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Thread: hand quilting

  1. #1
    djg
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    hand quilting

    I am going to try to hand quilt a quilt I just finished. I have some of the blocks just plain white and I would like to hand quilt a design in the center of these plain squares. when I hand quilt the design is it okay of the stitches go through all layers and show up on the backing material? Just where do you suggest I go for some help ? Thank you for any help anyone can give me.

  2. #2
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    When hand quilting, the stitches are supposed to go through to the backing fabric. Ideally the top and back stitches should appear the same. Work first on getting your stitches a consistent size and as you gain experience you can get them smaller. Hand quilting thread is heavier than regular sewing thread and most good brands will not tangle. I think there should be some youtube videos on hand quilting?

  3. #3
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    When I started handquilting, a mistake I made, which negatively impacted my results, was I didn't make BOTH hands work equally. My underneath hand wasn't doing much except deflecting the needle back to the top. And it should be helping more by manipulating the fabric, too. Both hands kind of wrinkle the fabric to help make the stitches. The quilting stitch is made by both the needle taking evenly spaced stitches through the quilt and by the quilt being manipulated to present the quilt to the needle's tip at evenly spaced intervals. The quilt must be loose in the hoop in order for you to manipulate it like that. Once I understood how to make both hands manipulate the fabric, things improved tremendously. Have fun with it!

  4. #4
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    Tartan has it right on the money. Hand quilting is a process to be enjoyed - not necessarily a race to the finish. Enjoy the process and your skills will definitely improve over time.

  5. #5
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    Check with the LQSs in your area and see if any are offering handquilting classes. Even if they aren't, they may know someone who would be willing to teach you. Also, I think there is a beginning hand quilting class offered on Craftsy. You could check them out.

    As a relative beginner, I will share my limited wisdom with you: (1) Use good tools -- there are differences in threads and needles. And find a thimble that is comfortable because it will become your best friend. (2) Forget about speed. Enjoy the process of moving the needle through the fabric. Try to find a rhythm that works for you. (3) Don't worry about making small stitches, just make them a consistent size. Check out sashiko stitching, which can be used for quilting as well as decorative stitching. (4) If you work on it every day, you will finish it. I know that is slightly simplistic, but depending on the size of your quilt, there will be times when you look at it and think, "Am I ever going to finish this?" Have fun and good luck.

  6. #6
    pal
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    Some wonderful person on the Quilting Board taught us how to thread 10 needles at the same time, so that you never have to stop and thread a new needle. I will try to explain it to you. Thread 10 (or any number) of needles, leaving the thread on the spool. After you have threaded them (the thread is still on the spool) put them in your pincushion and take one needle, pulling off the amount of thread you need. Make sure that you don't pull the thread out of the other needles. Do the same thing when you are ready for the next needle.
    PACE - Positive Attitude Changes Everything

    "All things are literally better, lovlier, and more beloved for the imperfections that reflect the human effort that went into their making."

  7. #7
    Junior Member iwillquilt's Avatar
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    I am taking a class on CRAFTSY. It has been a fun and easy experiance so far. I was impatient while she was talking about things. But I guess I maybe knew some things already and just wanted to get to the part I didn't know. For those that have no knowledge at all she gave lots of good information.

  8. #8
    Super Member Pat625's Avatar
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    I love to hand quilt- In actuality, the reverse of the design on the back of the quilt gives it a great look! I use stencils to make designs in the center of large blocks. I have found a very inexpensive place to order these: http://quiltingstencils.com/viewallblocks.aspx You can also find them in your fabric stores, but not the large selection available on line. I use the Americana thread that is available in Joanne's for 99 cents. I tried many of the more "designer" threads and was not happy with them. I also run the thread through Thread Heaven which is a thread conditioner. Enjoy the process!! I find it very relaxing

  9. #9
    Senior Member isewman's Avatar
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    When hand quilting, make sure your needle. Goes thru all 3 layers. I hand quilt, and use a quilting/between size 11. Its a small needle. Play with different size needle. I think, my 1st hand quit top. I made, I used, I think a #9 or 10 for sure. But got introduced to 11's, and I'm hooked with them. As for you plain sq's, maybe you can go to a shop. And find a size for that sq. I've got a Dble wedding ring quilt, that I'm going to hand quilt. And I went to a quilting shop, and they pointed out a template to fill in the center with.

  10. #10
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    YouTube has some good videos on hand quilting. I am working on my first hand pieced quilt which I plan to hand quilt. It is a twin size Jacobs Ladder. What I didn't find on YouTube was hand quilting on a frame rather than a hoop. Wonder how you learn to change directions since you can't rotate the frame?

