peachy baby


I have a finished quilt to show you today, as well as some thoughts about quilting. This quilt is finished, but to be honest, I kind of wish I could redo the quilting. Does this happen to you? I get my quilt top all finished and I love it, and then I think, “hey, I should do something fun with the quilting”. I start quilting, and boom!, suddenly I’m not so happy with the quilt.


Obviously quilting requires lots of practice, and over the course of the several years I’ve been quilting, I’ve been able to practice several quilting designs and I now feel quite comfortable with a variety of designs. Straight line? Yep. Free motion meandering? Yes, I’ve practiced that a lot. Dogwood flowers? check. But then I want to be creative and try something different, and suddenly I realize I haven’t had enough practice.


Take this design for instance. I quilted these fun starburst patterns in the mini quilt I showed recently. On that mini quilt I quilted it with straight lines and my walking foot, but it required a lot of turning and passing the quilt through the throat of the machine. That was ok on a small quilt, but I knew that on a larger quilt, to create the same kind of design, I’d have to do it as a free motion design. Now, a smarter person would say, practice, practice, practice! And I did do a quick practice on a mini quilt sandwich, but really, that’s not quite the same as quilting a larger quilt. And since my windows for quilting are short, I kind of hate the thought of using that time on a practice quilt. And hence my dilemma… practice on a quilt top I like, or stay safe and use a design I know I can quilt well?


I opted to just go for it on this quilt, and I’m afraid that I should have maybe opted to do a design I am more comfortable with instead. Though I suppose the question is, does it show just to me as I examine my work and see the wobbly lines and the uneven stitches? My mom loves it, but then again, she’s my mom. All that being said, this one certainly still functions as a quilt – it has a top, some batting, and a backing, all held together with some stitches. So maybe I just shouldn’t look so closely! And as such, I’ve listed it in the shop, hoping that someone will need a sweet little quilt for a little one.

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38 Responses to peachy baby

  1. 1
    Pat says:

    I think it looks fine …. and now you’ve had your practice!! 😀

  2. 2
    Whitney says:

    Tho I haven’t seen this in person, I can still quite confidently say you’re being way too hard on yourself. I love the quilting – reminds me of dandelion clocks!

  3. 3
    Alice R. says:

    When I first looked at the quilt I thought how the quilting had very effectively elevated a quilt design that I had seen a lot of. I think the quilting on this quilt works so well. It’s angular, but still organic.

    I have the same problem you do except that I have not really mastered any free motion quilting except the straight line walking foot stuff. Since I can’t bear to ruin projects I like I have even used my walking foot for some quilting of curves, and have oodles of unfinished tops. I’m committed to getting better, and so now have a very special baby quilt that I am suffering through. The pattern is simple, but full of jerky unevenness. I hope it will be received well anyway, and will be the first step on my road to getting better.

  4. 4
    Carrie says:

    I think your quilting turned out great! I love how the design enhances the pattern of the quilt. You are definitely being too hard on yourself. You know what my mother-in-law always says? If you want a perfect quilt, buy it from Pottery Barn. Otherwise, love the imperfect quilt someone made special for you. So true. This quilt is perfect because YOU made it.

  5. 5
    Linda says:

    I think it looks lovely, and if you can’t see the design from the back of a galloping horse, it’s perfect!!

    xo Linda

  6. 6
    Kelly says:

    Though not seeing it close up in person, I think it looks great! My theory is, if it’s not going in a museum it doesn’t need to be perfect. Especially if you are a prolific quilter. I had a friend say once that she would keep making quilts until she had nothing left to learn. At that point she was up to 50! I figure if it’s going to used and loved no one will notice the stitching and I consider very project practice. 😉

  7. 7
    Anne D says:

    The quilt looks great.
    If you leave it for a while and come back to it you will probably find you like it.

