Yesterday I finished the quilting and put the binding on my challenge quilt. Yay! What a lot of fun. It's not my favorite little quilt but I still think it's cute. I needed to stretch myself a bit by working outside of my reproduction "box." I am looking forward to getting another challenge started soon and then it'll be back to 19th century repro fabrics I think!
I really like how the quilting turned out and oh those dots!!!
I don't ever plan on winning any prizes in a show for my hand quilting--it is just fine for me and it's the best I can do without stressing out too much. I'm not afraid to admit that I try things I am not perfect at--if I waited until then I'd never make anything! A friend of mine said she thought all hand quilting was always done free hand (Lord no!) and so she was hesitant to try it because she was afraid she'd never get her lines straight. I take advantage of tools that make quilting easier and so even though there may be some purists who frown at this--I sometimes use a nifty thing called Tiger Tape, which really helps you learn to space your stitches evenly if you're just beginning. You line it up along the place you want to stitch and then follow the markings on the tape to keep your stitches in line. If it helps, why not use it?
Here's an important tip for those of you who may now become inspired to do some hand quilting for the first time. In the last post I recommended a washable fabric marking pen to mark your quilting lines. (I tried a chalk marker once but didn't like it very much--I get a finer line if I use a fine-point quilt marking pen.) I use a blue pen for lighter fabrics and a white one for marking my dark fabrics. Do not, DO NOT, press your quilt until you are sure that all of the markings have been washed out with COLD water. I have slightly ruined a quilt or two because I was in a hurry and didn't put my glasses on to look closely before I pressed. The pen markings will be set with HEAT and don't come out easily. Be careful and read this. But it shouldn't keep you from trying this great tool for making your quilting easier.
For quilting stencils to mark your lines, try a stencil from The Stencil Company. They're great.
I'll have to switch the quilts when I get a chance and put my new one on this hanger.