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Thread: A question for hand quilters

  1. #26
    Junior Member redeagle's Avatar
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    dcrc966 writes:Ok, So now I have a question about that "rocking stitch". I have tried to get more than 6 stitches per inch, but can't make them smaller. How do you accomplish 8-10 stitches per inch?

    "They" say 6-8 consistent stitches is fine. Going over seam allowances is a killer and I find it impossible to rock down thru to the bottom so I cheat and go in the middle.

  2. #27
    Junior Member Lobster's Avatar
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    6 stitches per inch is great for a beginner, stop worrying and just concentrate on keeping them even and not messing it up when you get to a seam allowance. My stitches were that size for a good year or so after I began quilting, and they're only 8-9 per inch now - which I think is quite small enough!

    The main thing is that you're comfortable and that the stitches are even. The quilt should be well basted, and then it's a matter of finding a position that's comfortable and getting the tension right for you. Some people like it drum-taut, some people like no frame/hoop at all, and most are somewhere in the middle, so experiment.

  3. #28
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    I use a hoop with the quilt loose... not tight, in the hoop. I have a thimble on both my top hand and the bottom hand. The thimble on the bottom is pretty smooth, not the kind with the ridge around the edge. The needle goes down through the quilt, and I sort of pop it back up with that bottom thimble. Works for me. A bit hard to describe.

  4. #29
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    I know a woman who did the same thing. Can you imagine taking a king size quilt to a ball game. Mine would end up on the bleachers being used to sit on or walked on. She seamed to get along fine however. Wonder if it was the same woman? Her last name is Earl. If you think it is the same woman pm me and I will tell you where she is.

  5. #30
    clipper35's Avatar
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    I'm so glad to see I'm not the only one that does not use a hoop, I have never been able to use one, and I do all my quilts by hand. I have tried useing one but it just dosen't work for me. I spray baste my quilts first so they don't come apart while I'm quilting.

  6. #31
    Junior Member bizzyquilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pieces
    I will start by saying, I am not a hand quilter.
    I hand stitch my quilt bindings by hand, thats about it.
    I send my quilts to a LAQ that does custom quilting.
    She does great work and I'm always pleased
    when I pick up my quilts.
    I received a hand quilted quilt, 80% finished(12 blocks are done)
    The four borders need to be hand quilted. The borders are cut 13 inches wide, and the quilter was using a 10 inch hoop. (which I received)
    My question to the hand quilters here is-
    Is it absolutely necessary to use a hoop?
    I feel I could make better stitches if I didn't use a hoop.
    She has 4 rows of basting running the length of the border.
    Can I add more basting stitches and hand quilt these borders
    without using a hoop? Is it absolutely necessary to use a hoop?
    Would be glad to receive any advice on this topic from experienced hand quilters. Thank you.
    What ever works for you, there are no rules.
    :) :)

  7. #32
    Senior Member Katiequiltsalot's Avatar
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    I always use a hoop,but I think it depends on what's comfortable for you.I don't think I could hand quilt without a hoop!But that is the way I was taught.

  8. #33
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    I do not know about without a hoop but 1. smaller stitches come with time, your fingers are not strong enough when you begin. Even stitches are more important than size. For the rocking stitch you must start with the your hand palm down, needle perpendicular to your quilt with your hand under the quilt pushing up to make quilt taut. Then you rock your hand to it's right side not pushing under the quilt as much (think of your hand under the quilt as the tension on your sewing machine....tight for entering quilt from top, looser when making stitch) , make a stitch, rock it back to starting position, and continue. For a beginner just doing 1 stitch or 2 is all you need. More stitches will come with time. There are many who never do more that 1 stitch at a time and their work is fantastic. No right or wrong way here. It sure is worth trying. You might find you really enjoy. To me it is like relaxing and rocking in a comfy old rocker. Only difference is it is my hand that is rocking and not my body.
    Donna

  9. #34
    Senior Member gmcsewer's Avatar
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    My greatest problem is getting the right needle and thimble that will stay on. I am presently using a self-threading needle about1 3/4 long and a leather tube thimble with a metal dimpled insert on the end. It does make a difference in the lenght and evenness of my stitches. And I am not useing a hoop. I am doing an undulating feather pattern for a 4 inch border and it is going well.

  10. #35

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    Thanks for all the great suggestions!!!! My Turning 20 is looking better, especially now since I've done some ripping. My next one will even be better I'm sure. But was wondering if anyone has a cute baby quilt pattern. Would love to do something with ladybugs.

  11. #36
    Super Member frarose's Avatar
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    I started hand quilting a quilt in 1998 and broke my back that year in December. I now have the quilt half finished in a hand quilting frame. I am thinking of removing it to finish. Any suggestions? Then I need to get rid of that stand.

