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Quilt Con Trend: Big Stitch Quilting

QuiltCon surprised us with many new trends, but one stood out from the rest.

Originally posted on March 6, 2018 by Cheryl Sleboda

QuiltCon was full of many excited people and beautiful quilts, but in our search for new quilt trends in modern quilting we came across one that has been around for many years.  “Big Stitch” quilting by hand was everywhere at QuiltCon!  We thought we would break it down for you if you hadn’t heard of it before.

Big Stitch Quilting started under this name in a book by Billie Lauder in 2002 called “Quilting in the Big Stitch Style”. Before that, the quilting was “folk” style on primitive style quilts. (Jokingly we used to say “You mean “quilting”?)  In an age where hand quilting meant a certain number of stitches per inch, Big Stitch opens up hand quilting to a number of us who thought the hand quilted look wasn’t in the cards for us.

Mod Drunk (detail), © Wanda Dotson, Colonial Heights, VA

Mod Drunk (detail), © Wanda Dotson, Colonial Heights, VA

Big Stitch quilting can be done with heavier threads or pearle cotton.  It can give an interesting texture to quilts that may not get the same dimpled effect with machine quilting.   There’s lots of resources online on how to do Big Stitch Quilting.

Deliquescence, © Carol Freda, Morgan Hill, CA

Laurie Baker, our intrepid editor, said “Hand quilting was everywhere at QuiltCon, especially Big Stitch hand quilting. I think we got one of our predictions from the beginning of the year right!”  Laurie also noted that Big Stitch is making a comeback with Sarah Fielke’s recent Aurifil thread collections and a class on hand quilting at the show.

We’re loving the idea of more handwork in Modern quilts!  Have you tried Big Stitch quilting in your quilts? Tell us on our Facebook Page!

Deliquescence (detail), © Carol Freda, Morgan Hill, CA

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