Hand Quilting Tips and Technique

The last few years, I have been trying to improve my hand quilting skills. Once a month, there is a group of ladies that meets together to hand quilt and they have been showing me some great tips and techniques that I would like to pass on to you.

Quilt square that is hand quilted

Needles.  Use short, thin, but strong needles.  Short needles are easier to do a rocking motion with when you quilt. (More on that to come.) Thin needles make smaller holes in the fabric. Strong needles won't bend as you quilt. 

Quilt with scissors and thread

Thimbles. Everyone seems to have their own opinion on what works. Here is a blog post about different options.

Personally, I don't use the thimbles. I have a hard time feeling what I am working with and manipulating the project. I use my finger nails! I alternate using my pointer finger nail or my thumb nail to push the needle, depending on the direction I am quilting. 

Hand quilting


Hand quilting

Rocking Motion. I have found a lot of people like to use a rocking motion when hand quilting. This helps you to have small, consistent stitches and helps you make multiple stitches quickly. See the video for a short demonstration. 

What you can't see in the video is that my other hand is under the quilt top helping to push up the fabric when needed.

Thread. Quilting thread is the best for these little stitches. Waxed thread helps it not tangle.  

Hand quilted square

Plastic Cup. This cute quilting group puts plastic cups on the quilt tops. They are there to collect thread bits and other garbage to help keep the quilt top clean.

Quilt top ready to be quilted

Lastly, practice practice, practice. It takes time to get your stitches consistently to your liking. Just keep practicing and it will come. 

Have fun quilting!

1 comment

  • Thank you so much for all the tips. I have struggled every time I try to had quilt.

    Genevieve Caswell

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