  12. #37
    Super Member klgreene's Avatar
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    When I hand pieced and quilted I always used a hoop to hold the fabric taught. Actually my only class on quilting was for hand quilting, and she taught us with a hoop. For me it was easier and my work looked better. But many don't use hoops.

  13. #38
    Super Member starshine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdsmith
    I always use a hoop but remember when using a hoop don't get the fabric tight- you need it loose to do the rocking stitch- I think lots of people think it should be tight like in cross point or other types of hand work- lossen up the fabric
    I recently read this tip - in a quilting magazine. Several years ago when I was quilting I thought it had to be snug, like for cross stitch or embroidery. Now that I am getting back into quilting I plan to use this method. the article said when you have it in the hoop you should be able to press on the center of the fabric and it should touch the table top.

  14. #39
    Junior Member Lobster's Avatar
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    Frarose - what position would you like to quilt in? I use hand-held frames rather than a floor frame, generally an 11" x 17" Q-snap, and I quilt on the sofa or in bed due to disability. I use rocking stitch rather than stab stitch and can't quilt in all directions, so quite apart from the back position I'd never get on with one of those floor frames.

    Other hand-quilting tips: I discovered big eye size 11 between needles a while back and absolutely adore them, and I use an Aunt Becky on my under-finger to stop it from getting pricked.

  15. #40
    Junior Member sew_sew's Avatar
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    Hi, You know the last name of Earl does sound familar, my mind is blank on the first name. I remember she even worked part time at night at the Morman handicraft store when it was still downtown. Sales and I think, classes. I also remember she loved Viking machines at the time. Do you remember her first name? My name is Bonnie. Thanks

  16. #41
    Senior Member dorrell ann's Avatar
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    well basted? I never use a hoop it is easier without for me

  17. #42
    Senior Member suzette1954's Avatar
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    I do only hand quilting and hand- sewing beautiful baby things. I have a lap pvc pipe square hoop and I usually like it but sometimes I take it off and quilt without it. You don't want your fabric to be stretched too tightly like they have already said. It isn't hard. Just take your time if you want to try it. I love it because it doesn't go any faster than I want it to go. Kind of like skating. I don't skate because I don't like anything that goes faster then my feet.LOL If you don't want to do it, send it out to someone to either finish or to your LAQ. We are here if you need us.

  18. #43
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    When I hand quilt I don't use a hoop.I have done, but don't like them for embroidery either.

  19. #44
    Junior Member AliceQ's Avatar
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    I only hand quilt and can't use a hoop. Hubby made me a PVC frame that I'm able to use though.

  20. #45

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    I thread baste and do not use hoop or frame and am happy with my work.

  21. #46
    Super Member desertrose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pieces
    I will start by saying, I am not a hand quilter.
    I hand stitch my quilt bindings by hand, thats about it.
    I send my quilts to a LAQ that does custom quilting.
    She does great work and I'm always pleased
    when I pick up my quilts.
    I received a hand quilted quilt, 80% finished(12 blocks are done)
    The four borders need to be hand quilted. The borders are cut 13 inches wide, and the quilter was using a 10 inch hoop. (which I received)
    My question to the hand quilters here is-
    Is it absolutely necessary to use a hoop?
    I feel I could make better stitches if I didn't use a hoop.
    She has 4 rows of basting running the length of the border.
    Can I add more basting stitches and hand quilt these borders
    without using a hoop? Is it absolutely necessary to use a hoop?
    Would be glad to receive any advice on this topic from experienced hand quilters. Thank you.



    As long as you have your borders well basted there's no problem hand quilting the borders. There are no quilt police in hand quilting either so feel comfortable quilting whichever way feels best to you. They didn't have frames or hoops when women started quilting centuries ago. Happy Quilting :D

  22. #47
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    I used to use a quilt frame, but since I have a lot of trouble with arthritus , I decided to do my "Grandmother's Flower Garden" without a frame or hoop. You just have to be careful you don't pull the stitches to tight.

  23. #48
    Senior Member gypsylady5's Avatar
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    I don't like a hoop either. Always too stiff and hard to make the stitches. Just baste really good and go for it. Its your quilt - you finish it your way!

  24. #49
    Super Member biscuitqueen's Avatar
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    I could never get the hoop thing right, I did my hand quilting without one.

  25. #50
    Member hexagonquilter's Avatar
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    I have a king size quilt that I am hand quilting. I have a floor frame but it didn't feel right, so I put it in a hoop still didn't feel right. I have it laying on a folding table and am just quilting it. No hoop, no frame. Just stitches. and I have to say I am pleased with the quilting of it.

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