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Thread: Question Re: Hand Quilting

  1. #26
    Super Member retrogirl02's Avatar
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    http://www.quilttownusa.com/Town_Hall/ecexperts.htm

    http://www.reddawn.net/quilt/handqlt.htm

    http://reviews.ebay.com/Antique-Quil...00000000949050

    The above are just some of the references available from google. I imagine that there are previous threads as well and will check the search function under the title. There is a fantastic resource written about hand quilting by Ami Simms...It's called How to Improve Your Quilting Stitch. She has illustrations specifically for lefties. It's a great book and a quick read.


  2. #27
    Super Member Harmony's Avatar
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    I'm so pleased that I inspired you to try hand quilting! I usually inspire people to go for a long walk or take a hot shower or have a big glass of wine or something!

    On my left hand I use a gizmo called the Under Thimble. It sticks to your left middle finger, and because it's kind of dome-shaped it deflects the needle and protects your finger from turning to hamburger. It's not bulky at all, and when the glue wears out (takes a while) you can just put another glue disk on it. There's a link below. I use one of those open thimbles on my right hand.

    http://store.quilting-warehouse.com/082403.html

    I think that consistency in your stitch length is more important than the actual length of your stitches. As you get more and more practice your stitches will get smaller. You might want to practice your hand quilting on a small piece before you go at the big quilt!

    I love your quilt. If you want the star to show up well, you might try quilting in black, although white might be better if you're still struggling with stitch length and consistency. Can't wait to see your finished product!

  3. #28
    Senior Member Mrs. Mel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harmony
    I'm so pleased that I inspired you to try hand quilting! I usually inspire people to go for a long walk or take a hot shower or have a big glass of wine or something!

    On my left hand I use a gizmo called the Under Thimble. It sticks to your left middle finger, and because it's kind of dome-shaped it deflects the needle and protects your finger from turning to hamburger. It's not bulky at all, and when the glue wears out (takes a while) you can just put another glue disk on it. There's a link below. I use one of those open thimbles on my right hand.

    http://store.quilting-warehouse.com/082403.html

    I think that consistency in your stitch length is more important than the actual length of your stitches. As you get more and more practice your stitches will get smaller. You might want to practice your hand quilting on a small piece before you go at the big quilt!

    I love your quilt. If you want the star to show up well, you might try quilting in black, although white might be better if you're still struggling with stitch length and consistency. Can't wait to see your finished product!
    Thanks Harmony. I was admiring your latest red and white creation. Great job on picking out fabrics. Is it yellow brick rd pattern? Take care and thanks again for the inspiration AND the advice! :)


  4. #29
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    If you get an opportunity, I recommend that you take a class or meet with an experienced quilter who is willing to sit and teach you. This is such a "visual" thing... I could never have learned it from a book.

  5. #30
    HMK
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    Sure appreciate all the suggestions and will look into that under thimble thingy but in the meantime will go the tape or bandaid route. Guess there's confusion as to how to count stitches in the quilt world so either way is okay but when someone says they get 15 per inch it's difficult to know if they have counted both the top & bottom or just the top. I'll just continue on the way I've been doing.

  6. #31
    Super Member mpeters1200's Avatar
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    I don't know how I missed this thread. I'm currently hand quilting a sampler. It's made of bright colors and the backing is a rich green. I'm using ecru quilting thread. I can get it to disappear in the top and I make designs and stuff you can see on the back.

    I have for so long, wondered how to save the fingertips on my left hand from being pricked to death. Even now, since Sunday, I've been quilting and my fingertips are so sore! A friend of mine uses medical tape that is so light it looks like tape made of tissue paper. Every time I've tried it, I ended up pushing the needle through harder and just drawing blood as I can't feel when the needle has come through. I will try a bandaid and see if the results are any different. I may also try the Under Thimble.

    I have never measured my stitches in an inch or how many I can fit on each needle pass...though I average about 5 or so. Occasionally, I'll just flip my little lap frame over and see how they look in the back. It's more important to have stitches that look the same size than how many you can fit in an inch.


