Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Monday, January 30, 2012
I'm new to posting on this blog. I have only been hand quilting for about 3 years so I don't have a lot of experience. What I do have is enthusiasm!
I have enjoyed all the "what's in your hoop?" posts. It's been very inspiring to see all the different projects people are working on.
I am currently working on a red and white quilt for a challenge my guild is doing. The challenge was inspired by the Infinite Variety exhibit in New York. I didn't get to go to the exhibit but there were so many gorgeous pictures of it online to enjoy.
I especially loved the quilts with beautiful hand quilting and resolved to hand quilt my contribution to the challenge. I am currently working on the straight lines behind the half feathered wreaths in the setting triangles.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Since the question is what's in our hoops, I'd like some information on floor frames. I've never used one and would like to hear from those of you who do. How much room do they take up? What's the difference between three and four (I think) roller frames? If you have one that uses long boards, what do you think of it and do you know where are patterns available to build one? How hard is it to learn to quilt on one - if you remember? What other information would you give someone who knows nothing about them? I've been quilting for almost 40 years but didn't know anyone who had one - and still don't know anyone who uses one. I quilt just fine (all that practice!) without one but I'm curious.
I'm getting close to the finish line on the Log Cabin quilt.
When I get so close to the end I have difficulty putting it down! It won't be long and I can bind it (black) and give it a wash. The top is antique and I usually don't wash antique tops until I have all the quilting done. The quilting adds strength to the top and there is much less chance of causing damage in the washer once the quilting is done.
I'm about 2 months into the hand quilting, and somewhere between 1/2 and 2/3 done. With each "melon", I've outlined each side of the ring plus one row of echo that lines up with the points of the second piece in the strip.
I've been trying to convince myself that this will be enough quilting. The stitching is 1-1.5" apart except in the center of each circle, which ends up with 4" square w/o stitching.
I want it to look modern and fresh as it's a gift for a young couple, and am fighting my tendency to over-quilt. I have an idea for what I'm going to do, but I'm open to suggestions for the centers of these 35 circles.
I am currently working on a king size Double Irish Chain. This quilt is the result of organizing my sewing studio. My goal was to empty a large Rubbermaid tote full of scraps. It was a large undertaking for me, I have never made a quilt this large.
I must admit I struggle when it comes to choosing how to quilt something. I decided on this one, to use the same motif, but in two different sizes.
|This a close up of the alternate blocks|
|King sized Double Irish Chain|
I’ve been faithful to quilting on the Yes We Can, Jane quilt… adding a few hours of quilting most evenings. I’m just about finished with stitching along the sashing in one direction, and this week will probably begin going in the opposite direction (perpendicular, I mean). It’s difficult to see the stitches I’ve made, as they go right along the white sashing in a matching thread color. But they are there!
I happened upon a post of Helen’s blog this morning to see her progress on a quilt she is hand quilting for Zoe. Drop by and take a look! It’s beautiful and colorful.
Yesterday I had lunch in Lansing, Michigan with Tim Latimer, another writer on this blog. We had a good time, and of course, had to go visit Country Stitches when we were done eating. We each added to the weekly income for the shop, excited about our purchases. What a fun time!
Glenn asked us to write what's in my hoop. Well, I do have a hoop. Even more than one. I have a Jasmine Heirloom floor stand hoop, I have a border hoop (half ring), I have a lap hoop and I have a simple plain round hoop. And they are all like this one. Empty. Oh, and enjoy the green slipper on my foot on the picture!;-)
|Work in progress.|
Oh by the way, the seam on the picture seems bend. I assure you, it's not. It's the clamp to keep my quilt flat in the frame.
I am working with a variegated thread from King Tut.
The quilt is not really visible on the quilt picture, for visible inspiration, see below. It will be work in progress for a longer time, as I spend my time on my work, my blog, decorating shoes and regular things like bathing, eating and sleeping too...;-) Lenience is a great thing!
Saturday, January 28, 2012
I have several projects going right now, in my small hoop I am hand quilting a sampler quilt. I have 20 Farmers Wife’s blocks that I made. I didn’t want to make anymore as I tired with the blocks for some reason and I’m not interested in making this quilt any larger! I use a 14 inch hoop or my large 3 roller floor frame – as the frame is occupied with a different quilt – the Farmers Wife is in the hoop.
I am using a simple stencil for the white blocks in this quilt and the other blocks will be outline quilted I do believe. I am using a golden brown YLI thread for the quilting. As you can see I do not take tiny, tiny stitches as some of you do. I am not concerned with trying for 10, 12 or even more stitches to the inch. I rarely ever count my stitches – when I do I know that I have a consistent 8 to 10 stitches per inch and that satisfies me. I do not enter my quilts into show – I make them for me and for my enjoyment – a release of my creative spirit!
On the floor while I was pin basting it.
If you are new to hand quilting I urge you not to be concerned about how many stitches per inch you can do but to be aware of being consistent – whether that is 6 stitches per inch or more – consistency is what makes it look good. And most of all enjoy what you are doing or it isn’t worth the time you put into it.
