Hand Quilting 1

It’s three weeks since I was doing a happy dance for finishing the top on my Down the Rabbit Hole quilt. My rabbits are patiently waiting at the long arm quilters as the quilt is due to be basted on 21st May. I can then start hand quilting!

It’s about twenty years since I did any hand quilting! Kate Chiconi came up with a good idea, using these weeks to get my hand in hand quilting with a small piece. Good idea I thought!

I looked in my stash and found a set of seasonal panels. I have to confess that I only vaguely remember buying these, not that long ago either, no idea what I was planning to do with them…but they make a great practise piece! I’m starting with ‘Spring’

I used some scrap batting and a light piece of cotton on the back. I spray basted it to hold the sandwich together. For this smaller piece I’m using a large embroidery hoop on a stand, it’s also got one ring bound with cotton so it holds the fabric nice and firm. When I start my Rabbit quilt I do have a couple of proper quilting hoops, and a stand somewhere under the eaves…

I’m trying the Gutermann Sulky thread at the moment, mainly because I like the colour, it’s a variegated one! I’ve got some Gutermann hand-quilting thread to try too. I’m also using Kate’s favourite quilting needles which are the Birch brand, they are proving lovely to use. She kindly sent me some to try 🙂

When I was in Faberdashery, the quilting shop in Halifax, the owner persuaded me to try little stick on leather pads instead of thimbles, I was a bit dubious as they are a bit pricey! Having tried them though I do like them, they certainly stay stuck, I store them on the bottom of my thread as they are reuseable for ages, and needles haven’t gone through them so far.

It’s a free weekend on Craftsy at the moment, so I thought I’d take advantage and watch a hand quilting one. I’m half way through watching Andi Perejda’s course at the moment, getting lots of tips and inspiration.

I’ve not done a huge amount of quilting yet, I stitched along the outline of the bird first. I don’t think I pulled the thread quite firm enough as I didn’t get any relief forming. I then decided to quilt just around the bird which I think looks better. It’s still easier to see on the back. There’s a few stitches not got through to the back but for a first attempt (for a couple of decades!) I’m pretty pleased with that.

I’m just trying to decide whether to practice some cross-hatching now, rather than just following the design, maybe do a border on the top and a couple of motif’s at the bottom. Stitch what I need to practise, rather than stitching purely for the design. Any suggestions or tips gratefully received.

This Hand Quilt Along is an opportunity for hand quilters and piecers to share and motivate one another. We post every three weeks, to show our progress and encourage one another.  If you have a hand quilting project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link below. Please follow the links to see lots of inspiring hand quilting;

KathyLoriKerryEmmaTracyDebConnieSusan,  NanetteSassy , EdithSharon and Bella.

I’m linking up with Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Stitching Sunday, a celebration of all things hand stitched, why not follow the link and see what everyone else has been stitching.

About craftycreeky

I live in a busy market town in Yorkshire with my husband, kids, dogs and chickens. I love trying new crafts, rediscovering old ones, gardening, walking...anything creative really I started this blog after my New Year resolution worked so well. My resolution (the first one I've ever kept!) was to post a photograph of my garden on Facebook every day. My hope was that I would then see what was good in the garden and not just weeds and work, which was my tendency. The unexpected side-effect was that I have enjoyed many more hours in the garden. I am hoping that 'The Crafty Creek' will have the same effect. Happy creating!
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16 Responses to Hand Quilting 1

  1. katechiconi says:

    For someone coming back to it after so long, that’s a very respectable result 🙂 Small pieces are fun to practice with, I find it so encouraging that you make progress quickly… I tried the stick-on dots, but they don’t work so well on hot fingers in a sticky climate! I don’t know whether you’d like to consider the lovely Clover thimble I use for quilting. It has a metal tip and a flexible, ribbed silicone body, and is wonderfully comfortable. There’s an eBay listing for the size I use here: (https://www.ebay.co.uk/p/Clover-Large-Protect-and-Grip-Thimble/929824164?thm=1000)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Deb says:

    Your doing great! Smart idea to start practicing before you get the other quilt top back.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gail says:

    Your practice piece is looking great! It will make a nice pillow when you are done…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. KerryCan says:

    I think it’s a good idea to work on some cross-hatching. You’ll find straight lines easier in terms of building up a rhythm and really getting the feel of the whole undertaking. Constantly changing directions, like with outlining the bird, is an advanced skill! Straight lines, stitched toward you–a good way to get your groove!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sarah says:

    I love the panel you are practicing on. I’ve wondered about using the sticky dots for quilting. My problem is my under finger gets sore and I’m not keen on the plastic guard I bought, so I do a bit with it on and then a bit more with it off! Seems to be working at the moment!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. kathyreeves says:

    I agree with Kerry, cross hatching is much easier and helps you get a better feel for the in and out, and it looks so cool too! This is a perfect warm up for your rabbits, and you will have decided what you like best to use for thread, equipment, etc. that is a great panel to use.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. debrapugh says:

    An excellent idea to practice to get back in the swing of it ahead of working on the larger quilt. Looking good! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I am so excited for your Down the Rabbit Hole to get back and you to start Hand Quilting it! You are a very ambitious and patient woman! Kate always has so many good ideas. Practicing on a smaller piece is just the ticket:). I think you should try all of the different techniques and stitches on your practice piece so you will be ready for the real Rabbit Hole Quilt. Oh, I am giddy just thinking about it, and can’t wait for mine to be done!❤️❤️😊


  9. Your going to do an awesome job hand quilting your quilt …. I believe in you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Here is my 2 cents!! I would cut a piece of fabric – white for the front and back. About 20″ square. Then take come colored thread (I use Aurifil OR Gutterman waxed quilting thread! Draw you grid on the fabric starting from corner to corner – make a big X and then mark from those center markings out to the edge at 1″ intervals to make your grid pattern and yes I agree it is easier to practice on straight lines. Remember when starting, insert the needle, and make sure that you go straight in, then turn the needle away from you so to grasp the fabric and go from there! Now have I totally confused you? Hope not! Have a great Mother’s Day and you are doing well!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Emma says:

    This panel is looking beautiful and it seems like great practice for the Down the Rabbit hole quilt, it will be amazing!


  12. tialys says:

    No advice from me I’m afraid but I’ll be watching your progress with interest as I’m determined to do some hand quilting on my next quilt.


  13. I use the little stick on pads too – I love them! Thimbles were always a disaster on me like my fingers would not play nice with them! That is wonderful panel you are working on!

    Liked by 1 person

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