  7. #32
    Senior Member Mrs. Mel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retrogirl02
    http://www.quilttownusa.com/Town_Hall/ecexperts.htm

    http://www.reddawn.net/quilt/handqlt.htm

    http://reviews.ebay.com/Antique-Quil...00000000949050

    The above are just some of the references available from google. I imagine that there are previous threads as well and will check the search function under the title. There is a fantastic resource written about hand quilting by Ami Simms...It's called How to Improve Your Quilting Stitch. She has illustrations specifically for lefties. It's a great book and a quick read.
    Thanx retrogirl. The first link was especially helpful.

  8. #33
    Super Member retrogirl02's Avatar
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    You're welcome. I can't wait to hear how things go for you. Best of luck and happy quilting!!

  9. #34
    Super Member mimee4's Avatar
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    Always thread your needle as the thread comes off the spool and put the knot in the other end. Thread has a spiral and this keeps the thread from tangling.
    Hint from the old ladies of 1970 - to help those poor sore fingers, stick them in alcohol. Yes, it stings like crazy but toughens the fingers.

  10. #35
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimee4
    Hint from the old ladies of 1970 - to help those poor sore fingers, stick them in alcohol. Yes, it stings like crazy but toughens the fingers.
    OUCH!!! That hurts me just to think about it! :lol:

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpeters1200

    I have never measured my stitches in an inch or how many I can fit on each needle pass...though I average about 5 or so. Occasionally, I'll just flip my little lap frame over and see how they look in the back. It's more important to have stitches that look the same size than how many you can fit in an inch.
    I have been quilting for over 20 years, and I certainly don't do 15 stitches per inch. 10 at the BEST - usually 7 or 8. It is much more important that they are all even.

  12. #37
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    I've barely ventured into hand-quilting, but read a suggestion a while back that said that a good item for the "under" finger is electrical tape. It adheres well, you can feel the needle through it, and the plastic coating on the top keeps you from pressing right through it (like I did with band-aids and I imagine would with medical tape as well). So, yet another kind of tape to add to the mix. :D

  13. #38
    Senior Member dlf0122quilting's Avatar
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    It is best if you thread your needle with the thread as it comes off the spool because of the way thread is made, that way you get the best use of the thread and it tangles less. Thread is made in a twisting fashion and that is why they recommend taking it straight off the spool onto the needle. In fact, to save time, I thread several of my needles onto the spool at one time then I just pull one off with a length of about 18" as I go.

  14. #39
    Junior Member nantucketsue's Avatar
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    If you can get Gutterman's Hand Quilting thread it is already coated and ready to use. I always use it and find it excellent. I thread it straight from the reel and cut of about 18 inches.

    It is up to you what colour thread you use. As a beginner I used a neutral colour, but I have been experimenting with other colours, It is also worth thinking about what will show through on the back and whether you want it to blend in with your backing fabric, or show up as a contrast. I am sure there will be lots of help on this forum. Good luck and happy hand quilting. It is very therapeutic and rewarding.

  15. #40
    Member levada's Avatar
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    I always use the heavier thread that is made just for hand quilting, and I like to use the color that looks the most pleasing to me. Your quilt can have a lot of different colors, and really it doesn't matter if you use a lighter or darker color. I also like to use the larger size of the inexpensive wooden hoops, but that is just my preference. You do need something to hold the layers taut while you do your quilting.

    Here is a nice tutorial on the quilting stitch: http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/...uilting-stitch

    My last best suggestion is: don't worry about your stitches being perfect! Just do the best you can, and as you practice, your stitches will get better and better.

    Hand quilting is very fun to me.

    sincerely,

    Levada Pendry

  16. #41

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    I am glad to see this thread. I have been wanting to ask the question that was asked recently asked about counting. I have always been told you should get 12 to 15 stitches an inch. Had one teacher says she always gets 12 stitches on her needle. When not using a frame, I get more, usually 9 to 12, except, I learned I have counted them wrong. If you only count the top stitches, how can anyone get 12 stitches to an inch, let alone on the needle. As far as the thimble I use, I always use platinum needles, with them you are not to use metal thimbles, so leather it is :cry: I think the platinum go thru the material easier. (they are also harder on the finger if you don't use a thimble) Used to buy them easily, but not so any more. :cry:

  17. #42

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    Also wanted to add, like others have said here, hand quilting is relaxing, enjoy it. Stressing for perfection ruins the personal benefits, and does it really make it that much better? We all try to do well, but I know for myself, it quickly becomes work, not pleasure when I try to make no mistakes. I also know, most of us are our own worst critics. Most times, no one else would notice what we see as problems. So, enjoy the process, and you will get better, naturally. :thumbup:

