Well after making 8 rag quilts I've decided to branch out, lol.
This will be my first try at something a little more detailed. I still have a thin red trim and a sash to sew on it.
My question is: What do you think is the most important when hand quilting? I bought a thimble, quilting needles.
My friend suggested that this may be too much/hard to do by hand. I don't have a timeline I'm making it for me. Who knows maybe I'll give up and just do it on the machine. But I would like to hear any helpful hints/tips :)
Barb...I just loveeeeeee the cheery colours of your quilt!!
If this would be my quilt, I think I would machine stitch in the ditch around each block...and then handquilt each part (strips) of the block...I am not very adventures with my hand quilting, so I would probably would do a echo or square spiral design inside each strip.
Whatever you decide it will be BEAUTIFUL and one of a kind!!!
Barb - Stitching in the ditch is where you stitch the seam lines, and so close as to be hidden on the top side where the pieces meet. You should only see the stitches on the back (full sheet).
Right now I'm handstitching "in the ditch" because I'm not that good manipulating this thick quilt on the machine and it's All Over The Place. Handstitching is much neater, I find. Partly because it's slower and you take your time...
It's a crazy quilt, and so there are a lot of lines besides between the blocks where I'm stitching. I won't be quilting the crazy blocks, just the center one that's the same on each block (just different colours, same shape).
The most important thing in handquilting is to hide the knot - you will find that you will be finishing in the visible parts of the quilt, and this is important!. When your thread is pulled to the back, knot it (small knot), then draw the thread back to the top. Cut the thread close, so it's not visible (be very careful not to cut the material). Then, pull the backing material and the top apart until the knot "pops" inside the batting and is no longer visible from the back.
Wow! What fun colors. It's easier to SID if you use a walking foot, it helps keep the layers of your quilt together. I have a hard time making a perfectly straight stitch and staying in the "ditch", so I use an S stitch. It's supposed to go back and forth over the seam so variances aren't as obvious.
Karen...I wish I had a "S" stitch on my sewing machine...lol...but since I don`t, I had to learn to be precise when I SiD (slow speed)...and yes a walking foot is almost a must when quilting a top.
Barb...can`t wait to see your quilt finished!!
In going in and out of a quilt shop where they hand quilt day and night so to speak (menonites) kidding about the night. If you have batks in your mix of fabric - it is very hard on your hand to hand quilt.
What they like to do is 1/4" away from the seam on each side of the seam in the hand quilting Dept. In the long arm department meandering is prevelent. I started liking the "S stitch as well especially in childrens quilts. However when I want super pretty I use double needle sewing over the seam. Kinda SID on both sides at the same time.
Lets say you were to machine quilt from corner to corner and follow the next line 1-1/2" - 2" away all over this quilt. That's what I would do here.
Here is a tip in machine quilting: use painters tape at your discreation and machine sew on either side...
My humble experience.
this was eventually machine quilted at the quilt shop
For Sandwiching - here's what I found Really Easy
lay your batting out - I always chose the floor, but first put something down that extends about 5" beyond. It doesn't have to lay under the batting - just so long as you have "spraying" room. I would suggest old newspapers. Then put down your batting. Use a Spray Adhesive on the batting, then lay your backing on top.
Smooth the backing onto the batting - batting & backing should extend 3" beyond the top.
Flip the backing/batting over so you have the batting on top (and the newspaper extending again, beyond the backing/batting.
Respray with the Spray Adhesive on the batting.
Position your top so you have 3" of the batting/backing visible on each of the 4 sides.
This obviously is easier with a lap quilt, but is even more important for keeping things in place with a bed quilt!
You can pin if you wish (I do, because I'm cautious that way, but not as much as if I didn't spray), and now everything should stay in place.
Important note: The adhesive is temporary and will eventually stop adhering if you keep pulling it apart, but this will actually re-stick if you iron the pieces. I've had to pull the layers apart to fix something on the piecing, and then re-ironed them to make the block lay flat and it's wonderful!
Spray Adhesive is available at any craft shop and most fabric shops.
Well I didn't know I needed to use "quilting" thread so I'll have to stop at the quilt shop on the way home. I'll get some spray too :) It was 105 degrees here yesterday. Not looking forward to running errands in the heat...
