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Thread: Any hand quilters out there?

  1. #1
    Super Member emt2004's Avatar
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    Any hand quilters out there?

    I think I am going to try my hand @ hand quilting......
    Anyone have any good advice or tips?
    I sure would apprecate it ! Michele

  2. #2
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    There are several who hand quilt on the Board: I did when I first started but don't any longer unless it's an heirloom and ONLY for my family. You'll enjoy doing it, but if you haven't tried it before, the best advice I can give you is to be patient (and forgiving!) with yourself. It takes time to perfect, like anything else worth doing. Good luck!
    If you feel like you're special...it's 'cause you are!
    Momto5

  3. #3
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    It can be very relaxing and is something good to do in front of the TV. just be patient.

  4. #4
    Senior Member QuiltMania's Avatar
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    Focus on stitch consistency first, stitch length can come later. Don't put your quilt in the frame tightly, you need some give in the fabric or it will be extremely difficult to get your stitches in. Take your time and enjoy it.

  5. #5
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    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

  6. #6
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    Another hand quilter here. And I agree with QuiltMainia. Enjoy the process. It's not a race. Try to get your stitches consistent first. Find a thimble that you find comfortable. Try a few different brands of needles (but all the same size) to see what works best for you. I prefer Roxanne #11's but they are tiny and take some getting used to. Other quilters all have their own preferences. Do your quilting while you're watching TV. I find quilting the perfect mix for me - machine piecing and hand quilting. Love to do hand work. Find it very relaxing.

  7. #7
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    Enjoy the process knowing that depending on the size quilt it could take months/years to complete, hence Momto5's comment about heirloom/family. I love hand quilting but I am also practicing fmq for quilts I want done and out quickly!
    Bernie

  8. #8
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    Another hand quilter here. Even stitches more important than size. Try tiger tape to follow lines. Most often I use thread to stitch, sometimes one strand embroidery floss or perle cotton for texture.

  9. #9
    Super Member Grandma58's Avatar
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    I use to and I found it relaxing.

  10. #10
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    I'm a passionated hand quilter for more than 20 years and the main thing I found out for me is how important it is to find one's own way of handquilting. There are many opportunities to get a good result. Some quilters use a frame or hoop, others do not. Some use a thimble, others don't. Some need a longer needle, others a short one. What works best for you can be bad for somebody else. Just give it a try! You will find many good tips here on the board.

  11. #11
    Super Member burchquilts's Avatar
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    Start small. By that I meant don't try a full-sized quilt for your first project. My first project was a doll quilt & I worked my way up from there. It's super relaxing & addictive!
    (`v)
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  12. #12
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    Why don't you make something small ... like a wall hanging, to try your hand quilting. It wouldn't take near as long to quilt and it would provide much needed practice.

  13. #13
    Senior Member cdmmiracles's Avatar
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    I'm a handquilter and love it. It's so relaxing to come in from work in the evenings and sew a few pieces in while I'm relaxing in the recliner. But like all the other comments.......be patient, it takes a while to see the results.

  14. #14
    Super Member AshleyR's Avatar
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    I would also like to recommend a cheater panel for learning too. That way you don't have to deal with those pesky seams!

  15. #15
    Senior Member teddysmom's Avatar
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    Totally with Quiltmania. Enjoy the process and relax. I use a #9 or #10 needle. Anything smaller is too much for me. Strive for consistency in your stitches. If they get smaller, that's fine. If they don't, that's fine also. This is YOUR quilt. I find hand piecing and hand quilting very relaxing if I DON"T try to make every stitch just perfect. I'm doing one for my oldest son now and it won't make any difference to him at all if the stitches are very small and very consistent. He will prize the quilt because he knows I made it especially for HIM. Relax and enjoy!

  16. #16
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    I have been handquilting for at least 40 years. I always use a thimble. I prefer a leather one. The white or tan leather ones work the best for me. If they have a little metal or plastic coin shaped piece in them all the better. I use a plastic snap embroidery hoop for small projects and have larger wooden round and a square hoop for larger quilts. With a larger hoop I can quilt with both hands. If using both hands I also wear a thimble on my left thumb . The advice about not making the hooping real tight works best and practice will make your stitches smaller over time. The important part is to be constistant whatever size they end up. Handquilting makes it possible to take your project anywhere. I can enjoy TV and conversation with my family and or friends and still get a lot done.
    Trying to sew, quilt or read everyday.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Sewflower's Avatar
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    I recently took a class on hand quilting without a frame and the thing that was most interesting was the batting. We ran our needle through different battings and the one that was the smoothest was the POLYESTER. Who would have thought that?
    Sewflower

  18. #18
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    I do like glazed cotton thread - Gutterman at JoAnn's is ok, although, I prefer YLI and i have to order it (YLI is the cheapest when you pay attention to the yards on the spool)

    One of the reasons that I like the cotton batting is because of the little bit of resistance when putting the needle thru - it gives me time to get my stitches where I want them. My stitches aren't as consistent w/ the poly battings because the needle "falls thru" the quilt. Another reason why you try all kinds of different stuff out - to see what you like best.
    my name is becca and i'm a quilt-a-holic :-)

  19. #19
    Senior Member teddysmom's Avatar
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    I agree with 117becca re: YLI thread. It's the best for hand quilting, less tangles in thread. Our LQS carries YLI but not all fabric stores carry it since it's designed for hand quilting.

  20. #20
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    If a quilt is special to me, it has to be hand quilted. Have been handquilting for 20 - 25 years. All the advice given is good. Just keep trying and your stitches improve little by little. Practice makes perfect and as long as your stitches are consistent ........ that's the key.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 117becca View Post
    One of the reasons that I like the cotton batting is because of the little bit of resistance when putting the needle thru - it gives me time to get my stitches where I want them. My stitches aren't as consistent w/ the poly battings because the needle "falls thru" the quilt. Another reason why you try all kinds of different stuff out - to see what you like best.
    Wow, thank you for saying this! I thought I was the only one who liked cotton for that reason. Maybe that's why I like hand quilting batiks, too. I use lightweight polyester batting sometimes, but I find I have to be much more careful or I stab myself.

    I will admit that I'm really enjoying the wool batting for my latest quilt - it has a lot more "puff" to it than cotton. It makes the quilting stand out.

    Janet

  22. #22
    Junior Member efayard's Avatar
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    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.
    Ellen
    "Don't tell me the sky's the limit when I can see footprints on the moon..."

  23. #23
    Senior Member GemState's Avatar
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    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!

  24. #24
    Super Member maryb119's Avatar
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    Hand quilting is not a race. It is a long slow process. I always have a quilt on the frame and hand quilt when ever I have a few minutes. It's relaxing.

  25. #25
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    I, too, used to handquilt but haven't for a couple of years. My profile picture is of a postage stamp quilt, a Anne Orr design, that has 6205 one inch squares that I HQ 1/4" inside EACH square. That took about a year, but other, less involved quilts would take about 3 months. The last quilt I HQ was one I started in 2003 when my Marine son went to Iraq. Terrible things happened over there and, for whatever reason, I just couldn't finish that quilt. Finally did in 2010! Anyways, TMI. As others have said, find what works for you - Different needles, thimbles, hoop size or no hoop. I finally settled on a Gold Eye quilting needle size 11, a soft double layer leather thimble, and a hoop that was 12" 'square' with rounded edges. You should be able to find a handquilter at your local quilt shop, guilds, quilt shows, or even your state or county fairs to give you a "hand." (I know, bad pun.)

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