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Thread: About to try handquilting for the first time.

  1. #1
    Super Member janetter's Avatar
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    Any tips you would like to share. I just ordered new needles and marking pens from Joanns and need to pick up a lap frame. Look forward to hearing from you all.

  2. #2
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    take your time and enjoy yourself. Your stitches won't be perfect at first but will get better over time. It may feel awkward at first but that will go away too.
    Make sure the quilt is not too taut in the frame.

  3. #3
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Don't cut your thread too long, about 18 inches max. It knots up and is frustrating!!
    Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions as you go along. I do a lot of hand quilting and love it :)

  4. #4
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Probably the most common mistake beginning handquilters make is to draw the quilt sandwich drum tight in the hoop. You should actually have enough "give" in the hoop to equal a fist -- maybe 4 to 6 inches. This is what allows you to manipulate the layers onto the needle.

    Here is a link to my favorite lap hoop:
    http://www.keepsakequilting.com/productdetail/9113.htm

    The swivel ball allows you to adjust the angle easily, and there is nothing to impede the hand underneath.

  5. #5
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    Try to find your own way of handquilting. You will find different instructions with different tools and techniques in the internet and in books and maybe not every method works for you. Don't give up until you have found your way and practice.

  6. #6
    Super Member janedee's Avatar
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    I always found it helpful to have a 'scrap block' handy and would do a few stitches on that first to get the feel and momentum of quilting and then start on the main project only did it for a short time before I could just dive in and start stitching - have fun

  7. #7
    community benefactor Renee110's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janedee
    I always found it helpful to have a 'scrap block' handy and would do a few stitches on that first to get the feel and momentum of quilting and then start on the main project only did it for a short time before I could just dive in and start stitching - have fun
    This is a great idea! I've been handquilting my quilt every night for a week, and every night my stitching gets consistent after a few minutes. The first 5 minutes of stitching are throw away stitching!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    Good advice here! Most of my tips have already been given. My only other advice is to mark lightly and make sure you have good light. There's nothing so heartbreaking as marks that won't come out.

    When you start quilting, have the needle perpendicular to the quilt. If it goes straight in, the stitch on the back will be almost the same size as the front. Not that I would worry about the back right now - get the hang of stitching, first.

    Janet

  9. #9
    Junior Member Jory's Avatar
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    I think it takes about 3 hours of hand-quilting (continuous, if possible) before it starts to feel "natural." The best advice I can give you is not to worry about the size of your stitch at first, although I didn't follow that advice and just about drove myself crazy! Consistency first, then size.

    Let us know how you like it!!

    Jory

  10. #10
    Super Member janetter's Avatar
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    Wow, thank you all such good ideas. I'll let you know how it goes...after a few days of practice anyway

  11. #11
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    I swuggest the book "How to Learn to Hand Quilt in a Day" (and practice for the rest of your life) by Nancy Brennan Daniel.

  12. #12
    Super Member Leota's Avatar
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    I bought "Tiger Tape" from Clothilde 12 lines per inch... this equals the 12 stitch per inch that I refer to as "Master Quilter" stitching.
    I don't worry about perfection... each time I make a project, I improve my skills...

  13. #13
    Super Member janetter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holice
    I swuggest the book "How to Learn to Hand Quilt in a Day" (and practice for the rest of your life) by Nancy Brennan Daniel.
    Will look for this, Thanks

  14. #14
    Super Member dlbrandt's Avatar
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    I'm going to be starting to hand quilt for the first time soon. good suggestions!!

  15. #15
    Senior Member vjengels's Avatar
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    Don't worry about stitch length at first, or ever... don't put the fabric in the hoop/frame too tight, and cats on your lap are optional.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by janedee
    I always found it helpful to have a 'scrap block' handy and would do a few stitches on that first to get the feel and momentum of quilting and then start on the main project only did it for a short time before I could just dive in and start stitching - have fun
    Janette, I do the same thing, like warming up the fingers and getting the stride before going to the quilt.

    It's very relaxing, enjoy!

    Don't worry about how many stitches per inch, just keep the same throughout the quilt, if you do 8 stitches, be consistent throughout. Eventually you will get smaller, it takes practice.

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