Hand Quilting

hand quilting my butterfly

I love hand quilting. I find it meditative and soothing. I’m not fond of planning or marking, I almost freeze at the thought of planning out a whole quilt. Hand quilting slows me down, I can let the stitches evolve and flow.

Now, I have marked out hand quilting in the past, but my favourites are definitely the wriggly stippling and free-form stitches which simply accent the piecing.

I had these blocks made by my bee-mates in the Simply Solids bee, an all-Canadian group. But then I struggled with how to put them together, until I decided to sash each block separately (they’re 10″, so about 14″ sashed) and use them as a take-along project. The block at the top of the page is my first one–I sketched out various patterns and decided to use a feather pattern on the wings and loose stippling in the border areas.

Well, I wasn’t such a huge fan of the result, so for the next ones I’m using an individual feather in each wing section. I probably won’t rip out the first one; this quilt is for me, and I still like the way the block is quilted.

Modern Butterfly - hand quilting

Of course, occasionally hand quilting can lead to minor injuries–usually the blood stains come out. My stitches aren’t all the same length–that’s okay. Each block has 3 little butterflies and some flight path loops and wiggles around the main butterfly.

hand quilting #2 butterfly detail

Have you ever hand quilted? If you haven’t, you should try it like this, as quilt as you go–it’s so much more satisfying to finish each block.


Linking up to the I Quilt linky party with Gemma at Pretty Bobbins.
I Quilt with Gemma @ Pretty Bobbins



  1. Very nice! You have more patience than I do for sure!

    1. I’ve mostly been doing this quilting at swimming lessons, and sitting in the backyard, and at the doctor’s office…times when I have to sit and wait anyway!

  2. This is such a cute piece!

    1. I’m loving the process and the effect. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Wow, this is such a cool post! I’ve only done a tiny amount of hand quilting and always straight line. I love both designs but the separate feathers in each section look really cool šŸ™‚ thanks so much for linking up!!

    1. I really feel a connection to how quilting was done 100-150 years ago with this, and it’s such a nice contrast to the modern flavour of the design.

  4. I do so admire your hand quilting, Lisa. Funny that you were not happy with the feathering on the first block… I love it! I did notice that little quilted butterfly in the bottom right of the first block too and thought that was quite clever. You are doing a beautiful job!

    1. It just wasn’t the effect I was looking for, but I do like it too. Thanks for such a nice comment!

  5. That is pretty! I only hand stitch little bit here and there but not really hand quilting. It looks lovely and I might try some one day.

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