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!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Learning to Hand Quilt: Where to Start

Currently at the Celebrate Hand Quilting facebook page we are seeing a surge of new hand quilters.. are you new to hand quilting and anxious and ready to learn???

Then this article is for you... how to get started on your journey to successful stitches!

The easiest way to learn is to find a "quilting mentor"... someone younger or older that knows how to do it that you can meet with and pay or barter to teach you the basics... this is what I did :)  My quilting mentor and I are now best friends and trade secrets on a regular basis.  However, I sought her out initially for her skill and ability to teach... I chose her :)  You should think about someone who teaches in a style you can learn from easily, as quilting is fun but also complex... like an onion... your first quilt will be fun and simple and easy probably... but as you learn more about the different aspects of quilting... it is an in-depth art form, for sure :)

So if you don't have someone in your life/vicinity/LQS (local quilt shop) that can teach you to quilt personally, what do you do???  GOOGLE and FACEBOOK :)  With today's technology, we gather from all over the world to share what we know... people post tons of helpful things online!

Have you found the Celebrate Hand Quilting Facebook page yet?? I hope you came from there, but if you didn't, ask for admittance here... Caron Mosey is the site administrator and does a fabulous job.  It is a busy board with lots and lots of eye candy, along with handy tips and tricks for hand quilting... it is limited to hand quilting pics only of work you have done or seen yourself at a quilt show for example.  Totally awesome :)

look who comes up!
Google or other search engine is your friend... I prefer Google for my surfing questions... but use what you like :)  But search out questions.. people really do post a lot of information, and tag your blog posts if you write them so people can find your info... VERY IMPORTANT!

Youtube has a plethora of videos of all learning styles... this is how I prefer to learn about new ideas or questions I have that aren't answered to my satisfaction on Facebook.  When I want to learn more I go there... BUT... huge BUT... watch SEVERAL videos by different people on a subject before you run off and try it. I have learned with quilting there are many ways to do things... for the same result. Some work better than others depending on your sewing style, so watching a few before you start into motion is my advice with Youtube. Anyone can put a video up; Make sure it is right before you fail because you didn't know the whole story or another way. is another helpful online  site.  You must pay for most of their courses, but they are fun and interactive. You can ask questions online via computer and watch the videos at your own pace. They currently offer a few FREE courses, and one I know includes basics on hand quilting your finished top, called... Piece, Patch, Quilt. This is an excellent FREE video class to see if you like it.
Craftsy runs sales every so often.  When you "purchase" a free video class, you must go through setting up an account, but it is all free and they won't ask for financial information, just so you know.  There is an EXCELLENT hand quilting class by Andi Perejda that is WELL WORTH the price for all you learn.
I watch it once a year or so, as I quilt and learn something new ever time!

Okay... lots of info; now what?  Run with it! decide where you are in the project, and move forward.  Start with the free Craftsy class and join the Celebrate Hand Quilting site to see if it is for you.  No investment of money made for a hobby that just isn't for you.

I hope this article has provided useful to those new to hand quilting, or maybe who didn't know of all the avenues to learning new techniques that are out there. I am not affiliated with any way with Craftsy, Youtube, or Google...  just sharing what has worked for me since I decided quilting might be fun to do!

Have a wonderful week!

And if you have more questions feel free to leave them here.. I check it frequently and will answer you here ;)  You are also welcome to email me here or my email is in the box below as well!

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Marking a complex shape for hand quilting

Kathi here from Design Originals by KC.. my blog will be linked at the end of this post if you choose to visit me :)

Today I wanted to share what I have learned recently marking a complex shape for hand quilting...

You see I had this feather but wanted both ends pointed instead of one blunt feather tip and one sharp point.  So I turned the template at the end of the marking process to change the intended shape to my own custom shape!

I used graphite in my Fons & Porter pen pictured on the right and marked all 49 feathers on this quilt top sashings...
about the size of a queen throw :)
That took a day to mark but are continuous line feathers so they went pretty fast to stitch into place :)  Not too difficult right???

But the blocks are dark and multicolored on this top... how to mark them... I tried all colors of lead and colored pencils even!!!  But this design...
was rediculously intense to mark... again continuous line stencil so not hard to stitch... but how to get it on the blocks in a way that I can remove the marks easily when finished to have a safe and clean quilt for my honey when finished... hmmm... along came a few vids I watched on Youtube... I am not linking them because their reality isn't my reality! lol

Here is the deal... I had the stencil and gathered supplies...
Pounce pads come in white powder, blue, and pink... other colors may be available in other parts... but locally that is all I could find... and by local I bought my pounce pad via Walmart shipped site to store as I couldn't find one locally! lol

I added regular school chalk and baby powder with zinc (medicated ~ check the ingredients) to my marking supplies before I started playing with the design... Above you will see I marked the whole block... well not so much... it wears off and bounces off as you stitch... adding some baby powder helps.. but my big trick is...

