Hand Quilting Question
Well, I have decided to attempt to hand quilt my grandmothers flower garden quilt top. I have purchased a 20" wooden hoop.
I will practice on a smaller quilt top first. One of my friends told me to get a whole quilt to practice on. I went online to look for a small whole quilt to purchase. All of the ones I saw for for a full size quilt or larger.
What are your thoughts about practicing on a whole quilt. I like the idea that they have pre-printed lines/patterns for quilting. Also, any ideas of where to purchase a small wall size to practice on?
Thanks for any response.
I teach my students by having them buy a panel...something about the size of a baby quilt. Then I have them outline stitch whatever is on the panel. When they are done they have a baby quilt or lap sized quilt.
I am new to quilting and hand quilting as well. Years of sewing experience. Any way, I’m not sure you will like that big of a hoop. I'm doing and oversized King and it was too heavy and hard to hold the weight of the quilt and be able to reach far enough under to feel the needle. But I think it is a matter of experience and preference.
Two options come to mind to practice with. First get some clearance fabric don’t worry about the actual piecing of the fabric. However make your quilt sandwich and practice on it. Or try your local goodwill, salvation army and see if the have any thing that would work. I know it didn't take too long to get the hang of it and you can always rip out any stitches you do not like on the actual quilt. Hand stitches are easier to pull out.
I was told don’t worry about the length of the stitches just keep them the same. And most important enjoy yourself.
I second the comments on the 20 inch hoop. If you can't find a smaller one, you can always prop the hoop on the edge of a table. Just make sure to keep the sandwich fairly loose in the hoop.
You don't need to practice on a whole cloth quilt - I used scraps when I started, made a test sandwich and traced a stencil.
Good luck with your new venture.
Good luck quilting a Grandma's Flower Garden. One thing you could consider doing is having the quilt basted by a long arm quilter. That way the sandwich is already made for you and will make the quilting easer. I have one that I only have the last row of flowers to put on and then some border pieces and then it will be ready to quilt. A few years ago I did a lot of hand quilting and I think even with experience it will be difficult for me.
There's a simply quilts episode they still have on youtube and the whole show is on hand quilting. I hand quilt but not like a pro but she gives great advise on hand quilting in a frame. I'm inpatient and it takes me a long time to finish anything handquilted so I just dove in you do get better with practice. It's usually not the top stitches that are the issue it's the bottom stitches. Even the pros say they aren't always the same length as the top but the key is to catch that bottom fabric. Buy a good thimble you are comfortable with. I use size 10 needle but I bend them alot so I need the 20 pack!! I also cut corners and use cookie cutters for some shapes.
Good luck and have fun it is very rewarding!!
For my hand quilting classes I use the "No Slip Hoop". It is 14" and available from JoAnn's and other stores. It is constructed in a way that when you get the quilt fixed it doesn't slip or move. I find the 14" is large enough for large quilts.
Also for practice you might try 1/8" gingham check fabric. This will give you lines and spaces to practice your stitches. And......remember it is the evenness of the stitch and not the size that is important. Smaller stitches come with practice. Also, don't obsess with trying to make the back stitches the same as the top. Work for good penetration of the quilt so that all stitches come to the back. This also comes with practice.
Good luck -- I enjoy hand quilting -- I have a large round hoop but prefer an oval hoop since I seem to be able to manipulate and turn it better
Agree, 20" hoops are a bit awkward to hold and get your under-hand-arm across (most of us are not 20" long from inner elbow to bend of the fingers). 14" and 16" make things a lot easier I believe.
Jan in VA
Thanks to all of your replies. As always, I can count on the QB ladies to help me with ideas. I am going to try my hand quilting on some scraps of muslin fabric. Will then get a smaller hoop since it seems the 20" one is too big.