This week I have been learning how to hand quilt, thanks to my lovely and extremely talented landlady, and some great tips and tutorials on Craftsy.com
It took me a while to get the hang of it, and I have to say I am very much a beginner, but I am getting there. At the moment I seem to be able to manage about 5 stitches per inch although I can’t promise that they are all identical in length. I have found that I do best when I use just one thimble, an in-between needle (these are small quilting needles), and no hoop (although I am only working with a cot size quilt).
The technique that seems to be working for me is to:
1. Insert the needle vertically from the top of the quilt and through the three layers until I can just feel it with the tip of my middle finger on my right hand (I’m left handed!!) which is underneath the quilt
2. Use my middle left finger (with thimble) to gently lay the needle down horizontally on its left hand side until it’s almost lying on the top of the quilt
3. Use my left thumb to create a ‘hill’ in the fabric in front of the needle point
4. Gentle push the needle through using the thimble on my left middle finger
5. Pull the needle all the way between my left forefinger and thumb and repeat the process
So far I am sticking to sewing one stitch at a time until I get the hang of it. My landlady uses a second thimble on the finger underneath the quilt but I can’t seem to get on with that as I can’t feel the needle properly and so don’t have as much control over the size of the stitch. I’m hoping that in time I will be able to get 2-3 stitches on the needle which will speed things up a little.
I splashed out the other day and bought a few stencils so that I could sew a pretty pattern on the border. I’m looking forward to that as much of what I’m doing at the moment is stitching in the ditch and therefore quite hidden.
I will update you on my progress in due course and will eventually post photos of the finished quilt. I’m aiming for something that looks a little like this: