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Thread: Any hand quilters out there?

  1. #26
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    I have been hand quilting since the 1950's/ No of couse I am not that old. lol. In my 79th year and still loving the craft. Find your own way . I use a hoop,very short needle and a thimble . some do some dont. Get comfortable and enjoy it. JO
    Landscape quilts and needle turn applique favs.Antlers,Ok

  2. #27
    dd
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    Don't be afraid to stick your bottom finger. I build up a callous on both the first and second fingers from sticking them. I use John James needles, size 9. My nails are a little longer so I found a thimble that is open in the back to allow my nail to stick out. I use a snap Q frame. I agree with AshleyR, a pre-printed panel is the easiest to learn on. That is what I taught my class with. I prefer the poly batting, I can get smaller stitches with it. But like everyone else said, find what works best for you.
    Blessed are the quilters, for they are the piecemakers.

  3. #28
    Super Member Val in IN's Avatar
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    Hand quilting is a VERY individual thing. All of the tips and advice submitted above are good, but, you must find what works for YOU. Be kind to yourself and don't get frustrated if your stitches aren't tiny and exactly the same length. Try different methods, see what works for you. I actually don't use a frame or a hoop (just baste the project well and put it on my lap and start quilting), I use Americana cotton hand quilting thread ($1.00 a spool at Joann's), beeswax to keep it from tangling, a thimble that I bashed with a hammer to make it fit better, and a needle to fit with the batting (usually a 10 or 11 "between"). EVERY hand quilter does it different. Find your own way and enjoy the process and the results.
    "I've always been crazy, but it's kept me from going insane!"
    Valarie

  4. #29
    Super Member emt2004's Avatar
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    Thanks all for some great advice, I will give it a try............Michele

  5. #30
    dd
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    Make sure you knot the end of the thread that you just cut and it won't tangle as badly.
    Blessed are the quilters, for they are the piecemakers.

  6. #31
    Super Member SouthPStitches's Avatar
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    I hand quilt as much as possible. I sometimes machine quilt extremely small projects such as runners or placemats but do not enjoy it. I have had a couple larger quilts done long arm and although they came out wonderfully, I prefer the softness of a hand quilted piece and the way it drapes so nicely.

    I make sure whatever I'm hand quilting is basted well because I no longer use a hoop. I just start from the middle of the project and work out from there. Don't use a thread longer than the length from your wrist to your elbow. This eliminates twisting/knotting and torquing your hand, wrist and forearm too much.

    The thing about hand quilting is you get to revisit what you've done. Really enjoy the pattern used, and the pattern within each fabric. It's interesting and relaxing to see dimension forming and almost a topography going on. It also is comforting to be working on this at night, with your favorite dog taking one corner of the quilt for a test drive nap.

    Lot's of people hate the actual quilting and I can respect that and would not judge how their choices. There's some wonderful options out there. Personally, I feel even more connected by my quilts, knowing I personally sewed every stitch. Happy Stitching!

  7. #32
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthPStitches View Post
    Lot's of people hate the actual quilting and I can respect that and would not judge how their choices. There's some wonderful options out there. Personally, I feel even more connected by my quilts, knowing I personally sewed every stitch. Happy Stitching!
    Well said! Thank you.

    Janet

  8. #33
    Super Member mike'sgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AshleyR View Post
    I would also like to recommend a cheater panel for learning too. That way you don't have to deal with those pesky seams!
    That's what I did to start off. I used a panel and just quilted around the pictures and then did some quilting in the background after marking it with a stencil.
    I use two thimbles, the one on top has the rubber body with a metal tip, and the other one is all metal. I like to do it, but only for family, and only with strict instructions that the dog cannot sleep on it, lol. Gina

  9. #34
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    I also hand quilt and find it very relaxing. I would say practice on something before you start on a real project. Don't put it into the hoop very tight. I have a lot of play with my fabric. Do not buy too big of a hoop. I had a 18 (I think) and it about killed me reaching under do buy a hoop any larger than the area from you elbow to your hand. Find a thimble that will stay on and that is comfortable. I like the Clover protect and grip thimbles. when you find one you like buy several. Also clean them occasionally with alcohol so you dont get a nail infections. I also have a rubber finger like from the office supply place and use it at times for my finger under neath. Other than that relax and enjoy and just remember consistant sizing is important not speed.

    Diane

  10. #35
    Super Member quilter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jquilt214 View Post
    I hand quilt and do not care for machine or long arm quilting on my pieced quilts. I think that it is a disgrace to machine quilt on somthing that you take all the time to construct. I quilt with a group of quilters that wouldn't do it any other way
    I think she was looking for advice on hand quilting, not an opinion that criticizes machine quilting. My response to the question would be to relax and enjoy the process and take your time. Remember, there are no quilt police.

  11. #36
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    I am a hand quilter and used two thimbles until I read on the Jinny Beyer webpage that she tried using a spoon underneath and really liked it. I tried it too and now my fingers are MUCH happier but it looks like I might wear through the spoon given some time and a couple more quilts! Oh well, spoons are cheap but fingers aren't.

  12. #37
    Super Member katsewnsew's Avatar
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    I am also interested, and started a new topic on what is the best book to learn from, including hand piecing with illustrations, any comments on this also?
    I know everything I WANT to know!

  13. #38
    Senior Member Skyangel's Avatar
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    I am just a beginner at hand quilting, I'm working on my first piece. My mother started a Hawaiian applique wall hanging in the 70s, during the year we lived there. She completed the applique part and them we moved back to California. A few years ago, My Hubby and I we were on a trip to Hawaii (with My Mom and her friend) and were admiring some Hawaiian quilts we saw. I said I wanted to do one some day. My Mom said I have one you can finish. After 35 years, she knew right where it was and gave it to me when we got back. My goodness, it was brown and gold. After looking at it for quite awhile, I decided to add batik borders that would compliment the brown and gold but bring in more colors to distract the eye. My Hubby bought me a Grace lap hoop. I then took a handquilting class at my LQS with the ThimbleLady from Australia, Luxine Newman. After a few hours in her class my stitches were looking much nicer and more consistant. I ended up buying one of her thimbles and her book "Handquilting without Pain". She has a great technique and I hope I can finish this piece. I know I will treasure it being made by my mom and quilted by me (albeit 40 years apart)!
    Last edited by Skyangel; 06-14-2012 at 10:53 AM.
    Kim
    So many hobbies ... So little time
    private pilot, quilter, vintage sewing machine addict, silversmith, lapidary

  14. #39
    Senior Member cassiemae's Avatar
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    I always hand quilt and really enjoy it. I am never in a hurry to get them done because then you just start on
    another one. Just take your time and like the others have said keep your stitches consistent. I do machine quilt my
    borders but that is it. Good luck and keep quilting.
    "BIG SKY COUNTRY"

  15. #40
    Senior Member Bamagal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by efayard View Post
    Another hand quilter here. I love the look of hand quilting. You'll definitely need a thimble for your top hand. I like the ones that have the raised edge so the needle doesn't slip off. I also use either masking tape or the little adhesive circles they have now for the underneath finger. It gets pricked a lot. I've used a large hoop and also have used the Q-snap plastic frame. Practice, practice... eventually you'll get the hang of the "rocking" stitch. Good luck.
    I agree with this totally. Also start in middle of quilt working your way out to sides dividing quilt into fourths. Then quilt each fourth. Helps to keep the quilt from shifting.

  16. #41
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    I hand quilt all my quilts. A good thimble is a must. Since I live in Florida and don't need a thick quilt, I sometimes omit the batting and use flannel as my backing and this is really easy to quilt by hand. I pin my quilts and use a hoop. Give yourself plenty of time.

  17. #42
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    Hand quilting is a great skill, takes some time to develop--use very good needles, the smaller the needle the better the stitches will be. I listen to music, helps keep the rhythm even. If you are lucky enough to find a group with a large floor frame, you will have wonderful times.

  18. #43
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    Find a good quality, comfortable thimble. I love Roxanne thimbles - you get a custom fit and they are so comfortable that you forget you are wearing it.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by emt2004 View Post
    I think I am going to try my hand @ hand quilting......
    Anyone have any good advice or tips?
    I sure would apprecate it ! Michele
    I am piecing together Grandmother's flower garden pattern with 1930's reproduction fabrics - been doing this for several years now and find it relaxing and good therapy. So far, that's all I've done is the piecing and like it very much. Most people say it takes too long, and it does, but I love it so far. Enjoy and take your time - just do a little at a time and then the next thing, you'll see some beautiful results!

