Jo quilter asked if I had ever considered hand quilting. I do hand quilt and I am currently working on a king size quilt that will be the last large hand quilted project I ever do. I started the quilt about ten years ago with blocks made by the ladies in my Friendship group. I have been hand quilting on and off ever since I finished the top. I am too far along to not finish or to take out what I have done and machine quilt and not far enough to see the end in site.
The picture above shows most of the quilt spread out all over the living room floor. On the left is a closeup showing 4 blocks and the secondary pattern the developed from the sashing and cornerstones. I hate marking so most of the quilt is in the ditch which is an utter waste of hand quiting as it doesn't show up. I have concentric circles in the large blocks and overlapping circles in the rectangles in the sashing. There is an x in the 4 patch cornerstones. I have 5 more large blocks to quilt with the sashing around them and then the borders. I know from past experience that the borders take as long as the body of the quilt. Then there is the binding; I will sew that down by hand.
The reason the I don't hand quilt anymore are my hands. The index and middle finger on my right hand are a mess. I broke the middle finger at the first joint about 30 years ago and a few years ago it developed arthritis and there is a bump that makes wearing a thimble uncomfortable. My index finger is bent and my pinch is almost nonexistent. My left hand is better but I have a painful thumb and wrist. I hope you realize it takes a lot of guts courage to show a photo of my hands. The photo here shows my tools. I did find a thimble that I can use, the hemostat is for grasping the needle and pulling it through and the spoon is for the hand under the quilt to catch the tip of the needle.
I have been using an oval hoop with a floor stand. I started using it when I couldn't get to my Q-Snap frame in our locker and I like it because it doesn't take up as much room.
So there you have all the excuses reasons why my hand quilting isn't as good as it should be and why I won't be doing much more of it if this is ever when this is finished.