Sunday, August 22, 2021

Hand quilting with Eleganza perle cotton and Big Stitch

Have you ever tried hand quilting? How about with 8 wt. or 5 wt. perle cotton?
This is Big Stitch quilting... and I've been working on a quilt with both Big Stitch and free-motion machine quilting.

Big Stitch quilting with 8 wt. and 5 wt. perle cotton threads.

Big Stitch quilting

"Big Stitch" is exactly what it sounds like—running or quilting stitches that a longer (bigger) than what we generally think of for hand quilting. Big Stitch is kin to its predecessor, "utility quilting," which is a faster means of finishing a quilt by using bigger hand quilting stitches as opposed to the traditionally prescribed 12, 15 or more stitches per inch of fine hand quilting. 

In today's quilting world, there are so many lovely, big, fat, decorative threads available, that using them with Big Stitch can add color, dimension and design elements in addition to the functionality of quilting. What fun!

Big Stitch and free-motion machine quilting combined.Fabrics and marking 

Threads and needles

The threads I'm using are mostly Eleganza 8 wt. and 5 wt., a perle cotton from WonderFil Threads. A chenille needle, crewel needle or other large-eyed needle with a sharp point works well for this style of quilting. 

Note: some needles used for needlework such as needlepoint have a blunt point that works well for canvases, but not as well for stitching through the tighter weave of our quilting cottons.

8 wt. Eleganza perle cotton thread from WonderFil Specialty Threads.

No-mark quilting

The fabrics in my quilt are Australian Aboriginal designs from M&S Textiles Australia. By echoing the motifs printed on the fabrics, I've not had to mark the quilting/stitching lines. And I hold the quilt sandwich on my lap to hand stitch. I'm not using a hoop.

Following the designs on the fabric for Big Stitch quilting.

The quilting on this quilt is almost complete. There is a combination of hand [Big Stitch] quilting and free-motion machine quilting. And once I audition the binding fabric, the plan is to big stitch the binding as well.

Hand and machine quilting.

Attaching a quilt binding using Big Stitch will be a new process for me. 

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