Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Never Say 'NEVER'

I have always said I would NEVER own or do a machine quilted quilt......I am SOOOO a HAND QUILTED type of gal!! WELL...I guess I will have to eat my words. Here is my first officially completed MACHINE QUILTED quilt!!!


If you follow my blog you know this is one of two fall style quilts I have worked on....a His and Hers pair. This one is Mr. Brown Dirts and he LOVES it...so much so I really had to just rip it from his body to get some finished photos.....LOL....yes, I got this one finished just about the time to put it up ( fall colors and all ) and drag out the Christmas colors......Oh well.......


He has told me his favorite side is the back. I like it too.


For my first endeavor quilting on something this large I thought just sewing some straight lines would be good practice in learning to 'man handle' a quilt and my machine. I did cross hatch style squares in the middle.


I decided on lots of closer together straight stitching in the borders.... I.LIKE......I haven't washed it yet so it's not as 'crinkle-ee' as it could be.

I never wanted to do a quilt that looked like I had 'sewed' all over the top of it. I have seen some quilts that the first thing I noticed was the machine quilting....instead of the quilt as a whole.....this being my reason for NEVER wanting a machine quilted quilt. I knew I would
need to change my thinking on this as my pile of quilt TOPS was growing. SOOOO....this is what I did.......I put my STITCH LENGTH to 3.00....and lowered my bottom TENSION to 2.25....(trying to achieve that DIP and DOT look of HAND quilting). I used a CREAMY OFF WHITE THREAD instead of the stark white. This thread color just seemed to melt away and is hardly noticeable. I don't know if any of this is right or wrong, but it is just what I experimented with and what I decided was right for me.....MAYBE this machine quilting isn't so bad...I just might
do some more!!!

We'll talk about the ORDEAL I had with the batting on this at a later date and post!!!! Here is a HINT.....I wore a dust mask.............


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49 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Belinda!! Your quilt looks GREAT!!

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  2. OMG....it is gorgeous! I absolutely love the fabrics that you chose for the project. Nice job on the machine quilting too.

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  3. Good for you! Love the quilt, quilting, back, selvedges, and POLKA DOTS!!!

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  4. Love the quilt. I so agree with you that some machine quilting makes the quilt look like it's been quilted to death--love your simple quilting. It doesn't overpower the quilt itself. Thanks for your machine quilting tips

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  5. your quilting looks great! You should see the first quilt I quilted in the machine!! AAGH! But Yours looks like you're a pro already?? how did you do that?

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  6. I love it, especially the back. I used to feel the same way about machine quilting and I still much prefer the look produced by hand quilting. But I'm running out of time with each passing birthday so I've also started machine quilting many of my tops. Special ones are still hand quilted but I am happy to get many more done by using the machine. There are so many more I want to make that I had to give in.

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  7. I had the same problem. I didn't really like machine quilting, but my pile of tops was huge and still is. So, I too started with just straight line quilting and a lot of quilt in the ditch so my patchwork design would still stand out. I've done borders just like that too, I love that look. I'm still handquilting as much as possible! You're really the first person I've found that thinks like me!

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  8. I love how you included the salvages!!! Very pretty!!!

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  9. Love both sides. I think both hand and machine quilting have their places/uses. You did an excellent job for the first time.

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  10. Absolutly Beautiful! Like always you did a fabulous job!

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  11. clap, clap, clap! Hip hip Hurrah! You did a great job.

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  12. I love the quilt and the quilting!

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  13. Wow, a very beautiful quilt with two nice faces! :-)
    About machine quilting, I have the same thoughts as you, but I think I will try it next year. I´m running out of time, too, and my stack of tops is growing.
    It´s interesting to find some people here who think the same! :-)

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  14. Great job Belinda. I too am a handquilter but recently had two Christmas quilts machine quilted. I wanted my daughters in law to have them now....not Christmas ???
    I will probably stick to the handquilting.....its just what I prefer. Both have a place.
    Hugs, Barb

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  15. I took pride in being a "quilt snob" (handquilting ONLY), but I recently tried machine quilting too. It's not so bad and can you even believe how much quicker it is?! You did a GREAT job!

