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Thread: Aunt Becky

  1. #1
    Senior Member GemState's Avatar
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    How many of you hand quilters use an Aunt Becky?
    I bought one several years ago and every so often I get it out and really try hard to use it, but so far haven't been able to get the hang of it. I am DETERMINED to master it! Any helpful tips would really be appreciated. I know your quilt has to be loose in the hoop and I have watched several tutorials but haven't gotten the hang of it yet.

  2. #2
    PamB8s's Avatar
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    Well I don't know who or what Aunt Becky is, but i'm on my way to google, and if she wants to come help me quilt send her my way :)

  3. #3
    Super Member lfw045's Avatar
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    I've got an Aunt Becky and have really, I have to admit, never really took the time to master it. I have found that I would rather quilt without a hoop and one of these days I'll try using it without a hoop.......(I'm telling myself good luck with that one....lol).

  4. #4
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    this is what I love about this site; you learn so many new things. I have never heard of this before so I googled it. Here is a link to what I found w/a video
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...9466527029261#

  5. #5
    Super Member thimblebug6000's Avatar
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    We've had tons of conversations about this so will post a link to that search too.
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/search....t+Becky&u=&s=0
    I still have mine, but don't use it much, I can do straight lines with it but curves are another story, and I did double hearts the last large quilt so didn't use it.

  6. #6
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    Thanks; I'm still new to this site so I missed this thread. I will check it out.

  7. #7
    Senior Member flowerjoy's Avatar
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    Thanks for the video address. I learn something new everyday from this board.

  8. #8
    Super Member valsma's Avatar
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    Now that is interesting. Another new thing I have learned about on the forum.

  9. #9
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    I was given one by a friend. It really does help me with hand quilting as I have so many hand problems already.

    Luckily, I do more machine quilting.

    ali

  10. #10
    Super Member just_the_scraps_m'am's Avatar
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    i could surely use aunt Becky, Jane, Sally, Sue, Peggy,....

  11. #11
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    Well, thank you - I think. :mrgreen:

    The videos and the past discussions about this method of hand quilting looked just too darn intriguing to resist.

    So, I bought a Barnett Laptop hoop and some thimbles and the Aunt Becky and the largest hand quilting needles I could find, which still appear to be microscopic. How do you even HOLD a needle this teeny, much less SEW with them???

    Since I haven't hand quilted anything in a very long time, I have no ingrained habits to overcome and maybe I'll get the hang of this. If I can be half as fast as this gal, I will be happy, happy, HAPPY!

  12. #12
    Super Member sewingladydi's Avatar
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    I have it, but haven't mastered it yet. But I haven't been doing a lot of hand quilting lately so I'm still interested in using it. Probably would benefit from a live demo. Maybe at a future quilting/sewing expo.

  13. #13
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    I don't do much hand quilting but this little beauty may be what I need to get going. It actually looks like fun.
    peace :D

  14. #14
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    I think getting the hang of managing the needle with a thimble and thumb is going to be the hardest part for me.

    I really like the thimble - I've tried at least twenty different kinds of thimbles trying to find ones that fit and stay on and these do both, so I was happy about that. I'm probably going to end up using this brand for everything.

    I had no idea where to order those rubber thingies or what size to get, (or even what they're called!) so I found a place on eBay that sells one of each size in a sampler for just a few dollars. They look just like the ones that Jean is using in her videos. In case anyone else needs them: http://cgi.ebay.com/150536537891 :)

  15. #15
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    Alex Anderson's hand quilting class is starting on line and she says to give yourself 20 hours to get the hang of hand quilting. The way I look at it, twenty hours is not much of an investment if it gives you a new type of hand work to do in front of the tv. :)

    And she says not to worry about the size of the stitches at first - just the consistency. Sounds like a pretty good approach to me.

  16. #16
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    thanks for the video on Aunt Becky

    Quote Originally Posted by romanojg
    this is what I love about this site; you learn so many new things. I have never heard of this before so I googled it. Here is a link to what I found w/a video
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...9466527029261#

  17. #17
    Senior Member GemState's Avatar
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    In the tutorial I watched with Jean demonstrating the Aunt Becky she was using a metal thimble with a definite ridge around the top. The ridge is a real benefit when hand quilting, whether using Aunt Becky or the regular way.

  18. #18
    Super Member valsma's Avatar
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    Where do you buy one of these things? I would just be interested at getting a good look at it before I decide to buy and try.

  19. #19
    Senior Member GemState's Avatar
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    You could actually find a piece of metal and make your own. When I bought mine I was told the woman who came up with the idea fashioned one from the lid from a can of tuna and bent it to fit over her finger! (Probably easier to buy one!!)

  20. #20
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    I'm about six or eight hours into this little project, now. I've actually worked on it a lot more hours than that, but most of it has been out of the hoop and not using this method I'm trying to learn, so I'm not counting that. :)

    I had to switch to an ordinary sewing needle because even the size 8 betweens were too small for me to manage. I'm clumsy enough as it is and between the thimble and the rubber fingertip protector, I'm a mess! :D

    The straight stretches are getting fairly easy, but going around curves, I can only do two or three stitches at a time.

    I'm getting the hang of the "tripod" hold on the needle and the motions required for stitching, but Lord have mercy, my stitches are BIG!

    I'll bet if I had used the low-loft poly batting that she recommended instead of the low-loft cotton, I would be getting smaller stitches. I was in a hurry to get started, though and this was something I had ready to go for FMQ practice.

    This is just a couple of squares of muslin about 20-22" with a cotton batt inside. I drew a feather wreath in the center and filled the rest of the piece with gridded lines.

    I might not even finish it - I had to take it off the hoop to do the outside edges, and those are long, straight lines - exactly the kind of design suited for practice with this method and this hoop. I'd rather get back to working on the method than finish this particular project, which is not going to be terribly successful at this point, even if I were to miraculously catch on. ;)

    And one last point was that I ordered the 16" hoop because I thought I'd be stopping less frequently to move the quilt - but 16" is a bit large. If I had it to do over, I'd get the 14" hoop. There's a reason that's their most popular size. ;)

    I will say that there is nothing painful about this method - even with arthritis in my fingers and shoulders and carpal tunnel in my wrist, I seem to be able to work on the hoop for a long time and none of the usual pain issues bother me. This is a huge deal - trying to learn regular hand quilting is very painful for me. Even doing applique or sewing on bindings for more than an hour or two at a time can prevent me from sewing at all the next day, so "no pain" is really a gift! :)

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