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Thread: Hand Quilting Question

  1. #1
    Super Member LovingIzabella's Avatar
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    Hello everyone!
    I am hoping someone can help me out. I am going to attempt to hand quilt my first quilt (well not my first quilt but it will be my first attempt at the hand quilting) What thread should I use? Which needles? Which hoop-am I biting off more than I can chew?
    Thank you everyone for your input
    Hugs
    April

  2. #2
    Super Member Quilt Mom's Avatar
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    Please remember, these are just my opinion...

    For needles, i like size 11. They seem tiny when you first start to use them, but work well. (I use the John James big eye quilting size 11 - easier to thread the needles.)

    As to hoops, I like a smaller one. It is less difficult for me to manage. (I also carry my work a lot of places so I can work on it while waiting for others.)

    Thread... Hmmm... Perhaps someone else would be better to ask, as my tendency is to use the same thread I piece with. Not good, I know.

  3. #3
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LovingIzabella
    Hello everyone!
    I am hoping someone can help me out. I am going to attempt to hand quilt my first quilt (well not my first quilt but it will be my first attempt at the hand quilting) What thread should I use? Which needles? Which hoop-am I biting off more than I can chew?
    Thank you everyone for your input
    Hugs
    April
    My needles are a little on the large size because I feel I can hang onto them better. I would think any that have a good sharp point would do the job. Someone else may have some specifics for you. About thread, if the spool says hand quilting, that should be fine. Here is a picture of my hoop. It is 14 1/2 inches from side to side, with a wing nut to tighten. I love it and has lasted MANY years and still looks like new.

    Hope this helps you.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    Super Member tkhooper's Avatar
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    I used a hoop to hand quilt my first quilt. I'll never do that again. It cramped my hand something awful. I'm looking at making a pvc pipe frame for my hand quilting.

  5. #5
    Senior Member QuiltMania's Avatar
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    I usually use an 8 or 9 (not good enough yet to use the really tiny needles). Guterman makes a nice hand quilting thread. Coats and Clark too. As long as it says hand quilting you're ok. I use a small homemade frame that my dad got me at a yard sale and binder clips from Office Depot to hold it on.

  6. #6

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    I use a size 11 or 10 quilting needle. And as stated earlier to hand quilt look for thread that says for hand quilting. This thread is "coated" and will not tangle or knot. Also you don't want to use a length of thread longer then 12 to 14 inches. I sometimes do but then I run into trouble with the thread twisting or knotting. I simply can not use a hoop. I use a wooden quilting frame. I have to use my hand under the quilt to guide the needle. I've tried the hoop but didn't like the stitches I made. Guess it's what you get used to using. Happy quilting!

  7. #7
    montanaquilter's Avatar
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    i am wanting to hand quilt also-been trying to find someone to really teach me how. i hope that there are a lot of suggestions on this thread that will help me out also!! good luck with your hand quilting

  8. #8
    Senior Member SuzyM's Avatar
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    I use John James needles size 10 I think. I also like YLI quilting thread. It is stiff and comes on a large spool. It doesn't tangle and easy to work with. I also quilt on a hoop I have never tried a frame.

  9. #9
    Super Member LovingIzabella's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone! I am going to post pictures as I go along.
    Join me MQ we can learn together :-)
    Hugs
    April

  10. #10

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    about the frame. I have to laugh when I see these very fancy quilt frames and I think of my grandmother who handquilted lovely quilts and she used four cloth covered 2x2s tied together and resting on old orange crates. Gee I can still see her sitting there quilting with her radio on listening to some talk show or a pre-TV soap. LOL

  11. #11
    jewelps's Avatar
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    i use hand quilting thread, it is heaver and stronger

  12. #12
    Super Member craftiladi's Avatar
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    Practice, Practice is what I keep hearing about hand quilting...I have done some yrs ago, and have the itch to do somemore, maybe start w/ a small project .

  13. #13
    KBunn's Avatar
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    I use size 11 sharps but you can kinda feel out what size works best for you. My mother wont use anything but size 8. I use hand quilting thread that I can find...as long as it says hand quilting on it. The frame is a personal prefferance. I like my pvc lap frame the best so I can work anywhere but I have used anything from a hoop to a large floor frame made of 2x2's. I think it's all in what works for you and the quilt you are working on.

