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Thread: Advice Needed from Hand Quilting Experts

  1. #1
    Senior Member motomom's Avatar
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    Here is a pic of the hand quilting I am doing for the Airplane Quilt. I just wanted to check with you folks to see if I am doing this good enough. My aunt who taught me to do it is 85, and it looks like she isn't going to be able to travel to see my work anymore.

    I'm averaging about 5-7 stitches per inch, and I am not sure if that is close enough, or if my stitches are even enough. I am doing better on this one than my first quilt, though.

    These blocks are 4" square, if that gives you a clue as to the size.

    I have some pictures of old quilting, and it looks a lot closer together, tinier, than mine. Am I just imagining things?

    We are entering into our busiest season at my work, and I can't go to the LQS right now, and I can't get this into my car anyway. I've got it in my frame. Any advice would be most appreciated.
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  2. #2
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Wow!! I am not an expert, but, if I could quilt like that I would be a very happy quilter!!! Looks great to me!!! :D :D :D

  3. #3
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I believe that consistency is more important than a specific number per inch. The smaller stitches will come with practice.

  4. #4
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    I am no expert either, but looks great to me... Wish I could do half as well :mrgreen:
    Sharon

  5. #5
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    That looks very good. :D The evenness of the stitches is as important, maybe even more important, than the size. I've seen ones where the stitches are deliberately large but VERY even and it looks good.

    The smaller stitches come with time and experience and I would work on being consistent first. I do 8 stitches per inch and still have trouble sometimes keeping them even.

  6. #6

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    Hi Motomom
    I'm not an expert either, but your work is lovely. It looks fine enough and even enough, that anyone would be proud of it. As time goes on, your hands will get used to what your mind is trying to do and they will come around and make it easier.
    Be sure your Aunt gets pictures when you finish.
    Pam in WV

  7. #7
    Moderator Up North's Avatar
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    Wow I hand quilt all my quilts and am in no way an expert or even nearly as good as you! That looks great!

  8. #8
    Super Member dvseals's Avatar
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    Agrees with Upnorth I only wish my stitches were that small and even.
    Looks awesome you're doing great. :)

  9. #9
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    Wow...I would say..keep moving forward. I think you are doing just great. Consistancy is much more important than size. That looks good. :lol:

  10. #10
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    I do all of my stitching by hand and I think you're doing a beautiful job. With hand piecing, I get at least 12 to16 stitches per inch, but 8 to 12 is more reasonable for quilting. One determining factor in the sizes of stitches, I find, is the size of the needles.. not just the length, but the diameter too. As the others have said, consistency is important and yours is absolutely lovely.
    I've seen quilts on sale in shops allegedly done by "professionals" that were not nearly as well done as yours.. some real toe hangers let me tell you. Anyone should be proud to have a bit of your work. If you're not totally pleased with it, just keep working. It will get even better as you go on.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Kara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadQuilter
    I believe that consistency is more important than a specific number per inch. The smaller stitches will come with practice.
    Exactly.
    Consistency is more important. And the smaller stitches will come with practice.

    One thing to be careful of while you're working on a quilt (because a quilt could offer enough practice to get smaller stitches because you're hands will get stronger), is to keep the stitches consistent as you go along and try not to get them smaller.

    Regardless of stitches per inch, your stitching is beautiful!!


  12. #12
    Super Member Butterflyspain's Avatar
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    looks super to me too

    Elle

  13. #13
    Super Member sewjoyce's Avatar
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    Looks awesome to me!!! (Wish mine looked that good!)

  14. #14
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    You are doing a beautiful job. Your granny would be proud. Be sure and post when it is finished.

  15. #15
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    Your stitching looks beautiful! Consistency is the key, and you get that by practice. If you are interested in smaller stitches, loosen the tension a tad so you can rock the fabric more. Fine, short needles can help also. But your sticthes look plenty small to me.
    Glad there are more people who want to do hand quilting. Some quilts lend themselves to machine quilting, but IMHO the finest ones will still be hand quilted! :lol:

  16. #16
    Senior Member motomom's Avatar
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    Thanks to all for the advice. Any comments you can make on what size needles you are using for the best results would be appreciated.

    Also, how do you all handle going over seam allowances? I'm having a lot of trouble with that.

  17. #17
    Junior Member ChristineD's Avatar
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    I think it looks great. I have tried free motion quilting on my machine and cannot do it at all. So I am forced to hand quilt. I have a really hard time with hand quilting also. Wish my looked as good as yours.
    I live very near Shipshewanna IN. I was looking at the Amish quilt for sale there and was surprised how big and open their stitches were! I have always heard about 12 stitches to the inch and can come nowhere near that.

    Keep up the good work!
    Christine

  18. #18
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I think it looks great. If I could hand quilt like that I might do it more often. Give yourself a pat on the back. Great job.

  19. #19
    Super Member dvseals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by motomom
    Also, how do you all handle going over seam allowances? I'm having a lot of trouble with that.
    When I get to seam allowances it's stab and pull til I'm past it.
    Just can't seem to "sew" through them :(

  20. #20
    Senior Member QuiltMania's Avatar
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    You're doing just fine. It's more important to be consistent at first. Size comes with experience and practice. Even so, 5-7 stitches per inch is just fine.

  21. #21
    Moderator Up North's Avatar
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    Someplace I read that the 5 to 7 stitches per inch is counted on both sides meaning you have 10 to 14 per inch.!!!

  22. #22
    Super Member AnnaK's Avatar
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    Your quilting is beautiful. I took a class called "big Stitch" because I am hand quilting more and more of my quilts ($$). What I learned is that for 'utility' quilts and wall hangings, the Big Stitch works great. It is much bigger than a quilting stitch but it is the consistency of the stitches that makes all the difference. I am no where near as good as you are, even with the Big Stitch. Please post a picture of your entire quilt when you're done.

  23. #23
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    I stab and poke when I get to seams! :?

  24. #24

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    I used to live in central PA observed both the Mennonite and Amish quilting. Yours is better, I can tell you. When several people quilt a quilt the quilting is NEVER uniform. I've started my second quilt to be hand quilted and since it's been a while, I'm still feeling it out, getting back in the swing of things. Of course, when a quilt is put on the bed you and you stand at the door, even poor quilting looks good. Those who don't quilt will be amazed that you would even attempt anything so time consuming as what you're doing. Keep on keeping on.

    Linda

  25. #25
    Power Poster Ninnie's Avatar
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    Your stitches look fine to me, not an expert, but all I do is hand quilting! It isn't how small your stitches are, that will come in time, it is getting them the same size, and that only comes with practice,I think you are doing a great job!! Want to see it when you are finished.

    Don't you just love quilting by hand? Or at least I hope you are relaxing enough to enjoy it!

    Keep up the good work!


    Ninnie

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