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Quilting is the craft art of constructing pieces a patchwork of fabric together in a creative way and then sandwiching batting in between this creative layer and a bottom layer of fabric with decorative stitches.
The act of quilting is the securing of 3 layers of fabric together with decorative stitches. They can be secured with manual stitches, long arm quilting and also with an embroidery machine. Machine quilting can be done manually (by floating) or with a digitized design.
The quilting designs can be very simple and utilitarian or more intricate for an added overall dimension to the finished piece. Typically, these quilting designs are composed of neatly arranged running stitches, adding texture and character to the quilt's surface.
Quilting serves a dual purpose - it not only artistically fastens the three layers of a quilt together but also plays a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of the batting. Without quilting, large sections of unsecured batting could deteriorate over time, causing clumping and compromising the quilt's overall quality.
Free Motion (Hand) – Free motion is the art of feeding the material through a sewing machine with a walking foot. Stencils can be used for a more consistent look, or you can create the design as you go.
Custom – Each element is employed to create a unified over design that is unique to the quilt artist. Different quilt stitches can also add dimension and variety to the over-all piece.
Embroidery Machine – similar to Long Arm with the ability allow the machines pantograph stitch out a digitized design. Large areas can be quilted with the large hoops and even more with boarder frames. Also great for in the hoop projects.
Long Arm Quilting – Typically offered as a service by a “Long Arm Quilting Company”. They may have a single or multiple machines. Similar to an embroidery machine, a long are quilting machine has a pantograph that is driven by a digitized design. The entire project is stretched on a large hoop that is moved to repeat designs or aligned for more customized quilting.
Patchwork – Pieces of fabric are trimmed and sewn together to create the large top piece of a quilt. Fabric pieces can be small, medium, large or anywhere in between to create a master piece.
Appliqué – Larger pieces of fabric are used for background areas with multiple smaller pieces to be appliquéd in unique shapes to create elements of a design.
Paper Piecing – The use of a printed template to piece together intricate patchwork designs. The paper and fabric are trimmed along the process. Any residual paper remaining is removed once the patch piece is trimmed and complete.
English Paper Piecing – Tessellating Geometric shapes are cut into paper templates. Each piece of paper is wrapped with fabric and whip stitched. The finished pieces are then pieced together to create a final project.
Blankets of all sizes
Fat Quarter projects
Blankets of all sizes
Laptop and Tablet Sleeves
In The Hoop (ITH) is a popular quilting project using a Heat Away Film. The Heat Away Film is hooped by itself and sandwiched in between the 3 layers being quilted. A placement stitch is stitched first as you would with an appliqué. Spraying a light layer of temporary adhesive on the film, the batting is laid down first with the decorative top layer adhered to the batting. Lastly the back fabric layer is adhered to the underside of the film and then the entire hooped piece is quilted together with a digitized design. Once un-hooped, piece and film can be trimmed to size and is ready for the outer binding.
Remember that quilting is decorative stitches. When running at high speeds either on a sewing, quilting or long are quilter, an actual embroidery or more specifically a machine quilting thread should be used.
Many years ago, polyester was considered bad for quilting and even thought to be damaging to the materials. Polyester has come a long way in the past 20 to 30 years and is more smooth, gentle, as well as strong. Polyester is a great choice due to its durability and great run ability. It is available in a soft spun way that makes it appear to be a cotton thread. Think of it as the “Look of Cotton, with the Performance of Polyester”
Madeira’s AeroQuilt is a 40 weight spun polyester quilting thread with many colors to choose from. It is also available in multi-colors that would work well with intricate calico fabric.
When it comes to quilting, the thread you choose can make all the difference in the finished product. One popular choice among quilters is cotton machine quilting thread, and one brand that stands out is Madeira with its Cotona embroidery thread.
Madeira's Cotona offers a variety of options for quilting enthusiasts. Cotona 30, available in thread collections, is perfect for those aiming for a chunkier, more pronounced look in their quilts. On the other hand, Cotona 50, available both in collections and individual spools, is ideal for achieving a finer, more delicate quilted appearance.
Cotton thread is a top choice for quilters for several reasons. It's sturdy and versatile, with 40 weight being the most popular choice due to its balanced thickness. This weight provides excellent coverage without adding unnecessary bulk to your quilts.
One essential tip for machine quilting is to avoid nylon thread. Over time, nylon can become brittle and even change color, which can negatively impact the longevity and aesthetics of your quilt. So, it's ideal to use a quality cotton thread like Cotona for a beautiful, durable finish. You'll be on your way to creating stunning quilts that stand the test of time.