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Thread: Hand quilting - first attempt!

  1. #1
    Senior Member MarionsQuilts's Avatar
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    Hand quilting - first attempt!

    I always have a million projects on the go, but my backyard and front yard are now 100% complete! No more projects!

    So, yesterday morning I sat in the gazebo with my parrot and dog, and made my first attempt at handing quilting. It's not very big (about 20x20 (but in a hexagon).

    I did learn 3 things after the fact:

    1 - do NOT hand quilt in the ditch LOL ... very hard on the fingers!

    2 - a straight line according to my "eye" is not necessarily a straight line, and I will be using marking tools for the next one!

    3 - baste better or use a spray baste LOL

    I read about different techniques, using thimbles, spoons, etc., but once I got out of the ditch, I actually found it pretty easy.

    Now, I just need to get the motion down to perfection so my stitches are even! I did it in black thread so I could see how I was doing!

    Constructive criticism is very welcome!

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  2. #2
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    Hey, that is looking pretty good to me!!

  3. #3
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    if that is your first try - i saw WHOOOO HOOOO!!! You done good!!!

    I prefer hand basting when i put my sandwich together.

    If you use a hoop or frame, make sure your sandwich is loose and not real tight.
    my name is becca and i'm a quilt-a-holic :-)

  4. #4
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    I think it looks great! Not that there isn't room for improvement, but it really does not look like a first attempt at all! First attempts don't usually look that good. becca is right---do not make the sandwich tight in a hoop. I smoothe mine all out and tighten it to check it, then loosen the screw a bit and push my palm down in the center of the sandwich to make it loose a bit---kinda like a cat slept on it all night. You want to be able to manipulate your fabric over the needle point, as well as manipulate the needle.

  5. #5
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    Very nice start. Now just keep practicing. Its a lot easier if you stay a quarter inch away from the actual ditch. Fewer layers.
    Ageing is an extraordinary process where you become the person you always should have been............David Bowie

  6. #6
    Super Member Sync's Avatar
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    That's looking real good. The more you hand quilt the better your stitches become.

  7. #7
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    I think your stitching looks very good.

  8. #8
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    looking good, better than I can do
    Nancy in western NY
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  9. #9
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    I think you are doing great! My first stitches were at least a quarter of an inch long. Keep going. It is fun.
    Life is not a movie. No one is going to yell "CUT" when you make a mistake. - Anne L. Fulton

    I am from the South....39 miles south of Boston.

  10. #10
    Senior Member MarionsQuilts's Avatar
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    Thanks all! I'm not doing it in a hoop (it's really not very big). It sits very easily in my lap. I tried it in the hoop I have, and it didn't all fit LOL

    Thanks for the tips too!

  11. #11
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    Your stitches are well done. You were brave to use a dark thread because the flaws are more apparent with a high contrast. Then again there aren't any apparent flaws in your work. You made a good choice to begin your hand quilting on a small project. Hand quilting is relaxing and can be addicting. Great project.

  12. #12
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Those stitches look great. Why would you stitch in the ditch? The entire point of hand-quilting is to show off your handiwork. Keep going - you are doing a wonderful job.
    Martina
    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric!

  13. #13
    Junior Member Faintly Artistic's Avatar
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    Nice first try! Have you considered big stitch with heavier thread. Most of mine are quilted that way now.

  14. #14
    Super Member Homespun's Avatar
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    Your stitches are great.
    Retired teacher, loving it.
    Love quilting also.

  15. #15
    Super Member running1's Avatar
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    That looks very good for a first attempt...wait...what am I saying??? That looks pretty good, period!!! I hope you enjoyed it...to me, THAT is the real test!! Love your little quilt!!
    "... let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."

  16. #16
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    I agree with everyone else - your stitching is fabulous. Basting is important, no doubt. But I don't think I'd be brave enough to try spray basting for hand quilting. I think that might cause quite a bit of drag on both the needle and the thread. I usually pin about a hand-width apart in all directions and that seems to work well. If I'm doing a large (king/queen) quilt, I've migrated to thread basting to help keep down the weight. But still do that about a hand-width apart as well.

    Good luck and enjoy.

  17. #17
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    For the first time, that's looking good.

  18. #18
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    I would be HAPPY if mine looked like yours!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. #19
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    I agree with everyone who said that it looks great, especially for a first attempt. I'd like to add that sewing through batiks is harder than with "normal" quilting cotton. I think that you were quilting almost inch from the ditch, so that there was quilting on all 4 sides of each diamond? I imagine that you found some sides easier than others? That was because you were not quite a full inch from each side, so that sometimes you were going through one layer and other times you were going through 3 layers. If you were definitely "in the ditch," you'd always have sewn through only one layer, but the definition of all four sides of the diamonds would not have occurred. In sum, you were going through dense fabric, sometimes in three layers, so you should really pat yourself on the back for having done a very good job.

  20. #20
    Super Member lorimax5859's Avatar
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    Looks good to me too!

  21. #21
    Super Member sinceresissy's Avatar
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    Looks really good. I learned that very same thing about stitching in the ditch the first time I hand quilted. No more! I use a small rectangular frame and usually have not problem but I have to say that I have used wool batting twice and while it is really easy to quilt through it does not grab the fabric like cotton or 80/20 does and I have to be careful of puckers. I pin baste and so I maybe not have a good baste protection but I don't have that kind of problem with cotton. That being said I like the way the wool quilts up but probably won't use it very often.

  22. #22
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    It looks very nice for your first attempt. I like it. The more you hand quilt, the better it gets. For me hand quilting is so relaxing.

  23. #23
    Super Member willferg's Avatar
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    You are inspiring me to give this a try!
    People who start projects and never finish them are cooler
    than people who never start projects at all.


    http://quiltingquick.weebly.com/blog.html

  24. #24
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    That looks great. Back when I hand quilted I never ditched. I always quilted 1/4" away from the seam line. I used 1/4" painters tape to mark. Laid it down right next to the seam line and hand quilted right next to the tape. I could reuse a piece about 4 or 5 times before it lost all adhesion capabilities.

    Here is a link to my tumbling blocks quilt where you can kinda/sorta see what I am talking about in the first picture

    https://www.quiltingboard.com/pictur...ks-t22344.html

    Here is another one of my handquilted quilts where I also used painters tape along with several designs I actually marked.

    https://www.quiltingboard.com/pictur...p-t127559.html

  25. #25
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    It looks beautiful! Hand quilting is so charming.

    I don't use a hoop either. I find it much easier to get smaller, better stitches without a hoop.
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