Lines that are Essential for the Composition
After much trial and error, I usually will add these lines with just the top and batting layered (no backing). This way I can really do as much stitching as I want and not have to worry about the nosey people who look at the back of my quilts. (Okay, I 'fess up. I'm a nosey netty who does that to pretty much every quilt that I can get my hands on!) I create the lines through free-motion stitches usually with a small back and forth motion of my hands. Not too much forward ... not too much back but moving progressively forward. Don't even ask me how I started doing this. It just gave me the little bit of texture and line I wanted on the quilt without too much uniformity. Lots of times I'll use it to give a somewhat finished edge to rough edge applique. I never use a statin stitch ... hmmmm I'm not even sure how my machine creates a statin stitch.
You can see it here ...all the elements are stitched on the outside with a scribble kind of effect
Lines that create Texture and Definition
For my work, these are the most common. I'll look at a piece and think about what lines are needed to support the shape. Normally, I do this with free-motion stitching but once in a while, I'll do it with a regular foot if the lines are gentle enough. Also, I have to be careful with these types of lines. Too many and the piece starts looking scribbled on and too flat. Too few and the piece looks like a coloring book rendering. Plus I need to leave off lines so I can add them in on the quilting stage. Like I said ... tricky!! Honestly, out of all the steps in an art quilt, I feel like this is the most important. Let's face it! The reason we use fabric, thread, and batting is the allure of texture. If not we would all be painting..and ya'll know how I feel about painting.
Here the lines transform the organic shapes into a lily and leaves