  8. 8
    Tracy says:

    I think you’re looking too closely, and too soon. I made a top a week or so ago and thought the fit in the shoulders was just awful. I made a second one, and it wasn’t any better even with some tweaks. I wasn’t sure what to do next…. After a few days, I asked an experienced sewing friend if I could text her a few pictures so she could help me figure out what I needed to change. After I took some pics and sent them, I thought to myself, “hmm. it doesn’t look as bad as I remembered.” And she texted back, “The fit is good and the style is very ‘you’. I think you are too particular!!” 🙂
    I think the quilt looks fabulous! and quilts always look better in person 😉

  9. Pingback: Peachy keen quilt and the quilter’s dilemma | Quilting |

  10. 9
    Marei says:

    I personally think the only way to get better at quilting larger quilts is ….. to quilt larger quilts. Practicing on smaller quilt sandwiches is NEVER the same as quilting a real sized quilt. You may think you’re getting muscle memory from your small practice piece, but are you really quilting your quilt using that same size pattern? Just pull out whatever quilt is next and try out what you want to try. It won’t be perfect….but who cares? Nothing is ever really perfect. Be nicer to yourself and don’t second guess.

  11. 10
    Anne says:

    I’ll just echo what others have said… it’s not noticeable at all. 🙂 The top is beautiful, and I hope it finds a good home!

  12. 11
    ana says:

    I think it looks fine, and as others have said, now you’ve had some practice! ps. I’d buy it no hesitation.

  13. 12
    Laura says:

    It looks great to me! Before I read your post, I looked at the quilting and thought, “Wow, cool design!”

  14. 13
    Jessica says:

    I always look at the pictures before I read the blog post. I had actually clicked through on the photos to look at the quilting “Thats an awesome design, how does she do that?”. Don’t be so rough on yourself, thats a great design and one I would love to see you blog how you did it.

  15. 14
    Jennifer says:

    It looks great to me!!

  16. 15
    Sara Hill says:

    If you had said, “Man I love the way this quilting turned out!” I wouldn’t have thought anything, and actually, I don’t know what you’re talking about even after what you’ve said and I’ve looked closely. I agree that the quilting makes this quilt unique. Give me something different and interesting like this any day! I don’t care if there are wobbly lines.

  17. 16
    Linda Johnson says:

    I think the quilt and the quilting are beautiful!

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  19. 17
    Rebecca bird says:

    I think you are being hypercritical ,it looks great to me and like you said it’s finished and ready to be loved….isn’t that part of the reason we all strive to finish our tops…so someone else will love it more than we did making it 🙂

  20. 18
    Margaret says:

    looks pretty amazing to me, must hold my hand up and say I have never tried machine quilting but one day I will pluck up the courage, it is as you say that I would need to practice , maybe I could try on my single blocks I made as practice pieces. There do not sem to be enough hours in a day for doing all I want to do!! and I live on my own and retired so should have no excuses.

  21. 19
    Lea says:

    I think Peach Baby is a little beauty. The quilting on the back is pretty. But I do understand that sometimes our quilts don’t always turn out quite the way we would like. I think it’s safe to say that we quilters look at our own quilts with a critical eye. We see every detail we wish we had done differently. The upside is this helps us grow and develop our own style. I read a quilters blog recently and she showed a beautiful quilt finish. She pointed out one itty bitty part she didn’t like, an error she said in color placement. It took me forever to find it and when I saw it I thought, that’s all? But I know what she means. Last Spring I hand quilted a quilt and wish I had done it differently. It looked quirky and choppy to me. After I washed it and stepped back I saw the beauty of the fabrics, the colors, the pattern and felt the wonderful softness of this quilt. I learned how I wouldn’t quilt the same mistake again. Still this quilt has grown on me and is one of my favorites.

  22. 20
    Carol says:

    I think it looks beautiful!

  23. 21

    It’s just gorgeous and the quilting pattern is a great choice for the piecing! Of course, whatever flaws you see are not at all noticeable and probably just add to the beauty of the finished product. If it was flawless it wouldn’t look handmade and have that delightful human touch. Whoever buys this quilt will treasure it no doubt!

