Quilt as Desired

I am sure everyone who has read a quit pattern is familiar with the dreadful phrase … Quilt as desired.  Sometimes it is pretty tough to decide on a quilting pattern.   The quilting, however, is one of the things that set the quilt apart from others of the same pattern.   I know that your quilt will be different if you use different fabrics than the pattern but the quilting itself can really set the quilt apart.

I like to quilt pretty heavily, that is sort of my signature.  Some people think I over do it and I always think there is room for more.   Here is a double wedding ring quilt that I made a few years ago.

2010_07187-18-10-weddingring0006 2010_07187-18-10-weddingring0011

There is nothing particularly special about the top. I found it at a flea market in Iowa and it was made in the 30’s but there are hundreds and thousands of double wedding ring quilts from that era and they are mostly pretty much the same. I wanted this one to say Tim quilted this.  I didn’t use the standard stencil for the blocks which is often something like this.

dwr stencil

I wanted more quilting and I used mostly straight lines.   I like the contrast that gave to all the curves.    So I made it my own…or quilted as desired.

What made me think of “quilt as desired” today is the applique kit quilt I am working on.


The quilting lines are all pre-marked by the manufacturer and I really need to follow those lines.  The lines do not ever wash out completely from these kits so if I don’t follow them they will really stick out.  It is hard to quilt as desired when you have to follow the lines.

The first thing I did to make it my own quilting is to use colored thread.   Rather then the white called for I used light blue.   Here is the center quilted following the stamped lines.


here is the back

So far I like it, but for my taste and style there is not enough quilting.

The lines are over an inch apart. I rarely go over 1/2 inch.


I could add lines the opposite direction to make it a crosshatch pattern like I did on this.


I decided against that.   I like crosshatch quilting but It didn’t seem right for this.    I decided to add an additional line of quilting close to the first.   I marked it with a pencil (which will wash out).  It might be hard to see in the picture because I do make the pencil line quilt light.


after I get those lines done I will move on to the rest of the quilting and then evaluate again if it needs more.

Teddy seems to like it so far


Happy Quilting




30 thoughts on “Quilt as Desired

  1. annette jacob says:

    Tim, can you suggest a pencil to use to to mark for templates AND
    for quilting in addition to the pens whose markings “disappear.”
    Also, do you wash a quilt after it has been quilted so that it “puffs out”
    with the quilting stitches in place?

  2. There is a touch of humor in the blog title today, as it relates to the subject of hand quilting. Mary Kerr has an exhibit called “Quilt As Desired” and it is about how to machine quilt vintage tops. I saw the exhibit and got a guided tour when MQX was in PDX.

  3. Rosalie Roberts says:

    I am with you on the dotted line the manufacturer put in. I like a tighter quilting. the extra line close to the first will be cool, rather than just another one right between the two already done. Love this quilt. Also forgot to mention the fun dog fabric in my last post. Would have loved some of that. I need to learn some of the places you look for quilts. Probably would never buy. Just would like seeing them.

  4. Eileen Mele says:

    Your Teddy really blesses your quilts! Nice job, as you always do.

  5. glendajean says:

    Morning Tim and Teddy thanks for sharing how you quilted your double wedding quilt love how it sits so flat and the straight lines go so well with the curves. I’m enjoying seeing the floral quilt grow and what a great touch doing a double quilting line. Enjoy the time sewing and keeping warm inside while it snows!!! Cheers Glenda

  6. jbacon2013 says:

    I am so glad that you prefer more quilting, the biggest problem I see with hand quilted quilts is that there just isn’t enough! I am not sure that ‘less is ever more’ with hand quilting! I am finding your examples very inspiring.

  7. Deb says:

    I love all the handquilting you do on yours. I really think a quilt needs to show who you are . If not then why make a hand made one?!! Give Teddy a scratch behind the ear and tell him he’s a good quilt inspector . 🙂

  8. Sandra Styve says:

    I was wondering if you have a finger protecter underneath while you quilt. I have gadget from Jean ? that is a small pyramid shape made of some kind of metal till my fingers toughen up lol. I find that it works great. But my fingers can go in very close to the edge of the hoop.

  9. Maureen says:

    Teddy has good taste – your quilting is beautiful! I also would not want to quilt a pre-printed design. Although it can be hard for me to choose a design, I want it to be something I like.

  10. Prue says:

    Might you write a book about hand-quilting? Please let me encourage you to do that. Your posts are so full of information and so clearly – and briefly – expressed, that it would surpass all previous books and be a truly valuable resource.

  11. Barb M says:

    I say try Blue line Eraser. It is supposed to take out even those prestamped lines.

  12. Bertha Mallard says:

    That second line of quilting will set this center applique off just perfectly. I’ll have to remember this trick. Can’t wait to see photo once you’ve done this quilting.

  13. Kathy Roloff says:

    Wonderful post. I agree with Prue, write a book about hand quilting. You have great ideas and a lot of information.

  14. Lorij says:

    I sent some photos, did you get them?


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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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