Preparing to Quilt – Part 1 Getting Started

By Hilary Jane

The preparation for hand stitched quilting takes time but is rewarding. I use the method ‘Quilt As You Go’ to quilt my designs. I work with small blocks then, when the quilting is complete, I join the blocks together. This method of hand quilting can be very cathartic.

Traditional English hand quilting designs make links to the County where the quilt is being made. I often look at the design I have created and the fabric used to get my inspiration to quilt.

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  • Finished block (which you have previously completed)
  • Wadding
  • Backing fabric
  • Tacking thread – use light coloured thread for light fabrics and dark threads for darker background fabric.
  • Needles (I use John James No.10 for quilting and John James No7 embroidery for tacking)
  • Quilting thread

Getting started – creating a quilt sandwich


Layer: backing fabric right side down, place wadding on top then the Block right side facing up.

Step 2

Pin each corner – don’t over pin layers as it can create wrinkles.

Step 3

Using a single strand of tacking thread, tack all layers together starting with a cross in the centre. Then create a grid.

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Step 4

Remove pins and your block is ready to start quilting. See Part 2 for tips on hand quilting.

Further information