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Thread: Does Anyone Hand Quilt Without a Hoop or Frame?

  1. #1
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    Does Anyone Hand Quilt Without a Hoop or Frame?

    I mostly machine quilt, but I'm working on a Hawaiian applique wall quilt and wanted to hand quilt it since it was hand appliqued. I started out doing the quilting with a big hoop. I've always struggled with my big stitches! I finally ditched the hoop and began quilting with the work unstretched in my lap. My stitches are smaller and better looking now that I'm not using the hoop. Seems so much easier.

    Just wondering how many others hand quilt without any hoop or frame support? I'd love to hear your experiences.
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  2. #2
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    I can't use a hoop when I lap quilt. It is fine not to. We all have to find what works for us. There are no rules. I am sure your quilt will be a cherished work of art.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewbizgirl View Post
    I mostly machine quilt, but I'm working on a Hawaiian applique wall quilt and wanted to hand quilt it since it was hand appliqued. I started out doing the quilting with a big hoop. I've always struggled with my big stitches! I finally ditched the hoop and began quilting with the work unstretched in my lap. My stitches are smaller and better looking now that I'm not using the hoop. Seems so much easier.

    Just wondering how many others hand quilt without any hoop or frame support? I'd love to hear your experiences.
    I never use a hoop when hand quilting. Georgia Bonesteel published quilting books on lap quilting several years ago and it really changed the method of hand quilting for many quilters. I have done many quilts and wall hangings this way. So do what is best for you and enjoy the process!
    GeeGee

  4. #4
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    I have done hand quilting with and without a hoop. I use a 12 inch hoop and prefer that method. I can switch back and forth and the difference in my stitches is insignificance. I do edges without the hoop because it is easier and I don't have to add a temporary piece. Part of my choice of method has to do with comfort in my hands. I really like to hand quilt, but, I honestly don't take the time to do it very often. Why am I in such a hurry?

  5. #5
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    I never use a hoop. I think I rock my fabric rather than my needle. And my fingers are too big for betweens,...I use sharps 10 or 11.

  6. #6
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    Mostly I use a hoop but there are times I do not. Main reason I like the hoop is that it's easier to find where I was last working. I, too, find no difference in my stitch size with the 2 methods. And like Jane Quilter, I rock my fabric vs the needle but can do that in the hoop as well since I keep it fairly loose in the hoop.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Monale's Avatar
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    My first quilt turned into an UFO for a couple of years because I just couldn't work out hand-quilting how it's shown in those you-tube videos, despite the hoop I bought for it (I didn't have anyone who could show me in person, maybe that would have worked better...). After a couple of years I was fed up and just wanted that quilt on my bed instead of in the drawer! That's when I decided to give it a try without the hoop - and it worked so much better for me! Haven't used the hoop since but have done a few more quilts...

  8. #8
    Senior Member GramMER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewbizgirl View Post
    I mostly machine quilt, but I'm working on a Hawaiian applique wall quilt and wanted to hand quilt it since it was hand appliqued. I started out doing the quilting with a big hoop. I've always struggled with my big stitches! I finally ditched the hoop and began quilting with the work unstretched in my lap. My stitches are smaller and better looking now that I'm not using the hoop. Seems so much easier.

    Just wondering how many others hand quilt without any hoop or frame support? I'd love to hear your experiences.
    When I first learned to quilt, the instructor for our class taught us lap quilting. We made our quilts in sections (added block by block) on our laps. We did the piecing, then made the sandwich for each block and set them all together in rows. It was a great way to learn and I believe (looking back at those days) the quilts were much more valuable because they were completely done by hand. What I liked best about that method was the fact that I could stuff a small section into a bag and carry it wit me to any office. Waiting for hourse in a doctor's or lawyer's office was not miserable time wasted because I had my work with me. For some reason I finished more quilts faster that way than I do these days making whole tops and sending them out to be quilted.
    GramMER to eighteen, plus two great-granddaughters and four adopted greats soon we hope!

  9. #9
    Super Member rryder's Avatar
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    Have you seen the YouTube video of the thimble lady quilting with a hoop? She keeps her fabric very loose and uses a long needle which she does not rock, instead she uses her underneath hand to push the loose fabric up and onto the needle.

    I've never done any traditional hand quilting, But I do some decorative stitching on my art quilts both before and after they are sandwiched. So some of the stitches are only in the top and some go through all three layers. I find it's much easier to do without a hoop. If I need help managing the fabric I sometimes use a clamp and bird, or the presser foot of my sewing machine or both to help keep the fabric from getting drawn up.

    Rob
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  10. #10
    Super Member fivepaws's Avatar
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    I never use a hoop either.
    All my grand-children have paws.

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