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Thread: hand quilting stitches, etc. etc.

  1. #1
    Senior Member Happy Treadler's Avatar
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    I'm diligently working on my lap quilt, and I'm feeling better and better about the quality of my stitches. I also have tried about 4 thimbles, and I think I'm just meant to use my fingernail after all. I will probably keep trying to train myself, though, because of the issue of wearing a hole through my nail. I did, however, find that the Thimble It stickers do work well for 'catching' my needle, but I still can't seem to feel like I've got as much control using them to push and SO much prefer my nail.

    My question this cold and frigid day is I'm wondering what my 'goal' is for my stitching. Am I supposed to be aiming for a stitch that looks like machine stitching, or is my 'goal' the smaller the better? Seems like the smaller the stitching, the more space between them.

    On another note, I did upgrade my needles and it made a world of difference that now I am not bending them anymore. I also ordered a small wholecloth panel that I'm planning on using as the centerpiece of a queen-sized quilt, and I'm looking forward to planning an original design. Thinking of doing more intricate paper-pieced stars in creams, tans, and browns. Does anyone know about these pre-printed panels? Will the markings just wash off in water? I also already received some wool batting for the quilt, and am excited to see how it will needle.

    I appreciate all the help I get here and I am learning SO much. I thoroughly enjoy my handquilting evenings more and more.

    Trina

  2. #2
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    Surely the smaller the better over a machine stitch.
    Enjoying the process is first for me

  3. #3
    Super Member sewwhat85's Avatar
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    i wish i had the guts to try it maybe soon

  4. #4
    Senior Member Happy Treadler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewwhat85
    i wish i had the guts to try it maybe soon
    Oh you've GOT to try it! You'll surely get hooked. Just do as I did and make something for yourself (small lap quilt or something) so it's not as much of a big deal if the stitches start bigger. It gets much easier as time goes on. AND, I'm sure you'll have a lot of support here! ;)

  5. #5
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Sometimes I think we have been so conditioned on hand quilting stitches per inch and what they should look like. I myself have fallen into that trap, constantly trying to count my SPI yada yada yada. After handquilting 3 bedsize quilts and about 3/4 of the way done with my 4th I have finally come to the realization I quilt for myself and have decided that what I should shoot for is what looks good to me. I try to shoot for even stitches, that appear to have about the same distance of stitch showing as not showing and even in that I am not always consistent but I am happy with the result. Hand quilting does not look like MQ and we should not try for that. However i have seen some post here that they do a type of backstitch HQ stitch that does give the appearance of MQ. Again whatever makes the quilter happy and is pleasing to their eye is what matters in the long run. Unless we are striving to enter quilts into judged shows it should really only be what is pleasing to each individual. Judging goes by a much stricter criteria. That said, maybe a new trend could be started, much like MQ has now dominated the shows as opposed to HQ.

    Regarding the preprinted wholecloth... I have never tried one myself. The marks are supposed to wash out but are highly susceptable to heat. So if the wholecloth was exposed to any sort of heat before you purchased it (like being in a tractor trailer or shipping container in hot weather where the inside of the container reached over a certain temp) the risk is there that the marks will not wash out. I think there are mixed stories out there for both scenarios. Those that have had the marks wash out no problem and those that could never get rid of them and did nothing while the top was in their possession to permanently set the marks, like ironing or leaving in a window where direct sunlight may have set them. I would like to try one some day but may just do as Andrea (Born to handquilt) and design and mark my own.

  6. #6
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    PS what kind of needles did you end up getting?

  7. #7
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    I don't worry too much about my stitches, I don't have big ones & I don't do tiny. I really don't even worry about how many in an inch, worrying would take the enjoyment out of it. I do what I like :-)

  8. #8

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    Maybe I can help you.

    Handquilting is my favorite. The quest is for even stitches , on the top and on the bottom. The number is not so important. When counting your number of stitches per inch.....an old quilter told me.....count the ones on the top and on the bottom for a total count.
    Your thimble is important, one with a grid on the tip is the easiest one to use. The goal is for total control of your needle.
    If I can help you more: pkj@fairpoint.net
    Pat Jessop :D

  9. #9

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    There are hand quilting classes out there. In fact, I am teaching one at the end of this month.

  10. #10
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Trina, I love hand quilting. I think the goal is to make uniform stitches. But they don't look like machine stitches, there is something about them that's different-hard to explain!
    Mine got smaller over time- just by doing it a lot. But consistency is way better to aim for~!
    It's sooooo relaxing for me! Have fun :D:D

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