I am slowly and laboriously trying to quilt my Modified Dolly Madison Star Quilt.
Initially I had planned to hand quilt the whole quilt. It’s only a lap quilt, so I thought it might not be that big a deal. It turns out that if I hand quilt it entirely it will take months to complete and I don’t have months to spend. Also I prefer to hand sew in daylight so I can see what I’m doing. We’re all back at work now after the holidays and the days are getting shorter again as we head towards winter. So the quilting will be a combination of machine stitch in the ditch and hand quilting.
A little more on the challenges of hand quilting….
The photo is a total set-up, designed to make it look like I know what I’m doing. Don’t be fooled. I don’t.
I think the photo shows at least one problem area. There’s not enough slack in the fabric, making it hard to ‘rock’ the needle. I watched a YouTube video on hand quilting and tried again with the quilt less taut in the hoop and that made it a little easier. I’m still wondering though how the ladies manage to rock the needle when they are working in a big quilting frame.
The ‘no slip’ feature of the hoop hinders more than it helps. It has in internal ridge, designed, as the name says, to stop the quilt slipping. Which is all very well, except when you want to put some slack in.
Experienced hand quilters will have observed that I basted the quilt sandwich with safety pins and left it at that, rather than hand-basting. The reason: simple laziness. Hand quilting is bad (and tedious) enough without hand basting as well. If I need to, I simply move a safety pin when I’m putting the quilt sandwich in the hoop.
So far hand quilting isn’t doing it for me. I’ll keep going but I’m not enjoying it.