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Thread: Hand Quilting - yikes

  1. #1
    Super Member MommaDorian's Avatar
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    Hand Quilting - yikes

    I'm not sure about this hand quilting thing. I'm not using a thimble (I don't have one yet) so that might be a factor. But, it's looks terrible!!

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    Dorian

    If you've met one child with Autism, you've met ONE child with Autism.

  2. #2
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    Are you rocking the needle ? as soon as you feel the needle on the finger below push it right back up when it pops on the top send it right back down.
    And remember if this is your first time , it does take time and practice to get the tiny even spaced stitches
    You are doing fine for the first time just keep practicing

    By the way I don't use a thimble on the bottom or top- for the top to get a grip on the needle I use a pad or small piece of a rubber ( does that make sense ?)
    To keep your mind fresh- learn one new thing a day !

  3. #3
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    Seriously, it probably looks a lot worse to you, than it does to others. So what, if a few stitches aren't perfectly straight? Overall, it looks GOOD!
    Neesie


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  4. #4
    Super Member Delta's Avatar
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    it looks good, just make your stitches closer together and even from the edge all the way around. Once you get them all even from the edge and closser together you will see a huge difference. I like it.
    SMILE- it will make everyone wonder what you are up to.
    Stay strong and keep looking up.

  5. #5
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    if you did not press your seams OPEN, then you are stitching through the thickest parts..that alone will cause issues!
    I don't think it looks bad for a first try, it does take practice and all things are to be considered, thread, seams, needles, thimble, etc...keep going...

  6. #6
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    Looks good! You can use thread that is the color of the block you are quilting on and it will blend in more. Think this is very good for a first try!

    delma

  7. #7
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    lots and lots of practice, it takes ;-)
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

  8. #8
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    It looks to me like you are attempting to quilt fairly close to your seams and stitching through your seam allowance. This makes it harder as you are going through all those extra layers. I use 1/4" painters tape and place it right next to the seam and quilt right next to the tape. I am then far enough away from where I pressed my seam allowances and I have nice straight lines of quilting that is evenly spaced away from the seam.

    You can also measure with your cutting ruler and draw a chalk line or use a sliver of white soap on your dark colors.

    I do not use a thimble either. I push the needle with my fingernail. I use my index fingernail when quilting towards me and my thumbnail when quilting away from me. I am side to side quilting challenged and prefer not to quilt going left to right but rather up and down. I use a lap hoop so I can turn the quilt in the direction that is easiest for me.

    What size needle are you using? The smaller the needle (which means a higher number, a size 11 is much smaller than a size 8 with needles), the smaller the stitches but it takes practice and experience to feel comfortable with size 10 or smaller.

    Are you using any kind of hoop or frame? How tight is the quilt in it? You want it kind of loose so the fabric has give when you get into the rocking motion of the needle.

  9. #9
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaciqltznok View Post
    if you did not press your seams OPEN, then you are stitching through the thickest parts..that alone will cause issues!
    ...
    Jacquie, this block looks paper pieced to me. It is not possible to press seams open when PP. There are plenty of ways to hand quilt without having to press seams open.

  10. #10
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    nice advice.
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

  11. #11
    Senior Member woodyandjake's Avatar
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    I agree that the stitches are a bit large & uneven. It takes a LONG time to perfect the skill, for a first time it's not a bad job at all.

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    It does NOT LOOK TERRIBLE. It looks really good for your first time. Don't be so hard on yourself. Keep on doing it. even if I stop during the day, the next time , I have to get in the groove again.

  13. #13
    Super Member MommaDorian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic View Post
    Jacquie, this block looks paper pieced to me. It is not possible to press seams open when PP. There are plenty of ways to hand quilt without having to press seams open.
    Yes, this is paper pieced. It's a Carol Doak pattern.
    Dorian

    If you've met one child with Autism, you've met ONE child with Autism.

  14. #14
    Super Member LindaMRB's Avatar
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    Looks like what I did my first time!
    I do not use a thimble or a hoop (mostly) and have managed to improve over the years. Practice, practice, practice!
    There really is no other way.

  15. #15
    Super Member Helen S's Avatar
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    I think it looks pretty good for a first try! I commend your efforts...it's more than I'm willing to try. My hands just don't work any more, nor do I have the patience to even try.
    Being skinny isn't easy, so I gave up and opted for being sexy instead. (aunty acid)

  16. #16
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    Take a pencil, and lightly draw yourself some straight lines. As your hand/arm moves over the fabric, the pencil will wear away. I don't know how much you've done, but changing your thread to a color that blends in better won't draw your eye to it - natural/ off white color???

