Thursday, July 21, 2011


I'm trying to spend about 4+ hrs. daily hand quilting my Calder 'artist inspired' piece and happily nearing completion. Like most hand quilters, I work from the center of the quilt to the outside edges, however depending upon the quilting pattern, that process sometimes can get interrupted. So, today I'd like to share a technique I use to make the quilting more seamless.

The color of these photos aren't the best....not sure what the problem was....but hopefully you'll be able to follow along anyway. You might try clicking on the photos to get a closer view.

As you can quilting is now reaching the outside edge of my quilt.....which is pinned onto a sleeve attached to an 11" x 17" Qsnap frame. This helps to prevent distortion and waveness along those unstable sides of the quilt.

I'm echo quilting around my beginning my line of stitching on the left side of that outer edge, working in would seem practical. However, those stitches can, ever so slightly, pull the fabric toward the center and cause ripples.

Instead, I insert my needle threaded with a long length of UNKNOTTED thread where I wish the next line of stitching to begin. In this case that's near the center of the area I'm quilting.

.......and exit with half the thread remaining at the point of entry and the other half at the point of exit.

At that point of exit I begin stitching. Here I'm working right to left until I get to the corner and THEN I'll be in position to work toward the outside edge and tie off. I come back to the very first stitch in that row and using my unthreaded needle as a tool....I remove that stitch.

I rethread my needle with the remaining thread and quilt in the opposite direction until I get to the outside edge and tie off and repeat the process with the next row.

Of course one could simply begin with a shorter length of knotted thread, but I like the ability to realign and space the stitches when I begin again in the opposite direction which wouldn't be possible if the end was knotted.

As I teach in my hand quilting's often just little adjustments that can help to make your hand quilted projects more successful.


Carol Sloan said...

my gosh Mary...your quilting is PERFECT! Now, I'll never show any more of my hand stitched work again...

Robbie said...

Clever! Thanks for sharing the tip!