SCRUB the pounce pad into the stencil... when you first get your pounce it will be empty.  Fill it with some of the powder (chalk and cornstarch mixture) and "charge it".  You charge simply by banging the pad in the box face down on your hand or a table to settle the powder into the pad.  Then you SWIPE it across is what the videos showed.. and it's suggested use... however... the lines above only came by SCRUBBING the powder into the slots of the stencil.  Then I got the nice marks you see above..

I took a close up of the stitching with reduced visibility of the lines to show you...
fading lines as I stitch...
Completed block :)
The stitches are faint right now but this fun pattern WILL show up once washed... and all the blocks will be getting this same design... here is another style block I am working on now... it is my 3rd block to use this pounce pad on...
I have learned to only mark 1/4 of the swirl at a time... so this plume is where I start... then I mark the bottom right.. then the top right.. and finally the top left to call it done!  Yippee :)  Just 27 left to do!

In closing I would like to say I am glad I learned how to scrub with a pounce pad and use it for my purposes... if you have a pounce pad or are thinking of getting one they aren't too expensive and you can always buy the powder in colors via refill form if you find you like it.

I quilt without a hoop.  I think a hoop would make this process harder as I have a hoop and tried it... but your hands rub more on the chalk design you have yet to quilt than how I can position the quilt without a hoop.  This may work VERY well on a frame system however as it doesn't move at all really!

Let me know what you think!  Have you used a pounce pad before... are you likely to try after this review???

Wanna visit my blog for more info?  Check out this blog post and peruse from there...

Wanna contact me privately?? Email me here or this info is in my signature below!

Any comments left here... and we LOVE comments!!!  will be answered here so check back for my reply :)

Have a blessed Thursday!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Just a little to Share

By:  Karen Goad
I don’t know how many of you get the online newsletter from the Fat Quarter Shop called the “Jolly Jabber” but there was an interview in it today from Jinny Beyer – to me the original queen of hand quilting and hand piecing.  My inspiration from when I first began quilting.
The bit from the interview that stood out to me was this question and answer.
“Q: Tell me about your sewing machine. What kinds do you have and how many?
A: I have a very old Bernina that I use once a year for mending. All of my quilts are pieced and quilted by hand. That way, I'm able to get my sewing done in short snippets of time and while traveling. “
Just goes to show that you do not need a sewing machine to make a quilt – I just thought that was fun to see.

Quilt as desired

How do you decide to quilt a quilt?  I bet it is one of the most asked questions when it comes to learning to quilt.  Maybe it is because it is a hard subject to explain, and that is why quilting magazines and pattern use those infamous words, "Quilt as desired".  Well, like most things in life, when I have a question, I turn to the experts.  In this case I turned to antique quilts.  I study them every time I see them.  I also turned to some great books, some are no longer in print, but I find them more valuable than any other quilting books I have. 

With the internet you can find free quilt patterns and quilt a longs, so many that we often get so distracted that we end up starting so many projects that we don't have time to finish them, ask me how I know.  One day I seriously sat down and thought about what drew me to the quilts I love. It was the balance of the fabric and quilting design. So these days I plan my quilts from start to finish before I even start them. I look at the pattern and decide is that something that I will enjoy embellishing with a quilting design?  If I say yes, then I am happy to see those words "Quilt as desired" because I have  thought the process thru and can continue my journey. Like every trip there may be a few pot holes or curves, but these days I always reach my destination.  So I challenge you to look at a quilt as a journey, they take a lot of time to make, think about the whole process and give some thought to the quilting design before you even start and I think you will really enjoy the trip.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Hand Quilting vs. Machine Quilting


The choice of quilting by hand or quilting by machine is an individual decision.  Neither choice is right or wrong.  It is simply a preference that a person makes based on what makes them happy.  To turn up your nose and snub someone for quilting in a manner that is different than what you prefer is just inappropriate.  To tell them they are “doing it wrong” is just plain rude. 

Many hand quilters will also machine quilt.  They may prefer hand quilting, but sometimes when making a utility quilt, a baby quilt, or a king size quilt it  just doesn’t seem right to put that amount of time into the hand quilting.  And that is okay.

Many machine quilters have hand quilted before.  Perhaps they have reasons for not hand quilting more than they do.  It could be a matter of having a lack of time.  It might be that they are not comfortable hand quilting, or that they just don’t want the project to take that long.  And that is okay.

Why do I bring this up?  We recently had a discussion on our Facebook group.  Someone commented that they “recently had a machine quilter snub her nose at her for being a hand quilter. It made her wonder if machine quilters had something *against* hand quilters?” 

