December 29, 2012

Hand Quilting with Stab Stitch

In 2010, a group of ladies from my quilt guild was hand quilting a project to be donated to, and auctioned by, the Intermountain Research and Medical Foundation (previously known as Deseret Foundation). One day, they asked me if I wanted to join them. Although I did not know the first thing about hand quilting, they told me I could learn. And so I did, from the pros!

Since then we have quilted many projects together (including a beautiful queen-size quilt for my son and his wife Daniela - read post with picture here). To be sure, I am still learning and striving to make consistent stitches. That is one of the reasons I was attracted to the book The Art of Stabbing - Hand Quilting the Stab Stitch Method, by Cheryl Doody, which sent me for review.

Sometimes, when you are hand quilting over seam lines, the only way to do it is by stabbing the needle down and bringing it up, one stitch at a time until you pass that thick spot. Then, you can continue loading the needle the usual way. Cheryl Doody, however, uses this stab stitch to quilt an entire quilt!

She describes her stab stitch method of hand quilting in conversational style and with many pictures. Using a hoop and keeping your dominant hand under it the whole time, you can achieve beautiful, consistent stitches, and the pictures of her work are a testimony to it. Her method is very intriguing... As I was reading her book, though, one question kept creeping up - how can you stabilize a quilt in order to quilt its borders and corners using a hoop? Her creative way to do it blew me away!

The book includes two bonuses: a section on 'Unpiped Piping (also called Beading)', and 'Joining the Ends of Binding'.

If you are as curious as I am about learning new techniques to improve my workmanship, you must check it out!

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