It looks like 2021 will be a year of hand quilting.
I started this four block eagle quilt in 2014. Once the quilt top was complete, I procrastinated on the quilting because I was intimidated by all the hand stitching needed. I knew I wanted to hand quilt the top, I just didn't trust my hand quilting skills.
I decided 2021 was the year to finish this project, so with a little inspiration from some dedicated hand quilters like Barb and Deb, I jumped in and got started.
First, I finished marking the cross-hatch design for the quilt's background. I don't know where I read about this marking pencil - General's Sketch & Wash - but I've been pleased with it so far. I tested the markings on some fabric scraps, and they wash out easily. Some of the marked lines have gotten lighter as the quilt is handled, but I just lightly re-pencil them before stitching.
It took a few days to hand-baste the quilt - perfect for the Polar Vortex weather we had earlier this month. The hand basting reminded me of fun afternoons spent with members of the Pensacola Quilter's Guild in my early days as a quilter. Frame basting was a service provided by guild volunteers. After the monthly guild meeting, basting frames were set up and members shared bag lunches and quilting fellowship while basting quilts. It was a great learning experience!
I started with the background quilting this past Tuesday. I've finished about half of the background around the center crowns. I know there's a LOT of quilting ahead, but I'm really enjoying it! In fact, I've neglected other stitching projects this week and focused almost exclusively on hand quilting. I'm still working on having consistent and straight quilting stitches, but practice makes perfect (or so I'm told).