Its Quilt Class time again.. These weeks come round so fast!! I swear they keep getting shorter and shorter.
I have a disclaimer before we start. You will have to excuse the pictures a bit. Some are a little wonky, some a little out of focus, I cropped some because the centre was WAY off!! I had both hands needed for the tutorial.. and so, I needed the help of my little assistant in taking the pictures. She just turned four and not a master of the camera just yet. The only complaint SHE had was that I was interrupting her watching High School Musical.. She would only take a few quick snaps and that HAD TO DO!! Now that I have excused my crazy pictures... I have a tutorial for you...
Hand QuiltingFirst off... Tools. For Hand Quilting Cotton, I use a ball of Pearle 8 Cotton. It comes in a large variety of colours. It is the perfect thickness. I mostly use the DMC brand but i do have a couple other brands i have come across that seem great too. I also use a leather thimble. It has a small metal plate that protects your finger. I wear it on my right hand, middle finger, as this is the finger that does most of the work. The metal plate is just in the perfect spot to help you push the needle through. I have tried the open metal one (below) that you can see but I find I like the flexibility and grip of the leather. Needles are a hard one. These are my favourite so far. Embroidery Needles size 9. A pair of scissors, and a little zip purse to keep it all in.
Cut a length of cotton. I think text book teaches you about 18 inches or so.. But i always like to do more like 36 inches, so I'm not stopping and starting as much.
Take your length of cotton and tie a single knot in the end.
I don't like to use a hoop, I tried once and couldn't get it to sit just right. When I hand quilt, I sit on a couch with my knees tucked up and the quilt drapes over them.1/4" from the seam. You can mark your quilt top, sometimes you can see a shadow of the seam underneath to follow, or you can just guess. I usually just guess. Hold the fabric flat in your left hand and the needle in your right. (opposite if your Left handed). I hold the needle between my Thumb and middle finger and guide with my pointer finger. Push your needle down through the three layers, back up, down, then up...
Pull your thread through till your knot is at the end.
slight tug and your knot will slip inside and get lodged in your batting.
needle again and push down through all three layers and back up, down and back up. Try and get your hand in a rocking motion.
two or three parts on my needle before i push the needle and thread all the way through.
metal plate in the thimble to push the needle through.
Pull the thread all the way through
Continue your hand quilting and your rocking motion as far as you need to or until you get close to the end of your thread.
Once you get near the end of your thread,loop and thread your needle through the loop to create a knot.
1/2" away from my finishing point.
needle in where your next stitch would go, ONLY through the Top and batting layer. Angle it so it comes up about an inch away from where you are quilting.
Pull it through and your knot will sit out.
slight tug, so your knot slips under the top and gets caught in the batting. Cut off the thread remaining.
get another length of thread and start again. This time your starting in the middle of the Quilt top. Tie a knot at the end of your thread, start about an inch away from where your previous stitches were. Put your needle in through your top two layers, be careful not to go all the way through to the back. Bring your needle up right where your next stitch needs to go.
Pull your thread through.
slight tug so your knot slips under again...
ready to continue right where you left off....
keep your stitches as even as you can. I usually snip all my threads once im all finished. Hand quilting can be a little slow to start with, but with practise you will get alot faster. When you flip your quilt over.. You will have the same stitches come through the back.
Continue along...... and your done!
I have decided to do quite a lot of hand quilting on this quilt. Lucky I enjoy it so much!
I hope that helped you. Kate from Kate Conklin Designs has a great Hand Quilting tutorial on her blog. She holds her needle slightly different to me and uses a different type of thimble. You may like to pop over and have a read of hers and see which way suits you best.
Do you have a Hand Quilting Tutorial you would like to Share with us???