2 September 2015

Hand Quilting A Dresden Quilt

I seem to love working on huge projects that take years to finish, really, I'm an expert in the area ;-) I'm all about working on that long-term project, with an end date never in sight. Please don't say I'm the only one that does this. 
Saying that I do have a few finishes to share with you, but not today.


Today I wanted to give you an update on my Dresden quilt I made using my Sizzix machine, which you might remember me posting about a little while back. I used the Dresden Plate, Large sized die to piece the plates together, and the last few months I've been slowly, *slowly* - at snail pace begun hand quilting it. 

I'm completely new to hand quilting so it's been quite a learning curve for me. Yesterday I finished hand quilting all the plates, going around the inner and outer edges of the centre circles and plates, which was quite an accomplishment for me! (the photo above is from a few days previous to that so you might notice a couple not finished). I'm planning to quilt straight lines in a cross-hatch fashion, much like this little Dresden doll quilt

So there's a long way to go yet! I found going through the multiple layers in the centre circles quite tough. The thick layers in the centre didn't lend itself to the rocking motion of hand quilting, where you can take 3 or 4 stitches at a time - instead I had to do the in and out and pulling the threads constantly (which is ridiculously slow!). It was much easier quilting the outside of the Dresden plates so I might have a good run once I get going with the cross-hatching. 

I'm using Aurifil 50wt cotton thread in #2309 and the Tulip Hiroshima quilting needles in size #8. I've just realised as I'm typing I've yet to blog about the Tulip needles I stock in the shop. They're fantastic! Extremely sharp, and very robust. I'm using the No #8 size because I'm new to hand quilting so I needed a bigger needle. Remember, the larger the size number, the smaller the needle. So once I get comfortable with this size I can go up a size to #9 etc. The Aurifil thread is the same 50weight thread I use in my machine, it's very fine, which works nicely with this quilt for a subtle finish, especially as this will be my first hand-quilted quilt, I don't want my mistakes sticking out like a sore thumb ;-) 
I found a helpful video online if you're a hand-quilting newbie like me. I think the main thing to avoid is breaking threads constantly and learning that quilters knot to start and finish your work.

So now I have to mark out my quilt lines. I can't bare drawing quilt lines, it's such a tedious job, so I might try and use masking tape? I wonder if people use that for hand quilting? If you're an expert in this area, or perhaps just have some helpful tips please share in the comments below - I'd love to hear from you!

PS. Did you notice I changed my blog address to www.jessiefincham.com ! I'm still Messy Jesse ;-) but I just fancied a dot.com and it's helpful if people Google me, so they can find me easily. Hopefully! I have no idea if you need to update your Blog readers or anything like that? Fingers crossed you're reading this ok...

18 comments:

  1. You popped up just fine in my bloglovin feed :0)

    ReplyDelete
  2. HI, this quilt is so beautiful now>imagine when it's quilted! What a heirloom!
    Thanks for sharing! msstitcher1214@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Me again! Yes I've used Painters Tape, Masking Tape and even Artist's Tape (which is clear,maybe not as useful) Of all I have like the Masking Tape the best. I must try your Needles! Happy Day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent. I think I'll definitely use the masking tape, haha I thought I was being so clever thinking of tape, but I'm sure everyone uses it! :-)

      Delete
  4. Love your dresdens! I only handquilt small projects because I know I'll never finish a big quilt. AS it is I'm quite bad at machine quiting my quilts and don't have a finished quilt to often ... but hey, that's what WIP piles for;-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Have you tried the Hera marker? I think that would be an easier option for large areas and much quicker. The line created lasts for a long time.....

    ReplyDelete
  6. Looking good! I'm with Susan. I recommend trying the Hera marker. I love mine.

    ReplyDelete
  7. You are not alone in having projects that could take years to complete. I am doing a huge hand embroidered Peacock quilt top (it is a queen size top) and the Peacock fills up the majority of the piece. Slowly it is getting done, but I sure do love working on it. I have never hand quilted so I have no advice, it looks like you are doing a fabulous job though. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful creative day!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Jessie your blog update came in just fine in .... whatever it is I get in email :-P

    Your quilt is a beautiful sight. Just lovely, I love dresdens. This one is very special. Enjoy the process.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Your quilt is beautiful, Dresden Plates are one of my favourites. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Masking tape should work fine for the straight lines. I do not premarital my quilts when hand quilting but use a nice 1 x 121/2 in ruler to do the straight lines. Just beware that they all meet up at some point so mark carefully. I usually use a fine tip mechanical pencil with a hard lead to mark. These lines are so fine that they actually disappear once the line is quilted, if they don't disappear for you then they do have fabric erasers. On darker fabrics I love the general white pencil , or there is always a Hera marker these line simply crease the fabric a tiny bit so no erasing is needed. Enjoy your hand quilting journey. I have been hand quilting for quite some and find it quite relaxing.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love your quilt! I just finished hand quilting a dresden also: it's my favorite part of the process. Have fun with yours and thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  12. You might want to rethink using 50 wgt aurifil. I think it may be too fine to wear well. I love and use YLI hand quilting thread. It wears well, doesn't knot while quilting.

    ReplyDelete
  13. What a beautiful quilt! I'm also hand quilting a Dresden Plate for my daughter's 21st Birthday present. The quilting design is very much like the Dresden Plate doll quilt. I've used a Hera marker for the cross-hatch lines and it works really well with no permanent marks. Good luck and I look forward to seeing the finished article.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Gorgeous quilt, so fresh and pretty! I use masking tape for quilting straight lines and find it works well for me. Btw, your blog updated ok!
    Helen xox

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am all for projects that teak forever to complete, my long term wip is an EPP hexagon quilt which I will finish one year soon. I haven't tried hand quilting yet, so thank you for all your tips. x

    ReplyDelete
  16. Beautiful quilt! I am like that too - my projects usually take months to a year. But hand quilting is so beautiful! And hand quilting is so calming. I love using a Herra marker and ruler for making straight lines. So easy to use and it doesn't leave any markings that you have to remove later. Happy Quilting!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Those 30's style fabrics are so fine for a Dresden Plate quilt! There is nothing more beautiful than hand quilting and it goes quicker than one thinks! I find it relaxing to do. Good luck.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments.
I love reading each and every one. I try and respond to questions in the comments so other readers can see as well. Best wishes, Jessie