After a rather discouraging first attempt at hand-quilting, I am happy to report that I am back in the saddle! For the last several months, my quilt has sat folded up in the basement, lonely and untouched, sporting only a few pitiful lines of too big, uneven stitches. I had even started machine quilting a second quilt, and decided that hand quilting just wasn't for me. The process was just too overwhelming. I had all but given up.
But, about a month ago, I brought my quilt back upstairs and got out my little sewing box again. I had read a book from the library about hand quilting ("The Perfect Stitch" by Dierdra A. McElroy), that broke down the quilting stitch into step-by-step instructions, along with copious pictures. I thought I'd give hand quilting one more shot. And, lo and behold... it worked! After the first few wobbly stitches, my fingers seemed to picked up the rhythm, and before long I was producing straight rows of small, evenly spaced quilting. A small miracle...
The stars are getting quilted with an outline at 1/4" both inside and outside the seam, and then the whole block is stitched diagonally from corner to corner, as well as a straight line through the middle from top to bottom, and left to right. It breaks the star into eight pointed segments, which I really like.
The linen colored sashing strips are getting outlined 1/4" inside the seam, and then quilted with two straight lines down the center, creating almost a striped effect.
The quilting in this dark blue star is some of my earliest stitching. See how much bigger the stitches are than the diagonal line of quilting on the white fabric on the right-hand side of the picture?
See, my stitching is getting better! In the end, it's going to look like two different people quilted this quilt, but that's okay with me. It's a learning quilt.
I keep the quilt in a vintage wicker basket in the living room, so it can be on display even before it's finished. I've discovered that I really like being able to just pick up and quilt whenever I want - usually on the couch in front of the TV in the evenings. It's quiet, takes no set up other than threading a needle, and I can hang out with my husband rather than being holed up in the cold, dark basement with my sewing machine. I still have a long way to go on this one, but I am finally enjoying the process. Another small miracle!