Molly's Hand Quilting Notes to Self:
Forget quilting needles and quilting thread. The official needles are way too short and the thread is way too thin. I finally bought cotton darning needles and used the longest ones in the pack. Then after buying perle cotton size 12 (thin) and then buying perle cotton size 5 (too thick) I settled on perle cotton size 8 (just right).
Pin baste your quilt sandwich and then don't use a hoop. I just could not get the hang of the big hoop but since it was basted well there was no problem with letting it lay across my lap. Well, except for the Assistant laying her head on it every five minutes for a quality check.
Make one simple knot in the perle cotton before burying it in the batting. Don't worry about twirling it around your needle and pulling the knot down the cotton like they show on the videos. You will never be able to master that technique and it doesn't matter (breathe deep....).
By the time I was done I was pretty good at burying knots and getting semi-even stitches. I can't express my relief when I pulled it out of the dryer and saw all my stitches were still there and nice and tight. Whew!