Sunday, March 6, 2011

Attempting To Quilt By Hand

Did I share this quilt top? I can't remember; it's been so long. This is from the Postage Stamp Quilt Along that took place a few weeks ago (or maybe it was months). I used a Hope Valley design roll and Kona Snow for the solid. I love the classic look of this quilt.

Quilt top finished!

So the other day (or week, who the hell knows) I got so frustrated while trying to quilt this. My bobbin thread kept getting stuck/breaking. I changed the needle, cleaned the machine, adjusted the tension, but I still couldn't get more than one line in before the problems started. So I would pick out every mother-lovin' stitch and start again only to have it the same problem allllll over again! I said some nasty words to my machine and sat around feeling sorry for myself before I had this idea: HAND QUILTING. One of my favorite parts of making a quilt is hand-stitching the binding on so I thought I might enjoy it. And I do! I mostly love being able to work on my quilt anywhere, at any time. I can quilt while my son is playing independently, or while he's watching a video, or while he naps. In the future I imagine quilting while I'm sitting outside in the sun watching him play in the pool and such. Oh, and I like how I can sit in bed and quilt until my eyes get heavy, and then just set it down and drift off. Quilty dreams.

I also really just love the way hand-quilting looks.

Hope Valley Hand Quilting

I think my stitches are improving. Things look straighter and more evenly spaced, but the first row is kind of crazy. I'd rather just keep going and get this thing quilted than pull out the stitches until they're perfect though. This is my learning quilt.

Do any of you hand-quilt? What tips do you have?

By the way, I'm using YLI thread for this and will be trying that in my machine next time I attempt machine quilting. I'm hoping a better thread will alleviate the annoying thread breaking issues...? 

What's your favorite thread for hand or machine quilting? 


  1. I have done a little hand quilting. I always use the coats and Clark hand quilting thread, bc i like the wax coating. For the most part i save the hand work for binding now, and just quilt by machine. But i do like the look of hand quilting!

  2. I love the quilt! And the quilting. My favorite thing is how the finished quilt doesn't have any stiffness, when it is hand quilted.
    I haven't don much myself. My first one was super simplistic & I actually used contrasting color embroidery thread, just for fun.
    This one I used Coats & Clark Hand Quilting thread.

  3. The quilt looks great! Good Job! You have more patience than me... I threw a fit and walked out of the room when my machine kept looping on the bottom. ("I re-threaded you like 9 times what more do you want!")

    I also know that if I hand quilted while I was tired I'd end up needing a bunch of band-aids the next morning.

  4. Woweee! Your stitches look really good. I the handstitching really compliments this pattern. Feeling a little guilty that mine is still a top... staring at me right now! : )

  5. Erin--your boy's quilt turned out great! I like how we both turned to hand quilting after bobbin trouble!

    Cola--I am not patient at all! What I am is STUBBORN!

    LittleBluebell--Your Wonderland quilt deserves to be quilted! Are you still considering tying it?

  6. oh i love it! do you use any sort of frame when doing it or have you just pin-basted it and then go for it?
    i have been wanting to hand quilt forEVER now and just haven't made the leap.