Hand Quilting

Did I ever mention I love Hand Quilting? It is one of my favorite things that I learned when I started quilting. The problem?…..Not enough time, unfortunately. This quilt on my frame is the only ‘big’ project I have tackled the hand quilting on. I have done little projects and some practice squares but I found that I was not to fond of using my 12″ hoop for bigger quilts. First off, it was obviously too small. Second I found I was constantly struggling with the hoop and quilt trying to get my hand underneath and just in general. So I put off doing it. Then I found a wonderful company – Hinterberg Designs. They make these wonderful frames and I figured why not try a frame. I decided to ask for one for Christmas. Last Christmas my wonderful DH surprised me with the Hinterberg frame in this picture.

This frame is actually their Easy Build Plus kit which makes it way affordable- especially if you have never used a frame and want to try it out. It comes with everything but the rails ( my DH purchased these at the hardware store and cut them to my specified size). So I finally have a place to set it up and have been slowly working on finishing my Star of my Heart quilt. This quilt is actually a class I took while Jeff was deployed to Iraq in 2003 (I know it should be finished by now but life got in the way…and of course the hoop issue). My friend Shelli is who designed and taught this quilt and she is also the wonderful person who taught me to hand quilt!

Anyway, in working with the frame, I found that I loved that there was always perfect tension and of course the best part- NO BASTING! It is like when you use a longarm machine with the leaders and what not. This gets me to why I am writing this post….You see, in using a stationary frame, I have had to make some adjustments. The first adjustment I made was learning to quilt with my thumb for the ditch quilting that went away from me. I found this to be fairly easy (I used Alex Anderson’s book for the technique) and it helped then to go away from me with the thumb and towards me using the traditional hand quilting method. So then I found that I needed to get a thimble for my thumb- but could not find anything I liked -until I went to my LQS Lil Country Shoppe . My friend Susan was working and is a hand quilter and helped me remedy this by recommending the Ultra Thimble. Let me tell you- that is one amazing little tool! It was so much easier than trying to jam a thimble on my thumb! So that solved that problem- thanks Susan! My issue is with the curves. I am having trouble figuring out how to do these comfortably. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

So I will leave you with a couple of pics of a couple of the blocks that are finished:

Thanks for sticking with me till the end of this very wordy post! I look forward to hearing the suggestions that you may have for easier quilting using a frame!
Happy Stitching!

4 thoughts on “Hand Quilting

  1. Cara you are so lucky to have a quilting frame! I imagine it would be heaps easier on your arms. Lucky you! Good luck with the rest of it! Jo xo

  2. What fun! I struggle with a hoop a little, too – but didn’t think I could adjust to not being able to turn my quilt this way and that. Maybe I should re think that plan!. Enjoy your frame. Can’t wait to see all the wonderful quilts that come from it *S*

  3. Your hand quilting is just beautiful!! I have been quilting for 11 years now and have never hand quilted a thing!! Isn’t that just sad? Hehehe I will someday, you have inspired me =)

  4. Hi Cara, I love hand quilting and I really appreciate your stitches! I posted on my blog a tutorial to built at home a DIY simple but efficient hand quilting frame, spending only about 30/40 Euros. If you want to take a look, go to http://www.handquiltingstitches.blogspot.com and feel free to post your comment (tutorial is in Italian, but there is a post about it also in english).
    For the love of hand quilting
    Sara, Italy

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