You may remember the quilt top I pieced together for the Iron Craft - Autumn Colours challenge last year. If not, here is the blog post about it.
I was intending to hand quilt it on my new quilt table at the time. And I actually did it!
And yeah... it took this long! (I had the quilt top finished for the November 4th Iron Craft last year).
But it's finished and it's beautiful.
That was some slow work considering that this quilt it only 4 feet by 4 feet.
Hand quilting this certainly did give me a chance to learn basics like popping the thread knot into the seam and working from the centre. Things that most quilters already know, but I did not. I used a book called the "Quilting Primer" to figure out all of these basics. Most quilting books must assume that you know how to do all that because it's never mentioned. I had no idea that you could pop the knot into the seam or how to end the thread without backstitching 3 times (which is how you're taught in Home Ec to end your hand sewing projects). Apparently, it's not the same for quilting. I wish some more books would start right at the beginning with those sorts of things. Anyhoo... The Quilting Primer helped out so much! I will definitely treasure that book.
Not bad. The stitches are relatively evenly spaced. I drew the design from the pattern book onto my quilt with chalk and then stitched along the lines. It turned out a little wonky, but I think it adds charm to this quilt.
Since it took me so long to stitch this top, some of the chalk might have rubbed off and I might have improvised some of the lines. The kids think that my quilting table is an actual table that they can play underneath and display stuffies on top of. Oy! I keep saying "not a table" but no one ever takes me seriously. Oh well. When the thing is set up in our main room, the temptation is too much for anyone to handle. I've even been caught putting things on top of it. Ooops.
I took a break from it to finish all of the Christmas things and quilting only happens in the evening after the kids go to sleep because I set it up in front of the couch in the way of everything (except the TV). The whole apparatus is so light that it can be moved easily. I guess if I had a heavier quilt on it, it might be more cumbersome to move. This one, however, was super easy to move out of the way.
Even the back looks pro. I'm very pleased with the whole thing and can't wait to get started on another one. I might give this one to the Parents Association at the school as an auction item at the BBQ in May. In the meantime I think it will accompany me to my spring craft shows and be used as a table covering. I think it will be the perfect background to display my new dolls. :)
What do you think? I don't know if hand quilting was really worth it since it was small enough to quilt on my machine without too much trouble. But it was worth it for the skills I've learned that I can apply to much bigger projects. The whole project was actually quite soothing. All that rhythmic stitching was calming to my nerves at the end of the day. I definitely need to get another one on the table soon.