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Thread: Quilting question

  1. #1
    Super Member Maride's Avatar
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    OK, this is the question I never thought I would ask. I am a machine quilter all the way. Recently I got a queen size top whole cloth, and printed with a beutiful design to hand quilt. I got it at a garage sale. I am looking fiorward to do that one later this year when I have a small surgery, while I recover.

    In order to prepare for that, I decided to take a small project and hand quilt it. I got a pre-printed piece from the quit stencil company. Here is the problem: I started stitching, and having a good time. In the front my stitches look like this: - - - - - - in the back they look like this: l l l l l, and on a few areas I see / / / / /. I can tell that I have no control of what happens in the back. Why is this happening? I am a cross stitcher and can not for my life do the rocking method. So far I am doing stabs to quilt.

    I expected that if I see what I want to see in the front, the same should be in the back, but obviously is not happening. Can someone with some experience guide me?

    Maria

  2. #2
    Senior Member motomom's Avatar
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    Maria, the stabs just don't look as good from the back. I had to learn this lesson the hard way from my elderly Aunt who showed me how to quilt. We had to get a flashlight and crawl underneath the frame for her to show me.

    If you will loosen the fabric up in the frame, and not keep it so tight, you will probably understand the rocking thing better. Use your underhand to help you to get the fabric "folded" up onto the needle.

    The fabric doesn't have to be nearly as tight in the frame as for embroidery. Think of the frame as just holding the quilt for you.

    I found this lady's method to be extremely helpful! www.thimblelady.com

    Hope this helps, and let us know of your progress.

  3. #3
    k3n
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    I did my first quilt stab stitch and had the same effect you describe. My advice would be to persevere with the rocking method - it took a while with me , felt clumsy, etc, but one day it just clicked. Do you know a hand quilter who could show you and guide you through the process? Maybe ask in your LQS? That's what I lacked - had to learn from books and pictures - still not sure I do it absolutely the 'right' way but I'm satisfied with my work so that's all that matters! That's a good tip about not having the work too tight in the frame BTW and a wholecloth is a good start, so you're only needling through two layers of cloth and one of batting - no seams! I'd also say use a thin cotton batting to start - that's what I find easiest to quilt. And a big WELL DONE for giving it a go!!! I'm the other way - have always hand quilted and am recently branching out into machine FMQ, but that's a whole OTHER story!

  4. #4
    k3n
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    PS at first concentrate on getting your stitches and spaces even and don't worry too much about stitches per inch! That'll develop with practice, we can't all be Amish quality, I'm CERTAINLY not!!! :wink: :D

  5. #5
    k3n
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loretta
    Good point! Even the Amish strive to get even stitches and many of them don't do any more stitches per inch than we do. But they are really even.
    I read it somewhere and it really helped me - and bigger even stitches look better than smaller uneven ones! :D

  6. #6
    Power Poster Lacelady's Avatar
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    Sharon Schamber (sharonschamber.com) has a good free video to watch on her site, for hand quilting. Personally, I cant seem to do it at all with a hoop, but get on great with it held in my hand. I, like you, did a lot of cross stitch, and just wanted to stab stitch if I tried in in a hoop, and if I had the quilt loose in the hoop, it felt alien, and the hoop superfluous.

  7. #7
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by motomom
    Maria, the stabs just don't look as good from the back. I had to learn this lesson the hard way from my elderly Aunt who showed me how to quilt. We had to get a flashlight and crawl underneath the frame for her to show me.

    If you will loosen the fabric up in the frame, and not keep it so tight, you will probably understand the rocking thing better. Use your underhand to help you to get the fabric "folded" up onto the needle.

    The fabric doesn't have to be nearly as tight in the frame as for embroidery. Think of the frame as just holding the quilt for you.

    I found this lady's method to be extremely helpful! www.thimblelady.com

    Hope this helps, and let us know of your progress.
    Well, blow me down!! I didn't know that!! I thought the fabric had to be tight in the frame. I'm glad I came to this thread tonight.

  8. #8
    Super Member lfw045's Avatar
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    I know what you mean.......I hand quilt without a frame myself. Another tip is to make sure you don't use too big of a needle. Try some different sizes of quilt needles until you find the size that works the best for you. Once you master the rocking method you'll love the results and go to town with it (fast).

    Good luck!

  9. #9
    Super Member blahel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by motomom
    Maria, the stabs just don't look as good from the back. I had to learn this lesson the hard way from my elderly Aunt who showed me how to quilt. We had to get a flashlight and crawl underneath the frame for her to show me.

    If you will loosen the fabric up in the frame, and not keep it so tight, you will probably understand the rocking thing better. Use your underhand to help you to get the fabric "folded" up onto the needle.

    The fabric doesn't have to be nearly as tight in the frame as for embroidery. Think of the frame as just holding the quilt for you.

    I found this lady's method to be extremely helpful! www.thimblelady.com

    Hope this helps, and let us know of your progress.
    Yes thimblelady has a great book and CD out which you can buy on her website called perfect handquilting without pain. It is step by step and with very detailed instructions. She also has a special thimble out for using her technique and if it is perfect stitches you are after look no further as she is an award winning quilter. I bought her book at a recent craft fair that i went to and am so looking forward to trying her techniques once i get my quilt to that stage.

  10. #10
    Power Poster Ninnie's Avatar
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    Maride, everyone's stitches are like that when they first start. I use my pointer on my left hand to feel the needle under neath. That helps you get the rocking motion going.
    Don't give up, the only to learnto hand quilt is practice, practice practice! I use a size #12 needle, but had to work up to that over the years. I started with a 8. Getting your stitches even is more important than getting them small.

    Also relax. That is so important!

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