Hand quilting has been something I have wanted to dabble with for a long time. Here and there, I attempted and would give up as it felt so awkward and just didn't look very nice. I went on to research various videos on Youtube and learned quite a bit about the process.
I read a lot of blogs, message boards, etc, to learn the various techniques; stab stitch, big stitch, rocking, using a hoop and hoopless. I bought a 14" hoop from Nancy Ellen Quilts and watched her demonstrate the quilting process on her site and Youtube. Something about it clicked. I received my hoop and a preprinted 16" square of muslin to practice on. I also found a great video by Sharon Schamber teaching hoopless quilting. This works for me, too.
I think my previous attempts weren't very successful as I was trying to quilt from right to left and not toward me. When I tried quilting toward me, with a hoop, it worked really well! I also tried Sharon's technique and I liked that, too. I was using some Warm and Natural batting from my stash and later learned that most hand quilters don't like to use that batting as they don't feel it needles very well. I have some Hobbs wool batting coming tomorrow and am anxious to see what the difference will be.
So, here is a picture of my first ever hand quilted project:
I finished the binding last night, washed it and tea dyed it today. The top was really white! You probably can't see the stitches but the center was where I started and it started out pretty rough. As I continued, things became a little more consistent. With a thinner batting, I should be able to gain a little more control over the stitches, along with a lot more practice. :) I also learned the importance of a lot of basting!
I also developed a way of not sticking my finger with every stitch!
Thank you for all the great suggestions on borders for the grandsons camping quilt. Now that this little project is complete, I'll be focused only on finishing his quilt.
Have a great Thanksgiving and Be Blessed,