  20. #45
    Senior Member anita211's Avatar
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    I handquilt. I started out looking for consistency, and got it fairly easily. However, I wasn't happy with the size of the stitches. Okay, fast forward after many hand quilted items. I couldn't find any #10 between needles. I had #12s, #9s, and a whole lot of #8s. Where the 8s came from was, and still is, beyond me. However, I perservered with what I had. I tried the 11s... they bent. I tried the 12s... too tiny, but no bending. Then I tried the 8s. Yeah, the needle is bigger. I can actually hold it without my fingers cramping up after 20 minutes. And, the size is getting shorter. I love it.

    I do not quilt in a frame or a hoop. I am able to control the quilt better, and can use it to keep warm in the dead of winter. I guess this is why I don't handquilt much in the summer. It is too darn hot.

    However you go about handquilting, enjoy the process. All comes in time.
    Anita in Northfield, MN

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by GemState View Post
    Hand quilting can be a wonderful and relaxing.......just enjoy the journey! I found a thimble that has a ridge around the top and it has made all the difference for me. I bought 3 of them!!! And for me quilting in a hoop with the quilt sort of saggy helps. Just don't feel rushed and enjoy every stitch!
    I have a drawer full of thimbles and the one with the ridge is the best of all.... I use #10 James quilting needles and have the quilt loose in any of the three frames I use for hand quilting.... I love to hand quilt and am working on one with my guild members as a gift ..... It is a sampler and we used all civil war reproduction fabric....
    As long as there are folks like us who love the process, hand quilting will live on

  22. #47
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    There is the Thimble Lady's long needle , very loose in the frame style, there is a short needle, looser in the frame style. i have been hand quilting for years. go for consistent stitch size first, then shorten the length of the stitches. i like the leather thimble for right hand and go ahead and go for callouses on the under finger. seems like the prick lets me know when to rock the needle back up. though now i do a hybrid of the short needle and Thimble lady style, using a short needle and i don't get the prick pain so much. Whee, what a run on sentence. Oh well, i'm not changing it. i also domestic FMQ when i'm trying to get something done faster.

  23. #48
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    I like to, but don't always find the time.
    Tips I found useful:
    thread several needles, I like betweens, no longer than 18 inches due to tangling, I wind them on cardboard I have cut, so I am ready for the next one. I have trouble seeing to thread, so I thread several to not get frusterated while hand quilting.
    strech fingers often. do not stay tight and sew more than an hour without streching. you will get sore.
    I like matural beeswax to run thread over, it glides thru fabric so nice that way. Each time I start a new needle, I run the thread over my wax and sew with it. I found it doesn't work to do them ahead of time.
    don't try to get too many stiches on needle, small even stiches are easiest when you only have a few stiches on needle before pulling thru.
    have fun!

  24. #49
    pal
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    I hand quilt on panels that are intricate -Pennsylvania Dutch type panels where there are lots of little things to outline or not to outline. It's very relaxing. Since I am a novice, I keep a balloon handy to pull the needle through! Maybe it's not the right way to do it, but I enjoy it so much! What a tension reliever. I use the stick-on pads for my fingers, no hoops, and tiny needles.
    PACE - Positive Attitude Changes Everything

    "All things are literally better, lovlier, and more beloved for the imperfections that reflect the human effort that went into their making."

  25. #50
    KLO
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    There is so much good advice here. I have only done a bit of hand quilting so reading most all of these responses has been enlightening. So, the only advice I can add is do a bit of hand quilting every day that you can. At first you may only be able to quilt for 15 minutes or perhaps an hour or somewhere in between. But just do it as best you can. Then do it again the next day and the next day and so on, increasing the time you quilt when you feel able to do so. As others said, it takes practice and if you do some every day, you will find what works for you and get comfortable doing it. You will get better and more comfortable with the process and make tiny, more even stitches as time goes on. If you only do some once a week or once a month, it will be hard to get good at it. Ask me how I know! Good luck, have fun, and just go for it!

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