Sunday, July 5, 2020

QUILTING--By Hand, Machine or None at All?

Tops are done, it's time to quilt.

Recently, I finished machine quilting Foothills on the Bernina Q20 Sit-Down Longarm:

I adore this quilt and have written about it before:  The Quilt A-Long, and Changing My Mind as well as a few other times--use the Search box in the upper Left for Foothills to find them all.

The quilting designs I came up with please me and, overall, my free motion and ruler work quilting are getting better. Binding is almost done, sleeve is in place and the label is ready to attach.

Hand quilting is also something I enjoy though I do less of it now than I did years ago. My older hands feel the strain of such repetitive motion so I save it for special quilts.

This year I was fortunate to get accepted into the doll quilt swap run by Needle Thimble and Thread on Instagram. It is a small group swap and those who participated the year before get first chance at signing up for the current year. If there are any open spots, a couple new folks might be added.

I got in! And the rules are simple: no smaller than 14" X 14", no larger than 18" x 18", handquilting only, wool or cotton batt, reproduction fabrics, and your best work is expected. And stick to the timeline. Reasonable requirements. You can see many photos of these quilts in progress on Instagram:  #ntatdqs2020  Many of them are amazingly beautiful and complex!

The day I was accepted, I made my top--from 3" blocks made with the Stay at Home sampler patterns from Temecula Quilt Company on Instagram

I have been handquilting on it this past month, off and on. A few more nights and the handquilting will be done--the binding, sleeve and label are made. I find stitch in the ditch quilting by hand repetitious and boring so was very glad when I got to the outer border and could do a little fancy work:

Later in July it will be sent off to it's new home...

And, then, sometimes, I make a project with no quilting at all. I  saw these silhouette projects while teaching in Texas last year, and bought one. This week I finally took the time to make it:

There was very little time involved--watching the video was especially helpful:  Stirrups and Stitches
There is a wide variety of patterns available, no sewing at all, so this would make a great project to do with an interested kid. Hung in a window, the batik fabric really glows.

So there you have my quilting life at this time. Do you prefer to hand or machine quilt?

Let's quilt.



  1. I so prefer hand quilting and it is all I do - although I have tried machine quilting now and then and have straight line machine quilted several quilts it is not something I enjoy and rarely do it - on the other hand I always have a quilt on my 3 roller hand quilting frame that takes up a wall of my sewing room and quilt every evening

    1. That is so wonderful. Wish I could say the same.

  2. I used to hand piece and hand quilt but my arthritic hands won't let me anymore. I never hand quilted a large quilt, however. Without my sewing machine I wouldn't be a quilter!! I'm loving walking foot quilting, my new go-to.

  3. I can't even imagine quilting by hand. I love FMQ using my domestic sewing machine. I've been thinking about you this week: for the first time I'm FM quilting using a wool batt. I'm working a the dream big panel. I love the look of the wool batting and it is a dream to quilt with.

    1. I love wool batt, highly recommended for sleeping under, in all climates. I do make sure the label says “Wool batt—air dry only”