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Thread: Hand quilting

  1. #1
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    I made a quilt sandwich and tried hand quilting. How hard can it be, right. First I drew some lines & circles, Tried burying the knot, that's over rated, so skip that. LOL. First tried stab stiching the lines. I'd never pass a sobrity test. Next the circles, this time I tried 3 stiches on needle, looked pretty good. Then I turned it over, only one stich was on the back. My miserable attempt at fmq now seems so much better. GRIN.

  2. #2
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    I totally agree with you, my mother hand quilts hours and hours a day and her stitches are tiny and perfect. My attempt at it was horrid. I think she ripped out everything I did, lol

  3. #3
    Super Member CAgirl1's Avatar
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    I think you will do fine if you just continue to practice. It will take some time to get hand quilting down to an art.

  4. #4
    Super Member Judith1005's Avatar
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    i'm going to attempt to hand quilt my first quilt soon. it will take me about a month to complete the top i'm working on. i also heard it takes practice to hand quilt and if you keep at it you will get better. i wish you luck. and wish me luck on my adventure into hand quilting. i am in the process of researching everyones little tips on the board about this. everyone is so helpful.

  5. #5
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    Yip -- same experience that I had!!!! :thumbdown:

  6. #6
    Super Member Vanuatu Jill's Avatar
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    Ladies, it is so rewarding once you get the hang of it. Practice on a scrap sandwich first. A few tips that helped me in the beginning: use a hoop, and keep the quilt fairly loose in it. You will have to use your left hand (if your right handed) under the quilt under the area you are stitching so you can feel the needle go thru the layers and come back up. Use a thimble of some sort (I started out using electrical tape on my underneath finger!). It is more important to get your stitches more uniform than trying to get them tiny. I saw a friend's first hand-quilting where she only got 4 stitches to the inch, but it looked really good because they were all uniform in size, and she used a thread that showed well as part of the design. Poping the knot in the batting is important because you don't want the knot to show! At the end of each length of thread (don't use more than 18" or so each time), a small knot that also needs to be burried. Use a proper "hand" quilting thread that is coated and fairly firm. Just keep practicing-it is really worth it!

  7. #7
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    Well for got the hoop, I had just bought. I also bought 2 spools of real quilting thread & betweens. One out of 3 ain't bad. I used the correct needle. It is rather over whelming. I also bought a pre-printed pillow panel to make a sandwich with so I can pretend to be actually quilting as a plain muslim sand. is just depressing.

  8. #8
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    LOL thanks for the laugh. You might want to give it a try again. It is very relaxing.

  9. #9
    Super Member helou's Avatar
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    loll
    I just started quilting my first quilt. I agree! what a pain... getting the stitches uniform in size she says LOL well! that is another story. I undo some of them, but it seems to me that if I keep undoing more stitches so to make them all uniform is size, by the time I finish quilting it (if I ever finish in my lifetime and I am in my early 60...) I will have the impression that I quilted 3 quilts, with just one quilt to show

    That being said, I am new to quilting and I REALLY want to hand quilt it. I know I can do it, and if it's not as I see it in my dream, it will be hand quilted by me anyway!
    I wish you (and myself...) good luck
    LOLL

  10. #10
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    everything Vanuatu Jill said is Right on. Practice makes perfect. When I first started I used a polyester batt which was much thinnner and easier to work with. I now use W&N batt. I also use Betweens size 10.

