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Thread: question for hand quilters

  1. #1
    Super Member Joeysnana's Avatar
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    The stitches on the underside of my quilts are always shorter than the stitches on the top of the quilt. I use a rocking motion and load 4 stitches onto the needle and usually get 8 to 10 stitches to the inch. How do you get the stitches on the back of the quilt to be the same length as the stitches on the front? Any suggestions? TIA

  2. #2
    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
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    Practice, practice, practice!!! One thing that I used when I first started quilting was tiger tape. It helps in getting used to when to go down and when to come up. I found it very useful.

  3. #3
    Super Member Joeysnana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewcrafty
    Practice, practice, practice!!! One thing that I used when I first started quilting was tiger tape. It helps in getting used to when to go down and when to come up. I found it very useful.
    What is tiger tape?

  4. #4
    Junior Member kayquilt's Avatar
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    She's right about the practice, practice, practice. I also found out that if I am able to make really small stitches on the front then the little stitches on the back even it out. I have found that if I use really thin batting that this makes it easier. A small needle makes it easier too. I usually use either a size 11 or 12. Recently while quilting with a group of ladies, one of them was in need in of a needle. I gave her one of mine and she was amazed at how much easier it was to use instead of the larger size she had been using.

  5. #5
    Super Member Joeysnana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kayquilt
    She's right about the practice, practice, practice. I also found out that if I am able to make really small stitches on the front then the little stitches on the back even it out. I have found that if I use really thin batting that this makes it easier. A small needle makes it easier too. I usually use either a size 11 or 12. Recently while quilting with a group of ladies, one of them was in need in of a needle. I gave her one of mine and she was amazed at how much easier it was to use instead of the larger size she had been using.
    I have always used a 10 needle. I think I will give an 11 or a 12 a try. Thanks!

  6. #6
    Junior Member kayquilt's Avatar
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    This small size was a challenge at first, but after I used it for awhile it got easier. Good luck!!

  7. #7
    Super Member roseOfsharon's Avatar
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    I have not tried hand quilting , something I would like to do on a small piece. What is Tiger Tape? Please pm the answer so I will get it. :) Thanks Sharon

  8. #8
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Ditto all the above comments. I use a 10 or 12 also. And practice helps a lot. I love to hand quilt. It is my favorite part of the quilt process. Very relaxing for me :) Good luck!

  9. #9
    Super Member maryb119's Avatar
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    Practice is the best way to get them the same. It took a long time for my stitches to be even.

  10. #10
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I don't strive for perfection on the back. I usually have some kind of patterned fabric on the back so stitches don't show as much. What I am looking for is the texture and a kind of shadowing of the design. I know I certainly won't have a show quilt with this attitude but I don't quilt for awards I quilt to make me happy. If it looks good on the front I am happy.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    When I push the needle down to make the stitch, I try to have the needle at a 90 degree angle with the quilt - so the needle is going straight down. That helps make the stitches on the back the same length as the front. If it goes in at an angle then the back stitches are smaller.

    I'm happy if the back stitches look nice, without too many that are too long or too short, and the top ones are even. It's a bonus if the back and front are the same size!

    Janet

  12. #12
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    tiger tape is a tape with little marks on it it is narrow, like 1/4" or 1/8th" wide and you can get it with the marks from 4-12 per inch, it bends, or gives you nice straight lines, you place it along your quilting lines then use the marks as a guide to make your stitches...helps learn to be consistant, make your stitches even...is available in most quilt shops, or joannes type stores,and is inexpensive.

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    One of these day I want to learn to do that. God bless. Penny

  15. #15
    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joeysnana
    Quote Originally Posted by sewcrafty
    Practice, practice, practice!!! One thing that I used when I first started quilting was tiger tape. It helps in getting used to when to go down and when to come up. I found it very useful.
    What is tiger tape?
    Its a 1/4" tape that is sticky and you put it on fabric. It has black and white lines on it. It comes in different stitch lengths.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hinterland
    When I push the needle down to make the stitch, I try to have the needle at a 90 degree angle with the quilt - so the needle is going straight down. That helps make the stitches on the back the same length as the front. If it goes in at an angle then the back stitches are smaller.

    I'm happy if the back stitches look nice, without too many that are too long or too short, and the top ones are even. It's a bonus if the back and front are the same size!

    Janet
    I second this completely! The angle is the most important thing. Of course the material you use (fabric and batting) influence the look of your quilting stiches.

  17. #17
    Gal
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    I am a beginner and have discovered hand quilting, I think it is the best part of making a quilt!!!!! I have found that if I try to make my stitches too small then the back suffers, if I go for even and straight stitches rather than trying to get tiny ones then the back looks a whole lot better. I believe and trust those experienced hand quilters who say that with practice you will get smaller stitches and through practice the back will equal the front.

    Gal

  18. #18
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    Amen to that. If I am happy that is what counts.

  19. #19
    Super Member Joeysnana's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for all of your comments. I so appreciate the help. I think I will try a smaller needle, piercing the quilt at a 90 degree angle, and not worrying about it. If my stitches improve, great. If not, so what. Quilting makes my heart "sing." :)

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joeysnana
    Thanks everyone for all of your comments. I so appreciate the help. I think I will try a smaller needle, piercing the quilt at a 90 degree angle, and not worrying about it. If my stitches improve, great. If not, so what. Quilting makes my heart "sing." :)
    And my soul sings, too!

    :thumbup:

  21. #21
    Super Member mimee4's Avatar
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    Years ago, the "older" ladies (and I am now 70) who taught me to handquilt used needles as small as 14s. So their stitches were sooooo tiny. I have never accomplished that. Do keep trying and practice. You will get to the size you want and it will be easy.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimee4
    Years ago, the "older" ladies (and I am now 70) who taught me to handquilt used needles as small as 14s. So their stitches were sooooo tiny. I have never accomplished that. Do keep trying and practice. You will get to the size you want and it will be easy.
    Ohhh.... 14s? Are you talking about a SIZE 14? I've never heard about that, the smallest I know are size 12...

    :roll:

  23. #23

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    I too love hand quilting. I use a 14" hoop, size 11 or 12 needle, and a small jewelry pair of pliers. This way I can fill the tiny needle full of stitches making them more even and pulling through with pliers keeps my fingers from being sore.

  24. #24
    Super Member Carol W's Avatar
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    Great tips!!

  25. #25
    Super Member shaverg's Avatar
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    I have hand quilted for 27+ years. I also do rocking and get 9-11 to the inch. My stitches on the back are always a little smaller. That is ok, as long as they are even.

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