Dream wool - love the loft! And needles like a dream...
Clovers gold eye number 12
I do occationally choose other needles, if the piece I am quilting has a lot of seams, as these needles tend to bend if I have to use some force - I then will normally go for a number 11 between.
Friday, January 27, 2012
What kind of thread do you use for hand quilting?
If you quilt like I do, you are not limited to just cotton quilting thread!
I have a couple that were quilted with Monopoly...
Susan Magnolia: This is a painted piece I started at Road To CA in a class from Patt Blair. The batting is wool and is not trapuntoed - it just is that puffy from the batting..by densely stippling the background, the center flower and leaves stand out.
Midnight in the Pumpkin Patch: This piece was outline quilted with Monopoly.
And a couple that were quilted with metallics...here is one:
Penrose Posey: This piece was quilted with gold metallic.Sorry it doesn't show too well in the picture - the quilting is shiny in person.
Penrose Posey: The full wallhanging.
A couple of tips for handling unusual threads.
- Don't make a knot and try to pop it thru the top..instead, enter the quilt top about 4 inches away from where you want to start quilting and leave that long tail in the batting..make a small loop knot on the surface - hold on to the tail by pinching it with your non-needle hand thumb and forefinger as you pull the loop snug..if you start near a seam or out from under an applique, this tiny knot will not be visible..likewise, when you end the thread, take a small loop knot (either in a seam or under a piece of applique) and bury about 4 inches of the thread before clipping.
- Use fairly short pieces of thread (remember to add the 4 inches for the starting tail though)
- Going thru bulky seams may break your thread..try to avoid!
- I would not use these unusual threads on any piece that would get washed a lot or would be used on a bed.
What unusual threads have you used?
I haven't posted here yet - haven't had the time. But I wanted to show you what my current hand-quilting project is...
This picture was taken before I got it basted, when it was still a top. I've got most of the squares quilted and am debating what to do with the borders. I put a wool batting in this one, as I love how a wool quilt puffs up with the quilting. I quilt in a round hoop that is 14" across. I know an 18" hoop is the traditional size, but my arms are just not long enough to reach across that far (or maybe it's that my belly is so big my arms can't reach? Whichever).
I've been working on this quilt for a year and a half now - hopefully I'll have it finished in time to hang for this year's Halloween..
Thursday, January 26, 2012
As a beginning quilter without many tools or experience, I've always used what the LQS recommended when I first started and haven't tried anything else. In fact, I haven't bought batting in a few years because I'm such a slow stitcher but the Quilter's Dream Cotton batting packaging looks familiar. lol Soon I have to get another package for the newest quilt I've almost completed.
For hand quilting needles, Piecemakers were recommended and so that's what I use. Apparently size 9. I don't know the differences between sizes. One thing I do notice about the Piecemakers brand is that I quickly wear off the chrome coating on them! This happens with my steel crochet hooks too, where I hold them they turn black from use, rather quickly too. Is it just me?
Also, the only reason two are missing from my package is I lost one somewhere, the other is in my pincushion. Are needles ever "used up" and in need of replacement?
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
The last week and a half I've been machine piecing a quilt top for our expected son (we're adopting a 6 year old boy and are not sure when we will pick him up yet but think in the spring sometime). The pattern is from Kathleen Tracy's book Civil War Sewing Circle.
This afternoon I laid out all the blocks, sashing, and borders on the floor to arrange the blocks and see how it would look all put together.
While stitching the first few blocks together I noticed that I made mistakes on two of them and am trying to decide whether I should fix the two blocks with mistakes before I sew all the pieces together. Would you? Do you even notice the mistakes unless they were pointed out?
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
As you can see, I have used different battings over the years. If I had to choose only one, so far I would go for 100% coton. But I already have a wool batting waiting, so maybe I will change my mind in the future. And I want to try silk batting. For one of my future masterpieces that's waiting in my head to be made.
Then I came to Celebrate Hand Quilting and my mood was much improved. Audry's favorite batting is the one with the best price (a quilter to my own heart!). There was also a discussion about stab stitching (also snubbed in the book). Finally, I was inspired by a "should"...I really should write a quick post to thank my fellow hand-quilters for keeping it real, and giving me ideas and inspiration without making me feel like I have no idea what I'm doing. Thanks.
Monday, January 23, 2012
Sunday, January 22, 2012
My favorites have been posted already this month - Poly-Fil Cotton Classic and Quilters' Dream Cotton Request weight, both thin, 100% cotton. I love both and keep them on my shelf. Which I have more of depends on what was just on sale. To me, both are easy to needle and give me the finished look I want. I always wash my quilts when they're completed because I love and want the puckered look of an old quilt. I just tried a blend I purchased several years ago, Hobb's 80/20 cotton/poly blend and I'm not at all impressed. I followed the directions on the wrapper (which says 3% shrinkage but I didn't do a 'before' measurement) for spacing my quilting but it wasn't close enough. Perhaps if I'd done more quilting on it, I'd like it better. I'll try it again on a doll quilt as a test because I have two packages of it, both king size! Luckily, this quilt was something I machine quilted because it's intended as a play quilt for a two year old and not an heirloom. I normally applique and quilt by hand. If I'd done that on this quilt, I'd be really disappointed right now so it's back to my old stand-bys until I've done some testing.
