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Thread: Hand quilting stich size

  1. #26
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hinterland View Post
    I don't think you have anything to worry about - it looks great!

    Janet
    I agree! Your stitches are very even and that is tough to do. All the proficient hand quilters say tiny stitches come over time. Keep stitching and be proud of what you have going there. It is beautiful.

  2. #27
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    Way to go, Jodi! I like it!
    http://s1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh485/KitsieH/
    Never regret growing older, its a privilege denied to many.
    Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

    Kitsie

  3. #28
    Super Member cwessel47's Avatar
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    My favorite batting is Mountain Mist Light. It is a dream to quilt through, still puffs up nicely to show off the quilting, and is nice and warm. It is also less expensive. For purists though - it is not a "natural" product. Great for wall hangings - which is a good place to start for a new hand quilter. I do not use a frame or a hoop. I hand baste 4-6" apart and quilt in my lap. You can "bend" the fabric with your non-quilting hand to get those stitches smaller. But the real answer to your question is just to keep doing it. Practice, practice, practice. The stitches will be smaller, and more even, before you know it.

  4. #29
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    You are all so kind! I was getting so discouraged after pulling out a quilt done by a wonderful lady who has been quilting for years. Thank you for reassuring me and helping me get back into the spirit! And all the tips are just amazing I cant wait to try them all and show you all the finished product

  5. #30
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    Just watched video, very informative! Thank you for posting.

    Quote Originally Posted by AZ Jane View Post
    I am also a new quilter and I love hand quilting. Except my hands don't. Have you tried quilting without a hoop? I found it much easier to get a consistent small stitch. Review my photos if you like, not bragging, just as a refernce from a fellow New Quilter.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDcLMiR2SAo

  6. #31
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    I agree that the most helpful info is that practice is what helps you get better and smaller stitches. Personally, I can't stand a polyester batting - it's too lightweight and doesn't provide enough resistance when trying to keep my stitches even. The needles "falls through" for lack of any other description.

    I've always used warm & natural and while I like it, my current project has Dream Cotton Request. It's a lightweight cotton and I noticed that because it is a lighterweight batting, my stitches are smaller. I will probably be using it more often.

    My absolutely favorite hand quilting thread is YLI. Gutterman in a pinch. Both are glazed 100% cotton threads. Don't like Coats & Clark, it frays and knots up too easily for my taste.
    my name is becca and i'm a quilt-a-holic :-)

  7. #32
    Super Member Sweeterthanwine's Avatar
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    I can't make very small stitches either. So however it comes out, that is what I live with. Most of my hand quilting is bigger stitches than a seasoned quilter would have. But, the quilt is mine, I did it and proud of how it turns out, no matter what the stitches look like.

  8. #33
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    I used to use some tape with lines on it to help keep my stitches small and even. I am not sure what the tape is called, but it is for hand quilting.

  9. #34
    Super Member Pat625's Avatar
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    I use a PVC frame in my lap to hold my work. I too found my stitches were so large, and then I switched to John James needles. since I have sme arthritis in my hands, I use the Golden Glide size 10 needles. I really think my stiches became much smaller using a good needle. I also think that consistent neat stitches are more important than size for a quilt to look nice...I too hand quilt everything, and as long as I enjoy it, I am happy. In time, you will find your stitches will become neater and smaller

  10. #35
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    My secret for hand quilting: quilt in a floor frame. That way you have two hands to control your quilting. One is on top and on on the bottom. I use Mountain Mist Quilt Lite. It is so easy to quilt through. Just like melted butter, as one old timer calls it. I was having trouble on my last one. it was one for a friend whose mother had pieced the blocks years ago. She hadused a very tightly-woven fabric that was hard to needle. Then I used a white backing that was a poor choice. It looked like the design had been painted on and when I hit one of those I couldn't get the needle through. i finally gave up on it and took it to my long-arm quilter and she is going to resurrect it for me. I took out all the stitches I had already put into it. I like a light-weight backing, plain if possible to show up the design and stitches. I had a wonderful compliment from one of my best friends when she asked me for some of my hand quilting to have as a remembrance of me. I found a piece at Paducah one year that wasalready printed so all I had to do was quilt it and wash out the blue lines. I gave it to her this week and she is going to have it professionally framed to hang on her wall. Made me feel special. I will admit that my stitches aren't as good as they used to be, but not bad.
    Alice the quilter

  11. #36
    Senior Member anita211's Avatar
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    I have always heard that as long as the stitches are the same, both front and back, it doesn't matter the size. I use an 8 or 9 between and can get maybe 8 stitches to an inch. I am happy with that. I rarely use a hoop or frame. I found it easier not to. I get all hunched up over a frame or hoop. Without one I can relax in the recliner and just quilt.

    Anita in Northfield, MN

  12. #37
    Super Member applique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jodi3284 View Post
    I tried to use a lap hoop and had terrible luck so I dont use anything. Of course I found out afterwords that I had the fabric too tight and thats why I couldnt get it right and now Im used to nothing. I was lucky enough to just inherit an amazing quilting rack from my husbands 97 year old grandmother. This rack hangs from the ceiling and my husband has so many memories of his dear grandmother always having a quilt she was working on hanging from the ceiling. I hope to get it up and learn to use it soon!
    I have a heavy piece of metal to "anchor" the quilt and give it a little tension as I quilt. I have always used a running stitch (not rocker stitch) and it is much easier to control for me.
    Debbie
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  13. #38
    Super Member applique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtteach101 View Post
    I used to use some tape with lines on it to help keep my stitches small and even. I am not sure what the tape is called, but it is for hand quilting.
    Tiger Tape
    Debbie
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  14. #39
    Super Member Wonnie's Avatar
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    I use #9 John James needles but have tried other name brands as well. Does anyone else have a problem with their needles bending???? I use Hobbs 80-20 but have tried other battings as well with the same problem. What am I doing wrong???????

