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Thread: How dumb was that? (Hand quilting)

  1. #26
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    Me too. I would love to be able to hand quilt but for some reason I just can not do it.
    Quote Originally Posted by OHSue View Post
    I still don't seem to be able to find my mojo for hand quilting. I like hand work, but quilting just doesn't seem to click for me.

  2. #27
    Senior Member familyfun's Avatar
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    I went to a hand quilting class once and the instructor kept telling me to make the fabric tighter and then she told me about 12 times I needed to try to rock the needle for more than a couple of stitches.. I was just like DUH how and the heck am I suppose to do that. I did have fun in the class because of the other ladies but I was not thrilled with the teacher. I actually prefer to hand quilt without a frame. I just have to baste really really well.

  3. #28
    Senior Member katybob's Avatar
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    What's the best batting for handquilting, especially for a beginner?

  4. #29
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    I did many hand quilting demonstrations on quilt shows over the years. When people looked at me while I was working many of them wer really surprised about the "looseness" of the quilt in the hoop! They tried many times to get familiar with hand quilting and they couldn't - just because they put their work too tight in the hoop. So you see: you are not alone! And now life is easier for you!

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmmcbride View Post
    How many stitches to the inch is acceptable? Hand-quilting is new to me. I have been averaging 5 stitches to an inch. I know to maintain a consistent size in the stitches in very important...just haven't figured out how to get more than 5 stitches. I can only do 2 stitches at a time to maintain stitch length consistency. I enjoy hand-quilting but I am very slow at it. Any helpful hints are appreciated. I really enjoy reading these inquiries. Thanks, Christina
    As already said consistency is much more important than stitch length. In my experience it depends so much of the fabric and the batting you are working with. Hand quilting is like hand writing, everybody has to find his/her own way and personal preferences and the result always looks a little different. Try to aim for regular stitches and for straightness - the stitch size will probably change while practicing.

  6. #31
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    Lots of words of wisdom....and you are not dumb, just a beginner. I don't use a hoop at all and only use the thimble on my top hand. Persistence is the key, and don't be too hard on yourself. Handquilting is addictive once you feel comfortable with it....so hang in there and happy quilting.

  7. #32
    Junior Member mimistutz's Avatar
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    I think the consistancy is more important than the number per inch. That said, I think I remember reading here somewhere a good goal would be 8-10 per inch. 12 that was mentioned here earlier seems impossible to me, I can get about 5-6, but still working on being consistent. I really enjoyed hand quilting, but am really new and slow. When we were in Lancaster one of the ladies that had a shop in her home, demonstrated for me and made it look SO EASY. She was a sweetheart and very patient with me and encouraging. We can just keep practicing.
    MIMI
    New Castle, DE

  8. #33
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    How dumb was that? (hand quilting)

    Quote Originally Posted by Val in IN View Post
    I'm another "no hoop-er". I just can't get comfortable using a hoop.
    Not dumb at all. I've tried different sized hoops and finally came up with one that is comfortable, but was still very awkward, when a QB friend told me about the position she uses (she will know who she is ). So I tried it. I sit in my recliner with my feet propped up on the "leg extension" of the chair. Spread my knees a little and prop the hoop again my legs. I'm comfortable, but could not quilt while there was an "audience" in the room.
    One step at a time, always forward.

  9. #34
    Junior Member bj riley's Avatar
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    I do not use a hoop. I get a little pucker once in awhile but you can't tell once it is washed. If I used a hoop I would have to do one stitch at a time---to slow for me!

  10. #35
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    My first attempt was a queen size quilt (what was I thinking). I bought a frame at a garage sale, it looked like a card table with the top missing, the sides were the frame. It didn't tilt forward and I ended up with carpul tunnel in both wrists and tennis elbow....now I only do small portable projects and dont hoop at alll.

  11. #36
    Super Member huntannette's Avatar
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    yep, been there done that too....

  12. #37
    Super Member huntannette's Avatar
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    I use a hoop but I loosen it up a lot after it is where i want it.....it is a plastic one and is very light and easy to handle...i`ve never has a pucker yet.....well not while handquilting, and i do mostly queen size.....i`ve read somewhere that you have to handquilt at least 5 quilts before you really get the hang of it.....i am on my 5th and my stitches still aren`t even...guess i`m a slow learner ....ha ha ha
    Quote Originally Posted by Val in IN View Post
    I'm another "no hoop-er". I just can't get comfortable using a hoop.

