Can I maintain good hand stitches across block intersections?


Online Quilting Class“Can I hand quilt through the intersections of my blocks and maintain nice-looking stitches?”

– a Quilter’s Review reader

Quilting through intersections is a problem every hand quilter faces. Clenching your teeth, furrowing your eyebrows, and tightening your butt muscles won’t help, although it seems as though it should.

There are several choices that will help:

1. Be gentle with yourself and accept larger stitches at intersections. Most people don’t like this option.

2. Stab-stitch at intersections to better regulate stitch size. (Jam the needle down, pull it out of the back, jam it back up. It’s a multi-handed technique, usually.) Stitches look great on the top, but it looks like a chicken ran across the back of your quilt. Stitches on the back tend to go every which way.

3. Stab stitch at intersections, but before jamming the needle back up, look to see where it’s going to come up. Stitches look better, but it will take you 45 minutes to go through each intersection.

4. Quilt through the intersections, catching the top, most of the batting and ignoring the backing. Yikes! That’s heresy!

Yes, it is, but the stitches look like all the rest from the top, your quilt won’t fall apart, and there are no distracting stitches on the back. I’ve been doing it for years and haven’t been struck by lightning yet. Go ahead, you have my permission.

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