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Thread: Tell Me About Hand Quilting

  1. #1
    Super Member MommaDorian's Avatar
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    I'm curious about what's involved. Tell me anything you want to. I'm intrigued by the theraputic qualities. :)

  2. #2
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    i love my leather thimbles - i use a coin thimble - it has a piece of metal at the finger tip - keeps the needle from going thru the thimble

    i prefer to use warm & natural batting and cotton thread - fav thread is YLI glazed cotton. Don't like quilting thru poly batting or using a polyester thread. Just personal preference.

    Even stitches are more important than teeny tiny stitches that aren't even. I think the tinier stitches will come as you quilt more.

    I know it takes a while to complete a project - but that's ok w/ me

  3. #3
    Power Poster erstan947's Avatar
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    I sandwich my 3 layers and baste or spray baste. I use an oval hoop and lap quilt. I do not have the space for a regular frame. My stitches are very uneven but once the quilt is finished and washed it looks good. What I have hand quilted has been tops my grandmother pieced in the 40's and 50's. I use hand quilting thread and Roxanne between Needles size 10 or 11. Hope this helps.

  4. #4
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    http://www.google.com/#q=how+to+hand...e=univ&tbs=vid:1&tbo=u&ei=dXP5TNfIM4Wdlgfr9PCsBw&sa=X&oi=video_result_group&ct=title&resnum=1&sqi=2&ved=0CCUQqwQwAA&fp=125a18097c006d08

  5. #5
    Cyn
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    Super Member Cyn's Avatar
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    I have my nails done and just use them instead of a thimble. I love hand quilting but have to take breaks or end up with serious back issues.

  6. #6
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    There is a method of hand-quilting called the "Aunt Becky" where you use a metal cover (the Aunt Becky) in one hand and you move IT up to catch the needle. The needle hand really does not move much except to push the needle against the Aunt Becky. I have taken a class by Jean Brown on this technique and with a little practice, it works well. This is particularly good for people with arthritis or other joint problems. No rocking motion!

  7. #7
    Super Member sewingladydi's Avatar
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    I like to hand quilt. Not the technique if you are in a hurry, but I find it relaxing.

    I use a small hoop so my work can go where ever I go. I just use a cheap plastic thimble with a cut out for my fingernail.

    Quilting with wool batting is like heaven. Poly batting isn't bad. I have not hand quilted with warm&natural.

    NOTE to Madqulter:I bought the Aunt Becky,but I'm not very proficient with it-any tips you can offer?

  8. #8
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    I suggest you get the book "How to Learn Hand Quilting in A Day" (and practice for the rest of your life). By Nancy Brenan-Daniels. Very good basic book on hand quilting.

  9. #9
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewingladydi
    NOTE to Madqulter:I bought the Aunt Becky,but I'm not very proficient with it-any tips you can offer?
    Thanks for asking. I had promised to make a photo tutorial but sort of lost track of time. I will ask DH to be the photographer this weekend and I will show it (unmanicured paws and all) step by step.

    The key is DO NOT ROCK THE NEEDLE - that was the toughest hurdle for me.

  10. #10
    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
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    For someone just starting out I suggest making a sandwich and just practice. I would purchase some tiger tape, size 10 betweens and here is where it gets personal your thimble.

    I actually use my fingernail until I get too many holes in it :shock: . Then my next 2 choices are the Thimblepads (little round sticky backed leather dots) or the nimble thimble (has an opening in the top for your fingernail and a little steel dot for pushing.

    What I did to learn was lay the tiger tape out onto my sandwich and just practiced going up and down at the black marks. You really get the feeling of it and then start forming a rhythm. Then pencil out some slight curves and work yourself from there to corners, circles, etc.

    It just takes practice. It sort of for me becomes a mindless activity, get for watching tv. LOL

  11. #11
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewcrafty
    I actually use my fingernail until I get too many holes in it
    That reminds me: Spit gets blood out of fabric. So does Peroxide and so does Oxy-clean. Important to know!

  12. #12
    Super Member sewingladydi's Avatar
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    Thanks, MadQuilter. I'll look for your tutorial

  13. #13
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    Is there a church by you that does quilting? I bet they'd let you help. I did my first hand quilting there and I was in my mid teens. The ladies there were soooo helpful and encouraging. Even though I was slow they kept telling me to come back.