  18. #43
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    I think platinum needles are thinner, so you might be able to get more stitches per inch, but the really important thiing is if you are happy with them! If your tension in the hoop is a bit looser, you can get more stitches on your needle when you rock back and forth. I tend to bend really thin needles because I quilt on a big frame with others who like the material to be tauter (is that a word?) When I quilt by myself, I often do not use a hoop at all, just have to make sure that the sandwich is really stable, with lots of pins or basting. I haven't hand quilted anything that is spray basted yet, but will be trying that real soon.
    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this forum! :lol: :lol:

  19. #44
    Super Member mpeters1200's Avatar
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    Out of my 9 block sampler, I only have three left now. While my under fingertips are sore, they don't hurt like the did before. It would be really nice if I had some calluses forming.

    I haven't experimented with feathers, plumes or scallops yet. Right now I just stay in the ditch, echo the ditch or do a cross hatch. You have a LOT of options in hand quilting. I do find it is very relaxing and I can sit and do it with all the kids around. It's much harder to get the machine and iron out to do other steps in the quilting process as I have 3 little helpers that are always wanting to do something that could end in injury.

    I can sit and quilt while they watch a movie and they think that I'm just watching a movie with them. My 6 year old got a look at the bottom and now he wants to watch as he thinks it's "sweet". I don't know where he comes up with this stuff.

    I am using a 12" circle frame with a ledge that sits in my lap. I have no idea how I would tackle a double or queen size quilt in such a tiny hoop. Anyone have any suggestions? Perhaps more basting than usual. Maybe rolling up the halves like you would for machine quilting....I have no idea. How would you handle the bulk that isn't in the frame?

    Melissa

  20. #45

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    this may sound dumb but I just learned to use a thimble in Dec my hands used to get so sore I'd have to stop quilting for a few days it was really hard but I was determined ----I discovered most of the problem was my thimble didn't fit right !! :P

  21. #46
    Super Member Quilting Aggi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. Mel
    Hey all: I am going to attempt to hand quilt. (Was inspired by Harmony). Two questions:

    1) Am I supposed to use a heavier thread, or will any do?

    2) Am I supposed to use a darker, contrasting thread, or lighter so my stitches (or mistakes :oops: ) don't show?

    Thank you in advance.
    Have a wonderful time with it! I just love handquilting! I find it very relaxing! I hope we get to see the finished product when it's completed!

  22. #47
    Super Member weezie's Avatar
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    A lot depends on what your end plan is for your quilt. If you are afraid to have your practice stitching show, then I guess you should opt for color coordinated thread. When I first started quilting, I did a "practice quilt". It is king sized with a complicated design that has a few hundred different fabrics in it, so I hand quilt it with only ecru thread. The off-white thread looks really good. I am only about half-way through getting this quilt completed. My first stitches are HUGE; now my stitches are tiny. Not all my fabric choices were right either, both color and type; my backing fabric is awful, BUT the quilt is still pretty nifty and goes to my husband when it's finally finished. He loves it and wants it finished.

  23. #48
    Member levada's Avatar
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    Oh, I forgot to mention that before I start quilting, I use regular thread and baste the whole quilt in about 4" squares. That way the whole "sandwich" is stable, and the quilting comes out better no matter what size hoop I use. I just pull all the basting stitches out when the quilting is done.

    Levada Pendry

  24. #49
    Senior Member Mrs. Mel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peggy McFadden
    Also wanted to add, like others have said here, hand quilting is relaxing, enjoy it. Stressing for perfection ruins the personal benefits, and does it really make it that much better? We all try to do well, but I know for myself, it quickly becomes work, not pleasure when I try to make no mistakes. I also know, most of us are our own worst critics. Most times, no one else would notice what we see as problems. So, enjoy the process, and you will get better, naturally. :thumbup:
    Well said Peggy! I am thoroughly enjoying this, and am using a large wooden hoop. Although for some reason I cannot seem to master a 'quilting knot'. Is it all in the way you hold your chin? :shock:

  25. #50
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    And I thought you had to stick your tongue out just a tad to get it right! :lol:

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