Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Results 1 to 21 of 21

Thread: Hand Quilters! Help please.

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    109

    Hand Quilters! Help please.

    Good morning all!

    I have started hand stitching the top of my quilt and @ times the backside doesn't pickup all the layers. When I'm stitching and I go down I hold my needle straight up and push down till I feel it lightly picking my finger, then I Lay the needle Back towards the quilt (I hope this is making sense) and push it up using the thimble and my thumb on top and the finger underneath to help guide it. I've pulled a lot of it out, because when I look at the back side it has not picked up the fabric. On the backside shouldn't the stitches look the same as the front? I'm not using a hoop because I cant seem to be able to bring the needle far enough back to bring it up in a short stitch.

    Can someone post a pic of the backside of their quilt Please. Anyone have suggestions or is it just practice makes perfect? I have watched several video on Utube. I'll probably look at some more today. Any suggestions are appreciated.

    Diane

  2. #2
    Junior Member homebody323's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Rock Island, IL
    Posts
    296
    Blog Entries
    5
    Diane, it may be a combination of issues. Practice does make perfect and usually the first 2 or 3 stitches will get less of a bite so don't expect all your stitches to be exact. Are you using a quilting needle? Needles make a huge difference in hand quilting. I use a 10. Also as to the hoop, you can give it a try again and this time don't put your fabric tight. I will hoop a piece and then press down on the quilt so the fabric is more like a hammock. If you don't understand, I'll hoop a piece and post a picture. Don't give up, it's very rewarding to hand quilt. Also a tip for working on large pieces, if you don't have a quilt rack, use your hoop and lay the quilt over a card table. Let the table support the weight of the quilt. Makes it easier to get up for a break, or answer the door etc.
    Sally Dolin
    Rock Island, IL

  3. #3
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Piedmont Virginia in the Foothills of the Blue Ridge Mtns.
    Posts
    8,278
    Diane,
    I've handquilted for years and my stitches are not quite as "large" or "long" on the back of a quilt as on the front. Practice, patience, and consistency of stitch (more important that size) will win the day for you. Most quilters feel like trying to back a trailer when they first begin handquilting, it's awkward at first! More quilters use a frame or hoop than those who do not, but beautiful work is accomplished either way, so keep at it and soon you will have the rhythm and stitch you seek.

    Jan in VA
    Jan in VA
    Living in the foothills
    peacefully colors my world.
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/members...bums19552.html

  4. #4
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    945
    Hi Diane,

    This is always a tough one. Even after 20 years of quilting, my stitches don't always catch on the back, so you won't see me posting pictures of the back of my quilts!

    When I go straight down, I feel the needle coming through with my bottom finger. Then I rotate the needle back, without pushing with the thimble. I do press down with my thumb and up with my bottom finger - it's almost like folding the sandwich onto the needle. Sometimes, I can tell when I'm not catching the back...that happens most when my sandwich is a bit tight.

    Another tip is that it is much harder to quilt on the straight of grain. If you go on the bias, there is more flex in the sandwich and you can make nicer looking stitches. You can also hide a multitude of sins by using a busy print as the backing - I do that with my machine quilting.

    Janet

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    109
    Thanks for all the words of encouragement. I guess I'm trying to keep my stitches to small also. I've been trying to keep them about 1/8" which is probably to small for a beginner. I've had yrs of sewing experience but not by hand. =) . But I wanted to do this to be able to pass something down to my family. Plus something about a quilt just gives that home feel. So I will keep trying and master this. I am using hand quilting needles I want to say I've been using a 7 and a 9. Tried both to see what felt better. Here is the link to the ones I got http://www.joann.com/fons-porter-han...9-10/prd53534/ I'm not sure if they are good needles or not. The pack just said Hand quilting. I'm also using the Clover leather coin thimble I tried the Dritz adjustable plastic one that has the back open so you can put your finger nail through it. But I found that I was using the pad of my finger not the top So i went went the Clover. We will see how it works. I am also taking my hoop back because its so big that I'm having a hard time with my hand on the under side of being able to hold the quilt and reach where I'm stitching. I may just buy a cheep small one for now until I get use to this and see what happens. I think I might also try laying it over a TV tray to help with the weight of the quilt. My quilt is an over sized King 105" x 108".

    Thanks again everyone. I do not know what I'd do with out this board.

  6. #6
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    dallas tx.
    Posts
    4,692
    Blog Entries
    3
    One of the things I learned was to let your quilt have a little loosemess while in the hoop. It's hard to do it if the quilt is very tight, at least for me. Take your time. You'll get it perfect in no time.

  7. #7
    Super Member AshleyR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    East Tennessee
    Posts
    1,099
    Blog Entries
    30
    Here's a picture of the back of one of mine. You can see it good! If you scroll down, you can see the same stitches on the front (can't see it as well.)

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/picture...h-t162720.html

    I think they way you're describing it is the way I do it. I never "stab" myself underneath, I just use my thumb to feel if the needle is there or not. I usually load 3-4 stitches on the needle and you can tell by how thick each little stitch on the needle is if it's got what it needs! You can also "scratch" the needle under the quilt while it's loaded and feel the needle between fabric. I hope this makes sense. Just kind of run your fingernail across the needle, and you can feel if it went through or not. It's a lot easier to pull the needle out and do it again than pick out stitches!
    You can have any design you want. As long as it's loops!

