How To Hand Quilt is the way to stitch the three layers of fabric to make a quilt with small running stitches.
Today on this post I share what quilting tools and materials you need and what are the hand quilting styles to make your quilt to look amazing!
How To Hand Quilt
Hand Quilting Tools and Materials
Anytime you want to start to work on the hand quilting, take your time to get everything you need before you start, this will save you time and it will help you to get better results.
Frame or Hoop: When your quilt is supported on a frame, it will help you to get smaller and even stitches, but you can’t remove your quilt until all the work is done, a hoop is smaller and it will help you to get also small and even stitches and it can be removed from your quilt anytime, and it’s also less expensive and it’s portable.
Needles: Also called “Betweens”, these are small needles with a small eye, with sharp point that help you to make small and even stitches.
Thimble: It will cover your finger and it will help you to push the needle as you work, it will protect your finger as you push the needle through the three layers of fabric to make the quilt.
Quilting Thread: Many quilters will share the tip to use cotton 100 % quilting thread, but I also use polyester 100% thread with good results, my tip here is to get a good quality brand quilting thread, it will help you to work well and fast on all your quilts.
Scissors : I also include on this list a good pair of scissors with a sharp point, as you will be using it often.
How Big Hand Quilting Stitches Should Be?
Classic hand quilting stitches are small and even, it was said to me that stitches should be as small as 5 to 7 stitches per inch, which makes very tiny stitches.
As a beginner, it might be hard for you to keep this rule, my advice here would be, it’s more important that you enjoy your work on the hand quilting than the quilting should be done as it was told to me.
If you notice you do bigger stitches on your quilts, it’s ok, every quilter will develop their own style and your quilts will look better.
Modern Quilting – there is a movement of quilters that are working on their quilts with bigger stitches and using different types of thread and color, and their quilts are amazing!
My tip here would be to try to work with small stitches and if you can’t do it, then try to find the hand quilting stitches that works better with you, I’m sure you will do beautiful quilts too.
Should You Use A Quilting Frame Or Hoop?
My tip here will be also to try a frame or a hoop to see if it’s comfortable for you to use it, if you get good results on your quilting, keep using it, but if you find it hard to work on your quilts with a frame or with a hoop, then don’t use it.
I’ve been quilting all my life as a quilter with no frame or hoop and I got used to it, on the video I show a small hoop on a quilt, so you can see me working on it, but it was only for the video.
Different Hand Quilting Styles
Quilters around the world are so creative and each one of them will adopt a style that goes with her/his quilts, all are good and all styles of quilting will make your quilts to look amazing!
1 – 1/4 inch
When I started to learn to make quilts, I was told by my two quilting teachers to quilt 1/4 inch on each piece on a patchwork quilt, since then I must say I’ve been quilting this way and quilts look great and well done.
2 – Quilt In The Ditch
Some quilters love to use this style, you need to stitch on the ditch, it means where the seam is, this is too close to each seam and sometimes you will find it hard to work on as there will be many layers of fabric on that side of a piece on your quilt.
Cons – If you work on a quilt with big pieces of fabric, this type of quilting will make only one quilting so close to the seam and you will see a big area with no quilting, it won’t help to keep the quilt in good conditions as you use it in time.
3 – Hand Quilting Design
Some quilters have developed different designs to work on the hand quilting on big areas on a quilt, you might be familiar with those quilts with beautiful feather designs or some quilts with big areas with straight lines diagonally to cover a big area.
Pros – When you work to cover a big area on your quilt with a pattern like feathers, curved or straight lines of stitching, you give your quilt texture and you secure your quilt to be well stitched and it will last longer in time.
Is There A Perfect Hand Quilting?
From my point of view, as a quilter that has been working for many years, I’ve done small stitches and I’ve done big stitches on my quilts, the more important thing here is that you enjoy the work and the time you spend making a quilt.
With the time you will develop your own style as a quilter and any hand quilting style you do on a quilt, it will be well done.
I’ve shown a few quilts on a few quilting exhibitions in Quebec Canada, and my quilts have won first places, and I can’t say my quilts had the perfect had quilting.
The most important tip here is that you as a quilter, enjoy your work and time when you do the hand quilting, some quilts can be done with small perfect stitches and some quilts will be done with big stitches.
Every quilt is a work of art made by you!
Now it’s your time, do you use the between needles to make the hand quilting or do you have another type of needle that can help you to get better results?
Puedes leer este mismo tutorial en espanol en el blog de Ale Cose y Cose, Como Acolchar A Mano.
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Watch the video to learn more about how to hand quilt here.