-improvers-part-six-celestial-happenings/  )
has a square spiral starting in the middle

Curvy spirals here, starting with a touch of the free-motions, then heading outwards with the walking foot…

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different quilting styles – one year I went to the Festival of Quilts with no camera, just a pencil and a notebook, and just drew quilting patterns.. Very good fun and educational…

This will be my last blog in this series for a week or two, as I’m really busy. More, at a later date, when I wake up again.. If you have been, thanks for reading

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