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Sewing and Quilting: Hand quilting help Please

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Fish_knees

Fish_knees
Phoenix, AZ

April 22, 2012
1:53 PM

Post #9093083

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

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Thea1962
Ottawa, ON
(Zone 5a)

April 22, 2012
3:39 PM

Post #9093197

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!!!

Fish_knees

Fish_knees
Phoenix, AZ

April 22, 2012
3:45 PM

Post #9093203

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

(googling stitch in the ditch, lol)
Thea1962
Ottawa, ON
(Zone 5a)

April 22, 2012
3:53 PM

Post #9093220

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!!

Tallulah_B

Tallulah_B
(Susan) Calgary, AB
(Zone 3b)

April 22, 2012
7:12 PM

Post #9093521

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.

Fish_knees

Fish_knees
Phoenix, AZ

April 22, 2012
8:07 PM

Post #9093616

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...

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Tallulah_B

Tallulah_B
(Susan) Calgary, AB
(Zone 3b)

April 22, 2012
9:43 PM

Post #9093701

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

siliolegma

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

April 23, 2012
5:14 AM

Post #9093890

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.
Thea1962
Ottawa, ON
(Zone 5a)

April 23, 2012
5:36 AM

Post #9093920

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!!

helenethequeen

helenethequeen
Longboat Key, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 23, 2012
10:01 AM

Post #9094409

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

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Qwilter
Fleming Island, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 23, 2012
10:28 AM

Post #9094447

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.

Quilter5bdsr

Quilter5bdsr
(Barb) Hillsboro, NH
(Zone 5a)

April 23, 2012
10:29 AM

Post #9094452

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

Tallulah_B

Tallulah_B
(Susan) Calgary, AB
(Zone 3b)

April 23, 2012
11:03 AM

Post #9094493

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.

Fish_knees

Fish_knees
Phoenix, AZ

April 23, 2012
12:21 PM

Post #9094613

Really appreciate all the help :)

Tallulah_B

Tallulah_B
(Susan) Calgary, AB
(Zone 3b)

April 23, 2012
12:46 PM

Post #9094641

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!!!!!!!

Fish_knees

Fish_knees
Phoenix, AZ

April 23, 2012
2:14 PM

Post #9094767

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...

Tallulah_B

Tallulah_B
(Susan) Calgary, AB
(Zone 3b)

April 23, 2012
2:33 PM

Post #9094792

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.

Fish_knees

Fish_knees
Phoenix, AZ

April 24, 2012
6:46 PM

Post #9096503

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

Tallulah_B

Tallulah_B
(Susan) Calgary, AB
(Zone 3b)

April 24, 2012
6:47 PM

Post #9096504

LOL yuppers!!!!

barefootT

barefootT
(thunder)Wildwood, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 24, 2012
8:56 PM

Post #9096629

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 ^_^

Tallulah_B

Tallulah_B
(Susan) Calgary, AB
(Zone 3b)

April 24, 2012
9:00 PM

Post #9096634

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.

Tallulah_B

Tallulah_B
(Susan) Calgary, AB
(Zone 3b)

April 30, 2012
1:36 PM

Post #9104228

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

Fish_knees

Fish_knees
Phoenix, AZ

April 30, 2012
4:04 PM

Post #9104440

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 :)

Tallulah_B

Tallulah_B
(Susan) Calgary, AB
(Zone 3b)

April 30, 2012
4:07 PM

Post #9104448

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...

Fish_knees

Fish_knees
Phoenix, AZ

April 30, 2012
4:26 PM

Post #9104479

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

Here's the templates :)

Thumbnail by Fish_knees
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Tallulah_B

Tallulah_B
(Susan) Calgary, AB
(Zone 3b)

April 30, 2012
6:01 PM

Post #9104628

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!

Fish_knees

Fish_knees
Phoenix, AZ

April 30, 2012
6:16 PM

Post #9104646

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

Tallulah_B

Tallulah_B
(Susan) Calgary, AB
(Zone 3b)

April 30, 2012
6:27 PM

Post #9104662

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

barefootT

barefootT
(thunder)Wildwood, FL
(Zone 9a)

May 1, 2012
10:36 AM

Post #9105665

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

Fish_knees

Fish_knees
Phoenix, AZ

May 1, 2012
6:53 PM

Post #9106387

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

Tallulah_B

Tallulah_B
(Susan) Calgary, AB
(Zone 3b)

May 1, 2012
7:34 PM

Post #9106451

lol

barefootT

barefootT
(thunder)Wildwood, FL
(Zone 9a)

May 2, 2012
5:50 PM

Post #9107754

booo :(

psychw2

psychw2
(Pat) Kennewick, WA
(Zone 5b)

June 23, 2012
2:56 PM

Post #9177506

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

Fish_knees

Fish_knees
Phoenix, AZ

June 23, 2012
5:14 PM

Post #9177667

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

Fish_knees

Fish_knees
Phoenix, AZ

April 1, 2013
9:13 PM

Post #9469332

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
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Tallulah_B

Tallulah_B
(Susan) Calgary, AB
(Zone 3b)

April 1, 2013
9:44 PM

Post #9469354

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 :-)

Tallulah_B

Tallulah_B
(Susan) Calgary, AB
(Zone 3b)

April 1, 2013
9:45 PM

Post #9469356

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

siliolegma

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

April 2, 2013
5:50 AM

Post #9469517

Ooooh pretty bright colors. Very nice job.

barefootT

barefootT
(thunder)Wildwood, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 2, 2013
8:17 AM

Post #9469624

Looks great !!!

