I'm hand-quilting my first quilt, and the end is in sight. Yay! I'm thinking about what I've learned and what I want to do differently. The backing on my current quilt is dark purple. The quilting thread is white in most parts, with red hearts scattered throughout. I'm not unhappy with it, but I'm a little disappointed that the quilting isn't more visible on the back.
If I want my quilting to be seen on the back, should I stick with lighter fabrics in the future? Or is the color secondary? Are the stitches invisible because the fabric is patterned, meaning that I should stick with solid fabric for the next one?
Stitchs show up the best using thread that contrasts w/fabric. Light fab, dark thread. Plain or solid fab will not hide stitches if you use contrasting thread. Before starting your quilting, unwind the tread and lay on fabric to see if the contrast is enough.
I'm not concerned about the back because it's the back. I want the front to look great.
Have fun and can you post pic?
Thanks, Julie! I'm having a great time with it. I started out by trying to machine quilt, but I hated that. I really enjoy hand quilting, which surprises me. Thank you so much for the suggestion of laying the thread out against the fabric! Great solution. I'll definitely do that next time.
Oh, I forgot to say that the quilt is the one in my profile pic. I've outlined all the white triangles, and have quilted a red heart on each of the nine-patch blocks.
if the back is dark purple and your thread is white, it should show up. I wonder if when you take your needle down thru the layers, you're not getting enough fabric on the back side when you rock back up towards the top. Almost like you're needing "longer" stitches on the underside.
Does that make sense?
It does make sense. I'll have to take a closer look at them when I pull the quilt out. I don't *think* that's the issue, though. In fact, the opposite is more likely to be true. I haven't mastered the quilting stitch yet, that's for sure! LOL But when I asked for advice before I started at Red Poppy Quilt N Sew, our local quilting store, they said that it's more important to be consistent than to have small stitches... so I'm trying not to change my method until I finish this quilt. On the next one, I'm going to start out with better precision now that I'm getting the hang of it.
I've hand quilted for years but have never been concerned about whether the quilting shows on the back. I usually use a light backing and off white thread. I'm looking for texture on the quilt rather than seeing the stitches.
But I agree that a high contrast thread should show up. Hand quilting takes a lot of practice. You should see the first quilt I did 30 years ago. It is really pathetic, but I love it and use it all the time.