Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ditch quilting continued......

A number of you asked me to explain myself after yesterday's post so I'll try.  First, ditch quilting enhances the pieced pattern.  I love piecing and I want to emphasize the pattern I spent so much time making.  If you look at the dark triangle at the left you can see how rippled it is.  The all over meandering gives an even distribution of quilting but the piecing doesn't look so great.
On this block all of the ditch quilting has been completed and the piecing becomes very crisp looking.  I have never seen a good job of ditch quilting done on a frame quilting machine so I would rather do all of the meandering on my mid arm machine, (which holds the layers together just like basting would) and then go to my straight stitch machine and do the ditch quilting.
Let me clarify here that this is the order for frame quilting first and then home sewing machine.  If you are basting and using a home sewing machine for the whole thing, you still ditch quilt first so you don't distort the straight lines of the piecing with your free motion quilting.

Here is another shot of the bubbling and rippling before the ditch quilting is done.  I have never been a fan of quilting that disguises the pieced pattern.  Why bother piecing if the quilting takes center stage; just make a whole cloth quilt to show off the quilting. (Just my own opinion of course.  You are welcome to disagree with me.)  I set the standard for my own quilts, and you can do the same for yours.
We got another inch and a half of light fluffy show early yesterday morning so I spent an hour cleaning off my driveway again.  I was running out of steam after that so I found 3 smaller bins and divided all of my spare parts into 5 categories, all batik strip piecing, all regular fabric strip piecing, crazy piecing, partial blocks and machine embroideries.  

I couldn't resist taking a photo of all of my journal quilts (not journal covers).  I made the top 3 in the fall of 2009 and the bottom 3 this year.  I hope to have enough of these to cover a double design wall by the end of this year.  Why?  Just because!

27 comments:

Maria said...

Yes I agree with you Wanda. I am not a fan of over quilting at all.
Oh how I would love to get into your sewing room. So much great eye candy.
Love the journal blocks you have make so far for your quilt.

Sewing Junkie said...

The heavy quilting to me takes away from the piecing, but I marvel at the skill it takes to do it. Really any quilting takes a skill. The fabric design you use needs the type of quilting you have chosen. Beautiful quilt. Chris

karenfae said...

I see what you are talking about. I hand quilt and so have never done the all over swirly quilting - for hand quilting I always try to compliment the piecing with the quilting. As you are doing here. Even if it is more work it very much looks like it is worth it in the end.
Karen
http://karensquilting.com/blog/

hetty said...

Interesting, Wanda! I have always done the ditch quilting first and then the free motion. Love your journals! We got more snow yesterday and overnight too. But now the sun is trying to come out. It's %#&*%@# cold though!

Darlene B said...

Wow, I can definitely see the difference after the ditch quilting. I've never thought of that before. Thanks for always sharing some great inspiration!

*karendianne. said...

Wanda, thanks so much for sharing this info re: the quilting. There was more going on here. I'm so glad I went with Gene & asked. I learned good, important info. I enjoy piecing and also like to see the pattern but I never thought how to get there. I understand more how a person might do that. Also, I've seen longarm quilters that do take the time to ditch quilt and I never really understood it. NOW I get it. Watch out for my inner brain today... it's expanding.

*karendianne. said...

Wanda, thanks so much for sharing this info re: the quilting. There was more going on here. I'm so glad I went with Gene & asked. I learned good, important info. I enjoy piecing and also like to see the pattern but I never thought how to get there. I understand more how a person might do that. Also, I've seen longarm quilters that do take the time to ditch quilt and I never really understood it. NOW I get it. Watch out for my inner brain today... it's expanding.

Donna said...

I agree that all that piece work needs to stand out. Getting everything lined up just so is not easy, so why not show it off. BTW, I am not familar with journal quilts. Can you explain?

jovaliquilts said...

The journal quilts are great!
What you said about ditch and meander quilting was interesting. I had read to do the ditch quilting first to anchor everything, then do FMQ, but your order makes more sense to me.

Cedar Ridge Studio said...

Thanks for the explanation on ditch quilting.
I love your journal covers they are lovely.
Mary Ann

Muddling Through said...

You are correct, as always, Wanda. It DOES look better. That is a beautiful quilt either way, but the extra ditch quilting does show off the pattern so much more. The journal quilts are mini-masterpieces, too!

Cindy said...

Thanks for the info. I never thought about adding to the quilting by outlining after I've done the allover. Love your journal quilts!

liz said...

I totally agree with you about quilting. I saw a quilt(applique)beautifully done but ruined by the machine quilting. The quilting was done by a renound quilter. The quilting totally overwhelmed the quilt and had no connection to it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks again for the great lesson, Wanda!!!
jmh

Linda E in AZ said...

Wanda,
I always ditch stich my quilts (home sewing machine) before any other quilting. Not having any long arm experience, I guess I don't understand why the process is reversed for a long arm. Can you explain??
Thanks!
Linda E in AZ where it was 41 when we got up this am. Sorry about your cold - been there, done that...

Julie said...

Wanda, I didn't find thread in one of your labels from your posts. i was wondering what thread you use for your quilting? Your quilts all have so much color which I love and wondered if you used variegated or a single color?

Julie in WA said...

This is such a helpful post. I see quilts that have too much quilting and it takes away from the pattern. I never considered the difference ditch stitching could make! Thanks for the great tip!

Leslie said...

The journal quilts are just wonderful. I have another friend who makes them, and I understand it's a great way to try out an idea or just complete a creative thought in a short period of time. I enjoy looking at yours!

Anonymous said...

I knew exactly what you meant by 'ditch stitching' was surprised to learn it was questioned. And you know how much quilting I do. (*._,*)

I did enjoy your post today... I felt like I was really 'in the loop.'

Journal Quilts, always a treat to see them.

J~MT

Jean said...

Love those journal quilts. Just because if good enough for me.

Janet said...

Thanks for explaining that. Like you, I like the piecing to show.

HollyM said...

It's interesting to read about your methods. I do like that you accent the machine piecing with the ditch quilting.

Vivian said...

Your process is logical and you explain it well. I also appreciate lovely quilting, but I prefer that the piecing is the focus of attention in the ones I make.
Love those journals. Such beautiful variations. Each is a beauty.

Sheila said...

Home sewing machine free motion quilt after I ditch quilt with my home sewing machine. Thank you, Wanda

Ebony said...

Quilting in the ditch on a long arm or mid arm can be time consuming and does take a bit of practice. It's also done with rulers that are made for long arm machines.

It's a lot harder to do than on a home machine; with the home machine, you have the benefit of a walking foot and both hands can guide the quilt. On a long arm, one hand is holding the ruler & the other hand is driving the machine.

You also have to go quite a bit slower to stay in the ditch.

I just recently started practicing ditch quilting on my long arm, and I have a healthy respect for those who can do it well. :)

Sheila said...

Thanks for the answer to our question "why". My surprise was more that you had completed the binding and you then decided to do more quilting. I have to remember there are really no quilt police and we can do whatever we want! Beautiful quilt - have a great weekend.

GT said...

I heard a little about ditch stitching at my quilting class this week, so it was great to find out more here this week too! I am learning there's much more to quilting than just picking good colors and fabrics! ;)

Giles
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