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Thread: good news/bad news about hand quilting

  1. #1
    Super Member running1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Clinton, OK
    Blog Entries
    Hi all... first the good news: I found a Q-snap frame for hand quilting at a friends garage sale yesterday for $5... online they are $89!! Got it set up and put my DH's quilt on it...

    Now the bad news: first, some history... I've chosen a fleur-de-lis pattern to put into large diamonds and have planned to simply outline the small diamonds... Now, the problem...

    I can only hand-quilt in one direction!? The fleur-de-lis require turning and turning and turning.. I've used a lap hoop, but the quilt is large and there is so much quilt to turn everytime...

    Do I need to try to learn to quilt in more than one direction? I'm stumped? not sure how to proceed... and hoping I've not bitten off more than I can chew!!

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    If you're using a floor frame, it does help if you can quilt in more than one direction. I learned to do just about everything but quilt directly away from myself. It just takes practice - you can do it!

  3. #3
    Super Member Greenheron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Beautiful Briery Mountain in WV
    It's not easy.....that's why the fan, cables, diagonal lines and hanging diamond patterns were so popular.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Kristin in ME's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Maine, U.S.A.
    Yup. You have to learn how to quilt in every direction. That's part of the reason I have a lovely big wooden frame collecting dust in the attic, while I quilt with a hoop on my lap (meandering- every which way!).

  5. #5
    Super Member StitchinJoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Bucks County PA
    You do need to quilt in every direction. I quilt toward myself with my index and middle fingers, and away from myself with my thumb.

  6. #6
    Super Member LivelyLady's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Western MA
    I had to learn to quilt in all directions when I inherited my great grandmother's quilting frame. Four years ago I got a grace's lap frame and can now get my tiny stitches again (quilting down works the best for me) :-D

  7. #7
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Hudson Valley, NY
    I faced the same dilemma when I bought my frame. I solved it by learning to quilt away from myself. I have a tailor's thimble for my thumb, and my "away" stitches are as nice as my usual stitches.

    You can get around having to learn to quilt with your thumb by planning a route that goes in just one direction - doing half the fleur de lis design or half a diamond, for example, and then doing the other half.


  8. #8
    Senior Member clynns's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Columbus, Ohio
    When hand quilting, I thread about 5 needles. Stick them in the top of the fabric near the frame. Then I quilt from top to bottom and right to left, but haven't mastered the other ways yet. I get to just the point where I need to go in the other direction and then I start another needle somewhere else within the frame. After I get all of my needles working somewhere on the fabric I turn the frame 180 degrees and work the other direction. I too have one of JoAnn's big frame that have legs that extend so you can make the back of the quilt frame higher (much easier to quilt). Since my diagnosis of de querveins and tenosenvitis, it's limited my use of my hand for long periods of hand quilting. I do miss it. I have a wholecloth about 2/3's done. I also use a leather thimble. As your finger 'sweats' in the leather it molds to your finger. Soon, you don't even realize that your wearing it.

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