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First timer to hand quilt on 80 yr old quilt top. Need advise!

First timer to hand quilt on 80 yr old quilt top. Need advise!

Old 09-08-2018, 06:28 AM
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Default First timer to hand quilt on 80 yr old quilt top. Need advise!

This is a quilt top done by my MIL, who would be 100 years old this year. The material is very thin, so I don't want to put it through the stress of machine quilting. I've only hand quilted one other quilt and that one I did in the ditch.

Do you think it would look good with perle cotton? If so, can you suggest an easy quilting plan to use? Also, what color or colors thread? 8 weight?

I appreciate your help.

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Old 09-08-2018, 06:51 AM
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My first thought is - not peerless cotton, use traditional hand Quilting thread- I like the spooks from JAF. I would use white, keeping with age and design of the top. A simple design in the yellow squares and just Sid on the diagonal lines of the hsts....jmho
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Old 09-08-2018, 06:56 AM
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Actually I think machine quilting would help to reinforce those fragile fabrics by stabilizing them to the batting and backing you use. If you do decide to hand quilt an 8 wt is pretty heavy and looks best when doing the big stitch style of hand quilting. That style of quilting would be very complimentary to this almost antique top.

I would find a pretty stencil, but simple motif for doing in the yellow squares. I can't tell how large those squares are but here is a link where you can shop stencils by size. https://www.quiltingstencils.com/Block-Sizes_c_17.html

I would then do straight line quilting in the HST that echo the yellow square. I would quilt lines right through the middle of each triangle of the HST as well as the seam line so each round of HST going around the yellow square would have 9 lines of quilting inclusive of the SITD around the yellow square. Please post a pic when you have finished.
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Old 09-08-2018, 08:03 AM
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I agree that machine quilting would help to stabilize the fragile fabrics. That said, I think that hand quilting will be lovely on this beautiful quilt top, and I like feline's suggestion.
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Old 09-08-2018, 08:42 AM
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Thank you for your help! I already have one ball of DMC #8 cream that looks great with the quilt top. The top is 80 x 80. How many balls of thread do you think I will need?

Also, what batting will do best? And I would love suggestions for the backing.
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Old 09-08-2018, 08:53 AM
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I am a hand quilter. I would not use DMC #8. I would have a longarm quilter quilt the flying geese/hst part of the quilt in a simple straight line design and not quilt the yellow blocks. Now the quilt is stabilized. Then I would find a medallion stencil to fit the yellow blocks , mark them and hand quilt the blocks with off white quilting thread. I like YLI quilting thread. Silk batting would drape beautifully and be easy to needle, though it is expensive. My next choice would be Hobbs 80/20.

Last edited by Genden; 09-08-2018 at 08:56 AM.
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Old 09-08-2018, 11:06 AM
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I agree with Genden. I am also a hand quilter and I use YLI quilting thread. I haven’t used silk batting but use Hobbs 80/20 all the time.
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Old 09-08-2018, 12:25 PM
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This quilt top would be beautiful hand quilted. I hand quilt with a group of ladies that have been quilting for others for over 30 years. We get this type quilt top very often. The family will be going through grandmothers things & find a quilt top. We like to use a thick polyster batting which makes the quilt puff. Usually these quilts are not to be used but for the memories. We also suggest muslin for the backing.
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Old 09-08-2018, 02:28 PM
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Hobbs poly down and wool are both super easy to hand quilt through. I would also recommend to get a wide back fabric for the backing. That way you only have to deal with seam allowances on the front. Any kind of wide back will do, muslin or print but I would recommend prewashing as this will soften it up, remove factory sizing, preshrink and will alert you if it has excess dye if you get a color or print. No worries about bleed with muslin which is a plus. There are loads of places that carry w/b dirt cheap too, especially muslin. Marshall dry goods is a good one.

PS want to add I gave that 8 wt some thought and think you are better off with a regular hand quilting thread. An 8 wt would be an absolute bugger to pop the knots through the fabric, even if you did the knot popping from the back. I like a 35 wt thread for hand quilting. Valdani makes a lovely one. YLI is also very nice and just a wee bit lighter at 40 wt.

Last edited by feline fanatic; 09-08-2018 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 09-08-2018, 03:31 PM
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It is pretty and I think your MIL will be with you in spirit while you quilt it. Since I don't hand quilt, no idea how it should be quilted or with what.

I will be waiting to see it finished, though.
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