  14. #14
    Super Member lfw045's Avatar
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    I tried a hoop, hubby made me a pvc frame, I prefer to hand quilt without either. If you pin baste it well enough you can do this. I prefer it because I can sit anywhere and get comfy and quilt away.

  15. #15
    Super Member craftiladi's Avatar
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    Here are some links I found for hand quilting:

    101 Beginner Hand Quilting - Guides - Patterns - Instructions
    A lovely, intricately designed quilt can make anybody think of taking a week off and making one for one's own self. ... Beginner Quilting - Introduction to Basic Hand Quilting...
    www.quilthowto.com/ www.quilthowto.com/ Cached

    Amish Hand Quilting for Custom Handcrafted Amish Quilts and
    Our Amish quilters from Ethridge, Tennessee, can quilt your top or custom make special order quilts to your individual specifications. ... Hand quilting is our business. Our Amish quilters...
    www.amishhandquilting.com/ www.amishhandquilting.com/ Cached

    20% Off Perfect Hand Quilting Without Pain now w/ DVD by Liuxin
    Perfect Hand Quilting Without Pain is about healthy quilting. ... Perfect Hand Quilting Without Pain ; New Revised Edition with DVD...
    www.softexpressions.com/software/books/PerfectHdQlt.php

    20% Off Perfect Hand Quilting Without Pain now w/ DVD by Liuxin
    Perfect Hand Quilting Without Pain is about healthy quilting. ... Perfect Hand Quilting Without Pain ; New Revised Edition with DVD...
    www.softexpressions.com/software/books/PerfectHdQlt.php
    More Results from www.softexpressions.com

    The Quilting Bee: Hand Quilting Around Quilt Frames
    Because of this some quilting bees were a bit exclusive. In these cases being skilled at hand quilting would be a social asset.
    www.womenfolk.com/quilting_history/quilting.htm www.womenfolk.com/quilting_history/quilting.htm Cached

    DawnPages -- Hand Quilting
    Put one hand underneath the piece you are quilting on. Push the needle through with the other hand until you feel it just prick your finger, then push it up to the top again.
    www.reddawn.net/quilt/handqlt.htm www.reddawn.net/quilt/handqlt.htm Cached

    Quilters Threads- your source for fine quilting and machine
    Learn new quilting and fiber art techniques through Quilters Keep Learning ... We are accumulating a roster of wonderful teachers from all over. We have the United States, Canada,
    www.quilterskeeplearning.com/ www.quilterskeeplearning.com/ Cached

  16. #16
    Moderator Up North's Avatar
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    Here is a pic of the ones I use. I am doing a full size right now, almost done!!! And have a King size ready to go. I am currently using a dritz quilters betweens needle size 9. I have a box of lily hand quilting thread that was my Great Aunts and I love it but have also used Coats thread. The idea is to keep your stitches as even as you can shorter stitches come with practice. I am not there yet!!! I love the look of hand quilting and I can do it in the evenings in front of TV. This is only the second time I have used the bigger frame my aunt found it for $2.00 at a resale shop. I am finally getting the hang of the frame altho I have to turn it alot. The smaller hoop I like to use in the car when traveling. It is 14 inches across.
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  17. #17
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    I have a large free standing hoop that I have a baby quilt in.. I have also quilted without a frame and close pinning/basting is a must. One mistake I made at first is don't stretch the quilt too tightly it should have plenty of give so you can "work" the fabric.. I use a size 12 needle from Roxannes Foxglove Cottage.. I have found that the smaller the needle the smaller the stitches I make.
    I see nothing wrong with using the same thread for piecing (if by hand) and quilting. I like Gutermann hand quilting thread for both. if you're using a quilting thread that has no "finish" you may want to invest in a cake of beeswax.
    And keep your thread a reasonable length or it will twist and tie up on you, and that's a mess.. trust me.
    I like to thread at least a whole packet of needles onto the spool at once and then just pull one out, and cut off my length of thread. I hate having to thread needles when I'm "in the zone" quilting. Have a wonderful time and enjoy.

