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Thread: Hand Quilting Questions

  1. #1
    Super Member Butterflyblue's Avatar
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    A good quilting friend of mine is moving soon, and she gave me a lap hoop for hand quilting. I've never done hand quilting, but I've been toying with the idea, and this sealed the deal. So this winter I'm thinking I will try to hand quilt a small (lap size) quilt.

    Is a preprinted wholecloth panel a good first project, or would something with less emphasis on the quilting stitches be better, like a pieced top?

    Also, I've seen some miniature wholecloth panels for sale, about 13" square, which is much smaller than my lap hoop. Could something like that be done in a regular wooden embroidery hoop? Or would I need a different hoop? (In which case I probably wouldn't do it, since I'm leery of investing money in this hand-quilting thing before I know I would actually do it again.)

  2. #2
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    You can do the 13" in the hoop you were given, just attach some strips of cloth to the sides to make it big enough. You can do that on the machine or by hand. just sew them one right on the edges. Use a slightly heavier fabric and double it to get it to stay in the hoop.

    Either a pieced block or a preprinted whole cloth would be fine to start with, use which ever one you currently have.

  3. #3
    Super Member Butterflyblue's Avatar
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    I really admire some of the wholecloth quilts I've seen on this board. But of course I don't have a wholecloth pre-printed top on hand. I wonder if there are books at my library with designs that could be used for wholecloth?

  4. #4
    Super Member LeeAnn's Avatar
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    Quilting in a hoop is the only way to hand quilt! I've been doing it for years. I've quilted king and queen size quilts using this method. When I put my sandwich together I spray baste and use pins. I start my quilting in the center and work my way out. I remove only the necessary pins to put my hoop on and then remove the ones in the hoop and start quilting. I usually "get my nest built" before I sit down, all quilting supplies, something to drink, phone, remote etc. When you get up there is much wallowing involved if you're working on a large quilt. tee hee. I can't sit over a frame and quilt, it makes my back hurt, with lap quilting I can sit in the recliner and comfortably quilt away. I really think you will love this method. Have fun.

  5. #5
    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
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    If this is going to be your first attempt, then I would suggest making a sandwich from leftover fabric or muslin and batting to practice on. Draw some straight lines and then draw some gentle curves.

    When I first started handquilting I purchased a product called Tiger Tape. You stick it on next to the line that you've drawn and go up and down at the black lines. This will assist you in getting the rhythm down.

    Good luck and have fun!!!

  6. #6
    Power Poster Ninnie's Avatar
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    starting small is a great idea. u can use a embroidery hoop for small projects. just try to get them the same size, do not worry about how small they are . Good luck, I have always hand quilted, and it is the best!

  7. #7
    quilterscorner's Avatar
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    my advice for starting hand-quilters is get thimble that fits well and has a ridge on the end to catch your needle as you make your rocking motion, otherwise the needle can slip off the end and cause all kinds of headaches-knot the end of the thread that is closest to the spool-thread has a grain to it if you knot the end you put into the eye it is like pulling the fur on a cats tail the wrong way and the thread will knot and twist. Take your time and grow a callus on your under hand and you will no long hurt from pin pricks. It will become a very relaxing passion --good luck

  8. #8
    Senior Member Bluphrog's Avatar
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    I took a hand-quilting class at my LQS. The instructor used a preprinted whole cloth that was about 30" square.

    If you've never hand quilted before, I'd suggest taking a class or watching some tutorials. There is a definite knack to doing the "rocking" motion of hand quilting.

    I don't do a lot of it, but I have enjoyed what I've done. Have fun.

  9. #9
    Super Member aorlflood's Avatar
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    When I teach someone to handquilt, I have them buy a cheap preprinted panel for a baby quilt. Sandwich it (I use safety pins no farther apart than the size of your hand...you shouldn't be able to put your hand on the quilt without touching a pin.) And then I have them outline quilt on the panel. If there are large spaces without stitching you can mark diagonal lines in those areas or so some other shape in that area.

    When you are done you can bind it give it to someone to use (I've never ONCE heard a baby complain of the stitching on their quilt! LOL)

    That way you haven't wasted your stitching time (hand quilting takes time!)

    I started out with a cheap wooden oval hoop from Joann's in 1995. I made 2 quilts with that...a baby quilt for my DD and a full-size quilt.

    From there I moved to a floor hoop by Grace Co. I made many, many quilts on that one...even a couple queen-size ones.

    From there I moved on to a PVC floor frame. I used that for many years and made all sizes on it...including 1 king-sized quilt.

    This past spring my DH gave me a Hinterberg 3 roll quilt frame and I just started using this weekend. I am in LOVE! (with him AND the frame! LOL)

    I don't have a picture of my original wooden hoop, but here are pictures of the other hoops/frames.

    Grace floor hoop with a QS quilt in it
    Name:  Attachment-103459.jpe
Views: 350
Size:  77.3 KB

    PVC floor frame with a QS quilt in it
    Name:  Attachment-103460.jpe
Views: 433
Size:  24.9 KB

    Hinterberg frame with a QS quilt in it
    Name:  Attachment-103461.jpe
Views: 379
Size:  63.1 KB

  10. #10
    Super Member greaterexp's Avatar
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    I agree with these posts that it is probably a very good idea to make a small sandwich out of muslin and practice on it first. I have only one hoop and sew on extension strips (I used an old ugly sheet) to make the quilt large enough to fit. I really like using a hoop that isn't fixed, since I tend to move the hoop all over the place to keep it in a comfortable place on my lap. It's easily moved to another room or chair (or car), too. I like being able to change the angle of the hoop and turn it easily as I progress. Good basting sure helps, as it does with any quilting method. Check out the tutorials online. Enjoy the hand quilting! I have nothing against machine quilting, but there is just something special that's added to a quilt you've quilted by hand.

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