Brown and cream quilt with Welsh hand quilting motifs


“Quilting” is the stitches through all three layers of a quilt – the top (which may be pieced or wholecloth), the wadding and the backing fabric.

Northern Lights – the simple diagonal grid is quilted by hand

Although this may be simply straight functional lines, choosing more interesting designs adds beauty to the final quilt, as well as being much more exciting to make.

Quilting by hand is the traditional method, and can create designs which are not possible on the machine.

This short video shows the “rocking stitch” used when hand quilting in a hoop:

As with any technique, it gets easier with practice. This is the first project that I quilted by hand:

Red brown and white patchwork quilt
All Points North – my first hand quilted project

The quality of the stitching on this lap quilt improved noticeably as I persevered; the stitches at the centre (where I started) are twice the size of those nearer the edge!

Large hand-quilted stitches
My first attempt at hand quilting…..

My stitches had improved quite a lot by the time I reached the edge:

Quilted cable corner
Quilted motif at the border corner

Gradually, my stitches have become smaller and more even.

Swirling paisley border on black red and yellow quilt
Border corner of Amish Squares

I like to use my antique quilts as inspiration for my quilting designs. The feather spray motif at the centre of each side of this little quilt was taken from part of the corner of the Yellow Lovers’ Knot wholecloth; and the quilt uses other motifs found in North Country quilts, such as the feather wreath, the scissors and the goosewing.

White quilt with green and yellow patchwork and hand quilting
Durham Spring uses traditional motifs from the North East of England

“The Burglar” below was inspired by one of my antique quilts “Rob Peter to Pay Paul”. If you compare them, you should be able to see how the quilting design was inspired by that of the older quilt, as well as the curved seam patchwork.

Red and white quilt with striped fabric
The Burglar

The little quilt below is the first wholecloth quilt I have made. The design is based on traditional Welsh designs – the centre motif is taken from my Pink & Gold Welsh wholecloth, and the fan edge and church window border are taken from the Welsh cotton wholecloth by Q.L. Jones.

I intend to produce a pattern for sale when this is completed – if you would like to know when it become available, why not sign up for my Newsletter?

Wholecloth quilt based on Welsh designs in progress

If you have never tried hand quilting, do give it a go – it may not be quick, but it is soothing and rhythmical to stitch, and creates a beautiful texture.