I have been asked frequently about stitches per inch in hand quilting. How many should there be? How do I count them? I did a post last year about stitches per inch here
A related topic is what the stitches look like on the back.
I was once told, when I was new to hand quilting, that quilt judges look at the back of the quilt as much as they look at the front and the stitches on the back should look just like the stitches on the front. I am not a quilt judge and I honestly don’t know if all quilt judges do that but it did influence how I quilt.
It is hard to describe how to make the stitches the same front and back but here is a stab at it.
The length of each stitch should be the same as the length of the space between the stitches.
If you look at the needle with a few stitches loaded on in the picture what I try to do is make the white fabric part and the silver needle that shows between the white parts be the same length. Where you see the needle segment will become the top stitch and where you see the white will be the stitch on the back.
That is not easy to see so lets look at a sample with more contrast. (click on pictures to enlarge)
what I am going for here is even front and back stitches. I want the length of the stitch to be the same as the gap between the stitches.
A look at the back will show stitches the look similar.
If I decrease the space between the stitches it looks like this on the front.
there isn’t a lot of difference between the first sample on the left and the one where the stitches are closer together on the right but if you look at the back it becomes more apparent.
I think you can see that the stitches on the back are noticeably smaller on the sample on the right.
If I exaggerate the stitches and make them longer and keep the space between small it looks like this
and the back really shows the difference
Will the quilt police come and take you away if your stitches aren’t the same front and back? of course not!
sometimes you may want to take long stitches and small spaces between as in big stitch quilting.
I do try most often to make the front and back look the same but that is a personal preference.
In this quilt I have a hard time finding which is the front (I added a hanging sleeve so now it is easy to see)
here is a picture of it while I was working on it that shows both front and back
not perfect but they look almost the same.
On this quilt I was frustrated with marking it . It was hard to mark on the prints and still be able to see the marking
What I did is outline stitch all of the blocks from the front and then turn over the quilt and mark it on the back . I could see the block pattern because I outline quilted them all and then I quilted it from the back. It looks the same as if I had done it from the front.
I hope that all makes sense. But remember the most important thing is to have fun! My stitches are far from perfect but I think if I tried really hard I might be able to get pretty close to perfect and I think it would take away all the fun!
Yesterday I posted about the finished star quilt. I took some pictures today of it after washing it and drying it so here they are (click pictures to enlarge)
Can you tell the Teddy really likes it?