  18. #18
    Super Member LovingIzabella's Avatar
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    Okay this may sound like a stupid question but do the hoops imprint wash out easily?
    Tippy that is a good idea on threading several needles at once.
    Maybe I should make a small like 24 x 24 doll quilt for my daughter and try hand quilting that before I attempt a 60 x 60?
    Up North that is a beautiful quilt in the hoop!
    Thank you all for the suggestions-I really do appreciate the input and guidance!
    Hugs
    April

  19. #19
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    This is the frame I just got last year. It was SUPPOSED to be about $109.00, but when Jim went in to get it for me, he had a 40% off coupon.
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  20. #20
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LovingIzabella
    Okay this may sound like a stupid question but do the hoops imprint wash out easily?
    Tippy that is a good idea on threading several needles at once.
    Maybe I should make a small like 24 x 24 doll quilt for my daughter and try hand quilting that before I attempt a 60 x 60?
    Up North that is a beautiful quilt in the hoop!
    Thank you all for the suggestions-I really do appreciate the input and guidance!
    Hugs
    April
    I have never had a problem with the imprints from the hoop. They go away by themselves, and I don't even wash the quilts, (until they need it).

  21. #21
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    They'll be fine as long as you don't leave the hoop tight in one place for months on end. If you're going to leave the project for a while. just take it out of the hoop.. no problem.
    I actually prefer a floor frame to a hoop, especially for large quilts.

  22. #22
    Moderator Up North's Avatar
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    I use a dissapearing marker to mark my quilts and have never had a problem with hoop imprints. The quilt in my frame is for a friend to raffle off for The Cancer Walk. She bought the top at an auction and I am doing the rest for her.

  23. #23
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I use a Roxanne #11 quilting between
    I use a round lap hoop. I think it is a 14" diameter
    I love love love Valdani 35 wt thread for hand quilting. It is not coated so you can also use in machine. Have bees so beeswax is in abundence and I do run my thread through beeswax just before I thread the length on the needle. http://www.valdani.com/products/#spools
    When threading needles I like to load up about 6 needles before starting a session.
    I mark as I go with chalko liner or Fons and Porter mechanical pencil. I found out the hard way that these items rub off to easily if you mark the entire top and then try quilting. By the time I got to my 3rd hoopful I couldn't see any of my markings.
    My hand quilting time is my therapy and I sit with my husband as he watches TV and I alternate between watching the TV and watching my quilting stitches.
    I do not use anything on my underneath hand. I have special thimbles for top hand that has the back of the thimble cut out for my fingernail. I am wierd I push the needle with index finger and thumb instead of the middle finger. So I have a thimble for both index and thumb. I can not start stitches with any thimble so I push the needle with my fingernail to get it started. Then I slip the thimble on and do the rocking stitch. Here is a link to a thread that I posted showing how I quilt http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-29365-1.htm

  24. #24
    Power Poster Ninnie's Avatar
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    HI April
    I use a size 10 or `12 between needle. but when I started hand quilting years ago, i started out on an size 8 needle.
    You can use what ever size hoop is comfortable for you, or not use any at all. And I like Coats & Clark all cotton thread, just my choice. It is a little thicker than using a polyester thread, but I like the looks of the stitches more.
    when you look at threads, there will be one that will say for hand quilting, and any of them will do.
    Hand quilting is so relaxing and you should just relax, and enjoy it. Don't worry about how small your stitches are. the most important thing to practice is getting them all the same size. Also learning how to "pop" your knots into the middle of your quilt to hide them. Have fun with it!!!!
    I use a Fons & Porter mechanical pencil to mark with. It comes with dark and white lead. And you can also use masking tape. I also use 1/4 in tape, to quilt 1/4 in from the seams.
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  25. #25
    Senior Member Sharon - NC's Avatar
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    I hand pieced and hand quilted the quilt in my avatar. I used thread that was specifically made for hand quilting (got at LQS) and use a size 11 needle. I didn't use any kind of hoop or frame.

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