Hand Quilting – How Dense is Dense Enough?

Morning all. Doesn’t it feel good when you have something to share? After all the disruption at home I’m pleased to be working on more than just one project that I can share with you. It must get dull seeing slow progress on the same quilt week after week? I admit it bothers me, I don’t want to bore the pants off you! But that’s enough of my insecurities, let’s have a look at On The Edge instead.

I’m On The Edge Again

There’s a finish in sight on this quilt and I’m getting excited – I’ve got an empty place to hang it after all! I’ve been hand quilting overlapping squares to compliment the ‘floating squares’ score that inspired it and I’m pleased with the decision: it’s looking good!

Hand quilting detail of 'On The Edge' a quilt in progress by © Stephanie Boon, 2016. All Rights Reserved www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Hand quilting overlapping squares. I’m using two colours of Gutterman hand quilting thread, a blue and a red, picking up one or the other in a random fashion, a bit like sewing the squares themselves.

But I’m Not Too Dense!

I like my quilts to be fairly densely quilted compared to some modern quilts. It keeps the layers together better and holds up to more use and washing that way. On the other hand too much quilting makes the cloth stiff. It’s more of an issue with machine quilting, for me anyway. How densely quilted do you prefer your quilts? Do you find it’s a delicate balance getting it right?

I’m getting to a happy saturation point with this one now – you can see it better from the back in black and white. To some extent density of quilting is personal preference, but practicalities have to be considered too don’t you think?

The back of a hand quilted wall quilt, quilted in a series of overlapping squares. © Stephanie Boon, 2016 All Rights Reserved. www.dawnchorusstudio.com

The back of On The Edge showing the hand quilting design. Random size overlapping squares are in keeping with the patchwork.

I have less than about 1/5 of the quilting to finish then I’ll figure out the best way to make the knife edge binding and hanging sleeve – I predict disasters galore and plenty of swearing in my future!

Morning Rounds

Have you seen Maureen’s latest quilt in Tula Pink fabrics? I popped over this morning and was bowled over by the burst of colour on yet another grey, mizzly day here in Cornwall. It must be more than miserable for the people of New Zealand though, Maureen’s part of the world. Another Kiwi visit took me to Linda at Koka Quilts this morning. She’s talking about quilting designs too and her beautiful strip-pieced Trip Around The World looks really soft and inviting. There’s solace in sewing even in the most difficult of times. I hope Maureen and Linda find some today.

Signature: Stephie © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnchorusStudio.com





Linked up with Sew Fresh Quilts for Let’s Bee Social this week.  Find the link to Lorna’s lovely site here:

Link Party page: Favourite Link Parties graphic © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

11 replies
  1. Maureen
    Maureen says:

    Stephie thank you so much for your mention of me and my Tula Pink star quilt. I certainly find, and have found in the past, that quilting gives me comfort in stressful or sad times. So, On The Edge is almost finished – and more to the point will be hanging on the wall in your new home. Love he word “mizzly” mist and drizzle combined in one!!

    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      Mizzle – that’s exactly right Maureen, a Cornish word to describe typical Cornish weather!!! Your star quilt is glorious and all the gorgeous colours really lifted my spirits 🙂

    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      Thanks Linda 🙂 To me hand quilting is so much more relaxing than fighting to get a quilt under a domestic machine, and I prefer the results by miles – especially the journey of stitching over time.

  2. Lynne Nicholson
    Lynne Nicholson says:

    Oh Steph if there was a blog entry twice a day every day on the progress of your hand quilting it would not bore me. I look forward to seeing the next post on progress.

  3. Kaja
    Kaja says:

    I sometimes wonder about endlessly blogging the same piece of handquilting too – that’s when I get down on the floor and start taking shots from different perspectives, just to change things up a bit. As for how much is enough – I kind of think that first you meet the practical requirement ie do enough that it holds everything together, and after that you keep going until it feels right to you. I seem to quilt quite heavily, but like you don’t want a quilt to be stiff.

    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      I love the density of your quilting Kaja, you’ve perfected that balance between utility and ‘decoration’ that I aim for. sometimes it can be hard to stop! And as for you blogging about “the same piece of hand quilting”, I hadn’t noticed that you do, haha! You always have a number of different piecing projects to share too, so it’s a pleasure to head over and see what you’ve been up to.

  4. Ann
    Ann says:

    It’s fun to see details of other people’s progress. As for my own posts – while I worry a bit, I realize I don’t follow blogs that show a “quilt in a day.” Not enough meat, not meaningful enough for me. Also, we have other lives; it’s interesting to see how quilting wraps around our daily lives, what else has meaning.
    Like you I want quilts to hold up through multiple washings and hard (but loving) use by the owner. Heavily quilted ones are intriguing but not my style. Printed fabrics inspire me the most; more is better. It’s good to find what excites you personally, isn’t it. And then see what others like best. And learn new tricks to incorporate somewhere along the line.
    I’m so glad you’re settled in to your new home. Just in time for a cozy winter of quilting.

    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      Oh yes Kate, get out that needle and thread – you’ll have a blast! (Well, maybe not, that sounds more like a rocket going off, which really isn’t in the hand quilting repertoire!)


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