Hand quilting is alive and well all around the world! Join with fellow hand quilters to share techniques, tips,
and the BEAUTIFUL quilts being made by others who share your passion for quilting... by HAND!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hand quilting makes the quilt!

This is my very first post in the Celebrate Hand Quilting blog, and I’m very proud to be a part of it (thanks Caron for your invitation!).
I’ve been hand quilting since 1997, when I attended my basic level patchwork class here in Italy. At that time in my country, patchwork was not yet well known, so today I can say that we felt like pioneers. During all these years, I’ve been trying different  techniques, looking for evenness, small stitches. The turning point came for me about four years ago, when I went to Germany to attend the basic class from Esther Miller, an American born teacher, raised Amish. I spent some days in her quilting center, and I returned one year later to attend the advanced class.
Since then, I enjoy so much my hand quilting time! I believe it’s so important to find, among all different techniques or approaches, the proper one for each of us.
These are my favorite hand quilting tools:

My favorite threads are YLI (the white one) and Aurifil (the blue one) cotton makò 28:

Unfortunately, in Italy is difficult to find a professional hand quilting frame, and it can only be imported from abroad. So I built my own, following some directions from my teacher and using materials commonly available at hardware stores. Last but not least, it was really cheap. Next time I post a picture of it, I've just realized I have none very good!

My “quilting bible” is That perfect stitch, by Roxanne McElroy. Although the author describes a technique that is different from mine, I learned a lot from this book for many suggestions and ideas which offers to those who want to learn more.
I’ve been teachin’ traditional hand quilting in Italy for two years, and believe me when I say that I always, always learn something new from my students.
I meet special people, some of them become dear friends to me. I’m happy, and grateful, to be a teacher.
I'm happy to be here.


  1. Sara, we're so happy to have you here! Your quilt pictured above is GORGEOUS! Beautiful stitches, and I love the colors you chose. In your top photo, what is the blue gadget? It looks interesting. Thanks for being a part of our group.

  2. Thank you so much for your kind words, Caron! The blue gadget in my picture is a pocket needle threader from Kinkame (Japan brand for quilting tools). I have the Clover desk needle threader, too, and it's really useful! But this is so... cute... and I couldn't resist!

  3. Hi Sara. Your quilts looks gorgeous. And I like your story about how you started quilting.

  4. Wonderful hand quilting Sara. I agree hand quilting does make the quilt!

  5. What a pleasure to see you here and here your story. Your stitches are very beautiful, I'd love to know what batting you've used in the quilt shown.
    I can't wait to hear more about your quilting frame.

  6. Sara, your quilting is marvellous! I met Esther Miller many times on fairs and exhibitions here in Germany and I really admire her work. Your quilt on the pictures is beautiful, I espcially love the colours and the quilting pattern you've chosen is just perfect. Great work!

  7. In add I can say she is a great teacher, really!

  8. Beautiful quilting! Your stitches are so even It sure does make the quilt!! I aspire to such skill
    Thanks for sharing it!

  9. Hi! Greetings from Finland! Your quilts are so fantastic! It's so nice to find other quilters all around the world!
    Yours, Ulla

  10. Dear friends, thanks to you all for your kind words.
    Janet, in the quilt shown I've used a medium-loft Polyester batting called Vilene, a brand from Freudenberg group. It's very soft and light weight. Please note that here in Italy there aren't many types of wadding available as yours, only recently we began to find in our shops other brands as, i.e., Tuscany Collection or Warm & Natural.
    Have a nice quilting day!

  11. Your quilting is wonderful.

    I'm glad you're part of the writers.

    Merry Christmas

  12. I'm trying to make my own quilting frame, so I'm really looking forward to see what you have come up with. We have the same problem here in Spain to find good quilting supplies, and getting them from other countries is really expensive, so we have to use our imagination. After some years of struggling with the mainstream in my patchwork group, I've made up my mind: no more machine quilting for me!! Thank you for your blog.

  13. Sara,

    I love your blog and have been sharing it with many of my facebook fans and friends. I am the guy who makes the Barnett's Laptop Hoops and feel your pain for the international shipping costs. I would love to see your lap frame that you created. I can not quilt, so I look to creative quilters for inspiration. Keep up the good work here!

    Harry Barnett


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