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Thread: Hand Quilting Question

  1. #1
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    I am working on my first quilt and just finished hand quilting the center medallion held in a hoop. On the back, little bits of Warm & Natural batting is poking thru where I pulled my needle to the back. Do I need to wax the thread or purchase a special type of thread or needle to hand quilt? I am currently using Gutterman 40, which I also use in my sewing machine. Any help would be appreciated as I so VERY MUCH want this to come out right. Thanks in advance!!

  2. #2
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Oops duplicated see post below.

  3. #3
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I have never had this happen, espeically not with a cotton bat. However, I have never HQ using W&N. I machine quilt with it all the time. I usually like to use a poly for handquilting it is easier to needle but I have also used 80/20 blends. I have had bearding issues with polys in the past. You should be using a quilting between needle. It is finer and smaller. But I would think if this is only happening on the back and not the front your needle isn't the problem. What are you using for backing? It could be the fabric is too loosely woven?

    Your thread is fine, with thread just use what you like to work with. I do run my thread through bees wax but that is to keep it from tangling and knotting on me.

    I guess I am not much help. This problem strikes me as very unusual but maybe one of the other hand quilters will have a good suggestion.

  4. #4
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    I am using cotton broadcloth for the backing and it is hunter green so the little dots of white really show up!

  5. #5
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GayleM
    I am using cotton broadcloth for the backing and it is hunter green so the little dots of white really show up!
    Is the batting pulling through with every single stitch?

  6. #6
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    Not with every stitch, no, but frequently enough to be unsightly. Could it be the angle at which I am pulling the needle through? I am planning to stop at JoAnn's tonight to see if there are other needles, maybe longer and skinnier, to use. I purchased a small pack of hand quilting needles that contained various sizes and chose the one in the middle (cannot recall the number and I am currently at work). I could stop at a quilt shop to show them the problem but it's quite a drive from where I live. I'll take any suggestions and promise to give them each a try !!

  7. #7
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I just don't think it is a needle issue but I could be wrong. I do know there is a top and bottom to W&N here is what their web site says
    Is there a top and bottom side to Warm & Natural?
    Yes. The side with "flecks" (plant and leaf particles) is the top side. The whiter side is the bottom side. If you iron a quilt or wearable made with Warm & Natural, press with the top side toward the iron and make sure your iron is on a low setting. If you make a white quilt consider quilting with Warm & Natural bottom side up.

    So based on this answer this is not what is causing your problem. Broadcloth usually has a fairly tight weave to it, is that how your back looks? Is it pretty tightly woven? Maybe your needle is dull or one of the needles in the pack is defective. Try pulling a different needle out of the package and see if that helps alliviate the problem.

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    Good suggestion. I'll give definitely give that a shot. Meanwhile, do you have any suggstions for coaxing the batting back into the sandwich?

  9. #9
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    You've got me stumped - warm and natural is the batting a lot of quilters use because it doesn't beard.

    The only thing I can think of is that the eye of your needle is big and pulling the batting through the hole the needle is making. When you quilt, insert the needle straight down, which might help. Or maybe the broadcloth is letting you make a bigger than usual hole that isn't healing up?

    Janet

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by GayleM
    Good suggestion. I'll give definitely give that a shot. Meanwhile, do you have any suggstions for coaxing the batting back into the sandwich?
    You could try gently pulling the backing fabric away from the batting. Be very careful. You don't want to pull out your stitches!

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    If you are using regular thread then that might be part of the problem. Hand quilting thread has a finish applied to it to give it strenth and keep it from tangling. Regular thread doesn't, to my knowledge, have such a finish.
    Suggest when you go to JoAnn you look in the bin for Americana thread. It is very good for hand quilting and is ony .99 a spool. Not a wide range of colors. If not that then look for a thread that says hand quilting. Then use bees wax or Thread Heaven to run your thread thru, even tho it has a finish. I use Thread Heaven or the Tacky Finger from the office supply store that you use for sorting paper. This works better than anything I have ever used for preventing thread tangle. I also suggedt a #8 Between needle. Not a long skinny one you suggest. the long skinny one will bend or break.