  24. 22
    jody deschenes says:

    omg…some of us WISH we could quilt so “badly”! it looks Fabulous, the quilting design is just the thing for the blocks/quilt, so it is great that you went for it…personally i LOVE that personality – perfection is boring! (:

  25. 23
    Jo Wat says:

    I agree, it looks great and when it’s cuddled around someone the stitching is the last thing of importance. Wish I had the courage to freemotion on a whole quilt. I know it’s the ONLY way to learn how and look how effective it is on this one. I think you’ve inspired me to try.

  26. 24
    caryn verell says:

    I think that your little quilt is quite nice…you are too hard on yourself. I would have recommended though that you should have drawn your basic design on paper first-a great way to use all of your ideas. and once you have something you would like to try, then grab a piece of chalk and draw your design/plan on the back of the quilt-if you have a lot of stop and go stuff to quilt then use multiple colors of chalk. most chalk will come off with a good brushing, but for me the final test of a good quilt and quilting job is how it all come out in the washing machine and a light toss in the dryer. most of todays fabrics including 100% cottons are woven to be much more durable and forgiving then past years…I have been known to use a number 2 lead pencil when the chalk is hiding out somewhere…

  27. 25

    I also looked at the quilting and thought “Oh, I really like that,” before I finished reading the rest of your post. So I think it looks great!

  28. 26
    karen says:

    that starburst quilting is just awesome Ashley!

  29. 27
    katie says:

    I’m the same about quilting, but then when I go for easy I wish I had done something challenging too. It’s not all win-win.

  30. 28
    Amy Prior says:

    quite sublime and I love the whole look of your photos too!

  31. 29
    Sue Wagner says:

    It looks very pretty! We tend to look at things we make with a more critical eye, but to someone who didn’t make it (or doesn’t sew or quilt), they will only see the quilt as a whole, with gorgeous colors and design. I know exactly what you mean, but it’s a wonderful quilt!

  32. 30
    Liz Horton says:

    I think it is beautiful! Don’t be so hard on yourself!

  33. 31
    Sarah M says:

    Honestly? I really like the effect from the back. But from the front, echoing the pattern works, but isn’t visually exciting. I’ve always admired your design sense, and getting a glimpse into your design process, especially the re-thinking-second-guessing parts is just as instructive. Thanks for sharing your artistic sensibility.

  34. 32
    Fanny says:

    I am not your mother … but I love this little quilt !
    The quilting is awesome !

  35. 33

    Just had to say that your Peachy Quilt took my Breathe Away.It is so very beautiful.You are a great quilter and do bring out your inner beauty with your fine crafting skilis.I do hope that you have a little apprentice near you to be learning this beauty to share on in our future generations as I myself am 53 and I am trying to make dolls from the pages of”Gone With The Wind” they are at and Etsy MySouthernBelleDolls Shop if you wish to look.Got to figure my prices out.These do take at least 15 hours in each one probably more,but price people will pay????KEEP UP YOUR BEAUTIFUL WORK. Connie

  36. 34
    Krista says:

    I consider all quilts as practice! Unless it is going to a master quilter, the recipient is unlikely to notice any mistakes. Have you ever looked closely at any of the commercially produced textiles in your house? They almost all have imperfections. In fact, a quilt that is machine quilted perfectly sometimes looses that handmade vibe – especially the ones that are done by the computer controlled long arms. They are beautiful, but different from the look I’m going for. Having said that, I often experience quilters remorse – wishing I had chosen a different fabric or layout or quilting pattern after the quilt is done. But it’s usually because it didn’t match up with my idea of what the quilt was going to be, rather than a glaring error that others notice. Usually prompts me to start a new project lol!!

  37. 35
    mims says:

    It looks great, you’re being way too critical. i bet if someone else had quilted it the exact same way, you would like it!

  38. 36
    Laura Grabow says:

    My first reaction to this quilt before I even saw your written comments was “wow, what a beautiful quilt”. I like the quilting very much and think it accents the fabric and the piecing. I applaud your for taking the risk of quilting with a new design.

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