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Hand quilting without a frame?

Hand quilting without a frame?

Old 10-23-2014, 04:29 PM
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Default Hand quilting without a frame?

I have tried for years to do hand quilting, trying different kinds of frames and hoops. No matter what method I have tried, it makes my wrist ache outrageously and I have had to stop. I got pretty good at FMQ but I am working on an orphan block quilt and the designs will require too many stops and starts on my machine. I am thinking about using the method to quilt a large quilt on a domestic machine - cutting the batting into thirds and basting a section at a time, then quilting each section on my lap. This will allow me to puddle the fabric without bulk so I can maintain the tension. Has anyone tried this or have any other ideas?
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Old 10-23-2014, 05:13 PM
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I could never manage hand quilting with a hoop-just wasn't coordinated enough I guess. I lower my ironing board to lap height and drape the bulk of the quilt over it. It supports it enough that I can get even stitches without trying to juggle a hoop.
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Old 10-23-2014, 06:06 PM
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I tried it when I first started out, but I am not sure if I could manage it now. I love my hoop and I am thinking about getting one of those miniature snap frames of about 11 x 11 inches. If you are having trouble with hoops, you can support the bulk with a table or the ironing board like Jan says. It sounds like a good idea.
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Old 10-23-2014, 06:40 PM
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My mother taught me how to hand quilt and that was with the quilt basted and laying on my lap. Then I did a quilt as you go riding to North Carolina to see her with the squares being hand quilted as my DH drove the 12 hours there and back. I made a whole quilt that way with the 15 inch squares in a neat pile and as each was finished put in a plastic container. I quilted the whole time I was there in the evenings. Having said that, I have tried and tried to do the frames and hoops and finally decided, I was doing pretty good stitching without the hoop that just got in my way. I hand quilt about every 5th quilt I make - baby quilts, queen size quilts, and runners, etc, no hoop just alayin' on my lap.
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Old 10-23-2014, 06:48 PM
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i've hand quilted over 300 quilts by hand this way, never used a hoop. when i was little, no one told me to use a hoop, so i never did.
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Old 10-23-2014, 08:43 PM
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I also could not learn to use a hoop to help my hand quilting. I sat on my couch and draped the quilt over the top and did my quilting that way. I had the room to spread out and had all the support that I needed....
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Old 10-23-2014, 08:58 PM
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Judging from all the youtube instructions I found, I thought that using a hoop is the only "right" way to do hand quilting . So I ordered one online. However, it just didn't work for me, I couldn't work out for the life of me how to hold everything the way they are doing it in the videos... This spring I was finally getting enough from my GFG UFO that was just waiting to be quilted. Worked fine for me without the hoop! Since the GFG, I've only done small baby quilts, but I have a big top almost ready to quilt (waiting for batting and backing to arrive) and I think I will try the idea with the ironing board!
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Old 10-23-2014, 09:57 PM
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I am going to teach myself Jean Brown's method of hoop quilting using Aunt Becky thimble on left hand and regular thimble on right hand. She does NOT move her wrists when quilting. If you google Aunt Becky thimble and scroll down you will find a YouTube video of her doing it. I'm determined to learn it and will practice til I do. I hate pricking my finger with the usual method and it causes pain in my wrists, too.
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Old 10-23-2014, 10:10 PM
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I'm not clear on why you think quilting in small sections will eliminate the wrist issue.

I also couldn't do the traditional hand quilting stitch because of the wrist movement. I switched to the thimblelady folding method, as explained in the book 'Perfect Hand Quilting without Pain' by Liuxin Newman, and now I hand quilt without any wrist or finger stress.
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Old 10-24-2014, 02:48 AM
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Hey joes mom I think the pain in my wrist is caused by the rocking motion I do with my right hand when I quilt in a frame. For some reason that motion is reduced when I gather the fabric in my left hand to maintain the tension rather than pushing up with my left hand underneath a frame. Maybe I am doing it wrong but I just cant sem to load the needle with one hand. A running backstitch works better in a frame for me but judges dont like that and I am hoping to enter this one in our fair next year.
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