How Small Are Your Quilting Stitches?

Caron Mosey, 1986


I made this little quilt in 1986.  It is machine pieced and hand quilted, and has had a lot of use and love, mostly by my son Loren.  He was 6 in 1986, and it is the perfect size to snuggle under to watch television. Notice the colors?  When I made this quilt, I was also attending the University of Michigan. 

Go Blue!

I like to pull out my quilts and look at them periodically.  It’s also good to get them out, shake them and refold in a different way so that creases don’t set in (which you can see in this picture).

As I was looking at the quilt, I realized how thin the batting was.  I used to use Mountain Mist exclusively.  It was a thinner polyester batting, good for hand quilting, and gave me very tiny stitches.  Of course, in 1986 I was doing a LOT of hand quilting!  The more Close-up of quilt stitchespractice you have with hand quilting, the smaller you can get your stitches to be.  Mine were very tiny!

I’m finding as I get older, I’m using different batts than I used to.  I like an 80/20 batt; I love cotton in my quilts.   They feel warmer than straight polyester, and I love the pucker that comes from washing quilts with cotton batting. 

I also notice that as you get older, age has a way of increasing your quilt stitch length.  I don’t know if it’s my eyesight or a little arthritis or what, but I don’t like it.  Not one little bit!

If you are a machine quilter, this probably doesn’t mean a hill of beans to you.  But for a hand quilter, stitch length is important. Size DOES matter!!!