I'm on a roll. I've just finished my 4th quilt!!! I've actually had the fabric for AGES, but couldn't motivate myself to make it into a quilt. There's no piecing involved, as it's a panel and I think that's actually why I had trouble getting started. Is it real quilting if half the work is not there???
To get myself motivated, I had to try something new. I've done plenty of embroidery and hand stitching in the past, but never hand quilting. I skimmed through the following:
- How to Hand Quilt - Tips for Success
- Learn How to Hand Quilt
- Perfect Your Hand-Quilting Stitch
- Hand Quilting
- How to Hand Quilt
Using Gutermann Quilting Cotton, I hand stitched around of the objects in the centre of the panel. I'd had the Gutermann Quilting Cotton for ages, but had never used it, as it's only meant for hand stitching, not to go in a sewing machine.
The main thing I focussed on, was getting the stitches even. They're not too bad on the front, but the back is another story. I used a smallish needle, but not as small as recommended. Next time I'll go even smaller. Maybe I'll try an embroidery hoop next time, too, however for this quilt I didn't. Everything I read suggested using thimbles as well. I've never mastered sewing with a thimble, but maybe it's time to try again.
I also learnt how to make the knot at the end of the thread sit in the middle of the quilt sandwich, so it couldn't be seen. I'm keen to see how the knots, both starting and ending, hold up to the wear and tear of a child.
I cheated for the binding, using the backing fabric, bringing it to the front and hand stitching. I know lots of people hand stitch their proper binding to the back, after machine stitching to the front, so I thought this quilt was a good time to see how hand stitched binding looked, even if it was on the front, instead of the back. It certainly takes longer than machine stitching, but does give a nice finish. Again, time will tell whether the stitching is suitable for a child's quilt.
Ah, the basting... the big downfall of this quilt. Although it's the 4th quilt I've finished, it was the 2nd quilt I ever basted. I certainly think I've improved my basting skills since then. And if you want to hide imperfect basting and hence lots of puckering, use a patterned fabric for the backing instead of a solid colour.
I know lots of quilters spray baste their quilts, but I don't have any hard floors, not to mention I make a terrible mess with glue at the best of times. I think my preferred method will always be pin / basting, but I'm curious, how do you get on if you baste and only have carpets for floor covering?
As you can probably see, the outside of the quilt is machine done, in a light pink Gutermann thread (not the same hand quilting cotton).
An example of my uneven stitching at the back. If I was hand quilting a cushion, I'd be happy with this, as it wouldn't show, but on a quilt, I'll have to lift my game.
I was lucky enough to have a matching fabric in my stash, left over from the Mary Go Round Dress and the Katie J. Jumper and so was able to make a matching pillowcase.
This is the first time I've been able to do a semi decent photo of a rolled quilt... LOL!!! It needs a more scenic background, though.
Although I wasn't at all keen on starting this project, I'm actually very pleased with the result. And, most importantly, Little Miss loves her fairy quilt. I forgot to take measurements, but it's roughly the same size as the Peter Rabbit quilt. It's light enough and small enough to be carried where it's needed... perfect for snuggling under while watching TV.