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How to Hand Quilt Better Than 99% of Quilters

Making a handmade quilt can be an incredibly rewarding project, so we’re going to give you some tips on how to hand quilt better today!

It’s a relaxing pastime, a treasure in the making, and a piece of art all rolled into one.

It is no mean feat, but one that is certainly a worthwhile undertaking.

In my previous post how to choose the best sewing machine for quilting I looked at quilting using a machine.

And in this post I will look at quilting by hand.

There is a lot of debate among quilters about whether or not to use a quilting hoop. Many prefer the freedom that hoopless hand quilting offers, and they use only hoops when working on specific shapes.

I’m going to focus on this hoopless technique.

Prepare your work area to ensure good lighting, a comfortable room temperature, adequate work space, and support for your back. Don’t forget to take breaks, go for a walk, and stretch.

What you need to hand quilt without a hoop

Some of the tools and supplies you need to hand quilt include:

Hand quilting stitches for beginners

When you’re learning how to quilt by hand, it’s important to get to know, and practice the basic stitches:

How to create a hand sewn quilt

You should have a type of fabric sandwich.

For some patterns, you will need to trace them onto your quilt before you start the basting. You can mark your quilting design using a pencil or washable marker.

There are many patterns to choose from. If you’re a beginner, it’s definitely recommended to start with an easier one, like stars, hearts, leaves, or flowers.

I like this video here from Sharon Schamber all about Hoopless Hand Quilting which I think you will find helpful.

Using the video as a guide you can see that Sharon begins by basting the design over the quilt. The stitches need to be pretty close together––leave approximately a 2-finger width between them. And use a double stitch for the basting.

From SharonSchamberNet YouTube Channel

Now with a ruler and pencil (or washable marker), she traces double lines in between, these become the guidelines.

From SharonSchamberNet YouTube Channel

She starts stitching at the line after first hiding the knot. To do this, she pulls the knot into the center, right between the two layers of fabric, and rocks the needle up and down (running stitch).

From SharonSchamberNet YouTube Channel

She hand sews along the lines she has previously drawn with a pencil. The needle passes through all the layers. Remember the back is used for closing stitches.

From SharonSchamberNet YouTube Channel

After hand stitching these two lines, she stitches the leaves.

And once the leaves are stitched, it looks like this:

From SharonSchamberNet YouTube Channel

To finish:

Practice

This is definitely a technique to practice a lot! And you can do so on old t-shirts and any other pieces of fabric you’ve got lying around at home.

When you feel confident, have a go at creating your own special hand sewn quilt.

We’d love to see your quilts, both machine and hand sewn. Send in your photos to the comments box below so we can all see. And let us know how you found the experience, and what tips you discovered that helped you.