To get a quilt hand quilted in a time frame, I need to be consistent. I have given myself 3 months to get the sampler quilt done. If I do 2 hours every day it will be done. When I use to go to work (prior to Sept '10) I only did my hand work at night after dinner. So I would thread up my Clover Needle holder with the 10 needles and threads before I went to bed each night. The next night after 7pm, I would be ready to go. I would do the 10 threads, and put it down. If I got a bit bored with the quilting, I would do some piecing or applique to break it up.
I did get a very sore hand and elbow at one time, and since then have resorted to help. Just under my elbow I wear the same strap as the tennis players to help the tendon. You can buy them at the Chemist. On my hand I wear a Handeze glove. I saw these gloves being demonstrated at the Sydney quilt show one year, and I just had to try them myself. After using them for a year, I decided I would sell them myself. Anyone with hand pain fine they are wonderful.
I also use longer needles for hand quilting, so I can get more stitches on the needle at a time. I prefer Clover Patchwork Needles in a size 9. I use them for all sorts of work, not just the quilting. They are strong, and last a long time.
Looking back over this post, it looks like an advertisement! I can tell you that when I started up my website I maintained that I would not sell anything that I had not used myself, and thought to be good quality. I have stuck to that idea.
I hope to baste the quilt this weekend, and get cracking. BTW, I only ever use one colour of quilting thread. That is YLI Ecru. I played around with different colours, on different backgrounds, but found that you could hardly ever see the colour anyway, so stuck with the Ecru. Try out a few different colours and see what you think.
Will keep you posted on the quilting. Have not even thought about the design yet - guess I will just wing it, as usual!