I thought I might add one or two points, further to yesterday’s post and comments.
I don’t use a thimble for quilting, despite having quite a few different kinds. I have a leather thimble as well as various metal ones. I even have the silver-plated Roxanne thimble (a very kind gift a couple of years ago). I just can’t get on with them. I like to be able to feel where the needle is, and how the cloth is responding – and a thimble prevents that. I just learn to live with permanently sore and rough fingers.
I quilt ‘incorrectly’. I don’t use a hoop or frame, although I do usually work with the cloth supported on a table. Having said that, I did once quilt a whole bed quilt on my lap, and it turned out OK. Basically I do running stitch, not quilting stitch. A true quilting stitch needs to be done in a frame, and the needle should enter the fabric (from the top) vertically and emerge from underneath vertically. The stitch should be the same size on the top and on the back, and the space between the stitches should be the same as the length of the stitches. I find this impossible, particularly on the rare occasions when I use batting between the layers. My ‘quilting’ stitches are just running stitch, where the needle enters at a slight angle and emerges at a slight angle. The stitches on the back are nearly always shorter than the stitches on the front.
I’m not really interested in perfection, in getting so many stitches per inch, or in having perfectly even stitches on the front and back. I’m more interested in the expression created by stitch, and particularly the expression given by hand stitching.
My quilting, I suspect, will never win any prizes, nor will it impress any judges. But, mostly, it’s good enough for me, and it does what I intend it to do. Now I’m going to find some hand cream. Have a wonderful weekend; see you next week.