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Thread: about hand quilting..

  1. #1
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    I was reading another post by all the people who love hand quilting. I was very surprised at the number of people who say it is relaxing. I did some hand quilting and it was exhausting. My right hand became so cramped I don't know how anyone could enjoy it. Could some of you hand quilters give some tips, or maybe even post a few pics on how you actually hold the needle and push it. Do you make your stitches sideways (needle quilting parallel to your body), or toward you (the direction a sewing machine would be sewing)? Would really like some teaching. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    I will follow this thread

  3. #3

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    i do what is called lap quilting - no hoop. i hand quilt with the needle coming towards me, with a metal thimble. i have tried to do it sideways, but that doesn't work for me. i love the look of hand quilting way more than machine because after it is washed the fabric crinkles slightly more than machine quilting and that is the look i like. that is why i do not pre wash my fabrics. some people prefer the more "store bought" look (no offense) but i like the home made look. oh, i pin baste my quilt together, but when you lap quilt, you can feel the back so you don't get any fold overs or kinks on the back. i also use a cotton batting, on the line of warm n natural. again, the old fashioned look after quilted.

  4. #4
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    I quilt with the needle toward me, in a hoop or without. Maybe your hand cramps because you are trying to go too fast? Hand quilting will never ever rival machine quilting for speed. Your speed will increase with practice. I do better when I'm in a nice comfy chair watching TV. A nice sharp needle always helps glide through the fabric. I also use Warm and Natural.

  5. #5
    Super Member CloverPatch's Avatar
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    I will try and have my daughter take some pictures tomorrow. It shouldn't hurt your hand, it is much like writing, your using the same muscles. I don't use a hoop, I hold the fabric with my left hand and use the tip of my left index finger as a guide. When pushing the needle through with my right hand I "hit" my index and that guids my needle back up. While doing this your not holding the needle with your right index and thumb. You at first poise the needle with your rt index and thumb, but use your thumb to tell the needle where to go. It is a combined effort of both hands. once you get good at it, you will pretty much just wiggle the needle up and down pushing in with your thumb, and letting the left index determine the stitches. Getting used to it does cause muscle fatigue, You have to find a comfortable sitting position, find a way to rest and relax your arms, then get good enough at stiching that you only use your hands. it takes practice, you need to just run with it. not pay attention to stich size or straight lines, just find a comfort zone, I think you will enjoy it more.
    Edit: as far as which direction, since I am right handed I prefer working right to left, or upwards (away) from me, but on a big quilt, that could mean a LOT of turning the quilt, which I don't want to do. So you do kinda learn to go in many directions.

  6. #6
    Super Member Pamela Artman's Avatar
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    I hand quilt on my lap with no hoop and I quilt with my stitches running right to left. My left arm goes under the quilt and I "smooth and grab" with my left hand, meaning I feel the back with my hand and smooth any puckers and then kinda fold it over a few inches from where I'm quilting and "grab" the folded quilt with my left hand and rock the needle up and down as I take the stitches. I also use a metal thimble and I touch my first finger, (tip or nail) underneath before pushing my needle back up. When I used to quilt with a hoop, I'd get cramps in my hand, but no so much anymore since I quit using a hoop. I also quilt with friends on a big frame and then I quilt either up, down, or right to left, but I can't go from left to right. I pin baste and I pin closely, about every 3 inches which keeps the fabric, batting and back from shifting. I think the cramping comes from holding the quilt too tightly and after more practice maybe your hand will relax more! Hope you learn to enjoy it!

  7. #7
    Super Member jemma's Avatar
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    try a bigger needle i cannot get on with the 'betweens ' i hold them too tight i use milliners [straw' size 9

  8. #8
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    Good Morning! Here some videos, just some of many.

    http://www.google.com/search?q=how+t...ls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&prmd=ivns&source=univ&tbs=vid:1&tbo=u&sa=X&ei=a5iETeLfMLSQ0QHMzr3WCA&ved=0CCQQqwQ

    I agree with Jemma, I use a larger needle, works for me.

  9. #9
    Senior Member lynnie k's Avatar
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    I use a hoop and a roxann thimble and a #11 or 12 needle I quilt towards me I use thimble on my middle finger and rock my thumb ontop to work my stitches

    my first feathers hand quiting
    Name:  Attachment-171806.jpe
Views: 148
Size:  42.0 KB

  10. #10
    Super Member lfw045's Avatar
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    I am so happy to see how many of you hand quilt without a hoop! It is so much more relaxing for me. I use a finger cot on my thumb and a leather thimble on my middle finger (I'm left handed) when I hand quilt. The finger cot helps pull the needle through with practically no effort at all!

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