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  16. I, too, love hand quilting. I just did a panel by hand and yes, there is a huge difference in the final look. But I machine quilt for customers (p/t). I believe my job is to make the piecers work even more outstanding, I don't want people to notice the quilting first. That requires more custom work and costs more than an all over pantograph, but I think the results are so much better. Each quilt needs to be assessed on it's own, who is going to use it? how is it going to be used? is it scrappy?Is is well pieced? Sometimes an allover in a light weight thread that blends in is the best choice. I also machine quilt some of my own, I want to use them in my lifetime! jmho

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  17. I think your quilt looks wonderful!!!

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  18. Well done Belinda. The back is so creative with the different patterns. Love it! I had a practice on the little Milly Molly Mandy stitchery with using my machine's curved stitch for quilting. It gives an unusual effect. I saw it used for quilting somewhere on blogland and thought I ought to try it.
    I love your edge of straight rows- so effective.

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  19. Belinda, you should be proud of yourself! Your quilt is beautiful and you did an awesome job! I love both sides, and that you included selvages (Farmer ones!). I'm glad to hear that Mr. Brown Dirt loves it...he'd better!

    I think your machine quilting looks wonderful. I agree with Grass Roots Sharon...an all-over pantograph can overtake the beautiful piecing on a quilt. My long-armer does all hand-guided work and does such a beautiful job. I love her work. So, I'm happy with that.

    I love hand-quilted too, but unfortunately can't do it anymore due to arthritis in my hands. So, machine quilting works for me. At least I'm getting to use my quilts in my lifetime!

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  20. Love the quilt and you should be proud of your machine quilting. It looks great.

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  21. NEVER SAY NEVER!!! Your quilt is totally wonderful! There is a place in life for everything. It is nice to be able to do both kinds of quilting. Machine quilting is especially good for things that will be laundered a lot, like quilts for tots and table gear!! Quilts used a lot on beds seem to hold up better if machine done. Yours is lovely. Bernis is better?! Gail

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  22. It looks great. You did a wonderful job. My mother used to tell me don't say what you aren't going to do because you will end up doing it.

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  23. What a great quilt - it is amazing that it is your first attempt at machine quilting - usually takes a long time to get that good. Have fun doing more.

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  24. You did a beautiful job, Belinda!

    Yes, I was shocked at first when I saw you got a long arm machine, but I knew you would love it once you started. My best friend has a long arm machine. She changes thread colors and does lots of extra quilting that doesn't look like a bed spread from a chain store. I agree that the quilting should enhance the quilt, but not take away from it.

    I don't ever want a long arm. However, I always say that one of the greatest things about being a quilter is having a best friend with a long arm. She always says she loves having a friend with a computer (which she doesn't have).

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  25. Very well done for sure! It's a keeper and TADA a finish!!

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  26. Wow! As if the quilt your showing isn't delightful enough. It is. I love the backing, too. You inspire me with that. I simply MUST get overmyself with that and do some back-making! Now, onto the serious business of Machine Quilting. Your work is really amazingly fantastic. I enjoyed reading this post and how you worked with this to get the effect you were looking for. Lovely work, great photos and a fun read to go along with it all.

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  27. I totally understand where you're coming from...I machine quilt to lower that stack of tops in the closet but my heart is still with hand quilting.

    I like your quilting choice for this quilt-its really looks great. I often machine quilt exactly like I would have hand quilted (quilt pattern wise, I mean).

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  28. Of course your quilting is "right". There is no "wrong" on a finished quilt! I have always been a machine quilter but agree thread scribbling over the surface is sometimes distracting. I love the straight stitched line with the feed dogs up. I will do all over meandering (with hearts or stars) and loop da loop free motion on some lap quilts that are more subtle in their design. I like the pieced patterns to be showcased more than the quilting.