Fish_knees

Fish_knees
Phoenix, AZ

April 2, 2013
9:33 AM

Post #9469698

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

siliolegma

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

April 2, 2013
9:38 AM

Post #9469705

Always satisfying to meet a challenge.

barefootT

barefootT
(thunder)Wildwood, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 2, 2013
5:09 PM

Post #9470102

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...
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

April 2, 2013
5:15 PM

Post #9470107

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.

Fish_knees

Fish_knees
Phoenix, AZ

April 2, 2013
5:46 PM

Post #9470132

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.

Thumbnail by Fish_knees   Thumbnail by Fish_knees   Thumbnail by Fish_knees   Thumbnail by Fish_knees   
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MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

April 2, 2013
6:02 PM

Post #9470151

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.

morknotmindy

morknotmindy
Oracle , AZ
(Zone 8b)

April 2, 2013
7:53 PM

Post #9470287

Wow! Fishie, you are doing great! I really need to learn free motion quilting...

Tallulah_B

Tallulah_B
(Susan) Calgary, AB
(Zone 3b)

April 2, 2013
8:01 PM

Post #9470293

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!

Fish_knees

Fish_knees
Phoenix, AZ

April 2, 2013
9:09 PM

Post #9470338

The FMQ was terrifying! Turns out it's pretty fun :)

Tallulah_B

Tallulah_B
(Susan) Calgary, AB
(Zone 3b)

April 3, 2013
7:42 AM

Post #9470574

The "terrifying" part is what's holding me back...

Fish_knees

Fish_knees
Phoenix, AZ

April 3, 2013
9:14 AM

Post #9470664

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.
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

April 3, 2013
9:18 AM

Post #9470670

The idea of the right machine foot has always scared me off. It seems like an investment for me to get a Bernina foot and online reviews of the cheaper universal brands always are mixed.

siliolegma

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

April 3, 2013
10:32 AM

Post #9470724

You can find most of the feet on Ebay, might save some there. Don't forget to figure in the postage too.

Fish_knees

Fish_knees
Phoenix, AZ

April 3, 2013
12:13 PM

Post #9470808

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.

psychw2

psychw2
(Pat) Kennewick, WA
(Zone 5b)

April 3, 2013
12:16 PM

Post #9470811

AW technology! don't you love the phones and the good things you can do with them!

Tallulah_B

Tallulah_B
(Susan) Calgary, AB
(Zone 3b)

April 3, 2013
12:18 PM

Post #9470816

I have a walking foot, which my quilting cousin said was the right one... still, it scares me! Would hate to ruin a quilt with "pick marks" from taking stitches out...

psychw2

psychw2
(Pat) Kennewick, WA
(Zone 5b)

April 3, 2013
12:21 PM

Post #9470821

Susan, don't most "pick marks" go away after you have washed the quilt? Or am I dreaming? (or hoping? hehehe)

Tallulah_B

Tallulah_B
(Susan) Calgary, AB
(Zone 3b)

April 3, 2013
12:40 PM

Post #9470838

yes, they go away... I'm just being "picky" lol

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...

siliolegma

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

April 3, 2013
1:30 PM

Post #9470881

Susan, layer some extra fabric and batting and play with the walking foot. I'll bet you like it once you try it. It really does make the machine quilting easier.

Fish_knees

Fish_knees
Phoenix, AZ

April 3, 2013
1:52 PM

Post #9470903

Oh I have taken out more stitches than I care to admit to with this BOM! My seam ripper is my best friend :)
I haven't had problems with holes/marks

Tallulah_B

Tallulah_B
(Susan) Calgary, AB
(Zone 3b)

April 3, 2013
2:01 PM

Post #9470913

I was teasing about "poking"...actually, I was "poking fun" LOL
Guess what I'm doing right now?!?! I'm ripping out stitches, cuz I added a border on the wrong side... lol

psychw2

psychw2
(Pat) Kennewick, WA
(Zone 5b)

April 4, 2013
7:52 AM

Post #9471631

Don't cha just hate that?? LOL

Tallulah_B

Tallulah_B
(Susan) Calgary, AB
(Zone 3b)

April 4, 2013
8:15 AM

Post #9471665

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...

siliolegma

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

April 4, 2013
8:17 AM

Post #9471670

Not trying to stop the hand quilting Susan, in fact I'm in awe of anyone who does it. Just an idea if you want to try the machine sometime.
Qwilter
Fleming Island, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 4, 2013
12:38 PM

Post #9471888

Don't use colored blackboard chalk for marking on fabric. It may stain the fabric. The white is fine to use.
Invest in the quilters chalk if you need a color.

Tallulah_B

Tallulah_B
(Susan) Calgary, AB
(Zone 3b)

April 4, 2013
2:48 PM

Post #9471979

I was looking for quilter's chalk... couldn't find it. Did find the pouncer though...

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