    And get yourself a leather thimble - it will protect your finger til you get the hang of it. Til then, hang in there - it really does get better! We all promise that!
    my name is becca and i'm a quilt-a-holic :-)

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic View Post
    . . . I use 1/4" painters tape and place it right next to the seam and quilt right next to the tape. I am then far enough away from where I pressed my seam allowances and I have nice straight lines of quilting that is evenly spaced away from the seam.

    You can also measure with your cutting ruler and draw a chalk line or use a sliver of white soap on your dark colors.

    . . . I use a lap hoop so I can turn the quilt in the direction that is easiest for me. . . .

    What size needle are you using? The smaller the needle (which means a higher number, a size 11 is much smaller than a size 8 with needles), the smaller the stitches but it takes practice and experience to feel comfortable with size 10 or smaller.

    Are you using any kind of hoop or frame? How tight is the quilt in it? You want it kind of loose so the fabric has give when you get into the rocking motion of the needle.
    I edited Feline Fanatic's comments

    I think your project would look better - even with uneven stitches - if you used the 1/4 inch masking/painting tape to guide your stitching lines. I had better luck using short lengths of tape than trying to apply a long strip. Also, the tape can be used several times. Or mark them lightly with another method.

    I don't like the disappearing ink ones - I think they do strange things to the fabrics years later. Maybe they've improved recently.

    If you are using a hoop or frame - the fabric has to bend/sag at least an inch in a small hoop - more in a larger hoop. At one time, I thought it was supposed to be tight as a drum. NOT!

  18. #18
    Super Member MommaDorian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic View Post
    What size needle are you using? The smaller the needle (which means a higher number, a size 11 is much smaller than a size 8 with needles), the smaller the stitches but it takes practice and experience to feel comfortable with size 10 or smaller.

    Are you using any kind of hoop or frame? How tight is the quilt in it? You want it kind of loose so the fabric has give when you get into the rocking motion of the needle.
    I am using a size 9 needle. I need a few more so I can pre-thread them. I'm not using a hoop or frame, but I plan to get one as soon as I can.
    Dorian

    If you've met one child with Autism, you've met ONE child with Autism.

  19. #19
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    A size 9 is still a small needle - and it is comparatively easy to thread.

    I've found some brands of needles are easier to thread than others - sorry - I don't remember which ones they were now - I think they had gold eyes.

  20. #20
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    For your first try, it is a miracle of consistency! Be kind to yourself. You are doing fine!
    My first recommendation is to match the thread to your fabrics until you get more control. Then, it will look better on the front and eventually on the back.
    I use thimbles on both hands - middle fingers-- and use a small quilting frame to give the fabric "bounce."
    My stitches are 10-12 per inch (counting top and bottom.)
    First control stitch angle -always straight -and distance from edge. (allow for seam allowances underneath.) Mark with ruler and washable pen/pencil if needed.
    Once you control the stitch angle and distance, work on the consistent length. Even if it is half an inch long, make it always an half an inch in that quilt. Take it out and redo, if it gets out of whack. It will make you feel better, I promise.
    Bury your knots in the batting.
    Then try for smaller and smaller as you do more and more projects.
    Eventually, speed will come.
    I have been hand-quilting and sewing since I was a child. I am 62. And THANK YOU for continuing a wonderful hand-work art.
    I earned my consistency. YOU can. too.
    Last edited by laffygiraffe; 06-20-2012 at 09:46 AM.
    Lottie
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  21. #21
    Senior Member roadrunr's Avatar
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    you just need more practice. I don't use a thimble either.
    You want to make sure you have a good needle for hand quilting. I like the #9 (it's easy to thread the needle), but the #10 needle sews better. Fox glove makes a good hand quilting needle, but I've heard good things about Roxanne's.

  22. #22
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    Have a look at the tutorial by Andrea "borntohandquilt" on the board. I gave up trying to get multiple stitches on the needle and now do the stab method with much pleasure. Most quilters say that the evenness of the stitch length is more important that the actual length of each stitch.
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  23. #23
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    You've gotten great advice so far. Keep practicing...it will get easier and more consistent. I agree with marking your stitching lines with a pencil. I've never had pencil marks not wash out. This will guide you as you go for consistency in your stitches. I personally find marking with tape more difficult. I think it 'stiffens' the quilt too much for me. But try either method and see what works for YOU. We all function differently. And try some different brands of the same size needles. Some just work better than others. I really like Roxanne's but they can be difficult to find locally. I always have to order mine online. Thimble or not is your choice. I like the Thimblelady thimbles. Nice deep dimples to help control the needle and a really good fit following their measuring guidelines. And, for the moment, I'd use a thread color the same as your fabric. Less noticable until you feel comfortable with your stitching.

  24. #24
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    I have always been told that it is not the length of the stitches, but the fact that all are consistant. Looks good for first try. Keep up the practice, and stitches will get smaller. Nice bright colors.

  25. #25
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    it takes loads of practice and you can always call it Big Stitch quilting.

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