Someone else said that she had been in two different quilt shops that  shunned hand quilting.  “At the second quilt shop when the woman found out I was a hand quilter, she paused (after being very chatty), her voice got real low and she said, “Oh. You're a hand quilter. If I were you I'd take my tops to someone with a long arm and have them do it.”

I myself have been in quilt shops and been told that “No one hand quilts anymore!” 

Let’s set the record straight right here and right now.  It is perfectly okay to machine quilt.  It is perfectly okay to hand quilt.  Period.  And if you think nobody hand quilts anymore, take a look at these statistics, below, and think again.

The Celebrate Hand Quilting Facebook Group: 

Look at the number of members in the group.  This group grows by about one hundred members every month to six weeks now.  And it is a VERY active group!


This is our group map.  Every pin represents a hand quilter who has pinned where he or she lives on our map.


Here is a close-up of the hand quilters represented in the United States alone.


Keep in mind that these are only the hand quilters who have a) access to technology,  b) like technology, c) found us on Facebook d) clicked to join our group.

We also have this blog that you are reading.  The Celebrate Hand Quilting blog was started on November 16, 2011.  Since that time,  look at our statistics:


In 2011, there were 42 articles written, 184 in 2012, and 60 in 2013.  Articles are written by hand quilters who also enjoy writing.  Many have their own blogs, as well as this one.  Some only blog on this site. 

It is a shame to discourage any quilter from quilting using the method that make HIM or HER happy.  Period. What ever their favorite method is, it is just that – a method.  They are still quilting.  They will still need fabric, thread, batting, needles, etc.  Some will need thimbles.  Some will not.  Some will need specialty products for their preferred method, some will need different products for another method.   



I am a hand quilter.  I have a quilt on a frame downstairs that holds a mid-arm Pfaff Hobby Grand Quilter.   I have a Pinterest folder for beautiful machine quilting, as I have seen some that makes me drool.  My frame will soon be advertised for sale.  It’s just not me.  And that is perfectly fine.  I am much better at hand quilting than I am at machine quilting. The quit shown below was just completed yesterday. You can learn about  “Fleur de Caron II” on my blog, Michigan Quilts!



I don’t ask that everyone hand quilt.  It works for me.  I enjoy it, and I am good at it.

Quilt in the way that makes YOU happy. 

It really doesn’t matter, just as long as you quilt!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Red and Green Traditional Applique

By:  Karen Goad, Quilts etc
Red and Green are popular color choices to make traditional applique quilts.  I started to notice them about 5 years ago and purchased a couple books to help me along with selecting blocks.  The books I chose to use are these two – by chance another on our group here was always making a version of this quilt at the same and posted her quilt a couple weeks ago.  We didn’t plan these quilts together, nor discuss them – it was just a coincidence.
I started my blocks in 2010 and steadily plugged away at needle turn for several years.  The blocks got put aside numerous times.  At one point I thought I was finished and put the quilt top away waiting for my quilting frame to be empty to waiting it’s turn to be quilted.  Then I decided to add a border to the quilt and after looking at several books I ended up designing my own simple border to finish it.  In June of 2013 I put the quilt on the frame finally and started to hand quilt.  The quilt top took me about 250 hours to needle turn and 200 hours to quilt.  I use Quilter’s Dream request loft cotton batting and King Tut variegated thread in shades of red and green to quilt.  The fabric in the quilt are scraps that I had leftover from other quilts and the background is a Moda Marble beige.  When using cotton batting always remember that if you wash and dry your quilt you will have shrinkage – a lot of us like that shrinkage as it gives the quilt a wrinkled, crinkled antique look – but it also makes you quilt a little smaller in the end.  My top started at 100 inches square and is now 93” square – some of that shrinkage is from so much quilting in it but most of it is from washing and drying it.
Here is the finished quilt.
One of my favorite blocks is this one
Or is this one the favorite – I am hard pressed to find a favorite – I like all of them!  I did do some accent work with embroidery on some of the blocks.
These photos were taken almost right away after taking it out of the dryer so what looks like an uneven sashing is not – it just wasn’t laying quite flat.
When quilting some of the blocks due to the large motif I would add quilting on the flower – like this one – the center flower is so large – by quilting on the applique shape and around it you can create the illusion of trapunto without actually adding any stuffing.  Most of the time when I do applique I do not always cut away the fabric from the back – by having several layers it helps add to that illusion.
The center block is also a favorite.  All those circles though can be tedious and time consuming but in the end they really make the block don’t they.
My quilts are always meant to be used!  I love using my hand quilted quilt – I do not just fold them away and store them for future generations to look at.  One day this quilt will be passed on to one of my daughters or grandchildren and I hope they will enjoy it as much as I do.  It was 3 years in the making and many years of enjoyment to come in using it.
Here it is spread out on the bed over another quilt to see how it would fit the bed – a queen with a deep mattress – it fits fine!
Try your hand at a traditional red and green sometime – you will love it.

