How much quilting is too much?

Thanks for all the sweet comments on my earlier posts! I appreciate how encouraging everyone is! A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by a reader who asked me to address how dense the quilting should be on a quilt. I know I have said it before, but I will say it again, it depends on what looks good to you.

My personal opinion, as if you didn’t already know,  is that I like a lot of quilting. My personal motto: Quilt until you have quilted too much and then add some more.

Small Scale quilting

But, even though I like a lot of quilting, I know that it isn’t right for everyone or every quilt. Not only does it take a lot of time to quilt so much, but some people don’t like the feel of a overly quilted quilt. The quilts that I quilt for others tend to fall into 2 different categories, quilts for show and quilts for home. “Quilts for show” include quilts that I quilt for fabric designers, pattern designers and quilts for quilt market. These quilts will hung up a lot and are usually not used as a normal quilt. “Quilts for home” are the rest of the quilts that I quilt, ones that are used in the home to cuddle underneath and will get lots of love.

When quilting quilts for show (not quilts to be entered in quilt shows, that’s a  whole different thing all together!), I almost alway do lots and lots of quilting.

But no matter how much I quilt, I usually like the density of quilting to be consistent. If I do a lot of quilting in one area, I tend to like the same amount on the other parts of the quilt. This quilt, designed by Joan from Lazy Girl Designs, is a good example of the same density of quilting throughout the whole quilt:

But, on the other hand, changing up the density of the quilting can also look great on a quilt! In this quilt, quilted by Andrea, there is a good balance of quilting. Leaving the sashing unquilted balances the bigger feather motif in the center of the blocks.

Photo by Andrea

Just like everything else in quilting, find what you like best and go for it! There are very few hard and fast rules, so keep after  it until you find what works for you!


Happy Quilting!!



  1. Amy McAllister says:

    I am loving that you are posting about your process!
    Thank you.

  2. Teresa Silva says:

    I really love the dense quilting….I really think it makes the quilt pop. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a quilt you’ve done that I think has too much quilting. I love all the quilting that you do. Thanks so much for sharing all this information….it is so nice for other longarmers out there. I appreciate all that you do!

  3. sillyandrea says:

    I’ve done some with a nice mix, some with really dense quilting and some with wider all-over designs (like a pond ripple). It really depends on the quilts and they are all experiments. 😀

  4. This is such an amazing series, thanks so much for doing it Angela! I’m just starting out in the longarm biz and I would be so lost without longarm bloggers like you. So far my clients have been asking for very basic stuff but I’m hoping that as I quilt more of my own tops and they see what I’m capable of they’ll start asking for more detailed work.

    I wanted to ask you, for your really detailed quilting like those micro pebbles, do you use a set of micro drive handles or just the regular ones? And do you still use so fine or move to something smaller like bottom line?

    Thanks si much!

    • Hi! Thanks for the sweet compliment! I don’t have microdrive handles, although I have thought about investing in some. I use so fine almost all the time. I have trouble getting bottom line thread to work in my machine. Let me know if you have any questions!

  5. thank you for sharing your process. No matter what you are quilting, it’s just super creative. I look at that smiling picture of you and always wonder, HOW DOES SHE DO IT, what God given talent you have.

  6. Thanks for sharing in your blog. You may have covered this in earlier blogs, but I’m a fairly new reader. For the “for home” quilts, what batting do you like? Do you use something that stays soft and pliable even with dense quilting? thank you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: