Sunday, February 16, 2014

Hand quilting tools

I've been hand quilting and the tools I use have been on my mind. It's a small project but it seems I like small projects best. They are relief from big projects that take so long. I like to do my work by hand and this takes a while...and I do use my sewing machines quite a bit too..but I favor creating my quilts by hand...but I digress.

My current project

Front stitches

Back stitches

Needles...After much trial and error, I've discovered the betweens I like best and least. Least..the betweens that bend after just a few stitches, or are have way too much drag or have an impossibly small eye.   Best.. no bend, thin enough to go through easily, little drag, and not impossible to thread.

For my current project, I've been using John James Gold n' Glide No. 11 Betweens. These betweens are thin enough to go through fabric layers easily but not so fragile that they bend easily. The eye of the needle is large enough to take a thread. (The same brand in No. 12 was not a good choice. This bent after just a few stitches.)
John James Gold 'n Glide no 11

Thread...Again after trial and error, I like cotton.  Although many cotton threads especially made for quilting are just fine,  I enjoy using Valdani 35 wt. quilting thread.  It's soft and pliable and makes a fine visible stitch.
Valdani 35 wt. variegated 

Marking..many fine markers, but I like Frixion best.  It remains throughout the process, it erases easily with heat or friction and once washed, it is gone permanently.
Frixion Pen

Batting...I love wool.  Currently I'm using Hobbs Heirloom Washable Wool Batting.  It's a pleasure to quilt and adds a bit of loft and dimension that I love.


  1. A note of caution about the Frixion pens. I did my own trials with them and had a very hard time getting the marks to wash out. I will not use them again on fabric.

    1. Thank you Linda for your comment. I've heard this before from others. I, however, have had no problems. I've used blue and purple. I usually iron it first and wash in warm, fragrance free soapy water on gentle cycle.


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