Monday, January 2, 2012

Top Ten Hand Quilting Tips

I love hand quilting. I love to sit and stitch. I love the way hand quilting looks. But my hands and wrists can't take much of it. Some of my solutions:
  1. Machine quilt structural lines. Sew around the borders of blocks. Then add a bit of hand quilting where it really shows.
  2. Hand quilt every other item. I just stitched around 56 yo-yos, instead of all 121! The back of the quilt looks adorable, too.
  3. Set a goal of stitching half an hour a day. Leave the project out near your favorite chair. Throw it in the car, and do it while waiting in the dentist office. You'd be amazed how far you can get with just a few minutes a day!
  4. Wear a wrist brace. It helps a lot.
  5. Takes lots of breaks. Get up and walk around, roll your shoulders and stretch your arms.
  6. Use a new high quality needle. I am loving the size 8 milliner needles by John James. They fit my hands. Experiment, and find the needle that works for you. Just found some size 8 milliner needles at my Mom's that were my Grandmas. We had the same thumb. Hmmmmm.
  7. Set up extra lamps to avoid squinting.
  8. Baste with safety pins, saving yourself some time and some hand stitching.
  9. Personalize your quilt. Add a name, a birthday, a quote. Just draw it on with a marking pencil that washes out, and that is heat-safe in case you find yourself ironing.
  10. Use cotton thread. Your quilt might be around in the next century!

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Sewing since I was 8...a friend of my grandmother's sent us a large box filled with fabric scraps. That was all it took!