Quilting in the Dakotas

The Celebrate Hand Quilting Facebook group has a map located at that has many (but not all) of our hand quilters listed on it.  Sadly enough, no quilters from North and South Dakota in the United States are listed.   Where are you?!? We know you are out there!  It gets extremely cold in the Dakotas this time of year (January-March).  Surely they need warm quilts, hand-stitched with lots of love?

In doing an Internet search of North Dakota, I found the Quilters Guild of North Dakota, which they claim is “North Dakota’s oldest and largest quilters’ group.”

Then, there is the Sioux Falls Quilters' Guild located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. 

If you are a hand quilter from either of these states, we would love to include you in our Facebook and help get YOU on the map!    No, you won’t receive a prize.  No, there is no cost to join.  What you DO get from being a participant in the Celebrate Hand Quilting group is lots of support and friendship from over 2000 hand quilters who, just like you, love to stitch by hand.  We don’t care if you are new at hand quilting, or have been around the world twice with a needle and thread.  We don’t care if you are male or female, whether you machine piece or hand piece.  But if you quilt by hand, please – be our friend!!!


Click on photo to enlarge

To find information on quilting in the Dakotas, click here!



Looking for hand quilters in North Dakota

Looking for hand quilters in South Dakota

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Inspiration is everywhere

by Andrea Stracke

The New Year has just begun and it’s time to publish my first post here – thank you, Caron, for allowing me to participate. 
I’m a completely addicted and self-taught hand quilter and I do whole cloth quilts for almost 20 years now. For me whole cloth quilts hold many things I really love: colour, structure, sophisticated details and endless variety.

Although I still love and use traditional patterns and designs from Wales and the North of England for my quilts I am always looking for new inspiration - and I can find ideas at so many places.  

This little quilt was made in 2012. The design is derived from a diamond tiara made in 1925 and owned by the British Royal family. It was frequently worn by Princess Margaret, the sister of the current Queen Elizabeth II, and also lately by the Duchess of Cambridge.
To enhance the beautiful pattern I added some stippling here and there.

I love those delicate designs and it’s so much fun to quilt them!  You can find inspiration almost everywhere.  


Eye Candy from 2013!

Hello all... Kathi here from Design Originals by KC :)

We are a blog with many different authors who each "drop in" once a month or so when we have something hand quilting to share... in 2013 we gave you 60 posts :)

We covered so many projects as I peruse the archives that I thought it might be fun to see some eye candy of YOUR most fave things we shared :)

And take a minute too to go to our website and check out our updated header on this blog... if you are in a reader you are missing some great eye candy there!!!

~ Click the link below each pic to go to that post ~

January 2013 Brought us a new year with new goals... 

A beautiful finish by Marjorie

Loose stippling by Karen
Moderate stippling in a smaller project by Kat

Dense stippling by Tim
Hand Piecing by Karen

January had lots of eye candy ... all kinds of stippling.. a grand finish and a galant start on hand piecing if you are interested in hand sewing your quilts completely!

February 2013

Francoise showed off this red and white beauty!
February was a slow month on the blog with only 2 posts but boy were they both awesome :)
Audrey shared the ins and outs of using clothing to quilt with

March 2013 

March brought us a plethora of hand quilting goodness...
Karen showed off her quilting on this Bow Tie Medallion
Carla showed us her finish with beautiful hand stitches
Caron showed off several quilts here
Tulips for spring by Rose Marie
Easter wishes and Wildflowers from Karen

April we had the MOST posts for you!

...mainly because we featured a linky on this post...
Celebrating over 500 Facebook Followers
and Caron also posted hand quilting from quilters without a blog! 
by Mary Ash

Look at these beauties from all over the WORLD!!!
by Jill Mezcaros

by Gail Clarke

by Rita Larson

by Judy Leckie
by Cindy Lash
Check out each one by clicking their name :)

Then we had a couple in depth posts on how we do what we do with these posts...

The work that brought this quilt to life
how to sew straight lines easily
Inspiration for all quilters by Audrey

And a GRAND finish

More year in review coming next week... including our still to come 
  • most popular post of 2013!
  • most viewed post of 2013!

Stay tuned and please leave us feedback on what you loved in this review of 2013 and what you would like to see in 2014!  Leave feedback here if you will but if you would like to contact me...  I blog at HERE or you can email me HERE.  Also this information is also provided in my signature below if you prefer ;)

Best Wishes for a Peaceful Safe January!