Design Process — Lesson on Quilting

I am not very good at quilting. Simply put, I don’t practice enough. That, really, is the main problem. I know the skills fairy isn’t going to come sprinkle magic quilting dust on me. And if she (he?) did, it might just make me sneeze. The other problem, which is less, is I don’t have wonderful fine motor control. Never did. But really, practice, or lack thereof, is the problem.

I commit here, in public, to practicing more in 2014. I’ll tell ya later how much more, when I think a little more about my goals.

That said…

(big sigh) Okay, lesson learned today: custom quilting a top that is very busy may be an exercise in futility. The quilting may not show. While that’s great from the standpoint of hiding all those flaws, it’s also a waste in other ways. Waste of time, frustration, physical maneuvering of the quilt, etc.

How do I know? I finished quilting my Mexican embroidery quilt. (Sorry, Sarah. I guess no sneak peaks yet.) The top is fabulous, one of my favorite things ever. But it is VERY BUSY. And I wanted to get complicated with the quilting. And I just shouldn’t have.

This whole post is not much more than whining. But I think it’s still a valid lesson. A very busy quilt top may be a candidate for very simple quilting. It doesn’t need more embellishment. Alternatively, a simple top may be perfect for complex quilting. The simplicity may be complemented by it.

Thanks for listening.

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “Design Process — Lesson on Quilting

  1. Sarah

    Darn! I hear you on the quilting thing. It’s my least favorite part of the process and the one I’m worst at. Consequently, I don’t want to practice and get better. I just want to moan about it. LOL

    Like

    Reply
    1. Melanie in IA Post author

      I wish moaning helped. If it did, I’d be really good by now!

      Really, I need to make a plan for practice, and then follow through. Just doing one quilt at a time helps, but not very much. It seems sort of like a waste of money to buy muslin and batting “just” to practice on. But it may be a bigger waste to not practice. Sort of like buying an expensive musical instrument for a kid, and listening to them barely eke out the notes for the next school concert. (I didn’t actually go through that once Son got past 5th grade. He was pretty disciplined in his musicianship, but it’s still a good analogy.)

      Like

      Reply
    2. farmquilter

      Oh yeah, I hear you on the complex quilting on busy fabric! But I look at it as good practice for customer quilts! Quilting is my favorite part of the whole process, but I have a fabulous longarm so that part is easy. But it looks really cool on the back, especially if you use reads-as-solid for the backing 🙂 Love custom quilting – easier for me to come up with than an all-over pattern. If you really don’t like the quilting process, quilt by check or trade services with a longarm quilter – I hate hand work and would love to trade quilting with someone who did a great job of hand stitching binding down!!!

      Like

      Reply
      1. Melanie in IA Post author

        I love professional quilters, and we’re lucky to have several good ones around here. I got a longarm, though, because I want to be in charge of the whole process, for good or for bad.

        Thanks for stopping by today.

        Like

        Reply
  2. snarkyquilteroa

    The only reason I’ve found to do complex quilting on a busy top is to practice that complex stuff where my mistakes won’t show as much. You bet every single bobble in my free motion curves shows up like a blinking neon sign (mistake! mistake!) on big stretches of solid fabric.

    Like

    Reply
  3. Gudrun Biemann

    I love to quilt, quilting makes the quilt 🙂 You are right lots of detailed quilting is lost on busy detailed piecing….until you turn it over and see a great textured design on your ‘solid’ back.
    This is why I have long arm, like a previous long armer said, I’d trade services.
    I enjoy your posts.

    Like

    Reply
    1. Melanie in IA Post author

      Thanks so much for taking a look.

      I’ve done quilting I’ve been very happy with, and a few less so. I actually learned a lot on this piece, so there was still value in it! 🙂

      Like

      Reply

I love your comments!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s