Many of us love to make quilt tops. It is fun, it can be therapeutic, and it fulfills our desires to create. Not as many of us feel confident in making the quilt sandwich and quilting through all three layers. I remember finishing quilt tops that were beautiful, but doing very minimal quilting on them because I was afraid to mess them up. After the hours and money spent on them I didn’t want to hate what I made by ruining the final product with poor quilting skills. I wish I had hired a longarm quilter. I love the piecing but haven’t always loved the quilting.
Here is an example.
I saw this quilt in an issue of American Patchwork and Quilting a looong time ago. I’d have to dig through my magazine stash to find the exact issue. I loved the pattern and I loved all of the applique work. I spent hours and hours on it. When it was time to quilt it, I only did a stitch in the ditch around the triangle border, each of the four large blocks, and each small star block. I made it as a gift for someone to use as a wall hanging, so I knew that it wouldn’t be put in a washing machine. I really wish I had hired a quilter to compensate for my fear. Now when I look at this I see so much potential and think of what I would quilt on it if I made this again.
Another example is from a First Saturday Sampler quilt that was done at the Great American Quilt Factory in Denver, Colorado.
I love this quilt. I knew when I started this quilt that I wanted to give it to my husband’s grandma for a gift. It took me three years to finish it for various reasons, but again, I only used a stitch in the ditch around each block and the border. I didn’t want to ruin what I had worked so hard on.
I made this quilt for my fifth baby. This is actually the second try. I tried quilting it when I finished piecing it. I hated it. I put it in a drawer and let it sit for months. When I finally looked at it again, I decided to UNSTITCH all of the quilting and start over. It took hours to pick out the thousands of tiny stitches. I’m so glad I did, though. This quilt was my first successful attempt at all over stippling. I was so happy with how it turned out. I actually entered it in the Arizona state fair and one first place. I love this quilt.
I have had a few successes quilting on my home machine. I love my machine for piecing, but it is not meant to be used to free motion quilting. Quilting machines and professional quilters have a place in the quilting community.