I've been doing a fair bit of hand quilting lately.
Seeing the three layers of the quilt come together and the texture of the stitches turns a plain old quilt top into something quite beautiful.
Not everybody enjoys the basting process, but I use Jeanna Kimball's basting needles (longs in size 4) and an old spoon in order to bounce the basting needle back through to the top of the quilt.
Basting a quilt is relatively quick and having it all set for the quilting part is when the real excitement begins, so I do strangely enjoy the basting part.
I don't always use a blue temporary marker to mark the quilting lines, but sometimes it's useful depending on how dark your fabrics are. One key is to keep heat (read: your iron!) away from the quilt top after you have marked it to avoid creating permanent marks that won't come out.
YLI's hand quilting thread is probably some of the easiest to use. I find that it doesn't get knots in it easily and it threads up through a small needle eye without much of a fight.
This hand quilting thread comes in 1000 yd spools, 100% cotton, lots of different colors available too. You can see it in the photo above in the brown color.
I prefer a raised edge thimble for extra leverage.
Wide Bow scissors by Merchant and Mills are quickly becoming my go-to scissors. That's quite a compliment, considering the number of pairs I own.
Oh, and a huge thank you to Jan of Be Mused blog (who you already follow, if you are as lovely as I know you are). The mystery quilter mentioned in my last post is Yoko Sekita. The super traditional Japanese quilts are so amazing.