  11. #11
    Senior Member mmdquilts's Avatar
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    It takes patience and practice. I didn't like it for a long time (but I was 9 when I started quilting) but once I got the hang of it I love it. I don't use a hoop. It is easier for me to get stitches small and uniform if I can actually grasp the quilt with my "under" hand. You will eventually find what works for you then it will become a joy rather than a chore.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by true4uca
    I made a quilt sandwich and tried hand quilting. How hard can it be, right. First I drew some lines & circles, Tried burying the knot, that's over rated, so skip that. LOL. First tried stab stiching the lines. I'd never pass a sobrity test. Next the circles, this time I tried 3 stiches on needle, looked pretty good. Then I turned it over, only one stich was on the back. My miserable attempt at fmq now seems so much better. GRIN.
    OK. Foget trying to draw lines and circles. Get some 1/8" or 1/16" inch gingham check to practice on. Make big stitches to begin with - 3 squares long and hen as you get comfortable move to 2 squares and then 1. Bury that knot. It is not overrated. Small knot in thread. Put needle in about 1/2" away from where you want to start quilting. pop the knot into the backing.....And did I say practice with dark thread so you can see your stitches.
    Don't try to quilt like mother or grandmother. Do one stitch at the time. Make sure the stitch penetrates into the back. Don't worry the length of the stithes. Make them consistent and penetrating consistently into the back. Don't try or worry about the stitches being the same size on the back as the front just so they come thru.
    Practice until you get a rhythm. And then always do a few practice stitches on a small piece before you start quilting the real quilt. You need to get into the groove of motion and rhythm first.

  13. #13
    Junior Member diane9617's Avatar
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    I do admire hand quilting. I just can't do hand quilting...too much time and mine doesn't look good. I like the electric needle for my quilting! :D

  14. #14
    Senior Member emmah's Avatar
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    Try using a hoop to hold the work. Use your underneath hand to feel the needle as it comes thru to the back and tell you when to shift the needle to make the stitch come to the top again.. I could never use the stab stitch technique, but taking three or four stitches with the hoop method works fine. Hand quilting is very relaxing once you get going. I listen to audiobooks while I hand quilt.
    The thinner battings are the best for hand quilting. I find "warm and natural" just about the hardest thing to hand quilt through, won't use it for that, as you have to make much bigger stitches to get thru it.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Kristin in ME's Avatar
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    Don't give up! You've got a lot of helpful suggestions here. Otherwise, just keep going. It takes practice, and it's well worth the time you put into it. Before you go any further- take a picture of what you did for your first attempt! Down the road it will be fun to look back on and see how much you've improved.

    I would also say just practice quilting in a straight line for now. Forget curves until you are comfortable with what you can do on a straight line.

    Have fun with it, you'll get better if you keep at it, I promise! :)

  16. #16
    Senior Member Kristin in ME's Avatar
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    Oh, and btw- I find it much harder to make consistent stitches with a stab stitch. Rock it but just do one stitch at a time, then gradually work your way up as you get better. (Though borntohandquilt only does one stitch at a time and she does such amazing, amazing work.)

  17. #17
    Senior Member campion's Avatar
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    Keep trying I hand quilt because that is how I was taught,I can't FMQ very well at all ---Practice makes perfect ---so they say

  18. #18
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    Thanks for all the tips. Praticing hand quilting will be my wintertime project. It is something I would like to do. Can you beleive I enjoy sewing down my bindings while watching TV. Can hand quilting be far behind. grin.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Kristin in ME's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by true4uca
    Thanks for all the tips. Praticing hand quilting will be my wintertime project. It is something I would like to do. Can you beleive I enjoy sewing down my bindings while watching TV. Can hand quilting be far behind. grin.
    Nope, it can't! If you enjoy sewing down your bindings, then I'd think you'll love hand quilting! (bindings= not my favorite ;) )

  20. #20
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    A little FYI for beginning hand quilters: I have been handquilting for many years, but when I don't do it for a long time, sometimes months, I lose the feel for it and is a struggle to get started. Fortunately, I start all the quilting in the middle and the wonky first stitches aren't so noticable. Don't get discourage after just a few stitches, or even the first 100 stitches. Hang in there. Handquilting is not difficult.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Kristin in ME's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scraphq
    A little FYI for beginning hand quilters: I have been handquilting for many years, but when I don't do it for a long time, sometimes months, I lose the feel for it and is a struggle to get started. Fortunately, I start all the quilting in the middle and the wonky first stitches aren't so noticable. Don't get discourage after just a few stitches, or even the first 100 stitches. Hang in there. Handquilting is not difficult.
    True. I hadn't quilted for several years before I started quilting the one I'm on now. The difference between the stitches in the middle and where I am now is VERY noticable. :-/

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