Hand quilting on the lap gives a quilter a more comfortable spot in which to sit instead of being bent over the quilting frame. The social activity for women for centuries has been to be bent over a quilting frame and move the needle up and down through the layers of fabric with needle in hand. After many hours of leaning over the frame, a good back or neck rub might just be a secret wish of these hand quilters!
Today, those who enjoy hand quilting on their lap can go back into history to say thank you to Walter Hunt. In 1826, Walter in an effort to pay off a $15 debt, invented and patented the first safety pin. Made of a one piece bent wire, this pin was designed to be safer to use than the regular straight pin. Hand quilters can enjoy a modified version of the safety pin. The quilter’s curved pin allows for ease of insertion and closing.
To be able to hand quilt on the lap, the quilt top must first be placed on a frame. The purpose of the frame is to stretch the quilt top along with the batting and backing material. Once these three layers are inserted into the frame, use the curved pins to secure the layers in place. Placing a pin about every 2 – 3 inches will be sufficient. Do not try to close the pins while on the frame. It is easier to close the pins, once the quilt is removed from the frame.
The last step is to actually do the hand quilting on the lap. The pins have secured the layers and have kept the quilt top stretched securely for the hand quilting to be completed. As each section is finished, remove the pins. As you prepare to store the pins, do not close them. Keeping them open will make them ready for easy use on the next project.
No more bending over the quilt frame to do the hand quilting of your handmade baby quilt. Your back will thank you, especially if you are an avid hand quilter and spend many hours enjoying your passion of quilting. Now hand quilting on the lap can be your passion and be comfortable too.