I call myself a quilter....but really I'm not. I'm a topper....I just do the piecing and appliqueing. The quilting part? Maybe I've done 5 or 6. The time frame Barb and I work with doesn't allow the time to hand or machine quilt a piece. Especially when we can find real quilters who can take a quilt and make it look better than we ever imagined. They are masters of the negative space!
But every now and then I think it's time to pull out the supplies again. Just to feel the rhythm of the needle and thread.
Thought you might like to see this small quilt I'm hand quilting. My trusty tools are in the bone dish. I love the chalk wheel. I purchased this one about 11 years ago. The pink chalk shows up on dark and light fabric. The chalk brushes away after the quilting is completed. Luckily this tool is refillable. Couldn't quilt without a thimble. I need a large sturdy one!
The thread is size 8 pearl cotton. I use a Chenille needle....it's sharp and has a large eye.
The hoop is important for me. You need a sturdy hoop that expands and tightens. Get the more expensive hoop....you will thank yourself later.
My favorite quilting template is one I made about 20 years ago. It's a traditional Baptist fan pattern. The circular lines are 1" apart on a 12" square piece of plastic template and portions of the lines are cut away with an exacto knife.
I have done fine hand quilting....but only on a couple of quilts. This "country quilt" method seems to work best for me. It's quick and does the job. You can tell by my stitches that I'm not going to win any blue ribbon. I get a bit better as I stitch....the rhythm comes back and my stitches become more regular....but I'm not concentrating on a pretty stitch. I'm concentrating on speed.
Wishing you many small stitches in all of your quilts!