If you've followed my blog for a while, you know I hate hand stitching. My binding is always machine stitched. My quilting is longarmed or domesticated. And I will never, ever handquilt a darn thing for as long as I live. Ever. Not even... um...... ok, boy was that crow surprisingly tasty! Folks, I TRIED IT. And I LIKED it! (A whole lot more than when my mom tried that trick with broccoli, too!)
This mini quilt was a swap gift I made for Yvonne of Quilting JetGirl. The pattern is called Starbelt, and it was designed by one of her Quilt Theory cofounders, Michelle Bartholomew. I know Yvonne loves blues, and I had these two colors on hand in shot cotton, which paired beautifully (and are a little more blue in person than they appear here - they were hard to photograph and capture the color correctly).
Once I finished piecing, I jumped right in with my trusty domestic machine to get it quilted. But after a few passes, it was obvious it needed something more. Something... BY HAND *gasp*. Fortunately, I had a little 12 wt. thread (I don't know when or where from?) and decided to give it a go. A few afternoons stitching on the porch later, and I had a first time ever handquilted project ever that I was proud of! I doubt I'll ever be sharing a full size quilt that I've hand stitched for weeks, BUT on this smaller scale, it was a really relaxing, rhythmic process, and I quite like the effect of mixing machine and hand quilting. I can definitely see myself using hand work to embellish projects in the future.
What about you? Do you prefer one quilting process to the other? Like them mixed? Have a favorite thread or needle to recommend?
(I really want to try Aurifil 12 wt, but I'm imagining a rainbow array of rich brights that they don't sell in a collection yet. I have a thread card coming soon, though, and then I can start putting my own set together ; )
Mini Quilt stats: Finished size 20" x 20"
Pattern: Starbelt by Michelle Bartholomew
Fabric: (block) Kaffe Fassett's Shot Cotton in Aegean & Jade, Kona Cotton in Snow, (binding) Kaffe fassett's Shot Cotton in Magenta
Batting: Warm & Natural Cotton
Thread: Piecing, Aurifil 2021 (50 wt); Machine Quilting, Aurifil 4140 & 1148 (50 wt); Handquilting Sulky 1024, 1046 & 1307 (12 wt)