That Perfect Stitch by Roxanne McElroy

That Perfect Stitch by Roxanne McElroyOn joining my very first quilting guild all those years ago – my first thought was….. good gawd, you won’t catch me doing any hand stitching. Specially not hand QUILTING. No way.

Just remember – never say never, you will eat your words!

I watched the members create these gorgeous quilts, saw how they enjoyed quilting those tiny, tiny stitches. And thought, mmmm, this looks interesting. Maybe I should give it a try.

For a few months I struggled with different types of needles, a variety of ways to push the needle through the fabric, an assortment of thimbles.

Eventually someone brought in a book to a meeting and reviewed it for our guild library. It was That perfect Stitch by Roxanne McElroy.

I took it home and read it cover to cover.

Then I bought one of Roxanne’s thimbles on the internet. Later I bought another in a slightly smaller size when I went to a quilt show. It’s a good idea to have slightly different sizes as your fingers shrink and swell according to the temperature and how your body is reacting to the world that day.

I have quilted using Roxanne’s method ever since. I don’t get an ache in my shoulder like I did when I used the tip of my finger to push a needle through the fabric. My stitches are not 14 to the inch by any stretch of the imagination but they are even and small. I very much enjoy hand quilting and prefer it to machine quilting (which I am not very good at!).

There are quite a few books out there teaching you about hand quilting – this is the one I find the most useful and certainly changed how I quilted.

Photograph of King Kamehameha, quilt made by Roxanne McElroyThere are several chapters.

• Useful information on all supplies and how to evaluate them: fabric, batting, stitch guide, needles, thread, thimbles, frames and hoops, markers, and other helpful aids.

• The quilting stitch, quilting techniques, and quilting designs. These are accompanied with clear images so you can see how to hold your hand etc.

• A chapter on taking care of your quilts.

• Questions and answers.

• A lesson plan for those of you wishing to teach this method.

• A resource section and some quilting designs you can use.

This is a technique and reference book. There aren’t many photographs of finished quilts though the Hawaiian quilts Roxanne made are lovely to see. There is a small collection of quilting designs you can use at the back of the book. But if you like this method of hand quilting you will find yourself returning to re-read sections and improving on your own work.

Published by The Quilt Digest Press

Unfortunately only has this book for sale by third parties but I urge you to splurge. If you want to learn how to quilt tiny stitches without giving yourself aches and pains – this is the book for you.

Website: That Perfect Stitch