Simplifying the Quilting Process

Diane McGregor is our guest today on the Blog

When you look at some of the award winning quilts, do you say wow I could never do that.  Me too.  Do you worry that perhaps your quilting is not dense enough?  Me too.  When I finish a quilt top, I feel like I am finished.  Of course, I am not. I still have the quilting to do.  Not my favorite part of the process.  I can’t afford to send my quilts to a long arm quilter.

So I don’t worry about how beautiful and dense the quilting is because that is not what I do best.  I am not entering my quilts in to contests.  I make them for myself, to test a pattern or to give away. The most important thing for me about the quilting is that it is evenly distributed across the quilt top. The quilting is dense enough for me if when I put my fist down it is touching some quilting lines. I look for ways to use my walking foot and do continuous straight lines.

Stripped Pieced Table Runner

In my latest project, the table runner was created using left over strips. I decided to quilt straight lines in the ditch across the table runner including across the border.  Oh, dear you think you can’t do that. That you are suppose to quilt the border separately. Well it is my project so I can do what ever I want. This meant that I didn’t have to quilt the borders later.

Some of the strips were wider than others.  I first stitch in the ditch between all the strips. I also don’t like marking.  Now I had a line on each side so that I could eye ball stitching in the center between the two lines.  Is the line exactly in the center? Probably not,  however visually it won’t matter.  I don’t see people getting out their ruler and measure this sort thing.

So lets summarize.  I don’t enjoy the quilting process. I spray baste since I don’t like pinning.  I don’t like marking so I look for ways I don’t have to mark.  I use my walking foot where ever possible and do mostly straight line quilting. Yes, sometimes I need to free motion quilt. I like to get my project finished so I can get on to the next project.

In my patterns, I include simple quilting instructions to give you some help.  So, enjoy what you do best and find ways to simplify your own quilting process if it is not your favorite part.


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