  15. #40
    Senior Member CAJAMK's Avatar
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    My stitches are long too but it looks ok as long as they are even. With practice your stitches will get shorter.

  16. #41
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    Oh yes, I have terrible trouble with the bending of needles and have found that the Roxannes bend the least for me. I use an 11 or 12 needle. Have tried all sizes and those seem to work the best for me size wise. I strive for tiny stitches and some days do okay on them and on other days can't make a tiny stitch at all. I am also a very slow quilter, guess more practice would make me faster. Unless it is something pretty special most of my things get machine quilted now if I can afford to do so.

    Happy quilting to everyone.

    themachinelady

  17. #42
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wonnie View Post
    I use #9 John James needles but have tried other name brands as well. Does anyone else have a problem with their needles bending???? I use Hobbs 80-20 but have tried other battings as well with the same problem. What am I doing wrong???????
    Are you using a frame or hoop? Try not to pull the quilt tight in the hoop - you need to be able to flex the quilt sandwich. If it's too tight you really have to work to make the quilt stitches, which makes you grip the needle tighter.

    I tend to bend needles, too, but after a few hours of quilting. I use the needle as long as I'm making good stitches. If I start having a problem, I get another one.

    Janet

  18. #43
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    I love to do hand quilting as long as my arthritic hands will allow. I don't worry about stitch size anymore. I just do the best I can.

  19. #44
    Super Member #1piecemaker's Avatar
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    I use a #9 quilting needle. Also, I use a 6.6 oz batting. I also use a lap hoop. Be sure to start in the middle of your quilt and work your way out. When you put your hoop on and make sure that there no wrinkles in the back, gently push either up or down on it the middle to relieve the "tention" It will make it easier to work with. (Carefull not too much. Just so it has a gentle give to it) You should have better luck with your quilting this way. Remember the stitch size isn't as important as the uniformity of the stitches. Good luck!
    A finished quilt excites me!! Whether is it mine or yours!

  20. #45
    Senior Member QuiltingCrazie's Avatar
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    I have hand quilted quite a few quilts of varies sizes. All I use is warm and natural I have to say I don't find it hard to hand quilt. I can say hand quilting is not my favorite because it takes a while. I use size 10. stitch length is not as important as consistently getting your stitches on front and back. It is rewarding in the end!! I hand quilt all my monsters quilts!
    *Rachel*

  21. #46
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    Oh see this is another problem I am having... I seem to be getting the stitches uniform (for the most part) on the side Im working on but the opposite is not so uniform. They blend in much better on the front of the quilt so I am quilting from the back as it is black with the white thread. Any tricks on this one?? For the life of me I cant use a thimble and my fingers have became callous so I have a natural thimble on my thumb and index finger HA!

  22. #47
    Dix
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    I have been hand quilting since I started quilting. Our teacher thought that was the only true way to quilt, and she was really good. It takes lots of practice and patience! I use only YLI thread (cause that is what she used). Love the Roxanne needles. Always keep your first one to see how good you are in 10 years. I wish I could hand do all my quilts, but there is not enough hours in the day! So I do about half and half. Relax and enjoy doing this. I do have a friend who is left handed and she did have a hard time at first! I do not use a thimble and I have a 14 inch hoop!

  23. #48
    Senior Member MarthaT's Avatar
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    I really like a frame where you can stretch the whole quilt out and not have to baste. But you can stand it on quilt stands and not have to hang it from the ceiling. I can email pictures to you if you like. Batting makes a huge difference. I always use poly. I tried cotton and it's just way harder to get them small. My stitches were probably 3 times bigger with cotton batting. But if you keep the stitches even, it's still nice looking. Even your fabric choice can make a difference. Some fabrics just quilt easier. I never starch my fabrics when piecing. I wonder if starch makes it harder to quilt? Tension of the hoop or frame makes a huge difference too. I love my floor frame with the C-clamps holding it in place. The slightest adjustment to the tension makes all the difference in the world in making it easier to quilt and make nice stitches. Find the smallest needle that works for you, at least a 9 or smaller. I like a 10, it's stiff enough to not bend easily, but tiny enough to make nice stitches. The big thing is just EXPERIENCE...don't give up!
    Thimble and Thread

  24. #49
    Super Member AZ Jane's Avatar
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    And that IS the correct answer!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sweeterthanwine View Post
    I can't make very small stitches either. So however it comes out, that is what I live with. Most of my hand quilting is bigger stitches than a seasoned quilter would have. But, the quilt is mine, I did it and proud of how it turns out, no matter what the stitches look like.
    Better to do something imperfectly, than nothing perfectly.
    Done is better than perfect.

  25. #50
    Senior Member MarthaT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jodi3284 View Post
    Oh see this is another problem I am having... I seem to be getting the stitches uniform (for the most part) on the side Im working on but the opposite is not so uniform. They blend in much better on the front of the quilt so I am quilting from the back as it is black with the white thread. Any tricks on this one?? For the life of me I cant use a thimble and my fingers have became callous so I have a natural thimble on my thumb and index finger HA!
    The back will never get as good as the front no matter how experienced you are. If you force yourself to use a thimble long enough it will become second nature. I like one on my middle finger and have learned to push the needle with it, leaving my index finger free to pull the needle through. I noticed Alex Anderson does it the other way around.
    Thimble and Thread

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