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Thread: New ? take on 'rocking' for hand quilting

  1. #1
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    New ? take on 'rocking' for hand quilting

    Just had a light bulb moment and thought I'd share for the other hand quilters here. There's all this talk about the 'rocking stitch'. Well, as I was sitting her quilting along, I realized...I'm NOT rocking with my top hand but I AM rocking with my bottom hand! Just thought this might be an interesting/different understanding for the other hand quilters out here - particularly those just trying this process.

    My upper hand seems to be quite stable - for lack of a better term. Personally, I seem to be able to 'rock' the fabric far more easily than my top hand. For what it's worth - I've been complimented by several quilters as to my stitch consistency and size. Not trying to toot my own horn here, just by way of explanation. I can generally get an even 8-10 stitches/inch in my hand quilting. I've been quilting for about 10-15 years now. I come from a garment/home dec/self taught quilting background. In all of those processes, I've done countless hours of hand sewing. Maybe that helps. Don't really know.

    Just know that I had a 'light bulb moment' seconds ago as I was quilting and thought I would pass it along.

    Happy stitching!

  2. #2
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    I too also do that. I was taught to quilt by my grandma who never used a frame, just quilted in her lap. While my stitches are not always consistent I do manage a passable quilting stitch doing it your way. Never could get the hang of "rocking" with my needle.
    Have a great day sewing and remember to "not sweat the small stuff"!!



  3. #3
    Senior Member Kat Sews's Avatar
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    I also rock the fabric, not the needle. I also find that if I tape a coin to my under finger I can quilt faster, don't poke my finger, and get smaller and more even stitches. I have been quilting over 50 years.

  4. #4
    Senior Member janedee's Avatar
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    I too rock the fabric - tried rocking the needle and couldn't get to grips with it so good to see that quilters way more experienced than me rock the fabric as well

  5. #5
    Super Member Pat625's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tip..Will try it tomorrow!!

  6. #6
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    i wonder if by not rocking your hand holding the needle....if its more ergonomic that way? and will help reduce the possibility of repetetive motion problems???

    btw, NJQuilter, at some point you WILL be giving me a lesson in hand quilting

  7. #7
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    I have been trying to learn to do hand quilting, and my first problem is I have to stitch from side to side. In any video I have seen, the quilter is stitching toward themselves. I can't get comfortable with that. I also can't rock. Having said that, I do not hand quilt very often. I know, I know--practice practice practice. I am so jealous of all you quilters who can hand quilt. I would love to do a whole cloth quilt by hand.
    Sue

  8. #8
    Junior Member mimmy96's Avatar
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    Thank you for this post! I am very new at hand quilting and am having issues with the "rocking" The videos online seems oh so easy, but I have to realize they have been doing it for years...... So for us beginners it is alittle different. Not having someone living around me that hand quilts, I am trying to teach myself!

  9. #9
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    I've seen Japanese quilters do something like this....almost as if they feed the fabric in tiny folds unto the needle with their left hand that is not holding the needle. I thought it was so cool! Wish I could reteach myself to do it, but there's enough arthritis damage in the base of the left thumb joint now to make that gripping motion more tedious for me.

    Jan in VA
    Jan in VA
    Living in the foothills
    peacefully colors my world.

  10. #10
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    I use a Thimblelady thimble which means you push with the pad of your finger vs the top of your finger. Find it far more comfortable, natural and not painful! I bought the plastic one initially to see if I liked they style/technique. When I wore out that one, bought the stainless steel version. On my second one of those! I still stitch toward myself though. Wish sometimes I could manage to quilt away from myself but just can't get the hang of that! So I just keep turning my work endlessly. Oh well. And if I ever want to finish quilting this throw, I'd better get off this board!

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