A Quilting Dilemma

Last year, I was looking for a blanket to go in our spare bedroom. Our guest bathroom has this shower curtain, which I just love. I liked the bedspread, but it was a little matchy-matchy and I really wanted a quilt. There's just something about quilts that are warm and comfortable and isn't that what a guest bedroom should feel like?

I looked around for a quilt with no luck. But, I found this fabric collection that would just be the perfect compliment to the bathroom. So, I figured, I guess I'm going to quilt.

click to enlarge

After a few months of cutting and piecing and lots of internet searching, I now have my top and back pieced (this is the fabric I used for the backing) and ready to be sandwiched with my batting (Warm and Natural, a thin batting that only requires it be stitched every 10"). My question at this point is: should I machine quilt or tie it?

Right now, I'm leaning towards tying. First, because it is my first quilt and the thought of machine quilting a queen size quilt seems daunting (maybe try a lap size first?). Also, when I was younger, my mom had this very 1970's patchwork quilt that was, if I remember correctly, tied. And while the color choices were clearly dated (and never really that pretty to begin with, sorry mom), it was a cute little blanket. While I love the puckering that comes from quilting, I really do like the floppy, playful quality you get from tying. My only concern is that I've read that tying isn't really that stable - the ties can come undone, the batting can shift more easily - and so the quilt itself isn't as durable.

But...I did a little sample with some scraps and both quilted and tied it, just to see what each would look like. And now I can't decide. I love the tied look, especially for a scrappy patchwork quilt, but the puckers and poofs and pinches I got from quilting sure do look pretty nice.

click to enlarge

If I went the tying route,  I was planning to use either a red perle cotton thread or a light pink/peach one (shown above). The red would be a nice contrast to the backing fabric I think, but the light one wouldn't really be noticeable. Or I could do a combination of both. If I machine quilt it, I would go with a neutral color (white, shown above, is a little too bright, but an off white would work).

click to enlarge
What do you think, internets, should I take my time and try and machine quilt? This has already taken me quite some time, so I don't want to rush this last step just to get it done and regret it. Or should I tie it, be done with it, and start to enjoy using it?

Because let's be real, it's not a show piece. I want it to be used and loved, but I also don't want it to be falling apart either.


  1. You could send it to a machine quilter. To estimate the cost, think 2 cents a square inch, so (in inches) width x lenght x .02

    1. I think I ended up liking the ties for this quilt. I plan on trying my hand at machine quilting the second quilt I'm working on at the moment, so I'll see how it goes. I did think about sending out my first quilt to a long arm quilter, but since it's my first, I wanted it to be totally completed by me. Maybe I'll stop being a purist after a while, but since it's my first, I wanted to do it all - start to finish.

      But thanks for the estimation. I was wondering what it typically cost.

  2. Yes, you could do that even if it's already bound, btw, though that's unconventional


Thanks for commenting! I try to respond to comments by email, but if you haven't allowed blogger to show your email address, I can only respond to you here.