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Thread: Hand quilting with stitches besides running stitch?

  1. #1
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    Hand quilting with stitches besides running stitch?

    Do any of you hand quilt with stitches other than running stitch? If so, which stitches, how did it turn out, thoughts, warnings ...?

    I'm designing a quilt that seems a little too formal / delicate for running stitch or plain machine quilting. So I thought I might try using a little chain stitch, stem stitch, feather stitch ... But I'm not a very experienced quilter and many of you are. Any advice is welcome!

  2. #2
    Super Member quilt addict's Avatar
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    I don't have any advice, just a thought. The running stitch provides for the same look on the back as the front. Some fancier stitches are primarily on the top surface and the back will not have the same look. Also it will be hard to manipulate the three layers to get those stitches made in my opinion. Would be good to hear from others.
    Lisa

  3. #3
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    I have made two of the strippy quilts from www.maryquilts.com. I did use decorative stitches along the width of the fabrics where I had pieced different fabrics. It was fun!

  4. #4
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    I can't imagine any quilt design too formal for hand or machine quilting when the right pattern and thread are chosen. Look at some wholecloth quilts -- you can't get any more formal than that and those that are hand quilted are stitched with the running stitch. If you want to use embroidery stitches I would suggest you add them to the quilt top only. I don't believe those stitches would adequately hold the three layers of the quilt together. For some quilting ideas check out Pinterest and look at some of the quilting designs there. There's also a blogsite "Celebrate Hand Quilting" that posts pictures of quilts. When you log on be sure to find "Andrea Stracke" in the lower left column and click. You will find some outstanding quilts there.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    British quilter Jacquie Harvey sometimes uses a back stitch for hand quilting, which would show a decorative thread off better than a running stitch. She has some videos on her website showing how she stitches: http://www.jacquieharvey.co.uk/

    Other than that, I agree with Traditional Quilter - look at Celebrate hand quilting for inspiration on fine hand quilting.

    Janet

  6. #6
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    There is a plethora of stitches that you can use. Although I rarely hand quilt, when I do I want my quilting to be really visible and I use thicker thread or even silk ribbon. The best place to start would be trying to get your hands on a book called Quilter's Stitch Bible by Nikki Tinkler. It contains 200 stitches with instructions and pictures of both sides of the quilt. I have it and I love it. I hope this helps.

  7. #7
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    The backside of the chain stitch and the stem stitch are pretty much the same...they look like a backstitch. Herringbone, cross stitch, blanket stitch, and others have clean looking backsides as well. I don't see any reason why a small scale embroidery stitch wouldn't hold the quilt layers together just as well as a running stitch and be just as easy to needle as the tiny stitches done by accomplished hand quilters. Why not make a sample sandwich and try out some different stitches to get a better idea of the possibilities? I certainly wouldn't give up on the idea until you see how it works.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  8. #8
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    Ah, thank you for some great links and considerations!

    I was thinking of mostly the sturdier stitches like backstitch and blanket stitch or similar, and in small scale. Traditional Quilter makes a good point, I sure don't want it to fall apart!

    Maybe I'll post a pic before I quilt it. I'm just finishing up drafting the pattern, not quite ready to cut and sew yet, so it will be some time.

  9. #9
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    doing such stitches will take you 2x, 3x or more to quilt. Have you looked at the back side of an embroidery piece?
    The quilt will look the same.

  10. #10
    Junior Member SandyWh's Avatar
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    I don't think the embroidery stitches will work well on a quilt for all the reasons stated here. When I want my stitches to really show up, I use Sulky Blendables No. 12. And a No 10 quilting needle.

  11. #11
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    Refering to the information in several of my quilt history books different kind of stitches had been used for quilting in former times. One famous example is the 14th century quilt from Sicily, now in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London: it's quilted with a backstitch. I think you should be aware that the back side of your quilt can look different to the top and the quilt is not reversable. Maybe it would be an option to combine embroidery just done on the top with "regular" quilting with the running stitch? Just a thought...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by lots2do View Post
    I have made two of the strippy quilts from www.maryquilts.com. I did use decorative stitches along the width of the fabrics where I had pieced different fabrics. It was fun!
    Oops, didn't read this carefully enough last night. I was referring to machine quilting. Sorry!

  13. #13
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    Thank you, Andrea -- that is interesting about the old quilts.

    And, that's OK, lots2do. Same idea, different tool is all.

    I'm thinking if I choose mainly stitches where the back looks like a running stitch or backstitch, the back of the quilt should look fine. Different from the front but not bad. I hope LOL . I'll do a little practice piece or two with the actual fabrics and shapes before I start the real thing. I hate to take things out and start over.

  14. #14
    Senior Member humbird's Avatar
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    I did a GFG with a sort of star in the center of each hexagon, using embrodery floss. The stitch I used was just a stright stitch for each "arm" of the star, and I went between the back and front (into the batting) to go to the next "arm" It looked much the same on the front and back. I especially liked the back, because I used different colored floss and a white back. I was very pleased with the look, and will do it again on the diamond hexagon I am working on now. The book that Tashana mentioned in her post above looks very interesting. I will be looking into a possable purchase.

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