Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Hand Quilting New Leaf

Just recently, I decided to add some hand quilting to a mini quilt I made (for which a pattern is coming very soon!).


I adore the effect, really and truly, but I had so much trouble pulling the needle through that at times I had to use pliers! That mostly happened when I had two or three stitches on the needle. Tell me, was I doing something wrong? It surely shouldn't be so hard.

I'm very new to hand quilting, but do love the effect so want to do it again. If you have any tips for me, I'd be ever so grateful. 

I'm also curious to know, what's your favourite brand of needle? Let me know in the comments.

Bye for now

Hope x  

8 comments:

  1. When I first started I was told to use the smallest "tweens" needle I could and it helped a lot!

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  2. It could be the wadding you've used. I've had to abandon hand quilting one of my UFOs because the cotton wadding was needle punched and contained scrim. Like you describe I was tempted to bring out the pliers in the end! Double check when you buy wadding that it is suitable for hand quilting - that's the lesson I've learned! Maybe even rig up a test sandwich before going to the trouble of basting a quilt with the wrong type of wadding. Your stitches look beautiful by the way ☺

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    1. Thank you very much Allison, I tried my best to get the stitches looking nice. It got easier the more I did, but still a bit inconsistent in places. I'm very pleased with it overall though. :)

      I did try a little practice piece first with the same fabrics and wadding, and it worked fine. The packaging also said it was suitable for hand quilting. I am wondering now if it has anything to do with having machine quilted first. I was hand quilting 1/8 inch from my machine quilting, so perhaps it made things stiffer and therefore harder to hand quilt? I don't know. Individual stitches were fine, just multiple stitches on the needle were difficult. More practice and experimenting is needed, that's for sure.

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  3. When I hand quilt, I take one or at the most two stitches at a time on the needle. I use 100% cotton batting (Quilter's Dream) and avoid Warm 'n Natural which works best for machine quilting. I like the big eye betweens. They are easier to thread. I am a "thumb" quilter. That is, I use my thumb a lot for pushing the needle through. I have to be careful and remember to wear protection on my thumb or it gets awfully sore. I use "Thimble Its," little plastic adhesive thingys that stick on temporarily. Don't give up! It took years for me to feel really comfortable hand quilting and feeling as though my stitches were spaced evenly and of a consistent size. Your work looks great and the next project will be even better!

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    1. Thank you for the tips and the encouragement Patricia, I appreciate both.

      I ended up with a very sore finger from feeling when the needle was through underneath. I wonder if the Thimble Its would help with that? Also, I have a terrible habit of using my fingernail to push the needle through when I hand stitch, though I always worry it will slip and go under my nail. For this I used a thimble to push it through, which felt quite awkward. I will keep at it and find what's comfortable eventually. It's so nice to hear how others do things so I can try alternative tools and methods. Thanks again.

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  4. It looks gorgeous. Sorry I have trouble hand quilting too, but the effect is sensational !

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    1. Thank you Leanne! I enjoy the look too so I'm determined to get more comfortable with my hand quilting. :)

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