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Hand Sewing and Quilting

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April 1st, 2008

11:51 am - Lap Quilt Project in progress (photos)
   Seeing other gorgeous quilts members have posted here gave me the urge to post some photos of a work in progress.

Not long ago, I took this project out to begin working on it again.  The blocks are from an old pattern I found somewhere back in 1990 which was called "pinwheel".  I started it to use up lots of scraps I had at the time. It has some examples of wonderful quilters cottons in it and I'm in the process of hand-quilting it. So many memories come back to me just looking at it.  My daughter helping me cut out the blocks, the peaceful hours of piecing it in a quiet house while family members slept, the unusual pieces of thick silk and cotton brocades in it that came from an ancient stash of my great - Grandmother's fabrics, pieces left over from my daughter's dresses, stuffed toys I made her, and Summer clothing scraps, too. 

Here and there, you can see basting stitches, and my ancient trusty smaller sized embroiderey hoop is what I am using on this as I sit and quilt it at a table in the evenings.

It's a lap sized quilt, or one could hang it on a wall.

I've been wanting to share some photos of my quilting work for a long time, and since the hand quilting is taking me forever, I decided to post it sooner rather than later!

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March 6th, 2008

01:16 pm - Learning to hand-quilt
My piecing's fairly good by now, but I'm still a beginner on the quilting. I've done a few cushions and am now on my first quilt. I'm quilting in the ditch and the thread vanishes into the backing fabric, so you can't see the quilting, which is turning out to be a good thing.

I'm finding that if I quilt normally, a lot of the stitches are skipped on the back. Do I just need to rewind my technique and take larger stitches until this has improved? Is there anything I should be doing differently? I'm not getting on that well with pricking my finger all the time, and the idea of having to prick it even more to make sure that the stitches all get through to the back is daunting.

I've also just acquired an Aunt Becky...Collapse )

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March 5th, 2008

07:46 pm - Seams
Something I learned today that may help someone some day...

I'm hand quilting something in an outline-esque pattern that allows me to avoid all seams. This gives me a certain stitch length (fabric + batting + fabric.) I've encountered the seam of the pieced backing - on the side that I ironed my seam allowance =( so this line of stitches will be a bit bigger (hopefully only noticeable to me) because it is fabric + batting + fabric + fabric + fabric. Ugh. Lesson learned for next time...

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February 20th, 2008

02:07 pm - Rough quilting hoop
I'm new to this quilting lark, and after sewing a few cushion covers to learn hand-quilting, I realised that the 16" hoop I'd bought was just too big to be comfortable (I'm only 4'11 tall). Since it was rather pricey, I decided to try a cheaper 14" one from another shop, reasoning that there wasn't much you could do wrong with a quilting hoop. The size looks about right, but I haven't tried it because the wood's so rough that I get splinters every time I pick it up. I'm also a bit concerned because the hoop isn't as deep as the 16" one ((3/4" instead of 1/2") and the fastening at the top is plastic, not wood. Do these things matter? I rang the shop and they said that they're all like that, they didn't seem to think it was a problem and said that their customers generally wrap strips of calico around the hoop, which have to be replaced periodically. I know that when I bind fabric around embroidery hoops, I keep accidentally sewing the binding fabric when I get to the edges, but then embroidery is different and done in a much smaller frame. So my options are a) mess around with wrapping the thing - how much of a nuisance will this be? b) see if I can sandpaper it into submission; c) return it, make a fuss and insist that the shop pays for the return postage (which right now I'm suspecting they won't as they don't seem to think it's faulty, apparently the others are in a similar condition "and we've never had any complaints before". Gah).

By the way, I'm in Scotland and doing everything by mail order, before anyone starts giving me recommendations to go to Jo-Ann's or something. The pricey but good hoop was from the Cotton Patch (don't order there that often, as their postage is both slow and pricey), and the cheap one from the Quilt Room. I do want to get started on the quilting for my sofa quilt quite soon, and I'm not due to place an order with anyone other than Karrydot.com (who doesn't do hoops) for a while.

cross-posted to quilting and sewingbyhand

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February 19th, 2008

10:35 pm - Quilting Frame
Hello everyone!

I am doing a quilt entirely by hand. While I've only finished appliqueing the first block and have a long way to go, I'd like to go ahead and ask for some advice for this. I have another quilt top that was hand pieced by someone else that I'd like to hand quilt and I might get to that sooner.

Are there any recommendations for a quilting frame? I don't have a bunch of money to spend, so I'd like something that's not going to break the bank, but I don't want to skimp on quality either. If it can fold up, that would be wonderful since our space is at a premium. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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08:01 pm - Welcome!
I never got around to buying a sewing machine. I haven't really got the space for a sewing machine. I'm sure I'll get around to it eventually, but meanwhile I'm having far too much fun sewing by hand to care. I've embroidered for a few years, and about a year ago I got into quilting. I'm piecing my third quilt top and have started acquiring quite a few quilting books, as well as hanging around in quilting. This is when it really struck home to me how far the rest of the world is set up for machine quilting. There you are, happily following the instructions for something, when you realise that the technique is machine-only.

So I've set this place up for talking about hand-sewing. It doesn't matter whether you're new to hand-sewing or been doing it for years, whether you're doing a whole project by hand or just part of it such as the binding: all are welcome!

As a courtesy to other users, please put images and posts that are more than a few paragraphs behind an LJ cut, and write all posts in normal-size, standard black font.

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