Preparing to Quilt – Part 2 Hand Quilting

By Hilary Jane

I love hand quilting – it is just you, needle, thread and your quilt design. There are many different threads that you can use for quilting, traditionally the colour is Ecru, but today there are some many beautiful coloured threads available that add another layer and enhance your quilting.

Once you have chosen your thread you are now ready to start the process of quilting. If working with a fine thread I use a John James No.10 quilters needle, but if using a thicker thread I tend to go for John James No.7 embroidery.

Hilary Jane_patchwork_image3

Let’s begin:

  • 1½” wide strips of your main binding fabric (I used grey)
  • 1¾” wide strips of a contrast fabric. I used black for the contrast flange and these measurements give a ¼” flange.
  • Cut enough strips of each of these to go around your quilt plus extra for corners and joining.


Thread quilting needles with a single strand of quilting thread. Put a knot in the end of the thread. Start by putting the needle through the front of your work, draw up thread so the knot sits on fabric. Place your thumb behind knot and give thread a gentle tug and the knot will disappear into work. No knot!

Step 2

The stitches and the space between the stitches needs to be even (Fig 2 and 3). This comes with practise. When stitching, try to create a rocking motion as you stitch.


Before you start quilting your block it is helpful to create a small quilt sandwich of the fabrics you will be quilting in order to get a feel of stitching through all the layers – backing, wadding and top – see my Preparing to Quilt, Part 1)


Ideally when you are quilting you should be sitting at a table, be aware of your shoulders and back. Remember to stretch every so often especially your fingers – setting a timer is a good idea.

Enjoy the process of Quilting!

Further information