  8. #8
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    30,833
    I like to hand quilt at my floor Q-snap frame that I got with a 50% off coupon. I put my layers in taut and when I am sure everything is smooth and wrinkle free, I lightly press down in the center of the frame to create a bit of slack. A too tight frame will have the needle popping right back at me as I try to load my needle. It sounds like you have the basics down and you will get better with practice. I quilt with a metal thimble on my index/pushing finger. I have one with good needle dimples on top. I also like to quilt sometimes with a thimble on my thumb. I use this method to quilt away from myself and because my thumb is stronger, I find it fast and easier. Good luck and keep hand quilting!

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    109
    Wow AshleyR. The back side of that quilt looks like it was machine quilted. This is the way I hope my stitches look one day. How long have you been quilting? Thank you for sharing everyone.

    Diane

  10. #10
    Super Member Kyiav10's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Williamsport Pennsylvania
    Posts
    3,366
    My stitches on the back are not as long as the ones on the front. I agree with what the other quilters have said. I have taken some pics but can not upload them until I get to work. I will try to send them! Kyia
    I love to do binding.

  11. #11
    Super Member AshleyR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    East Tennessee
    Posts
    1,099
    Blog Entries
    30
    Quote Originally Posted by turner0106 View Post
    Wow AshleyR. The back side of that quilt looks like it was machine quilted. This is the way I hope my stitches look one day. How long have you been quilting? Thank you for sharing everyone.

    Diane
    Thank you, Turner. I started quilting about 10 years ago. I quilted for a few months and then stopped until last fall. I probably have a year total under my belt! But before I moved and quit quilting back in 2002, I quilted more than a dozen quilts for other people! I loved doing it and just didn't have room in the house I moved into! Now that we've moved out "to the country", I have enough room for it again! I was very lucky that I was "adopted" into a quilting bee and they showed me how to do this!
    You can have any design you want. As long as it's loops!

  12. #12
    Senior Member lynnie k's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Pa.
    Posts
    580
    Blog Entries
    3
    I use a hoop and a Roxann thimble. They may be a little pricey but the rocking results are much better than using the leather thimble. Practice too don't expect to make small stitches at first the more you sew the smaller they get with time don't give up. I use a large eye #10 John James needle but find one that you really like you will have alot of different needles by the time your done. Hope this helps.

  13. #13
    Junior Member judys's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Northwest WI
    Posts
    189
    I can't see where anyone mentioned the batting yet. I think what kind of batting you use would make a difference also. I am just hand quilting my second project so I'm no expert. Just think a pretty thin batting is important for me.

  14. #14
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    109
    I'm Using Warm & Natural Cotton Batting. I was told that it was good. I'm using this for my cabin in TN so I wanted a good quality but not heavy in weight.

  15. #15
    Senior Member happyquiltmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    NE Indiana
    Posts
    564
    Good responses so far.
    I agree, it is vital to have your quilt sandwich rather loose in the hoop. I've broken needles before if there isn't enough slack.

    I almost always use Hobbs Heirloom batting (80% cotton, 20% polyester.) It's thin enough to quilt easily, but since it is 20% poly, you don't have to quilt extremely close together. Wool is also a joy to quilt, the needle glides though like butter!

    I've been quilting for nearly 30 years, and though I am machine quilting a little more lately, my first love is hand quilting.

  16. #16
    Junior Member sharkee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Rifle, Colorado
    Posts
    220

    Love to Hand Quilt

    I have been quilting for about 2 years and I prefer hand quilting to machine quilting. I have a lap hoop for small projects and a frame for larger projects. I use a roxanne thimble and my stitches are also better on the top than they are on the bottom but they are getting better. I usually use Quilters Dream Select batting but on the one that I am doing now I am using Quilters Dream wool batting because I was told it is easier to quilt and since my fabrics are batiks the lady that taught me to hand quilt thought it would be easier to start

    It will get easier the more you practice
    Sharon

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    951
    I've just learned handquilting. Sometimes my stitches on top & bottom look the same and other times the bottom isn't as nice. Also, I can usually tell as I'm going from the top thru the batting and bottom layers because it has a different "feel" to it. Then other times esp. if I'm tired I have to always look for awhile to see if stitch is thru. I also like the Hobbs Heirloom batting for handquilting. Keep at it. It does get better. I find it so relaxing.

  18. #18
    Super Member faykilgore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    1,484
    Ashley R you are an inspiration. Gorgeous work!
    Fay

    "You can't help that. We're all mad here." - The Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland.

  19. #19
    Super Member Kyiav10's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Williamsport Pennsylvania
    Posts
    3,366

    pics

    My stitches on the back are smaller. See if these pics can post.
    Attached Images Attached Images


    I love to do binding.

  20. #20
    Super Member AshleyR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    East Tennessee
    Posts
    1,099
    Blog Entries
    30
    You're very kind and made my morning!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by faykilgore View Post
    Ashley R you are an inspiration. Gorgeous work!
    You can have any design you want. As long as it's loops!

  21. #21
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    109
    Thanks Everyone! kyiav10 You do nice work also your stitches look really Nice and neat. I will Practice, practice, and one day I hope to be as good as you and AshleyR. When I quilted last night watching Idol it seemed to go better. But I did switch up to a #10 needle like Lynn K talked about.

    Thanks again for all of your help. Sometimes its just the encouragement from all of you that gives me the confidence to proceed and that it does get easier. Thanks!

    Diane

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.