  14. #14
    Super Member fleurdelisquilts.com's Avatar
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    My only addition to all this is that I love hand quilting and I find it to be the most relaxing activity I have ever tried. I can not hand quilt without taking a nap! It was also very theraputic when my mom was so sick. I would bring a quilt to work on while I sat with her. I didn't nap as much, but I found that it helped me to keep calm despite the stress of knowing that she was dying. Now when I get very sad thinking of her, I remember that she taught me to quilt (among so many other things) and am grateful that I was so lucky to have been her daughter. Then I pick up a needle and quilt while I pray a rosary for her.

  15. #15
    Moderator Up North's Avatar
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    My stitches are uneven but it still looks good to me! I use an 18 inch hoop on my lap keep it up and you get better at it. It is relaxing and a satisfying experience to see the completed quilt. My first quilt (my avatar was all hand quilted), I was determine to do it and I did!!

  16. #16
    Junior Member glassnquilts's Avatar
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    I hand quilt and I don't use a frame. I safety pin the daylights out of it to baste. It is very calming to me.

  17. #17
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    That's what I do I safety pin it from the middle out and I start hand quilting from the middle out, that way I get all the wrinkles out and I don't run into a problem when I get to the edge of the quilt. I made a very big mistake when I was first starting out I bound the quilt before I starting hand quilting ran into a lot of problems doing that. Now the last thing I do is bind the quilt after I have hand quilted it.

  18. #18
    Super Member quilterella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MommaDorian
    I'm curious about what's involved. Tell me anything you want to. I'm intrigued by the theraputic qualities. :)
    I always thought I would like to do this, I have been working on a Sasiko for 4 yrs(preprinted) which I do enjoy, but to do a quilt, ummm, I just can't make myself sit down and finish it that way, I want it finishes, so one the machine it goes. I guess patience isn't one of my better virtues...LOL

  19. #19
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    Love to hand quilt but it gets my back. Found one of those bendy wire and mesh devices at Dollar Tree and it is fantastic ! They call it a lumbar support, I think. Now if I can just work the ouch out of my neck and shoulders from working at the machine. It is in a cabinet and I wonder if I'm leaning forward too much. Anyone have a suggestion on that one?

  20. #20
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    I have a Grace Z44 hand quilting frame and it was such a relief to not have to layer and baste for hand quilting. I like the plastic thimble that has a fingernail on it and a small dent in the middle for the needle. I use Betweens needles, I think that is a 10 but not sure without looking.

    I also use the little round of bees wax to run the thread over. It helps with not tangling the thread and goes smoother.

  21. #21
    Senior Member tortoisethreads's Avatar
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    I also love to hand quilt. One bit of advice I should have taken from this board is when you have a large quilt, queen size, don't give up if you really want to hand quilt it. Take it in sections and eventually it will get done! I have tried a frame and a hoop and don't use either. I find that my stitches are more even without.

  22. #22
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    Nancy Lee Chong offers a handquilting course on Quilt University,com on the Internet . She spells out every little detail and and answers all your questions. Having learnt from good advices of fellow quilters, I signed up for her course and found what is the best technique for me, The course is offered three or four times a year and is worth every penny.

  23. #23
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    I have hand quilted for years. About 2 years ago, I purchased "Marian's Magic Quilting Thimble." iT is for the underneath finger. Boy, do I love it. It took me a couple of hours to become efficient with it. No more sore finger. Check it out at www.momsmagicthimble.com. I saw a video on YouTube that helped a lot.

  24. #24
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    I love to hand quilt and I do it often. My problem is how to quilt evenly when you get to where the seams are pressed to one side. It's so thick in that area that my stitches are much longer in that area. How do you even out your stitches there?

  25. #25
    Super Member #1piecemaker's Avatar
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    I love handquilting and pieceing by hand. I mark and cut when I can. But, when I sit, I have one or the other to work on. I use a #8 needle. The smaller the needle, the better. But, it needs to be a strong one too. I've bent and broke a few in my day. I lay my baking in the floor and smooth it out as best as I can, face down. then I lay my batting on top. Then I lay my top on, face up. I smooth it the best I can then I start pinning. When it is pinned together, I place my hoop in the center of it and fasten it down. then I check the back and pull out any puckers. I use a thimble with the lip around the edge to avoid slippage. I try to make my stitches as small as possible and uniform. Small is not as important as being uniform. You can do this with practice. I sit in my recliner, with my feet up to help balance my hoop. Also this makes it comfy to watch tv while I work. Hope this helps.

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