28 August 2015

The Problem With Hand Quilting...

is that it is very slow! At least it is around here! I started hand quilting my Welsh Quilt in November 2012. I don't really mind how long it takes; I am a 'process' quilter no one is going cold waiting for one of my quilts (just as well!) the problem is that I had carefully marked all the quilting designs before starting and now most of them have rubbed off!
I finished the centre section last night and now I am about to remark the next border.  What marking pens/pencils do you use? Any tips for marking so that the lines stay for another 3 years?(!) or do you mark as you go? Maybe I should just hurry up and finish it before the lines disappear again :)

You can see the quilting even better from the back

I had an email from a quilter in Australia asking how I made my pattern, the original quilt in the V & A is a large bed quilt, this one is lap sized. I drew out the pattern on graph paper from the photo on the website:
I made templates for some of the triangles as they were very odd sizes! Here are my rough notes in case anyone else wants to have a go:

I cut a square and turned it into an octagon for the centre - finished 13” approx
narrow cream border finished 1 1/4” then turned it on point
once it was on point the whole thing including the blue floral setting triangles measures 22"
The next cream border is 3"
triangle border = 5” - rectangles not squares length approx 5 3/4” plus fiddling!
2nd triangle border = 3” - rectangles not squares length approx 6” plus fiddling!
last triangles border on top border only = 5”
final cream border  = 7”

whole thing measures approx 59” x 66

I have been enjoying working in the garden this summer instead of quilting, it has been nice to be able to pick a jug of flowers each week.


  1. Elaine your hand quilting is fabulous! I checked out the link to the V&A and I don't know how you managed to 'see' the quilt design let alone draft it. Enjoy working on it.... however long it takes :o)

  2. I think it will be best to mark as you go, because anything I can think of that might be permanent to last is also likely to stay and spoil your work.

  3. Absolutely lovely. I have a top I'd like to quilt extensively like you have. It just has to be a labor of love because there's no way to get the detail without the time. More power to you - wonderful work!

  4. Oh it's beautiful. I adore hand quilting. Would be interested to know about pencils and markers etc too.

  5. Your quilt looks beautiful Elaine, I love the look of Welsh quilts and your quilting is so intricate.

  6. I came to visit from Finish it up Friday. Your quilt is beautiful and I love the hand quilting, I have quilted a few small projects by hand but I need more practice. I also love your cottage and have enjoyed my visit here.

  7. Fabulous quilt and like you I am also a process worker who often takes several years to get to the final stage. If I am hand quilting I now mark as I go and my favourite tools are white and black ceramic pencils. The brand I use here in Australia is Sewline but Bohin also have the same pencils. Your quilting is wonderful. Take care

  8. What a lovely quilt, and your Han quilting is beautiful. You always have interesting creative beauties.

  9. Yes, hand quilting is a lot slower than machine quilting, but who says we have to churn out a quilt every month, 12 or more quilts a year? Your quilt and the hand quilting mesh together and you will have a real treasure when she is completed

  10. Dear elaine,
    your handquilting looks marvelous.

  11. Beautiful hand quilting! Enjoy 'the process' however long it takes, it will be a real treasure when it's all finished! !

  12. I have just come across your blog and have had a lovely look at your posts. Your hand quilting on this quilt is really lovely. I have great admiration for you hand quilters and I really , really love the look of a hand quilted piece. The texture cannot be replicated with machine quilting no matter how talented the quilter. I am so impressed by your organisational skills in your studio! Are you available for hire???? I only live in Australia, it would be so appreciated,lol!! I think those 9 litre bins on the shelves are brilliant! So do-able. Well, I'm off to have more of a look at your blog. Cheers from Australia, Rowena

  13. Your quilting is fabulous and well worth the time and effort. A beautiful quilt.

  14. Anonymous9/9/15 15:57

    Oh WOW. Hand quilting is slooooow. BUT soooooo... worth it. LOL. Your hand quilting is beautiful. Your finish project will be an heirloom! :)

  15. Beautiful quilting! :) I just finished a quilt that took most of a year to do but I was quite sporadic with it. I got bored because of the dark colors. Now I am in my glory with a smaller one that has lots of white space. I just started...I am marking feathers with a regular pencil: a papermate sharpwriter #2. I can mark lightly and see it as long as I am in natural light..outdoors on my porch or by a window when cold weather comes.