Friday, July 18, 2014

Quilting and Binding....the Flowering Snowball

Hello....hello....are you still out there?!
We are getting close to the end....I promise!

Once your top is all together and the quilt has been are ready to quilt!  Yay!  

As many of you know, I LOVE hand quilting!
As a new quilter, I hand quilted all of my quilts...the traditional way.  As a matter of fact, I don't think it even occurred to me that a quilt could be quilted by machine.  

But in recent years, I have converted to quilting by hand with perle cotton using a big stitch.  In my childhood, this would have been called a pick stitch.  

I must have been destined to be a quilter because I love the repetitive nature of quilting.  Holding the layers, coaxing the needle through and back out to create the perfect stitch.  

Obviously, not everyone is able to invest the time it takes to hand quilt so free motion quilting or straight line quilting may be the option for you.  But even if you choose to machine quilt, you can still add some hand is a lovely option.

I am almost finished quilting my Flowering Snowball quilt...

For hand quilting with perle cotton, I like to use size 8 perle cotton and I LOVE Valdani thread.  Perle cotton is similar to embroidery floss except the thread is twisted, so you can't separate the threads.  Size 8 is bold enough to be seen and yet not too heavy; making it difficult to pull through the layers. If you can't find size 8 or would like a thread that is not as heavy, look for size 12.

As far as needles, I like Fons and Porter Utility needles.  They are designed for size 8 perle cotton and the pack comes with a rubber disc that can be used to pull the needle through if it gets stuck.

I did a tutorial on the method I use for hand quilting and you can find it here....

I do use a hoop, and I use a Thimble Nimble {different from the thimble in my tutorial}

I am a sucker for simple designs in my quilting.  Even if I choose to machine quilt, more often than not I will use straight line stitching or just a series of big loops.  


I have never sent a quilt out to be quilted, so I can't really help much on that front.

After the quilting is all finished...the only step left is to bind!

 I have a tutorial for binding here....
this method ALWAYS works for me.  And I do prefer to hand stitch my binding on the back.

So many fabrics are perfect for binding.  I love spots, stripes, gingham, but don't forget a scrappy binding.  This Feather Bed Quilt is one of my favorite quilts and the scrappy binding just makes me happy!

Okay...I will let you get back to your Flowering Snowball!
I can't wait to see them!
xo mary 

 *** as luck would have it.....Lucy at Charm About You just did a post on hand can find her post here.  What a talented girl!***


  1. Love your flowering snowball, Mary! And your quilting is just divine. I love to hand quilt too, I love the process, although it's slow it doesn't matter, it's relaxing and comforting, somehow. I'm nearly finished hand quilting my Millefiori (Sarah Fielke pattern), and once that's finished I'm going to hand quilt Whirligig - yay!

  2. Thank you, I love these hints. I am still exploring the whole quilting thing, having just ventured into machine quilting. I have sent a few quilts to be quilted and am always vaguely disappointed with the finish. So I will continue to find inspiration thanks to wonderful generous quilters such as your good self.

  3. Absolutely gorgeous !! Love the colors..

  4. I can't even imagine owning all those lovely quilts never mind bing the one who made them! So very gorgeous and your hand stitching --perfection

  5. These are just gorgeous! I too am a hand quilter. I am going to try my hand at quilting with pearle cotton soon. :)

  6. I adore the look of your hand quilting and of the perle cotton accents. I really need to work on both. I'll get there!

  7. I am so looking forward to hand quilting this one! Now if I can just get my hands on some fun new heavier thread! I think it was your pick stitching tutorial that got me following you in the first place! It is so fun to be doing this "with you"!!! Your quilt and pup are wonderful!

  8. Glad to see Flanders approves of your beautiful hand work! I need to get serious on hand quilting my Museum Medallion on my return. Any suggestions on transferring a design to a quilt top- after it's been basted!? Yes, I forgot to do it before!

  9. snowball looks great, I see you have not put the square in the centre. I did make the templates the other day and will try and make some blogs next week. Some real beauties you have shared today, like you I like hand stitching but wonder how to choose the colour to quilt with as I usually use a plain backing, do you use the same colour throughout

  10. Your snowball is absolutely gorgeous, and I really like the idea of making it the size that you did. Thanks for the inspiration!

  11. Had I not been doing another quilt along, I'd be doing this one, I love the blocks. I love perle quilting also and it's so fast, a bonus.

  12. I am addicted to hand quilting, but I've never used pearle cotton. I love the look on your fabulous Snowball!

  13. God that flowering snowball is just GORGEOUS! I contacted the etsy shop that made you the template and am getting my own sent to me! I HAVE to do something with this block!

  14. Loving the quilty eye candy in this post Mary!!

  15. HI Mary
    What is the pattern called in the first photo of this post. I love your stitching and am enjoying your tutorials, lots of photos, they're great!

  16. It's wonderful to see so many of your quilts Mary. Your flowering snowball is so beautiful with it's big stitches. Thanks for mentioning the Fons and Porter utility needles, I've never heard of them before, I'll be on the lookout for them.

  17. Gorgeous quilty projects! The flowering snowball looks incredible and it is on my to do list. Thanks for the kind mention and all your wonderful inspiration :)

  18. Oh.... I love reading this post, even if I'm not making the flowering snowball right now. (I WISH I was)! And seeing all the pics of recent quilts you've made was awesome! I love that you took your Swedesh Bloom quilt out on the SNOW! hahaha! You're amazing Mary! xoxo

  19. I love the flowering snowball too! Great hints and tips, thank you for those :) Bethx