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Thread: Hand quilting stich size

  1. #51
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    I would love to see pics of your frame! My husband is wanting to make me one and I am not sure which way to go with it. I dont use anything as I like sitting with the family on the couch in the evening as I quilt and worry about frame size not allowing that to happen. I do love the thought of not having to baste though, I am not a fan

    Quote Originally Posted by MarthaT View Post
    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!

  2. #52
    Junior Member joycet's Avatar
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    I use a number 10 needle but you might want to try and use a bit larger one if you haven't been doing much hand quilting. Like was suggested if you are using a hoop...I always do...the quilt should be loose....I love any of the 80/20 batting for hand quilting. To me it needles so easy..like butter. I've used poly and some of it is pretty good...but nothing compares to the 80/20. I do a lot of hand quilting. I belong to a quilting club and that's all that is done is hand quilting. You just to experiment and find out what is best for you.

  3. #53
    Senior Member maryb44662's Avatar
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    I read somewhere (could have been on this site or one like it) that it doesn't really matter what "size" stitch you make as long as all of them are the same size. I have quilted many quilts and my stitches are uniform, however, they are not the tiny little stitches but they are not really large either. Everyone that has seen my quilts ask me how I get the stitches so even. Well, once you get the hang of it, judgement of size is pretty clear. I am not perfect by no means, and have ripped out a lot because I wasn't happy with the irregular size of the stitch and go back and try to make them uniform. Hope this helps. Mary

  4. #54
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    I am so glad to see so many hand-quilters here. I was beginning to think I was a dinosewer!
    I don't mean to offend our machine-quilting sisters, but I want to give gifts that I made by hand, so my quilts are all hand-quilted, hand-embroidered, and almost always hand-pieced. It is the difference from wood sculpture to making a desk with power tools, both beautiful and useful, but different. Both heirlooms, maybe or not, depending on the talent, not the tools. Talent is the main factor.
    I think consistency is the key. Parctice making even up and down - the same length onthe top and bottom. start with 2 per inch if you have to. Get that right. Then try 4 per inch and then 6, etc.
    As in any other area of expertise, it is technique first, then consistency, then speed.(think ice skating and dance or tiddly-winks.)
    I use a tiny needle (8 sharp) a lap hoop (loose like a trampoline) quilting thread run through a beeswax candle, and have practiced for 50 years. I started out with zig-zagging lumps and now can get 10-12 stitches per inch (DEPENDING on the batt) without breaking a sweat. Threading the needle takes me the longest!
    I also use thimbles on both middle fingers to help push back and forth from top to bottom. It took some practice. So practice on pillow tops, or pot holders. I bet I made a hundred pot holders when I was a kid! I gave them for gifts.
    It is worth the trouble, I think. Tartan was very specific and right on! Good luck.
    Lottie
    Be Yourself. Everyone else is taken.

  5. #55
    Super Member Latrinka's Avatar
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    Practice makes perfect!
    If a woman's work is never done....why start?

  6. #56
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    I was thinking about looking into hand quilting...I'm so glad I found this post!! Thanks for all the wonderful advice!!

  7. #57
    Senior Member MissSandra's Avatar
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    I always understood 8 -10 stiches per inch
    Warm Regards,
    Sandra

  8. #58
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltingCrazie View Post
    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.
    Once you try something without a scrim you will realize how much easier it is! Of course if all you have ever known is W&N you have no basis of comparison. Do try some of the other wonderful battings that are available, I think you will notice a difference.

  9. #59
    Super Member LindaMRB's Avatar
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    I don't know about needles or really even how to improve, except that the more I do it the better I get. If I quit for a few days and get back at it, I'm not as good as I was. Still I am better than I was 10 years ago!
    It's what they say about practice, practice, practice!

  10. #60
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  11. #61
    Super Member Greenheron's Avatar
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    Try a practice square with top and liner and no batting.......

  12. #62
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    Wow...I love it...you do not need smaller stitches this is beautiful!
    Quote Originally Posted by Jodi3284 View Post
    Heres a pic... no perfection here but there can be no doubt it was hand stitched lol
    Attachment 330673

  13. #63
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    It's also helpful to use shorter lengths of thread - I hate starting and finishing off - so I would be using a 36 inch length of thread - hard on the thread and a lot of wasted energy pulling that long length through.

    Several authors suggest starting with about 18-20 inches - - I compromised - I use about a 36 inch length - but go about 15 inches in one direction - and then go about 15 inches with the other end of the thread.

