The right needle and thread are the first thing to know about hand quilting and essential to a beautiful finish to your quilting work. Coats Bold Hand Quilting Thread is easy to work with and ideal for making big stitches shine!
Let’s take a look at how these big stitches basics help your hand quilting.
As usual, you’ll create a quilt sandwich with your quilt top, batting and backing. Baste this together as you normally would, before you begin your project. I suggest starting with a practice piece if you’re new to hand quilting. If you’re an experienced hand quilter, you may want to refresh your hand quilting rhythm as in retraining your hands to make longer stitches!
In traditional hand quilting, most quilters load their needle with stitches, so they have 8 to 10 stitches per 1¾″ [4.5cm]. For Big Stitch Quilting, plan to make your stitches twice as long – from 4 to 5 stitches per 1¾″ [4.5cm]. Since you’re working with a larger needle and thicker thread, loading two to three stitches at a time will work best. I find it best to cut a medium length of thread – around 24” [60cm] or so. A longer length is cumbersome to work with and really doesn’t make the stitching go faster. If you’re a lover of thimbles, definitely use one.
Stitch length perfection should not make you crazy, but if you want your stitch length to be as consistent as possible, these are a few of my favorite tricks.
- Use a ruler to mark your quilting lines, but instead of a solid line, use evenly spaced dots. These will become your stitch “markers” that can be easily followed as you’re quilting.
- Your finger can be an excellent tool for consistent stitching. If you’re right handed, mark the side top of the index finger of your left hand with three or four evenly spaced pen marks. Lay your finger along the stitching line and take a stitch at each mark. If you’re a left handed stitcher, mark your right index finger. Just don’t prick your finger!
- On a small project, machine-baste your quilting lines with a ⅕″ [0.5cm] stitch length. You can follow these lines and use the stitches for consistent hand quilting length stitching over two machine stitches for each hand stitch.
Let’s go! Gather up some fabric, batting, backing and get your favorite colors in the Coats Bold Hand Quilting thread. We have 4 exciting free patterns to make starting in tomorrow’s post.
This is part 2 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 1: Needles and thread make all the difference in big stitch quilting
Go to part 3: Big Stitching: Strips ‘n Stitches and Log Cabin Pincushion