5 Great Choices to Finish Your Quilts

5 Great choices to finish your quilts

OK, there may be more than 5 but here we will discuss how to choose the type of quilting you want and then let's look at the 5 most common ways that I offer to finish your quilt.

You finally got that quilt top done and now you need to get it quilted so you can use it, gift it, put it in a quilt show or sell it. How do you decide what type of quilting you should put on it?

There are many variables that go into deciding what to quilt and the two most important is what you will use it for and your budget.

First, decide what you plan on doing with the quilt. Are you going to use it on your bed? Will there be animals sleeping on it? Is it a gift for a child? Or an adult? Will you be entering it into a quilt show and the quilt is exceptionally beautiful and would look the best custom quilted?

If it is going to be a utilitarian quilt that gets lots of use and washed often I might suggest either meandering or a pantograph or edge 2 edge free motion quilting. A utilitarian quilt very seldom needs to be custom quilted and the added expense would not benefit the use of the quilt at all.

If it is going to be gifted to a child and you want them to enjoy using it then it will be washed often and I would recommend an allover meander, pantograph or edge 2 edge free motion quilting. If it is for a child and you expect it is going to be for show only and your budget allows then I would say custom quilt it, make it a show stopper for the child to cherish.

The same goes if it is a gift for an adult although it probably won’t get as much washing as it would a child. If your budget allows I would say custom quilting for an adult would be great but it would also be just fine with any of the other types of quilting.

If you are going to enter it into a quilt show and the quilt lends itself to custom quilting I would be happy to do that for you. There are a few different types of custom quilting and it really depends on the quilt and budget.

No matter what your budget, we have choices for how to finish your quilts.

1. All Over Meander

Medium to large squiggly lines that don’t cross each other that ‘meander’ all over the quilt. There isn’t a noticeable pattern or design to them.

Meander is great for utility quilts, T-Shirt quilts, and quilts that really just need the layers held together but you don’t feel the need to have a specific pattern on it. This design is very easy on the pocketbook.

Price is generally $0.015 per square inch, there is a minimum charge of $40

meander quilting
Pantograph Quilting

2. Pantograph Quilting

A pantograph is a design that goes across the quilt edge to edge in rows and fill up the quilt. They are an all over design, most are nested so that you aren’t aware of the rows once they are finished. 

Pantographs work great on utilitarian quilts, children’s quilts, as well as any quilt you don’t feel, needs the extra for custom quilting.

Pantographs are priced at $0.025 per square inch. There is a minimum charge of $50.

3. Free-Motion Edge 2 Edge Quilting

Free-motion Edge 2 Edge designs are a great alternative of custom quilting. These Edge 2 Edge designs are unique each time they are done because they are done freehand (no pattern to go by it is all in my head).

They work great on utilitarian quilts, children’s quilts, as well as any quilt you don’t feel, needs the extra for custom quilting.

Edge 2 Edge quilting is priced at $0.025 per square inch. There is a minimum charge of $50.

free motion leaves
mid custom quilting

4. Low to Mid Custom Quilting

4. Custom Quilting:

Custom quilting covers a wide variety of designs and techniques. Usually custom quilting is chosen to enhance the appearance of individual blocks, borders and sashing. Circles, fans, block patterns, stencils, outlining, freehand, or a combination.

Custom Quilting is priced at $0.035 – $0.045 per square inch. There is a minimum charge of $100 – $125.

5. Heirloom or Heavy Custom Quilting

Heirloom quilting is over the top quilting that you would do on show quilts or something extremely special. Intricate custom quilting with freehand feathers and other freehand intricate work.

Price starts at $0.06 and can go as high as $0.08 per square inch – depending on the complexity and density of the quilting.

There is a minimum charge of $175.

heirloom custom quilting

Continue reading below to learn how to choose batting for your project.

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Many people have favorite batting that they use in every quilt no matter what it is used for but there are often reasons to use different batting for different quilts. 

The majority of quilts it won’t matter what type of batting you use, whatever is your favorite.

Baby quilts should have flame retardant batting if at all possible. We don’t want to risk it going up in flames or melt in the event it is exposed to fire.

Show quilts or other quilts that will be custom quilted benefit from high loft batting that will hold up well to hanging and being handled. I love the dimension that I get with wool batting. The image next to the custom quilting paragraph above has wool batting. Look how the quilting just pops. I can’t tell you how many quilts I have custom quilted for clients and even for myself where low loft cotton was used and I was so disappointed in the results. I actually have a couple of wall hangings I have debated ripping out and doing again using wool batting.

I do sell Quilters Dream batting and can get all lofts and types, includingDream Orient (bamboo, silk and cotton blend), Dream Angel (flame retardant), Dream Black (for dark quilts), Dream 80/20 and Dream Blend 70/30 (cotton/poly blends). They have several weights of cotton and also poly blends.

I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and try different types of batting. You might be pleasantly surprised and love something you never thought you would.

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