Even though thimbles were a topic last month, I have to add I love the Clover thimble. I can grip my needle with the sides (rubber? poly? I don't know) and don't have to reach for the pliers when I'm doing a utilitarian stitch. My finger seems to be between standard sizes and this one fits. The sides give just enough to go on and be comfortable but not fall off. I have spares and I don't usually buy spares of thimbles.
Saturday, January 21, 2012
I received an email a few days ago from a quilter by the name of Linda, who asked about quilting on a Redwork quilt. She asked,
I would be interested in getting your take and the hand quilting groups take on whether you should hand quilt through a redwork embroidery quilt.
You can see that Linda has quilted in a cross hatch pattern OUTSIDE the redwork lines, but not inside. That will leave the area within the embroidery unquilted and loose. I guess my thought is that that I would quilt enough on the inside area to hold it in place, but not so much that it will detract from the embroidery. Does that make sense?
I’m not good at all with drawing on my computer, but the photo below shows blue lines where I might quilt inside the block if this were mine.
I wouldn’t quilt around each item in the picture, just the larger ones or in areas that are bigger and need something to anchor the layers.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Sunday, January 8, 2012
“I just discovered your blog and your great tutorials. Do you know of a tutorial or directions for the "stab stitch" for hand quilting? I have taken a class at Quakertown Quilts in my area (The Woodlands, Texas) on hand quilting using the traditional method. I have not seen a description of the stab stitch technique for hand quilting and would like to try it.
I appreciate any advice you can give me regarding this stitch.
I always thought that “stab stitch quilting” was something that I did to get through thicker seams. I use it after several attempts to use the traditional “rocking stitch” fails due to thickness at the seams. Could I have been missing something after 30+ years of quilting?!?! GASP! So I started to do a search and see what I could find.
Barb Robson has a blog article on stab stitch quilting that you might find useful.
Wikipedia has an article as well, and says that stab stitching is making “one running stitch at a time. However, don’t rely on Wikipedia to always be accurate, as anybody can submit writing to Wikipedia as if they are an expert.
Linda Halpin’s website includes a mention of a workshop she teaches for “poke-pull (or stab stitch) quilting.” Linda has been quilting for years, and I would rely on her expertise to be accurate.
I did a search on YouTube for videos on stab stitching, but came up empty handed. I think that’s because most quilters only utilize stab stitch quilting the way I do – for those difficult, thick areas. I think!
So, I’m turning this question over to our hand quilting experts on Celebrate Hand Quilting so they can provide their feedback to Dorothy.
Ladies and gentlemen, can you help Dorothy?
Friday, January 6, 2012
By Glenn Dragone
I’m in the same camp as some of the others when it comes to the brand and content of batting I like to use for hand quilting. By far, my favorite is wool, which to me has the best hand and makes hand quilting a pleasure. I use two brands and like both for different reasons.
My favorite, Quilter’s Dream Wool, is my go to batting in general. I like that Merino Wool is incorporated into the batting, and it seems to be cleaner wool than others I've tried. It also has a bit of a lift to it that isn't too puffy. Quilting is easy and enjoyable with it.
My second choice, Hobbs Tuscany Wool, is very good quality wool with similar qualities to Quilter’s Dream Wool, so much so that it’s hard to tell them apart. For me, it’s a matter of price and availability when it comes to choosing between the two.
My least favorite, Hobbs Standard Wool, can be dirty and quickly falls apart. At times, the texture reminds me of a spider web. The packaging is bad too, basically it's a rolled mess. But, I like its lack of loft, and when finished, the quilt has a real antique feel to it. I love that very flat effect.
On to Needles… I think I’ve tried every quilt needle on the market, except Piecemakers, which I’m currently awaiting a shipment of. Simply put, I like a very pointed tip on a strong size 12 needle. Right now, I’m using the Clover betweens, which are a bit longer than what I normally like, but it doesn’t seem to be an issue. I like the point as well as the fact that they don’t easily bend or break.
There you have it. Nothing really new from what the others have already said, just my spin on it.
I use Quilters Dream cotton or wool, because that is what my local quiltshop sell.
In the near future I am planing to try silk, and a new batting made of bamboo.
When it comes to needles I have tried several types. These are the ones I use
When I was learning how to handquilt I used these from Piecemakers, still like them.
I have also tried the ones from Roxannes, and like them too.
My favorite at the moment is these from Bohin. I like size 10 betweens/big eye. When threading these I feel like the mouse in Disney`s Cinderella!
They are about 1" long, and don`t bend ore break easy.