Ferris Wheel is still in the process of being hand quilted. I have actually taken out some of the hand quilting because what I thought I’d like I definitely don’t like. So I’m redoing a couple of blocks. Now that I’ve got a plan for the quilting, it will go much faster … I hope. Not only have I taken out the machine piecing I originally started with, I’ve also taken out some of the hand quilting.
My favourite tools for hand quilting include these 4 thimbles and the YLI thread. For the most part, I use either the cone Thimblelady thimble or the original silver one. The little black leather thimble I wear on my finger beneath the quilt. It saves wear and tear on the finger underneath, but is thin enough that I still feel the needle as it comes through. The spoon thimble is my favourite when I quilt without a hoop, which I sometimes do, particularly when I’m at the edge of a quilt. YLI hand quilting thread is my absolute favourite and the one to which I always turn.
This is my favourite hoop, although it’s a bit large and sometimes too heavy for me.
On nights when the round wooden hoop seems too heavy, and there are many of those, out comes this Q-snap rectangular hoop. The difference in weight is really noticeable. How lucky are we that we have so many tools that we can find and use the appropriate one, depending on the application and how we feel?
Then there is this, my wonderful floor frame which I’m not quite as comfortable using for hand quilting but what a bonus it is for basting! I can put the quilt sandwich in it and baste that way. No more crawling on the floor to pin or breaking my back leaning over a table to baste.
I taught myself how to hand quilt mostly from books. These are two of my favourites. I picked up a lot of hints from the Jinny Beyer book Quiltmaking by Hand, some from That Perfect Stitch but I think the most important lesson I learned was from watching the Thimblelady’s DVD on hand quilting. I’ve developed my own method which is a combination of all of the above.
There’s one thing that I find makes a big difference for me and that’s using my index finger, rather than the middle finger, to rock the needle. I’ve often wondered if anyone else finds that it’s easier to quilt using their index finger. I find my hand doesn’t fatigue anywhere near as much.
What about you? How did you learn to hand quilt? What are your favourite tools and methods?
A Baxter close-up. He was reclining near a quilt book.