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Hand Quilting Basics

Hand quilting results in dashed lines of stitches and a quilt with a soft look. Methods of hand quilting vary as much as quilters do. Adapt the techniques that follow to suit your style. 


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Hand Quilting Tools

Before you begin any quilting project, collect  the tools and materials you'll need in one easy-to-access place. Here is a list of general supplies for hand quilting:

Frame or hoop: You’ll get smaller, more even stitches if you keep your quilt stretched as you stitch. A frame supports the quilt’s weight, ensures even tension, and frees both your hands for stitching. Once set up, however, it cannot be disassembled until quilting is complete. Hoops are more portable and less expensive. Quilting hoops are deeper than embroidery hoops to accommodate the thickness of quilt layers.

Needles: A “between” or quilting needle is short with a small eye. Common sizes are 8, 9, and 10; size 8 is best for beginners.

Thimble: This finger cover relieves the pressure required to push a needle through several layers of fabric and batting.

Thread: Quilting thread, including the preferred 100% cotton variety, is stronger than sewing thread.