Friday, June 29, 2007


A Strong Desire


If you know me, you already know my love for handwork. About this time last year I decided that I was going to learn how to hand applique. Vicky gave me the gentle shove off the fence and Patti mentored me - thank you again, Ladies! It's become something I enjoy immensely.

Now, I have a strong desire to learn how to hand quilt. I bought this book a few months ago and feel that it might help me. I need advice from the pros - there are so many of you that appear to enjoy hand quilting so can you help me?


Where do I start? Any tips, thoughts, ideas?

19 comments:

kjquilts said...

Darlene, if you need help I'll be glad to oblige! It's really simple and you will fall in love with it too!

Pieces From Me said...

I only hand quilt and LOVE it. Ami Simms has wonderful books on the subject, it really takes just doing it. Mark a piece of muslin with straight and curved lines in the design. Use a dark thread so you can see your stitches and use a quilting needle. I use a number 12 but some people find that too small. A 9 or 10 work well too. And a good quality quilting thread. I use gutermann but there are others that are good too. Just don't skimp on the thread quality. You will do fine! Check out Belvie's site at www.quiltersemptynest.blogspot.com She just did the same thing. Her sample of her hand quilting lesson is on her blog

Vicky said...

Boy, we've been thinking the same thoughts. I watched a hand quilting class a couple of weeks ago, and suddenly wanted to try it again now that I've got new bionics in my shoulder.

I'll be watching your progress! I know you'll do great - just like in everything you do!!

Linda said...

Hmm great minds think alike, I was giving a lot of thought to learning how to hand quilt. The only disadvantage for me is that it would cut into my embroidery time, what to do, what to do... Let's know how you get on.

May Britt said...

Just pack your suitcase and come to me and I'll teach you how to handquilt!!!!!
I'm sure you can find videos on net showing how to do it.

Carole said...

Tell you want, you come on over and do my French knots for me and I'll teach you how to hand quilt! The only tip I can give you is practice makes perfect. Concentrate on even stitches. The lenght will follow! You want consistancy. Have fun!

Carole said...

Ps; Try various needles. Needles are not all the same. You can start with a 9 and work you way up. Hum... perhaps I ought to clean out my needle collection so that you can try the some out!

Leigh said...

Darlene you will love hand quilting it is very therapeutic.
Keep your fabric loose in the hoop if you use one and try and keep your stitches the same size.

Belvie said...

I just took a handquilting class at LQS to try to improve my stitch. The instructor had us use about a 14" hoop, a size 11 between needle by Jean S. Lyle, and Gutermann quilting thread. She gave us a sample of muslin with a quilting design marked on it and layered with Quilters Dream cotton batting. She asked that we use a dark quilting thread on our practice piece so we could see our stitches. If you are interested in more details...let me know. I'll be happy to share. I also have a couple of books that I learned from. I can give you titles on those too.

Pam said...

I also love to hand quilt. And I also found the Ami Simms book years and years ago and it is just a fabulous little book. It was a little blue book and that is how I learned to hand quilt.

Mostly it is just practice and figuring out what - needles, thread, hoops and thimbles that you like best. I like John James #11 needles. Roxanne thimble and a 16" wood hoop. And YLI thread. Metler thread knots up all the time.

Good luck and enjoy :))

Wendy said...

I haven't done much hand quilt but taken 2 classes. My advise is to start with something small (14" pillow or tablemat) and don't worry about how tiny the stitches are, just work on how even the stitches are. One of the instructors I took the class from, didn't use a hoop and I liked that better as well. But it's all about getting comfortable with your own style.
I look forward to seeing your quilting.

Sweet P said...

My dream is to become a hand quilter. I've made one mini whole cloth quilt and I have a full-size quilt waiting for me to hand quilt.

I don't have any advice, but I like many of the suggestions you've been given so far.

JoAnna said...

I love hand quilting! Good for you for trying a new technique.

I quilt without a hoop or a frame. At first I thought I was a traitor for doing this, but then lots of other quilters told me they do it that way too. I could just never get that elusive rocking motion everyone goes on about.

Believe that your stiches will get smaller as you practice. Concentrate on make your stiches even when you start, and as you quilt more and more, you'll be able to make them smaller.

Have lots and lots of fun!

Libby said...

You've gotten some very good, knowledgeable and sage advice already so you are well on your way. Remember - don't be critical of your work. Relax and enjoy the process *s* Your stitches will be big in the beginning (some of mine are almost as long as the state of Californis *s*) The more you quilt the more even and the smaller your stitches. Enjoy.

atet said...

The only advice I can give you is the advice I got from my grandmother in law this spring when I asked her to teach me. The needle goes in and out of the fabric. Hmmn. Think I need a couple of books and to sit down and try it! Sorry I couldn't be more help!

Judy said...

The best tip I got was from Tonya at Lazy Gal...Get 2 pieces of muslin and some thin batting and make a nice sandwich, hoop it, and start practicing. Use black thread so you can see the back. Read what the book says and practice, practice, practice...that rocking stitch.

Make sure your thimble has deep dimples, use a short needle, and just keep working row after row until you get the motion down and then the stitches will eventually get smaller

Helen in the UK said...

Good luck with your foray into hand quilting. Relax and concentrate on getting a rhythm going. The only other tip I can think of that hasn't been mentioned is pick a patterned fabric for the backing - a plain will really show up any inconsistencies! Enjoy :)

Hanne said...

The trick is to start and just go for it. You can do it ! :-)
Don't worry about the back side of the work as long as your needle goes through all layers.

Sue said...

Be sure to find some arm & shoulder exercises and do them regularly when you're hand quilting. I'm absolutely serious. I have major shoulder problems in my left shoulder from repetitive movement, and I talk to quilt ladies all the time who have damaged their shoulders so much that they can't quilt any longer. I've gotten a big rubber band from the 'shoulder dr.' & if I keep up with my exercises it helps a lot. Have fun, hand quilting is so rewarding!

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