Learning to Hand Quilt

We are getting into the final stretch of my traditional quilting techniques class. Last week everyone in the class helped pin baste my quilt & it was time for me to start hand quilting. I was not picking it up at all. I struggled in class without getting one stitch done. It was really stressing me out, seriously I dreamt about hand quilting. So, I set it aside for two days & then spend some time studying my quilting books & looking at how-tos on line.
Learning to Hand Quilt
Now, here I am almost done with my second square. What I learned is that my hands just don’t work like the teacher’s. I needed to play until I figured out how it worked for me without the teacher telling me I had to do it exactly like her. I even found that it is easier for me to quilt in a different direction than she demonstrated. Sure I don’t go as fast as she does…yet.
Hand Quilting - Back
I started thinking about teaching people a new craft skill. When I teach someone to knit I don’t start them out with the yarn wrapped around their fingers. That is something they work up to once they learn the basic movement. Yes, it keep the tension even & makes knitting faster but that added technique is often very confusing to a beginning knitter. I needed to let myself learn quilting the same way. Start with learning the basic moves & then move on to the fancier ways of holding my fingers. Now that I have the movements down I’m working on getting nice even stitches.
Hand Quilter's Finger
Look at that quilter’s callous I’m developing already. Everyday it’s hurting less & less to poke my finger over & over again with the needle. By the end of doing the nice squares on this quilt I should have a fingertip of steel!

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13 years ago by in Needlecraft , Quilting | You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
One Comment to Learning to Hand Quilt
    • Lori
    • Thats not funny about your finger. But it is understandable. I hate wearing a thimble. I want to feel everything and I guess that means feeling the pain of pin pricks.

      Your stitches are so nice, so perfectly done. I love how it looks Kat.

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