Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Quilting is taking forever

Why does it always take longer than I expect to quilt a quilt?  Honestly, I think even if I doubled my estimate, the actual time would expand to double that number.  It's just how things are.

I basted Starlit Picnic on Friday, and was sure I'd have it quilted by Sunday night.  Despite spending a large part of the weekend and most of yesterday quilting it, I don't foresee a finish until tomorrow evening at the earliest. 

I suppose it's taking so long because I'm quilting more densely than I usually do.  I had planned light quilting, as that's my preference.  First I stitched straight lines up and down and across in the ditch of the squares.  That looked a little underdressed, so I added more lines in the sashing, 1/4" from the squares.

That dressed up the background/sashing quite nicely, but look at the puffiness in those squares.  That's what happens when some areas are quilted more densely than others.  Sometimes that's a fine design element, but in this case it just looked messy and unfinished.

While we're on that topic, why is it that uneven quilting density makes less densely quilted areas puff in the top, but everything is perfectly flat on the back?  I'm stumped.  Please share your theory!

Moving right along...  Adding additional lines marching through the squares helped reduce the puffiness.  The size of these squares doesn't lend itself to neatly dividing into three equal parts, so I didn't try.  I focused on symmetry instead.  I think this turned out pretty well.  Overall, the effect of all the lines intersecting in the sashing and in the squares reminds me of a plaid pattern.  

The star needed dense quilting to match so I stitched in the ditch around it and filled in with crosshatching.  I thought that echoed the gridwork in the rest of the quilt, but I put it on the diagonal to add a little contrast and interest.  I'm still on the fence about the background of the star.  I considered outline quilting 1/4" outside the shape, but now I'm leaning towards just leaving it.  

I have 10 more stars to quilt, then I'll need to figure out the border quilting.  

This will be the cover quilt for my new Starlit Picnic pattern.  I had planned to release it this week, but I need a cover photo first, which means it's all on hold until I finish quilting and have a finished quilt to photograph. I need to step away from the computer and towards the sewing machine now!


  1. The quilting part can act strangely and I've still not worked out why. Yours is looking good & sometimes we are making decisions as we go. Just finished quilting one from my "tub of shame" that I made way back before the turn of the century (that sounds funny) & although I tend to do allover or E2E these days (getting old...haha), I made the decision to custom quilt it and had a bit of dilemma too. I'm liking the look of that new pattern and can't wait to see the whole quilt in some beautiful photo shoots. Keep the chin up, take care & hugs.

  2. I love the quilting! It always takes longer than you want, even with a longarm. But well worth the effort here! It's a beautiful quilt and the delay of the pattern release will be worth it. I'm excited to see what you put in the borders.

  3. Lovely quilting; it does seem to take longer than you think to quilt doesn't it? hugs, julierose

  4. Great job on the quilting. It's fun to hear you think out loud how you process your quilting design. I would leave it at that too. It's beautiful! ;^)

  5. I am sorry you didn't reach your chosen deadline for the pattern release, but I do really like what you have ended up doing with the quilting. And the "on point" grid in the stars is a really nice effect.

  6. Your quilt top looks great ! I can't wait to see the finished quilt to see how the rest of it ( the borders ) is done. Need some ideas for borders myself !

  7. I like the look of the quilting..... Lovely colour combinations in these quilts......


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