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Does stippling always have to be small and very close? Or does it depend on the size of the piece you are working on?

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I think it really depends on the size of the piece.  Stippling is typically done with stitching that is quite closely populated though.  

If you are hampered by arthritis and a very bad back, when you do your free motion quilting and do it large, is there a certain term for that?

I asked at a class at one of the Bernina stores, was told it is entirely up to you. There are times when stippling should be larger because of the piece you are working on. And basically it is your creativity that decides what goes into the quilt. Don't be afraid to go large if you think large is fitting for the piece.   That little advice has opened up my machine quilting.

That is great to hear. I was afraid I was doing something wrong. If I had to do stippling small I would never get some of my quilts done.  LOL

For me, I use this rule - the stippling should be smaller than the pieces it is surrounding or in. So if there are big quilt blocks, then it can be very large. If you have applique that you are surrounding and want it to pop, I feel it looks better if the stippling can be smaller and closer together.

Each quilt is different as we all know and every quilter has their own way of doing things. Give yourself permission to make your quilts they way you want them and like.

That is good advice. Also - should stippling never cross over itself. In pictures I have seen it seems that it never does. Is this a rule?

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