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Thread: Hand Sewing a binding on & my fingers hurt.

  1. #1
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    This is just a table runner & I have only done 1 side. I can't believe how sore my thumb especially is from pushing the needle in & through the cotton.
    What can I buy or use so that I can continue to do some hand sewing? I bought a thimble but I can't seem to keep it over the sore spot.

  2. #2
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    I will be watching this, as I also have a sore thumb from sewing binding. I bought a thimble, but I don't seem to be able to make it work for me.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Kat Sews's Avatar
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    are you pushing the needle with your thumb? If so it may be hard to find a thimble that fits your thumb. maybe you could tape a small coin over the sore spot to protect your poor thumb.

  4. #4
    Super Member rushdoggie's Avatar
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  5. #5
    Super Member dove's Avatar
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    i haven't had that problem and i'm new to quilting...try looking at a you tube video...try searching for serena smith on line and how to blind stitch binding to the back of your quilt..it was very helpful to me...

  6. #6
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    I am holding the needle between my thumb & index finger & that is where the soreness is. I am only using these 2 fingers for the sewing. Also does the size or kind of needle matter?
    I did check out Serena Smith on youtube & bookmarked it to watch again. Thanks for trying to help me!
    Sue

  7. #7
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    I stopped sewing binding on by hand after my third quilt or so. I now make a 2 1/2 inch binding and sew it onto the front side, then fold it back and from the top stitch just in the ditch were the binding was attached to the front. No more sore fingers and a lot of extra time. Anna

  8. #8
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    I do the same...I do not enjoy hand sewing. Machine sewing the binding is quicker, secure and it looks good.
    Quote Originally Posted by Annaquilts
    I stopped sewing binding on by hand after my third quilt or so. I now make a 2 1/2 inch binding and sew it onto the front side, then fold it back and from the top stitch just in the ditch were the binding was attached to the front. No more sore fingers and a lot of extra time. Anna

  9. #9
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    I also just ordered the finger pads. Thanks for that suggestion!
    Sue

  10. #10
    Super Member kathdavis's Avatar
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    I am working on my "Over the River and Through the Woods" quilt, so I am doing a lot of hand embroidering and my middle finger was getting really sore from pushing the needle through. I collect thimbles, but have never been able to use them. When I have a thimble on my finger, I use another finger to push the needle through. Crazy, uhh! I think I found a reasonable alternative. I purchased some corn pad (for your feet) and cut off pieces to put on my finger where it hurts. I can get several small pads out of one corn pad. I used them all weekend and loved them. It made a big difference and they are very inexpensive. I paid $1.50 for 9 pads which I can cut up to make at least 36 small pads. Not a bad deal!

  11. #11
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    It's your technique. Put a thimble on your middle finger and you can use the side of your finger to push the needle thru at the same time you pull it.

  12. #12
    Super Member jemma's Avatar
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    if it is only a smallish item---could you hem stitch both sides----to add strength a running stitch on the inside of the front binding crease [not through all layers ]this will also hold it in place ass you do the front

  13. #13
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    I use a quilting needle for sewing down binding. I found normal sewing needles too hard to push through (too thick) and straw needles too bendy.

    Edited to add: I also use a ladder stitch, not a whip stitch. Fewer stitches. :)

  14. #14
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    Thank you everyone! I am going out today to buy quilting needles & corn pads. I am not confident enough to try & sew in the ditch yet but hopefully soon. I have amazed myself with these 2 table runners & really with no pattern to follow. I will post pics when they are done.

  15. #15
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    When I have a lot of hand seewing to do I get a small hole in my middle finger right next to the nail. Somehow I find that spot with each stitch. I keep trying a thimble, but none seem to fit and they fall off. It helps to wet my finger a little before putting the thimble on--makes it stick. Think I will try the corn pads.
    Sue

  16. #16
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    there are little (thimble dots) that are adhesive you can put them on your fingers anywhere you need them to be...try changing to a finer needle, if your needle is too big it is harder to push through the fabric, since you should only be catching a few threads on the fold of your binding and the the quilt your needle should easily slide through, if it is hard the needle is not the right needle for the job.

  17. #17
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by susie-susie-susie
    When I have a lot of hand seewing to do I get a small hole in my middle finger right next to the nail. Somehow I find that spot with each stitch. I keep trying a thimble, but none seem to fit and they fall off. It helps to wet my finger a little before putting the thimble on--makes it stick. Think I will try the corn pads.
    Sue
    You need to either smash the thimble just a touch so it's oval instead of round or try the silicone thimbles. They seem to fit better and stay on better.

  18. #18
    Super Member CorgiNole's Avatar
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    A couple things to try...

    First - what kind of needle are you using? I never knew it could make so much difference, but when I switched to a straw needle versus the thick one I was using, it was like sliding through butter. I think I have size 11 straw and size 10 sharps in my bag right now. And some undetermined really thick needles too.

    Second - use some type of clip or pin to hold the next few inches of binding where you want it if you aren't already doing so - I ended up with a serious hand cramp from holding the binding so hard.

    Third - test drive a few thimbles to see what you like. I'm finding that I probably need one on the thumb of my supporting hand along with the one on my middle finger as my thumbnail is scratched from catching the needle as it comes through.

    Cheers, K

  19. #19
    Super Member Butterflyblue's Avatar
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    I recently had a very sore spot on my thumb from hand quilting and I put a little piece of masking tape over it while quilting - that fixed it right up.

  20. #20
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    I hem my bindings by hand using the blind hem stitch, and have done so since I started quilting. I don't have a problem with soreness of any finger. If you are having to push hard on the needle then you are probably not doing the stitch correctly. Look for a video of the blind hem stitch...it is really quite easy and quite fast. It gives your binding a really nice clean finish without seeing any stitches on front or back. I have gotten to 3 hours of hemming for a queen size quilt.

  21. #21
    Power Poster Mariposa's Avatar
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    I gave up sewing bindings by hand. I make 2.25" strips, sew them to the back first, then bring over to the front and topstitch. Works for me, and saves my hands~

  22. #22
    Super Member nursie76's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rushdoggie
    I have used these, got them at Joanns. They really helped. I too have a problem with thimbles. Put it on the finger I am using and immediately, I wind up switching to a finger without a thimble...go figure. I like the corn pad idea though. Will have to try it when I run out of my little stickie things.

    Would love to see pics of your table runners.

  23. #23
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I push the needle with my middle finger using a thimble. It's natural when starting to hand sew to use your thumb but it's really not the best way to hand sew with ease.

  24. #24
    Super Member Lv2sew2011's Avatar
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    I just purchased yesterday these little round sticky things that I found in a Country Quilting Store and they work top is leather I think the lady said. They cost me $6.00 and she said they was reusable...

  25. #25
    3699quilter's Avatar
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    I use "Thimbles" (sticky dots) on my right middle finger.

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