I became well-known in the quilt world when I started winning awards for my hand quilting. After several top awards at international competitions, including the Mary Krickbaum Award for Best Hand Quilting and the National Quilt Association annual show, people began asking me to teach them how. Then came my book Winning Stitches that pretty much outlines everything from
So, anyway, I'm not going to start at the very beginning, but I would like to give you the 'ins and outs' of the actual quilting process. (Yes, pun was intended!)
First, you'll need a few simple tools: 14" quilting hoop, quilting thimble, quilting needles, thread, and a product I helped to develop Needle-Grip-Its. And of course, your marked quilt sandwich.
As far as equipment is concerned, you usually get what you pay for. You may be able to buy a hoop at Walmart for $5, and it will get you through maybe your first quilt. But quality is important if you intend to make more than one quilt. In the photo above, I bet you can spot the quality hoop without a second glance. Yes, of course, the quality one is on the bottom. It is braced, and the wood is smooth. Take a look at more differences in the following pictures:
|Quality upper hoop has larger wingnut|
|Quality hoop is smooth, no gaps|
|Quality upper hoop is staple-free and true|
I've used the quality hoop since 1982! The cheap hoop broke in half shortly after these photos were taken.
|Sewing thimble/quilting thimble|
|Quilting needle, top. Sewing needle, bottom.|
As for thread, my favorite is actually a sewing thread, Mettler Silk-Finish 100% cotton. It is strong enough for hand quilting, and fine enough that your stitches will look smaller and more even than heavier threads.
|My favorite for hand stitching|
I will upload and insert a video of the actual hand quilting process in my next blog. (I'm having some technical difficulties uploading my QuickTime video, and need some more expertise here.) In the meantime, you can get your hand quilting equipment out and get ready to practice your hand quilting stitches!
From now until New Year's Day, I would love to send you a copy of my Winning Stitches book for FREE! Just order any one item from my website at regular price, even if that is only a $9 pattern, and I will include a copy of Winning Stitches in your package.