I think spray basting is much better than chocolate...please don't "hate" me...I am not a chocolate lover, I do enjoy a piece of dark every now and then, and must have at least a few chocolate covered cherries at Christmas time...
but spray basting...don't know as if I could live with out it
I bought some fun quilting design templates this weekend and finished 1 square -hand stitched in the ditch around each shape in the square and then hand quilted the designs inside the shapes. Another thing I bought that I LOVE is the disappearing ink pen! The ink disappeared with in 2 hours :)
Yes, those are great!
I use the quilting pencils (cheaper, and I AM Scottish lol)
They just brush out when you want them to. With the ink disappearing in 2 hours, if I wasn't able to finish the quilting in that time, I'd lose my pattern, I would think...
Those templates are wonderful! I didn't know you could get templates like this?!?! So, a "newbie" to hand quilting has taught me something! I say "the day I don't learn something is the day I get carried out feet first" LOL
Thank you, Barb!
a year is not bad at all...I have PHDs that are 30 yrs old :( Just finished one, not long ago that was 12 years old...that one sure felt good...now I need to get started on another...it is about 10 years old...
I'm away and catching up as internet allows. Would like to hear why there was a switch to machine quilting with this project and what happened to the original hand stitches, Barb? I think the waves look great, the quilt looks great and want to commend you on a beautiful finished piece.
Thunder, the double question you asked about the invisible pens is that they often work, they sometimes don't (in that they don't disappear), and the chemicals in the pens contain salts that can damage fabric. What's your work worth? I used them thirty years ago when they first came on the market and when I had problem with color not disappearing or even worse, damaged fabric, I quit. The damage looks like chemical salts, BTW, in that the fabric appears worn through or eaten.
The hand quilting was just too much for my hands :( I had about 4-5 hours into it, and ripped it out.
It sat forever because I couldn't decide how to machine quilt it. Even with the simple wavy lines the machine quilting took 11 hours all together.
Now I'm working on a BOM. It's at http://www.pileofabric.com/post/2012/12/28/skill-builder-block-of-the-month.
Every block so far has been terrifying for me..lol I am learning a lot though.
As I said, the quilt looks terrific and love the waves. Wish you had left a memory signature of your handwork in there. I understand that handwork can be too much. I have to think that perhaps so many have problems with handwork because they are doing something not correctly in terms of hand positioning and stitching and it is hurting their hands. After all, hand quilters have quilted until they went to that big frame in the sky for eons and that was before all the modern drugs for arthritis.
Barb - your machine quilting is awesome! I wish I could do that... I'm "stuck" with hand quilting, even for large pieces. In fact, I'm about to sandwich a queen quilt, and then put it on the frame that Bob built me. Looking forward to it.
I agree - it may be the way you're holding your hands for stitching that causes pain.
I find that, after awhile, my right elbow causes me grief, but then I take a break and go back at it. I'm talking about holding the lap quilt "free" in my lap, without a frame at all. I have a knack of holding the one end between my knees and the other guided with my left hand while I stitch with my right. It seems to work!
Lol, I have a friend who is an amazing quilter that got me roped into this and the gun she was holding on me was loaded! Just kidding :) There is no way I would have attempted it without her help. The key is the right machine foot, feed dogs down and a lot of practice pieces.
I think mine was only about 10 bucks at a local sewing machine store. It is a universal foot for a low shank I think they calld it? I took a pic of my machine on my phone and showed them so I got th correct one.
btw - I found some "template" sheets of clear plastic, and I'm going to make some quilt patterns on it, then poke holes in them so I can "pounce" marks for hand quilting. I was looking for powdered chalk at the store and couldn't find any, but I think there's a supply of regular chalk in the kiddie's room at our Church. Different colours too, so that should work...
I guess, like my sister Alice who has been hand quilting for Years, I just prefer hand quilting.
The baby quilt I did for friends of ours, well, the mother said it looked professionally done! I do SID so much that I guess I'm kinda "stuck" with it.
Karen - I may try the extra fabric, etc another time, and see what comes of it.
Right now I'm so busy with the Round Robin I'm in that I'm not really into learning new stuff.
I have 4 to do, and all of them take 3 people's worth of borders to put on...