  14. #64
    Senior Member Patchwork Pam's Avatar
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    I concentrate more on even and straight stitches as opposed to tiny. I get less stressed about hq. My eyes are bad and I have carpal tunnel hands. I am just glad I can hq.lol I do admire those tiny stitches others can make.

  15. #65
    Super Member DebbE's Avatar
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    I don't get too hung up on stitch length either -- just watch for conformity, that all the stitches are the same. Going through a seam requires the stab & pull to keep the stitch length the same. I don't use a hoop most of the time. I use W & N, but I'm used to it. It's very true that hand quilting with wool batting is easier, though -- I did a quilt for my son years ago with wool batting and it turned out wonderful. At times if I'm doing a more 'primitive' piece I'll do larger & uneven stitches just for the effect and enjoy every moment of that, too!

  16. #66
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    The size of the stitch doesn't matter as long as they are consistant through out the quilting

  17. #67
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    My take on this thread is that the more you quilt, the smaller your stitches will be. You seem to have the needle, thread, and now the tension correct. Just keep quilting and your stitches should get smaller. If not, the big stitch, if they are consistent in size will do just fine too. Keep on quiltin'.

  18. #68
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    stitch size

    Hi, food for thought. when I took cake decorating we were told there is no wrong as long as it is consistant and you are happy. I believe this is true for quilting too. I also do all hand piecing and quilting. As long as the reciepant is happy so am I. I've never gotten a complaint yet. It is the love that counts not the number of stitches. Enjoy your work.
    Caren.

  19. #69
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    I recently dug out a quilt top made 20 years ago and never quilted because I was waiting until I could do "better" quilting. What I have discovered is that my quilting is not going to get better. Over the last 20 years I have developed some arthritis in my fingers and my vision is not so hot any more, so the truth is this, finished is better than sitting in a box for the family to try to figure out what to do with it. So I am hand quilting it. Some of my quilting is pretty good and some will not win any prizes, but that's okay. At least I am making progress in getting it finished so someone can enjoy it. I have several more that I will hand quilt also. Years ago I wanted a quilting frame so I took an old card table with a metal frame and tore the old top off and wound the top rails with a layer of batting and then covered it with muslin. It made a really nice quilting frame, except that now I have back problems and can't use it, however the cat thought it was a kitty hammock and enjoyed whatever quilt was on it immensely! Just do the best you can do and carry on. I like a #12 needle even though they are difficult to thread. I do use painters tape or quarter inch masking tape for straight line guides and that works well. Neither of those tapes leave any residue on your fabrics. I can only get the quarter inch masking tape at the auto paint store in our area as our department stores don't carry it. I have used several brands of quilting thread and all worked okay. I do like Quilt Heaven to coat the thread and keep it from tangling and getting knots. Now I sit in my favorite chair without a frame and quilt away. I'm going to try gluing a quilt together with 505 to see if that is okay for hand quilting or if it is sticky enough to cause problems with pulling the thread through it all the time.

  20. #70
    Senior Member MarthaT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jodi3284 View Post
    I would love to see pics of your frame! My husband is wanting to make me one and I am not sure which way to go with it. I dont use anything as I like sitting with the family on the couch in the evening as I quilt and worry about frame size not allowing that to happen. I do love the thought of not having to baste though, I am not a fan
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/main-f1...me-t81725.html I posted pics of it earlier on the board. Go to this link and you can see my frame. I have various lengths of sticks for all sizes of quilts. The ones pictured fit a baby quilt size.
    Thimble and Thread

  21. #71
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    My mother was an award winning quilter. When she won the prizes, she quilted with #50 thread and a 9 between needle. She had old roller-style frames. She used the rocker method mentioned above. She consistantly got 10 to 12 stitches per inch. I'm not that good. I'm still waiting for a LA. One of my favorite QB friends uses Hobbs, wool batting. They even have a silk batting now. Saw it in Paducah. Good luck and don't give up. It takes years to be a superb quilter. I may not last that long.
    Donna Quilts
    We help the wounded soldiers.

  22. #72
    Senior Member teddysmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jodi3284 View Post
    What is your favorite thread for hand quilting?
    My favorite thread for hand quilting is YLI for hand quilting.

  23. #73
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    For hand quilting, I love using a Touch of Silk.The needle just seems to glide through it. I have never been able to use a thimble, and didn't have sore fingers using the silk.
    Wilma

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