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  29. I also love to hand quilt and get quite frustrated if I try to machine quilt. I just cannot handle it; but because I hand quilt I am not able to get as much done as I would like too. And I am not gettn' any younger. So, good for you!! It looks wonderful! I love how you added selvedges in the top. Keep up the great work, this dog is too old for new tricks!!!

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  30. I can see why you had to PRY it away from DH - it's absolutely wonderful!!! Sometimes washing will 'hide' the stitches better, and also, using a light-weight thread, helps to make it less noticeable. It's just gorgeous, as is the back!

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  31. Very nice; once you begin machine quilting it quickly becomes addicting!

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  32. The quilt looks wonderful. Hmmmm.... will the machine quilting become addictive??

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  33. Very nice Belinda. Wonderful quilt and very creative quilting! I'm so a hand quilter too. When I see machine quilts I think factory made. You just don't get the satisfaction you do with hand quilting. With that said, I have to start machine quilt some of my quilts, as they are starting to pile up.

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  34. Too many quilts and not enough time, I can't hand quilt all mine either. You did a great job and I love both sides. A job well done.

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  35. Gorgeous!! I'm not surprised your DH was reluctant to part with it, even for a second :) I machine quilt because otherwise I would never finish a quilt, they would all remain quilt tops, but like you, I want it simple and not to interfere with the patchwork. Glad you have found that it is doable for you too! Try combining some machine and hand quilting, that's fun as well. A dust mask, eh? Good idea. I am always choking at the batting fluff that rises every time I move the sandwich!

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  36. Several things enter my mind with this post. First of all the quilt is lovely. I do love the fabric and colors. This is really a good one. And the machine quilting is great! Love it. You should see my first machine quilted quilt - ick. Really good Belinda. And I'm going to try that trick with the dot and dash. I'm not sure my antiquated machine would do that. hmmm

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  37. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do especially when you have
    a pile of quilts ...in the waiting room. It came out great!
    It looks like a nice cuddly quilt
    and I recognize the back from
    "Show us you backs" post.
    Love the selvage in there; it
    gives it a nice touch.

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  38. Belinda...I love your fall quilt. The colours are spectacular and you did such a nice job on the quilting!
    Micki

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  39. I do remember those quilts. And you did a great job on the quilting. I like the back too.
    A dust mask, that sounds a little scary. lol

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  40. Congratulations!! What a treasure for a first machine-quilted quilt. And the back is totally awesome. :)

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  41. Your quilting is so wonderful. Doing what you were comfortable with is the best. After about 4 handquilted quilts, I gave up and went machine.
    I don't do the big ones on my own, I send them out....so you have a lot to be proud of!! I am so impressed.
    ...and the back is as cool as the front. Reversible quilts, what a deal.
    Do some more!!!!!!!!!

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  42. Beautiful quilt. Love the back as much as the front... it looks so interesting. Oh, and the machine quilting looks good!

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  43. Oh Belinda...I know just what you mean about switching to machine quilting rather than handquilting. I'm such a purist about most things and I really had a hard time with it at first. I mean really, I was practically born with a needle in my hand and i grew up first sitting under the quiltframes with my dolls, threading needles for my mother, grandmother and aunts. I soon graduated to sitting around the frames and quilting too.
    Soooo...it was really hard for me to think about my quilts being "run over" with a machine. But as you said, i knew i needed to change my mind especially when i started designing patterns...I needed a fast turnaround on projects and machine quilting was the only way to go.
    I have since fallen in love with machine quilting...I still insist on the traditional handquilted patterns like feathered wreaths etc...but only machine quilted. It's a nice compromise and I'm happy now.
    Your quilt is wonderful...front and back!
    lori

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  44. It is beautiful. Congrats! I save my handquilting for very special quilts, which means I haven't done any.

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  45. Just love how this quilt turned out - and the back is just inspired! Your quilting looks good to me - I use 3.0 and neutral thread as well. I agree that some machine quilting seems to ruin the top - you have chosen well...

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  46. the quilt is beautiful. i would prefer to hand quilt too, but my hands can't take it any longer. i think you did a wonderful job!

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