Hearts quilt quilting

I'm much less grumpy today, I promise.  I went in to the shop about my machine, and their machine guru will sit down with me next week to see just what the problem is that is causing skipped stitches and broken thread or poor tension when I freemotion.  They kept it for service when I brought it in in August and gave it back having found no issues, so now we'll have to see if it misbehaves when the techs are watching...  If it's something I am doing wrong, that's fine too, as long as someone can tell me so so I can start doing it right!

In the meantime I'm concentrating on my daughter's quilt.  She has been very patient waiting for it while I got sidetracked with various other projects, so I have promised myself not to start anything new until hers is finished.

The top photo shows the colours better, but the rest show the quilting better.  I guess I need to get up earlier to catch that early morning light before the morning running around starts,  getting breakfasts and lunches ready and getting everyone out the door on time!  Hmm.  I think for now I'll just settle for late night poor lighting.  Sorry!

I've quilted in the ditch around the heart shape and around the polka dot background.  I really tried not to stitch in the ditch, because it is my least favourite thing to quilt. I really have trouble getting into a rythm and keeping my stitches even when I'm in the ditch.  Maybe it's because the extra layers on one side of the ditch make the fabric stiffer there.  At any rate, I tried outline quilting 1/4 inch from the seams instead, but it just didn't look quite right, so after about 6 blocks I unpicked all the outline quilting, gave in to the ditch and am much happier with the result. 

By the way, can anyone tell me how quilters count hand quilting stitches?  Do you count just the stitches on top, or do the stitches on the bottom count as separate as well? I read a blog recently where the blogger was told by "experienced" hand quilters that "good" quilting has at least 9 stitches to the inch. I think even stitches are more important than tiny and your batting and fabric will affect the size of your stitches anyway so one size does not fit all.  I seriously doubt that any family or friends I quilt for are going to whip out a ruler and check my stitch size, but I'm curious anyway.  How do you count?


  1. I really love, love, love your daughter's heart quilt. Love the colors, love the pattern, everything. It is a great quilt for a young lady! I have hand quilted all of my things so far. I need to learn to use my machine to quilt, but so far I haven't tried it. I don't worry about how many stitches per inch as long as they are fairly even. The fabrics, batting and number of layers of fabric all affect the quilting. As long as I am happy with it, that's all that counts. I have always wondered how the stitches are counted, so it will be interesting to see if anyone knows the answer!

  2. I think you read that on my blog.. I was told by very Experienced quilters ( more than one) that if you pick up 9 stitches on your needle (at a time) it should come close an inch and makes for beautiful and perfect hand quilting!

  3. Whose counting? Certainly not me! I think your quilting stitches look great, and I love that cable pattern. I used it on my son's quilt, and some others too. ---"Love"

  4. Wonderful! Thanks for sharing ---love the jewel colors. :) Carolyn

  5. I certainly don't count and also don't know how the stitches are counted! I'm not exactly a liberated quilter, but I guess I'm leaning that way (within reason). There are more important things in life than how many stitches to the inch!

  6. I really love the colors in your daughter's quilt--it's so cheerful. I am amazed with all of you and your hand quilting! I use my walking foot for all stitch-in-the-ditch quilting.

    I am so sorry that you are still having a hard time with your machine. I really need to do some practice on free motion stitching! Heaven knows I've bought enough books for advice & technique. My tendencies are to stick with what I know & am comfortable with... Mary

  7. So beautiful!!! Your hand quilting is stunning. I've read that counting stitches is done just on the top/inch. I totally agree with you about the spacing. This is gorgeous :)

  8. That canted square in a square with the heart in it is a great design! Count stitches on one side of the fabric. I read someplace that museum quality hand quilting is 12 stitches per inch. (Yeah, right!) I wouldn't worry about it as long as all of your stitches are the same size. :) Theri

  9. Your heart quilt is looking fabulous Joanne. The quilting designs are working really well. Lets hope your machine woes can be easily addressed. Ann :-)

  10. Yes! Finally something about outline quilting.

    Heere is my weblog hand quilting []


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