Lorna said a quilter's stitch is a signature, as individual as the person. That is what my grandmother said. Quilting by hand sculpts the surface of the quilt. The hand stitching becomes a design element as well as the function holding the layers together.
I like the quilting to be expressive so I improvise. I do not mark the lines to be quilted.
Improvise and "you have a unique identity."---Wynton Marsalis
Wynton and Lorna, voices you can trust!
Here is a brief look at the supplies I favor:
Thread for hand quilting is labeled Quilting thread. I use 100% cotton, favoring Gutterman with a pretty and functional glaze. If the weight is listed, look for 40/3. I like color and do not limit my choice to a neutral color thread. It is good to try multiple thimbles until you find what you like. The one I use, shown in the photo, has a raised brass top with a lip to control the needle. It has a serious, heavy duty look, as if you should don a hard hat. I started hand quilting by using a quilting hoop. This looks like an embroidery hoop, but it is more substantial to secure the layers of the quilt. I now mostly quilt in a frame, a simple home made device, and more about that later.
As with finding a thimble, I tried many needles first buying a package of assorted "betweens". I now use a John James size 11 Quilting needle/between. I rarely work without the Needle Grip It, discovering that this adhesive dot gives me a good grip on the needle minimizing strain. (Kudos to the naming dept.)
|here is another look at my thimble|
If you can shop at a local quilt shop, please do. If you internet shop, here are some links. The Colonial Needle Co. markets the Needle Grip-It and a similar thimble called a Raised Edge Thimble/Side Stitcher. colonialneedle.com nancysnotions.com purlsoho.com
I am offering classes in hand quilting, and one is coming up soon!
AQS QuiltWEEK August 16-19, 2017 Grand Rapids, MI quiltweek.com/grr17-pam-beal/
2018 Madeline Island School of the Arts--A five day workshop! Studio Hand Quilting at MISA