Hand quilting help Please

Phoenix, AZ

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 :)

Thank you~~~~
Barb

Thumbnail by Fish_knees
Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

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!!!

Phoenix, AZ

That sounds very good, a little of both :) Thank you!

(googling stitch in the ditch, lol)

Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

lol Barb...that is when you stitch on top of where two seams meet...hmmmm don`t know if that makes sense...lol...maybe google makes that clearer then me!!

(Susan) Calgary, AB(Zone 3b)

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.

Phoenix, AZ

Tallulah_B, I do worry about manipulating the quilt through the machine and keeping the stitches "in the ditch". I was wondering about thread knots too, good info thanks!

I'm to the point of "sandwiching" the 3 pieces, LUCKY for me I have help :( LOL......

Thumbnail by Fish_knees
(Susan) Calgary, AB(Zone 3b)

oh, for the thread knots - pull the thread "into" the batting Before you cut the thread at the top....... sorry, got those 2 mixed up lol

(Karen) Traverse Cit, MI(Zone 5a)

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.

Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

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!!

Longboat Key, FL(Zone 9b)

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

This message was edited Apr 23, 2012 12:06 PM

Thumbnail by helenethequeen
Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

Your "helper" looks a lot like mine.

I'd make an "X" through each of the blocks. Will go much faster than SID and should be enough quilting.

Are you using a frame? If not, best to start inthe center & work out to the sides.

I never could figure out how to use a thimble. No matter what finger it is on, I use another finger. A few layers of liquid skin is my trick until the caluses build up.

(Barb) Manchester, NH(Zone 5a)

Great tips Helene. Even we oldsters can use them!!!!

(Susan) Calgary, AB(Zone 3b)

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.

Phoenix, AZ

Really appreciate all the help :)

(Susan) Calgary, AB(Zone 3b)

You're very welcome. The spray adhesive will actually stay "stuck" and re-stick quite a bit more than you would think. It's a wonderful product for quilters!!!!!!!

Phoenix, AZ

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.....

(Susan) Calgary, AB(Zone 3b)

Karen - you could also use beeswax on the thread - that would make the thread tangle less and strengthen it.
You could then use whatever normal thread you have on hand.

Phoenix, AZ

OMG! Spray basting is almost as good as chocolate~~~~~~~

(Susan) Calgary, AB(Zone 3b)

LOL yuppers!!!!

(thunder)Wildwood, FL(Zone 9a)

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 ^_^

(Susan) Calgary, AB(Zone 3b)

My sister Alice, who has been quilting for Many years (she's 70.......) had never heard of spray adhesive. I told her about it the other day, and she's going to try it.

(Susan) Calgary, AB(Zone 3b)

Hey Barb - how are you doing on your Hand Quilting project?

Phoenix, AZ

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 :)

(Susan) Calgary, AB(Zone 3b)

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..........

Phoenix, AZ

I'm only doing a small piece at a time so it works great.

Here's the templates :)

Thumbnail by Fish_knees
(Susan) Calgary, AB(Zone 3b)

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!

Phoenix, AZ

Got them @ Joann's. Yes need to keep learning :)

(Susan) Calgary, AB(Zone 3b)

We don't have a Joanne's Fabrics in Calgary. We have other quilt fabric stores however, so gonna check out Fabricland!

(thunder)Wildwood, FL(Zone 9a)

what brand pen did you buy??? I have heard they are great, or they are terrible????

Phoenix, AZ

Just got home and checked the pens, the pack came with a purple & pink one. I had already tossed the packaging. All the pen says is "Japan" lol

(Susan) Calgary, AB(Zone 3b)

lol

(thunder)Wildwood, FL(Zone 9a)

booo :(

(Pat) Kennewick, WA(Zone 5b)

Hey Fish, how'd your project come out??

Phoenix, AZ

LOL, haven't had much time to work on it. Gonna try tonight though :)

Phoenix, AZ

Well, better late than never. Almost a year later and I completed it. Went with a wavy machine quilt stitch. This is the 1st quilt I've made that wasn't a rag quilt :)

Thumbnail by Fish_knees
(Susan) Calgary, AB(Zone 3b)

Good for you, Barb!!
You did a lovely job, and it looks like you have a fur baby helping!
I just finished 3 hand quilting projects - lap quilts - 2 for friends, and one for me :-)

(Susan) Calgary, AB(Zone 3b)

oh - forgot...... also did a hand quilted baby quilt for a friend's baby.

(Karen) Traverse Cit, MI(Zone 5a)

Ooooh pretty bright colors. Very nice job.

(thunder)Wildwood, FL(Zone 9a)

Looks great !!!

Phoenix, AZ

Thanks, I'm so tickled I finished it :)

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