Where To Start Hand Quilting

Anyone can do quilting today with the right guidance and methods to complete the process. Quilting is a method of holding the fabric that is stuffed with a lighter material. Though you can quilt on the sewing machine today by using the correct presser foot, hand quilting remains a favored option for a better finish and authentic outlook.

Back in time, quilters didn’t have the option for quilting with the machine, and they did their best work in making quilts look beautiful. That’s the reason hand quilting is still considered as the best method. When quilting with hand, there are plenty of challenges that you can witness, and given the luxuries of sewing machines and presser foot, people often give up at the beginning. But trust me, with the right tips and tricks, you can go a long way.

One of the common questions that everyone has in their mind when quilting is where to begin. You will have a good amount of fabric to quilt, and if you are a beginner, you will definitely get confused about where to start. In this article, you will get this query resolved and learn more about hand quilting that will take your quilting experience to the next level. So, let’s get started.

Where To Start Hand Quilting?

The center portion is always a great place to start hand quilting. When you quilt with the machine, you can adjust the fabric according to the sewing pattern, but when you are doing it by hand, you need to be more careful. Starting from the center will ensure there are no bubbling areas and you get a smooth quilt. If you start from the sides, there are chances that you can get wrinkles, bubbles and puckers. It is advised to pin- baste or thread the quilt before starting.

Step By Step Guide To Hand Quilting

Now that you have learnt that starting from the center is the best way to quilt, it’s time to learn the proper technique to quilting. Hand quilting is all about the feel; you can use different types of quilting methods to get the stitches right.

Here are the supplies you will need to hand quilt-:

  • Leather thimble
  • Cotton thread
  • Embroidery needles
  • Snips
  • Needle threader
  • Marker
  • Ruler

Arrange all the supplies and take up the fabric of your choice to start quilting. Here are the three easy steps that will get you there:

Step 1 – Knot It

Preparing the thread is the most crucial part of your quilting on which the entire process is dependent on. You need to cut the thread, and it should be barely 18”. Don’t make it too long or too short to save yourself from the inconvenience. It would help if you created a knot that will secure the thread on the fabric. The knot should be big enough to stay with the fabric and not short to pop out from the fabric. Take the needle from the back of the fabric and bring it forward from the same spot. Give it a thug so that it comes out from the backing fabric.

Step 2 – Pop It

Once you have prepared the thread and tied the knot to begin quilting, the next step is to decide where you need to start the stitching. Centre of the fabric is always the best place to start with. You would not want your fabric to bubble. Pierce the fabric from the center with your needle. It would help if you popped some stitches and a goal of six stitches per inch. When you get the hang of it, you can start getting 8-12 stitches per inch. When you are stitching quilts, you need to make a feeble knot that will keep the stitches from coming out.

Step 3 – Rock It

How do you think quilting can get any easier with numerous stitches spread across the fabric? It would help if you got the rhythm of stitching in line. The best method to hand quilt is to learn how to rock the needle up and down and in and out with your finger covered with a thimble. With a leather finger, you can remove the tension off of your finger and with constant practice, you can get it right. This way, you can work out your stitches faster and make sure they are aligned properly.

Basic Supplies Everyone Needs For Quilting

Quilting is all about getting the supplies correct. If you have got the right supplies, you can make things better. Here are a few supplies that you will need every time you quilt:

  • Quilting Needles: When you are quilting with your hands, you will definitely need some good quality needles. For quilting, you need a specific type of needles. Size 10 or 12 is considered ideal for the quilting process. The short needle makes it easier to handle, and they are sharp to penetrate into the fabric easily. Make sure to pick your needle wisely.


  • Quilting Thread: The thread used in quilting is slightly heavier than the usual and coated with a certain material to keep it strong. This thread will be heavier than the regular threads so that it can get through the layers of the fabric easily.


  • Quilting Hoop: For quilting, it is essential to hold the fabric in the right place. It is much thicker and stronger than the embroidery hoop. Quilting hoops are easier to find in the market; you can select according to the size of your preference. Without a quilting hoop, you won’t be able to get the fabric in the right place, and you might develop bubbles or fraying.


  • Thimble: It is quite evident that if you stitch hundreds of stitches with your hand, you will develop calluses. If you want to get rid of such events, you should really buy a thimble. It is a covering you can wear on your finger that will prevent your fingers from getting calluses. There are different types of thimble available in the market, and the leather thimble is the effective ones that you can try.

Different Types of Quilting Stitches

You can do different types of stitches when you are quilting:

  • Running stitch: A steady sewing technique
  • Rocking stitch: Done with a thick needle
  • Quilter’s knot: Creates stitch pattern at the beginning and end of the fabric
  • Diamond-shaped quilting: When parallel rows are stitched diagonally
  • Freeform: When multiple types of stitches come together
  • Stipple: Filled with unfilled areas

How to finish your stitching by hiding your knot?

It is imperative to finish your stitches with the same popping technique that will help in hiding the stitches. The knot should be underneath the top of the quilt. Make sure the stitches are free from the tangles when you are applying the knot, this will ensure that all your stitches are secured. The way you secure your stitches will ensure that your quilt looks beautiful.

Can You Sew Quilt In A Machine?

Yes, quilting can be done in the sewing machine by using the right presser foot or the correct stitching pattern. Generally, a zig-zag pattern would be sufficient to make the quilt. It will help in holding up the fabric just right. You can also take help from the tutorials to learn the right way of quilting with a sewing machine.

How to make your hand quilting more attractive?

Apart from adding beautiful stitches and thread work, you can do plenty of other things as well that can make your quilt look beautiful. You can try using buttons, jewels or possibly anything that will enhance its look. With an iron-on adhesive, you can hold these items and prevent them from slipping away. You cannot stitch them onto the fabric as it will be quite difficult to get the needle through it. So, it is better for your iron-patches or fabric glue to attach.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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