Stippling and Hand Quilting

One of the quilting forums that I visit on Facebook (celebrate hand quilting) has had some discussion about stippling.   I have been doing a lot of stippling on the whole cloth quilt that I am working on so I thought I would write about it again.

There are many ways to do stippling, random, meandering lines (like machine stippling) in an orderly pattern, many variations.  I use stippling to flatten out the quilt around the areas that I want to stand out.

I do the stippling by simple echo quilting around the motifs very close together, less than 1/16″ but I don’t mark or measure.

Here is the area of the quilt I am working on today.

stippling 002

you can see that I am going around the edges of the space to be filled with stitches very close together.  I am using a #11 John James needle and YIL quilting thread. I think you can also see the marking from the grid in this picture (I find it easier to mark the grid over the entire top even in the areas where the grid will not be stitched)

here is a picture that shows the other side of the area that has more of the stippling filled in

stippling 001

The overall look has some texture, which reminds me of an orange peel, and makes the non stippled areas stand out more.

stippling 003

Here is a picture of the look without the addition stippling

stippling 017

Lots more quilting to go!

I am also stippling around the edges of the quilt

stippling 011

The bias binding will follow the curves that follow the feathers around the edges.

This is not something I would do on every quilt because I think it would be lost on a printed fabric, but I think it is great on a solid fabric.  It takes some time but it is not difficult to do.  I am all for any quilting that I don’t have to measure and mark!

Here are more pictures of the quilting  (click pictures to enlarge)

Happy Quilting


35 thoughts on “Stippling and Hand Quilting

  1. karen says:

    that is one beautiful quilt! I did stippling by hand on one quilt but have not done it since. like what you are doing with this one.

  2. Tim, I hope to use some stippling on my red and green quilt. Love how you explained why and how you do it. Have you ever thought of selling this whole cloth pattern, I am sure many would be very interested!

    • timquilts says:

      I think it would be great on your quilt! love to see it when you do

      I have not thought about selling the pattern because I would have to draw it out neatly 😦 I might give it a go when I am finished quilting it

  3. Lynette says:

    Gorgeous, gorgeous work there, Tim

  4. Colleen says:

    The stippling makes the feather/fan pop. SOOO neat how it really accents your design. Nice work Tim.

  5. rosyragpatch says:

    Oh, this is so lovely!

  6. audrey says:

    Great detail pictures of your work. When I first looked at this quilt I thought ‘why more quilting?’, but now I can see what you’re trying to accomplish. This is an amazing quilt!

  7. Linda says:

    Tim, you are the master! Absolutely stunning!

  8. This just looks better and better!!

  9. Absolutely gorgeous work, Tim! You get a beautiful trapunto-like effect on the non-stippled motifs!

  10. Lynda Pearson says:

    Holy snap that is gorgeous. Wow oh wow!! Kudos to you. It is gorgeous.

  11. Salley says:

    Great Photos…up close and personal!… so good to catch the detail of your amazing skill. Thanks.

  12. This is very unique type of quilting..i like its stitching art very nice. Looking so beautiful…I will try to do like this.

  13. Very nice quilting..Love that design by stitching..looking so nice and beautiful…

  14. Kathleen says:

    Tim what type of batting did you use in this quilt? What is your favorite batting to use?

    • timquilts says:

      On this one I am using Hobb’s Tuscany Wool. It is very easy to hand quilt, and Is a favorite of mine…..but that really depends on the quilt itself, sometimes I like cotton if that seems to fit the look of the top better, and If it is a quilt top from the 60’s or 70’s I tend to use poly…..but for ease of quilting wool is the best, and the texture of the wool batting realy makes the quilting stand out

  15. Eunice Maris says:

    I have always said that men are the greatest needle crafters……you prove it ! Hand quilting is truly an art.
    You commented on your site re: stippling, that you mark the grid and I can see it in the demonstration. Do you use a very sharp, simple lead pencil?

    • timquilts says:

      I do use a simple lead pencil ( I use a .5mm lead mechanical pencil, the inexpensive disposable kind) and use a light hand so the marks are light. I use that to mark the grid…..I do the stippling with out any marking …just stitching very close together

  16. Becky Thill says:

    I bow to a master. This is beautiful and where I want to go. Just to confirm what I think you are saying is that all this work is done by hand not any of it on machine… correct? It is beautiful.

    • timquilts says:

      yes it is …all by hand….every stitch….it takes some time to do but it is very rewarding…and also once you get the hang of it it becomes very relaxing

  17. Sylvia says:

    Wonderful handquilting, just searched the internet on stippling because I am at a section in my quilt where I can use some good advice. This has helped a lot. Thank you.

  18. Irene says:

    Such beautiful work Tim.


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