Is This Quilt Done?

Ok, I need some outside perspective on this one. I’ve been kind of hating this quilt from the beginning, EXCEPT now that it’s quilted I think maybe I love it, EXCEPT… it’s not what I planned.  And so I’m not sure — should I stop, or should I add the hand-quilting that I thought was going to “rescue” it? Help!

Here is the finished top. As you can see, it is lacking a certain something. Contrast, maybe?

Modern Lemoyne Star Quilt

I thought quite a bit about how I could quilt this. I printed out about 10 copies of the photo and doodled over all of them. In all of my doodles, I incorporated big-stitch hand quilting around each of the stars, because that was what I thought would make those stars pop a bit more. (Actually that’s exactly why I did the hand-stitching on this pillow, which worked like a charm.)

Anyway, here is what it looks like now, after the machine quilting portion of my plan. There’s a stitching line 1/4 inch away from each star, which I used as a boundary for the swirls, and I also thought I would hand stitch over it. But now that I’m looking at it, I think maybe the quilting itself already solved the problem. I’m struck by how much more cohesive it looks already.

Modern Lemoyne Star Quilt

Here’s a closer look at what I’ve done so far. The overlapping swirls are a pain to quilt but they give such a nice texture. In the colored portions, I stitched in the ditch and then did some freehand arcs. I’ve become a big believer in stitching in the ditch after taking “Design It, Quilt It” with Cindy Needham on Craftsy. She has a sample of two free-motion quilted blocks, one with ditch stitching and one without, and the piecing looks SO much better on the one that has it. It’s like Spanx for your quilt, invisible but just works to tighten everything up!

Modern Lemoyne Star Quilt

What do you think? Should I still add the big-stitch quilting? I’m leaning towards yes, but I’m not sure I trust my reasons. (I already bought the special colors of perle cotton, for example. I’m pretty sure that’s the worst reason ever.) Also it doesn’t match the vision I had of what I thought this quilt was going to be. I think the hand stitching might take it there, but I also wonder if it might over-complicate what is now a pretty nice quilt. Any thoughts?


  1. I really like it the way it is right now.

  2. I think it’s gorgeous how it is. :) However, you could always stitch up one of the stars and decide if it adds anything. If it doesn’t, no biggie, just remove it (or start with one you want to highlight a little bit and then just leave it), and if it does you can keep going.

  3. I think it looks great as is. I’m amazed how much difference the actual quilting makes to a quilt. I’m with Anne on this one – there’s no harm in testing the hand quilting on one star.

  4. I was going to say the same as Anne. Do one star to highlight with your hand stitching and see what it does. Leave it as the only one or do more if you like it.
    I love your Spanx comment. I have to reconsider my dislike for stitch in the ditch. I have attempted to do it on a couple projects but frankly if it is not perfect in every ditch I don’t want to have it on there. It takes way too long to stitch perfectly in there but if you can really see the improvement I have to think about that.

  5. I was going to comment that it’s perfect as is, but that you could try your hand quilting round one or two stars just to see how it is! But I see that’s what Anne said above, so maybe it’s superfluous!

  6. I’d call this one done Cari. The quilting is beautiful and it works the way it is. It has a lovely soft feel to it. Save your hand stitching for something else that really grabs you!

  7. i think it looks pretty finished as is. the soft colors give it a vintage look so if you wanted to add the hand-quilting i think it would really emphasize that antique sort of thing it has going for it. but it also looks perfectly nice without any extra.

  8. I think it looks great as is. The addition of more stitching, I think, would be gilding the lily.

  9. Pam@sewingwilde says:

    I took the same Craftsy class and have ditched every single quilt since! Love it the way it is, the straight lines around the stars completes your first goal.

  10. I like how the quilt looks now, but if you have the time and desire, I say go for the hand stitching. You can always try it on just a small portion of one block and decide if it looks good to you before committing to a whole lot of effort!

  11. Looks great. The choice is yours :-)

  12. Hi Cari! I honestly think its done! Its beautiful as it is. It has movement and grace. Its soft and modern. I love it! Congrats!

  13. You can add if you think you need to, but I think it looks gorgeous as it is! So soft and pretty!

  14. The quilting is beautiful! And I love the soft colors. Just lovely!