In the beginning of May I set myself a goal for this month - to try hand quilting for the first time and cope with at least 1/8 of this quilt. Although I still have a lot of doubts about what I am doing, I think the goal is achieved more than enough - in fact, I quilted about half of it:
My fingers hurt, but I'm proud of myself - I thought it would take me ages!
As I only wanted to try hand quilting and wasn't sure I would ever want to repeat the experience, I didn't want to buy a quilting hoop and used the technique I heard about before - when the needle slides along the table or another hard surface under the quilt. It results in longer stitches than classical hand-quilting. As far as I understand, something like this is called "big stitch quilting", but big stitches usually mean using thicker thread. I was only able to find a suitable variegated thread in machine quilting cottons, so my stitches are both long and thin:
|For comparison: the hexagon side is 1 1/4' (And the big blue stitches are basting - yes, I baste my quilts the old-fashioned way)))|
I also broke the rules by not following a pattern or the pieced shapes in my quilting design, in fact I used several freezer paper circles that I ironed to the quilt here and there and just stitched around. The effect of this is that instead of enhancing the patchwork shapes, the quilting kind of dissolves them, makes them softer:
I'm sorry the light in the photos is different (and neither of them quite true, I'm afraid), but I hope you can see what I mean. I'm still not sure whether this is good or bad, but the quilt is about bubbles and bubbles are supposed to move at random, so any organized quilting seemed at odds with the main idea.
I'm also not sure if I have done enough quilting - in places it' quite dense, but there are also empty areas about two inches long and almost as wide. I desperately need advice from experienced hand quilters, I'm going to take it to the IPS meeting, but would also welcome any comments with quilting advice!
Another question open for discussion is what kind of binding to choose for it. I don't have anything suitable in my stash, so will have to look for something.
So, whith mixed feelings of pride and doubt I'm linking this to the blogs that motivated me to set and achieve this goal:
BraveQuilter at Pink Doxies
One Monthly Goal at Red letter Quilts
New to me in 2016 at Celtic Thistle Stitches
Fabric, Thread and Yarn at France Nadeau