Hand Quilting Tips and Tricks

No one is exactly sure when people started hand quilting. Evidence goes back to at least ancient Egypt. Today, quilting by hand continues to be a beloved craft enjoyed by many. If you are a quilting beginner, a quick "hand quilting how to" may come in handy.

Hand Quilting Supplies
In addition to the fabric that is going to be hand quilted, you will need a thimble, a size 7 or 8 "between" (quilting needle), scissors and hand quilting thread.

You might also like to invest in hand stitching templates, which are stencils of designs that you can use when quilting.

One way to hand quilt is to use quilting hoops. Quilting hoops are designed to keep a portion of the quilt taunt, making quilting easier. Quilting hoops are available in several sizes so that you can work on small or large areas according to your needs.

Another option is to invest in a hand quilting frame. Hand quilting frames hold the width of a quilt in place. They can be tilted at different angles and some can be adjusted for height. Make sure that the quilting frame is stable and that you can easily control the tension on your quilt before you buy it.

Hand Quilting Techniques
First, thread your needle. Then pull 18 inches of thread from the spool. Knot the thread before you cut it from the spool to prevent tangling.

Start from the top of your quilt. Push your needle through the top fabric and into the batting about ¼ to ½ inch away from where you will start quilting. Bring your needle up through the starting point and pull the thread through. Tug the thread until the knot pulls through the fabric and catches in the batting.

The basic stitch that you will use when quilting is called the rocking stitch. The rocking stitch is similar to the running stitch, a very easy stitch that is used in sewing and other types of needlework. As you are stitching, think more about consistency than the number of stitches per inch. This will lead to a better looking quilt. Remember that it does take practice to master this craft.

Hand Quilting Versus Machine Quilting
While some prefer machine quilting over hand quilting because machine quilting is faster, you may prefer hand quilting simply because hand quilting is so relaxing.

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