  12. #12
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    Oh oh - I think the lightbulb just went off in my head. The quilting needles I am using are "self-threading". They have a triangular head with the wide end at the very top of the needle. It has a small slit so you just have to pull the thread down from the top to get it into the eye. Definitely GOT TO be the needle. I am going to JoAnn's tonight and replacing them !! Do you have any suggestions for coaxing the batting back into the sandwich other than removing all the stitching (Please!!)?

  13. #13
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GayleM
    Do you have any suggestions for coaxing the batting back into the sandwich other than removing all the stitching (Please!!)?
    How big are the tufts? You could cut them off at the surface and hope that once the quilt is washed it won't be noticeable...for after all, it's the back of the quilt.

    Or you could try running a needle between the batting and backing, and swooping the loose batting in. I do that with thread ends when they're sticking out.

    Janet

  14. #14
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    Thanks Janet! Good suggestions all. Think I'll wash the quilt first since I need to wash the quilting marks out when it's done. If that doesn't do it, I'll give "swooping" a try. I am putting the quilt on a Grace EZ quiting frame tonight - (no more little hoop!) and hope to finish the quilting by Monday. It's just a 40" square table topper. For a change I thought I'd start learning on something small (not my usual approach - I could tell you some really good stories..... ). I REALLY REALLY appreciate your sharing and caring. Many, many thanks!

  15. #15
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    I agree with Holice. I've never had an issue with W&N and I only hand quilt (except under duress for charity quilts). I've only ever used W&N. I also use 'between' needles - Roxanne, specifically, although I've used others. I also agree about the Americana thread - I love it, although just about any hand quilting thread will work. I've never worked with 'regular' thread to hand quilt. I also use Thread Heaven to condition my thread before stitching.

    I think when you wash your completed quilt you will be fine wtih your poking batting. If not you can address after that with the suggestions that others have made.

  16. #16
    Super Member M.I.Late's Avatar
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    I have had the same exact problem with warm and natural (guaranteed not to beard). My backing was also dark. In my case black on black. Mine was machine quilted by a long arm quilter. Two at the same time. My twin black, white and brights quilts. She said she changed needles a dozen times, called Warm and Natural mfg. showed them to other quilters while they were on the machine. No one was able to figure out what was going wrong so she just continued. She called me and said there was a little bearding going on, but that I should be able to use a lint remover to get them off. I said well, ok. She sent them back to me totally bearded. I mean it was bad. I ended up ripping both quilts all the way out. It was just too unsightly. My solution? I changed to a black poly batting. The problem with it though was that I had some whites in the front. I didn't want those to appear gray, so I lined the entire quilt. My sandwich had 4 sections. I hand basted the white lining to the black batting so it would still go on the long arm in three pieces. It was beautiful after that and no visible bearding at all. It may have been there - but you couldn't see it. Wish I had better news. But you did say the back was hunter green. That's pretty dark too...

    I hope changing the needle from the "self threading" works...

    BTW I'm Gayle M too.

    Ripped it all out - done to two twin size quilts. Sorry wrinkled from folding in anger
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  17. #17
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    it might be more difficult to pull the tufts to the inside afer the quilt is washed.

  18. #18
    Junior Member d.swindle's Avatar
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    I have used bonded polyester batting with great success inmy hand quilting of four quilts
    one quilt I used ployester batting that wasn't bonded and was sorry,the batting came through as you are haveing on your quilt.
    hope you find a solution to your problem and happy quilting.
    d.swindle

  19. #19
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    i hand quilt - and I use YLI glazed cotton handquilting thread. I've not had a problem - Quilting fabrics are also a looser weave than broadcloth, I wonder if those 2 things have something to do w/ it....

    Go get a hand quilting cotton thread, it'll be a bit easier.

  20. #20
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    Many thanks to you all. You have broadened my knowledge of hand quilting and I truely appreciate your sharing. I just finished quilting my table topper and will attach the binding today, then, into the wash. I am praying all the little tufts of WN disappear! I will definitely look for Thread Heaven next time I'm in the fabric store. My next quilting project is waiting in the wings for it's chance on the quilting frame. I am grateful for you all !! :-D

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