Sunday, 6 May 2012

Chunky Hand Quilting

I haven't done any sewing all week - what with moving the shop and then having a stall at 
The Auckland Quiltmakers' Show over the weekend there just hasn't been time for 
having a needle in my hand. It has been a good busy time, but I am looking forward 
to some serious sewing again.

So instead of a post I thought I would share a bit of a tutorial with you. 
This is the information I shared at the Demo at our  Auckland Modern Quilt Guild 
meeting a month or so ago.

I have become passionate about this big stitch quilting done by hand – I like the 
look of it and it is quick to do.

I use two or three strands of DMC Cotton Embroidery Thread.
 I quilt with a #8 Embroidery needle which allows the thread to go through the eye 
easily and I like the size of it (I hate small, short hand quilting needles at any time!
A hand quilting stitch is a running stitch, but the key is to keep it even – even sized 
stitches with the spaces between the stitches the same size as the stitches themselves.
In general even stitch size is more important than number of stitches per inch.

I try to get three to four stitches up on my needle at one time.
Start with a small knot that you can pull through the top fabric and into the 
batting – knots should never show on the front or the back.
Knot off by pulling the knot into the batting.

You can outline pieced or appliqué areas or create a design anywhere on your 
quilt – use  a removable marking pen to draw your design.
You can see the difference chunky hand quilting makes to a block.

You can use a contrasting strong coloured thread or one that blends into the 
background or as on this quilt both.


  1. Love big stitch quilting, it's getting the stitches even size though - I have that trouble with normal size quilting stitches. As usual the Auckland Quiltmakers show was well worth the visit. My husband came with me and my friends husband went worth her and they both said how nice the show was.

  2. What a lovely look that big stitch quilting gives - I am going to give it a go soon. Just have to untrain my brain and accept that big is absolutely fine!

    I am just working myself up to start on a slap and iron applique! Yikes! No needleturn? Have decided that some giveaway quilts have to be produced in an easier and quicker way.

  3. Thanks for your comments - it certainly is more of a mission Elizabeth to make sure your stitches are even, especially when you are doing them is such contrasting thread colours - but practise will get you there and don't be too critical - I am sure mine are not perfect.

    Go Alison - I have just done a fusible applique project - my NICU Quilt Challenge - and it was good and quick but I just don't love the stiffer feel with the fusible in it - but then for some projects it is just fine and I am sure I will use it again, now that I have done it once or twice. But I think my passion will stay with hand done, traditional applique.