  11. #11
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    I, too, am starting to hand quilt. However, I am starting with several small projects. I just found this website with videos on hand quilting. I have not looked at all of them.
    http://www.amyalamode.com/blog/2009/...ideos-at-last/

  12. #12
    IQ2
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    I just recently started hand quilting also. I bought self-stick thimbles to use on the underneath finger. They're great! The brand I bought is "Thimble-It". They're small oval self stick vinyl that stick to your fingertip, and they're so sticky that I use the same one several times. I just store it on the outside of the plastic package when not in use. They protect the finger, but you can feel when the needle comes through to the bottom.

  13. #13
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    Alex Anderson should have a video or a book on how to do quilting on a frame. I don't use a frame but quilt on a rotating hoop.

  14. #14
    Super Member AZ Jane's Avatar
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    Also, I personally find it easier to hand quilt without a hoop. Here are some suggestions to view if you might be interested.
    http://www.bing.com/search?q=quiltin...ZI&form=MOZSBR
    Better to do something imperfectly, than nothing perfectly.
    Done is better than perfect.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ Jane View Post
    Also, I personally find it easier to hand quilt without a hoop. Here are some suggestions to view if you might be interested.
    http://www.bing.com/search?q=quiltin...ZI&form=MOZSBR
    I find that the tighter my quilt is in the frame, the smaller stitches I can make. I know this isn't what most quilters fine, but it works for me. I use 9 or 10 needles. The 11's bend on the first load of stitches. Maybe this is because my quilt is so tight.
    Alice the quilter

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustAbitCrazy View Post
    When I started handquilting, a mistake I made, which negatively impacted my results, was I didn't make BOTH hands work equally. My underneath hand wasn't doing much except deflecting the needle back to the top. And it should be helping more by manipulating the fabric, too. Both hands kind of wrinkle the fabric to help make the stitches. The quilting stitch is made by both the needle taking evenly spaced stitches through the quilt and by the quilt being manipulated to present the quilt to the needle's tip at evenly spaced intervals. The quilt must be loose in the hoop in order for you to manipulate it like that. Once I understood how to make both hands manipulate the fabric, things improved tremendously. Have fun with it!
    Listen to this experienced quilter! Great advice! Also, I discovered I was not holding the needle straight up as I went into the fabric from the top. You need to do that in order to rock the needle in and out of the fabric as you load stitches on it. My handquilting is still terrible but once you learn how to use your hands and the rhythm and motion of it, it gets better. Getting stitches even and straight is a challenge but you'll get there! Good luck!

  17. #17
    Member TerrimB's Avatar
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    Hey there, I've found that I can't hand quilt very well using a hoop as i find I cannot manipulate the fabric as easily and most are too limiting as to size. The things I find I cannot do without are a leather sort of round thimble that looks like a ring - Joann's carries them. The main thing though is a pair of needle-nose or jewelers pliers. I have a hard time getting a grip on the needle to pull it through after the stitches are loaded. It does mean switching around a bit, but it works for me. And I agree with the others... have fun with it!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by qwerty View Post
    YouTube has some good videos on hand quilting. I am working on my first hand pieced quilt which I plan to hand quilt. It is a twin size Jacobs Ladder. What I didn't find on YouTube was hand quilting on a frame rather than a hoop. Wonder how you learn to change directions since you can't rotate the frame?
    There is a woman named Esther Miller who has a 2-day class at the International Quilt Festival in Houston on handquilting on a frame. Her method teaches you how to quilt up, down, forward and back. I was just looking at the catalogue and she is going to be there again this year.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TerrimB View Post
    Hey there, I've found that I can't hand quilt very well using a hoop as i find I cannot manipulate the fabric as easily and most are too limiting as to size. The things I find I cannot do without are a leather sort of round thimble that looks like a ring - Joann's carries them. The main thing though is a pair of needle-nose or jewelers pliers. I have a hard time getting a grip on the needle to pull it through after the stitches are loaded. It does mean switching around a bit, but it works for me. And I agree with the others... have fun with it!
    You can also use a needle puller. See a picture here http://www.anniescatalog.com/detail.html?prod_id=92505 I took a handquilting class, and the teacher had a supply of them for us to use. It was very convenient, and you don't have to worry about poking your fabric.

  20. #20
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    Thank you for the info in the International Quilt Festival in Houston. I will plan on taking the class.

  21. #21
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    I find that a rubber thingy like a finger cot, I belive its called, will help get your needle pulled through very easy and will not damage your needle. I may have gotten mine in the office supply place, just don't remember. Good luck with your quilting.

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