When you take your very first hand quilting stitches, use a large hand quilting needle, like a size 9. Work on conquering any awkwardness with the rocking motion as you make your stitches, and try to make your stitches straight and keep the size consistent. Once your stitches are even and straight and the rocking stitch is second nature, switch to a smaller needle. Your stitches will automatically get smaller! Once you’re comfortable with the smaller needle, go down another size, and your stitches will shrink again. Pretty soon, 10-12 beautiful quilting stitches per inch will be within your reach.