Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hand Quilting on Fairytale Patchwork

Has it really only been 4 days since I started hand quilting?  

Hand quilting - Princess Strips

My daughter's Fairytale Patchwork quilt has turned out to be an ideal First in hand quilting.  I'm using Anna Maria Horner's tutorial, "The Stitch" and her Q & A post "Anna Answers".   Turns out that one of the hardest things about hand-quilting is getting your stitches to look as nice on the back as they do on the front.  Since Aria's quilt is designed for her bed, the back of it will only be seen when hung on the line to dry!    I'm not giving myself much pressure to make the back look good.  I am paying attention to those stitches, but mostly as a way of working on my technique, you know?

Hand quilting - Diamond Mine

I've really enjoyed trying out different quilting patterns on different blocks.  Such freedom!  My first and possibly favorite block was this Diamond Mine block (Little Folks Voile by Anna Maria Horner).  I stitched a simple white running line in a diamond shape.

Hand quilting - Princess & the Frog

For this Princess & the Pea/Frog Prince block (Far Far Away by Heather Ross), I had dreamed up this criss-cross pattern along the seam lines. I didn't realize that hand quilting this design would be so difficult and time-consuming. It looks rather wonky from the back, with the x's bigger than they are on the front. Do you think it was worth it? I'm trying to decide if I should do another Princess block in this design. Would love to hear your ideas for alternative quilting designs on this style block!

Hand quilting - around the flowers

This block is Small Gathering from Anna Maria Horner's Good Folks collection (LOVE!).  I stitched some white lines around some of the yellow flowers, but it didn't "pop" as much as I had hoped for. I'm thinking of adding some pink stitching around a few more flowers. What do you think? One disadvantage of this pattern for hand quilting is all the starting and stopping of threads. It's stronger and faster to quilt a continuous line.

Hand quilting - along the stem

So, that's what I tried here, on a different Small Gathering block. I stitched along the stem line, which was quite fun. Do you think this is prettier than the flowers, or should I do it in addition to the flower outlines? Hmm....

Hand quilting - Dobby Dots

Here's my latest block. Oooh, I like how this one turned out. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best, right? I adore Anna Maria Horner's dobby dot line! The texture, the colors... swoon! This is the only shade I've had the pleasure of owning. And, sadly, they're getting scarce.

So, hand quilting = fun!  I'm glad to be serenely stitching on the couch while watching Alias with Hubby, rather than wrestling with this quilt at the sewing machine (and picking out countless stitches, no doubt). 

Looking forward to your ideas on these quilting patterns...


  1. Love it!! And I love how you've varied the stitches. I 'd love to try this sometime.

  2. I love all of it! I'm glad I am not the only one who loves to stitch while watching television!

  3. I am loving all of it. I plan on hand quilting the heck out of my very first quilt and am concerned about the reverse side looking good, myself? I am planning on doing so many interesting appliques on the front that I am hoping the back is an afterthought and doesn't matter all that much, we'll see I guess. ; )

  4. If you want to do embroidery type work, you can always do it before you make your quilt sandwich so that the back is hidden with the batting. I love your embroidery style, but can imagine that the back might pose a problem for hand quilting! Can't wait to see what you do.

  5. I have to commend you on your handiwork. I love to sew but I do not think that I would have the patience to do it all by hand.
    Definitely a job well done.

  6. Very nice! Have you ever tried trapunto? It definitely makes things pop out :)

  7. it is ALL beautiful! go you, for tackling such a big quilt with hand quilting!!! i really love all your stitches- and actually, I LOVE the outlined flowers- I'd say maybe do both the outlined flowers AND the stems. a lot of work but so cute.

  8. I love hand quilting! I really like the fact that you can do it every where. I have even been hand quilting in a car.

  9. The hand stitching on this looks amazing! Funny, as much as I love binding, I don't know that I would be able to hand stitch like that. I would be so afraid my stitches would be uneven... but this might inspire me to try!

  10. Oh my, I love it! My favorite is the pink long lines on the dobby fabric. So simple and sweet. I think I like the flower stems over the round petals...but then again, they both look really good. Have fun working on it. I'm curious how long it'll take? I love hand sewing things...but my patience isn't always cooperative, if you know what I mean.

  11. Yes, I plan on doing all the appliques piece by piece first. I am going to (hopefully - if it works) be doing yo yo flowers throughout most of the quilt, so I was thinking of quilting by hand around them so the back side has different sized, random circles everywhere - do you know what I mean? I think it may work, what do you think?

  12. Thanks for the vote on stems, Rosie! I'm going to time my work on some of these square so I can give you all a feel for how long it takes me.

  13. I think different sized random circles will look great! It would work, but be aware that all that starting and stopping of thread is extra time consuming. No biggie, of course, when it's worth it! Will you be doing additional quilting? If not, you'll need a LOT of circles to secure the batting enough to prevent shifting, unless you use a repurposed blanket for batting. That's why I love using blankets - my quilting designs aren't about the batting!

  14. Honestly - I haven't thought that far ahead. I love the idea of re-purposing an old blanket! I will be doing additional quilting I'm sure. I am just going to cross my fingers and figure it out as I go. : ) Thanks Rachel!


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