  13. #38
    Super Member sewNso's Avatar
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    Charlee, me too. i use a thimble on my top hand, and my fingers get poked on the bottom. also. i do have several leather finger guards, but for some reason, i just haven't picked them up and used them. also, my thumb nail on my right hand is always getting worn funny looking. but, i'm hanging in there, hand quilting my jane. she isn't perfect, but more than half done.

  14. #39
    Senior Member KerryK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    I love my Q Snap floor frame. I start with it tight as a drum to make sure there are no wrinkles anywhere. I then press gently on the surface to relax the tension to the proper give for quilting. Hey, there is always a learning curve when you start something new.
    I have a Q Snap, too, and do the same thing you do - and I love it. Easy to work on!

  15. #40
    Senior Member KerryK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katybob View Post
    What's the best batting for handquilting, especially for a beginner?
    Personally, I like cotton over anything else. (and it drapes beautifully!)

  16. #41
    Super Member Charleen DiSante's Avatar
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    Yes! Good for you for trying.
    Charlie DiSante

  17. #42
    Senior Member cat2quilt's Avatar
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    I don't use a hoop either and I found that this works much better for me. I have done pillows, wall hangings and a baby quilt this way and found that it works for me. Do you baste with thread or pins? When I hand quilt I use thread basting.

  18. #43
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    I also thought the fabric had to be drum tight! I have "fought" several quilts this way. Recently a friend clued me in to the fact it had to be loose (Thank you Gloria!!!). I also can't use a thimble, and my fingers are always sore (or bloody!).
    Shirls

  19. #44
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    When I learned to hand quilt 40 years ago I also had the tesion to tight. Now it is much looser and I usually can do 6 stitches to an inch.
    I use liquid bandaid or my "Aunt Betsy" tool and depending on what I'm using that saves my finger under the quilt from being pricked. I use a thimble witha deep top so my needle does slip and my thumb can control lay on the thimble and control the needle...
    I only do hand quilting but am now contemplating FMQ since I bough my Janome MC 6500...

  20. #45
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    When I first tried hand quilting I thought the quilt needed to be very tight in the frame. Then I read that it should look like your cat was sleeping in the middle. Makes a lot of difference. My problem is rocking the needle, I can't seem to quilt toward me. I am more comfortable quilting side to side and without a thimble. The thimbles seem to fall off all the time no matter how small they are!
    Sue

  21. #46
    Senior Member sarahrachel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PensyDutch View Post
    My problem is that I can't use a thimble. I need to feel the needle. I get callouses on my fingers. Wish I could use a thimble.
    I had to teach myself to use one and I can't put it on my middle finger like I see everyone else doing, I put it on my pointer finger. I hated it at first but the little indentations helped me to guide the needle better. But what helped the most is that I found one that fit perfectly. I almost had a heart attack the other day when I thought I lost it!
    It's not a mistake, it's an unconscious decision to change the pattern.

  22. #47
    Junior Member redeagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Val in IN View Post
    I'm another "no hoop-er". I just can't get comfortable using a hoop.
    me too. need lots of "give."
    prolific hand quilter

  23. #48
    Super Member JNCT14's Avatar
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    Glad i am not the only one with hand quilting problems! I cannot rock the needle, it just KILLS my wrist. I found hoops to be too restraining so gave up that idea. Now I just use a running backstitch which gives a nice hand quilted effect wihtout hurting my wrists or nails.

    As far as fingers go, i saw something in Michael's yesterday - they are adhesive pads that you stick onto the pad of your finger. I will have to try those....

  24. #49
    Senior Member teddysmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redeagle View Post
    me too. need lots of "give."
    Me, too. Seem to do better without hoop or frame. Just make sure I sandwich with no puckers .

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by PensyDutch View Post
    My problem is that I can't use a thimble. I need to feel the needle. I get callouses on my fingers. Wish I could use a thimble.
    Me too!!! I started using the little patches of "second skin" (type of medical tape) - that way, I can feel the needle, but somewhat eliminate the deep pokes. Has anyone else found an alternative to the traditional or leather thimble?

    Linda

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