Creating Texture

I’m binding today and as I laid the quilts on the floor to trim, I thought about the discussion I had yesterday when looking at the Innova longarm. I was explaining that I was a scrap quilter and did a lot of donation quilts and said that I mostly quilted overall freehand and pantographs doing very little custom quilting and she said “so you just need to hold the layers together” which is not at all what I meant.

Texture makes a quilt come alive and I don’t have to do elaborate quilting to create texture, I also don’t have to have my thread stand out. Nothing could be simpler than these wavy lines I quilted the other day and after quilting it I even wondered whether I should have done something more but looking at it spread out to trim, I’m very happy with it and it’s going to be so cozy and soft and cuddly!

I also trimmed the Strips and Strings Log Cabin and again, while it’s not elaborate custom quilting, these freehand fans create wonderful texture on this scrap quilt.

So for me quilting isn’t about just holding the layers together, it’s about adding texture that makes a quilt come alive!

Binding has been made and machine stitched on both quilts so now I’ll work a while on hand stitching it down!


  1. Yes you are right, the quilting is a lot more than just sewing the layers together, I love to feel the texture that some quilting patterns put on the quilt. It’s another dimension.

  2. Sometimes just a simple design is best. I have my quilts done and one time I felt the quilter over did it on the design and another time and different quilter I felt under did it. But both quilts turned out perfect for the people I gave them to. My favorite quilter who always picks out the perfect designs for my quilts is sooooo busy and 4 to 5 months out. Sometimes I just don’t want to wait that long. Yours look perfect for the quilts you put them on.

  3. I love all my quilts and there is no fancy custom work, simple is best. I prefer my threads to blend in quietly but my son and his wife like bold. I love yours so keep on doing what you have been doing.

  4. I totally agree. We may not be doing elaborate quilt it to death quilting, but we still add texture and beauty to the top. Yea, we hold the three layers together, but so do the custom people.

    Happy Friday night, Mary!

    Kathy in WI

    On Friday, August 16, 2019, Making Scrap Quilts from Stash wrote:

    > Mary posted: ” I’m binding today and as I laid the quilts on the floor to > trim, I thought about the discussion I had yesterday when looking at the > Innova longarm. I was explaining that I was a scrap quilter and did a lot > of donation quilts and said that I mostly quilte” >

  5. Machine quilting in general is so misunderstood! I think of it as another art form but many non-quilters and even hand quilters see it as a short cut. It actually takes quite a bit of skill!

    • A century after the sewing machine (and the time- and effort-saving bliss of it!) was used to sew and quilt, and it’s still being viewed as not quite kosher. Add to that the computer, and I find that I’ve become something of a snob–checking stitch patterns on quilts for being “too perfect”, and therefore left to a machine to create instead of a human at “the wheel”. One thing I can say for my FMQ–no one will have any difficulty telling it was done by a person! Still, I hate to be “that” person who looks down her nose at computer-driven stitching, yet I can’t seem to help myself.

  6. The wavy lines on your 16-Patch fit it perfectly! The fabrics are busy so the quilting needs to not be. I believe in letting one element of a quilt be the “star” — either the fabric, the pattern or the quilting but not all of them because then they compete (IMHO). As for the Baptist Fans, my theory has ALWAYS been (hand or machine quilting), you cannot, cannot, cannot EVER go wrong with a Baptist Fan! I made my husband a “manly” quilt (out of fabrics that resembled suiting & shirt fabrics) & was stumped about what to quilt on it. Fans! And they were exactly what the doctor ordered! These are beauties, as usual, Mary! I sure do love seeing what wonderful work you turn out! Thanks for sharing with us!

  7. Yes, quilting is not “just lines”–it adds so much to the top: texture, that lovely crinkley look and
    character for me…I love how the wavey lines pull your eyes across that top…nice work hugs, Julierose

  8. Something to hold the layers together??? No, so much more than that. As for me, I love your simpler quilting designs. I am not a fan of heavily quilted pieces unless they are hanging on a wall as an art piece. It seems like the quilt is stiffer and not as cozy when heavily quilted. I like looser or less dense quilting for lap and bed quilts. It is much softer. Love your work and you have made so many quilts too!! Have fun with the new long arm. I am a bit jealous! I don’t have the space for one here.

  9. Quilting is more than utilitarian; it adds another dimension to a quilt. That said, quilting doesn’t have to be intricate nor does a quilt have to be quilted to death to look good. And often less is more. Too much quilting can make a quilt stiff.
    I like using wavy lines on a quilt; yours look very nice. And your freehand baptist fans— man, am I ever impressed. Pat yourself on the back and enjoy the Tampa sunshine….

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