Things you must know about Hand Quilting
Hand quilting today, is a reminder of countless women of yesteryears, who had to make many necessary things for daily use, such as, clothes, bed linens and quilts since there were no modern markets then. In devoting their time, energy and skills to quilting these women left masterpieces of craft for posterity to treasure.
The craft of hand quilting owes its existence principally to women in the past. For them it was not a mere pastime but an important traditional occupation that was bequeathed to succeeding generations of women. These quilts so lovingly made by women were not just things of functional use but also served a higher purpose as spiritual heritage for a family.
You may find hand quilting too tedious. However, you always have the option of hand piecing some part of the work while the rest may be machine finished. For instance you can opt to hand piece the finishing touches or your blocks.
Quilts are made from various kinds of or combination of fabrics, but cotton is recommended because it does not stretch and can be easily ironed. The fabric is prepared by washing it in tepid water with a light detergent to remove excess color and prevent shrinking. If the colors run, use only fabrics with similar colors.
The quilt is made of three layers: the front layer, the middle layer and the back layer. The front layer is the decorative one, made from pieces of fabric cut in an artistically and creative manner in blocks, after which the blocks are assembled together. The middle layer gives warmth and thickness to the quilt and is made from cotton, polyester or wool. The backside of the quilt is usually made from a single textile piece or it can be assembled from many decorative blocks, such as the front.
Hand quilting requires scissors, needles, thimble and dark colored thread that can help you see the stitches better. Wherever you work, you will need plenty of light to get the stitches right.
The quality of needles will affect your work. Normally beginners should start with a 9 or 10 between, but trial and error will be needed to arrive at the correct number for you.
Best threads that are color fast should be used. For seams use a strong polyester thread. It is not true that polyester thread tear the fabric. Fabrics tear at the stress points in the seams and corners. Remember there are threads meant for each purpose, such as, design enhancement, adding more texture or different decorations.
Hand quilting, once learnt, is easy, enjoyable and will bring to the fore your latent creative instincts. Furthermore, engaging in hand quilting is the most appropriate way to pay a well deserved homage to the women of bygone ages who nurtured, improved and kept alive the craft.