Sunday, December 17, 2006

Hand Quilting

I actually like doing this. Finn is right that it is relaxing and a good time to let the thoughts wander. I'm sure I'm not doing it correctly but that is fine with me. I have some trouble keeping straight. Each needle load wants to go off a little on its own direction but just step back a few feet and it looks okay. No quilt police here.
I like the cross hatching on point that I am doing. Popping the knot is really neat. I am surprised every time I do it. Thanks for the marking ideas. I'll be trying more of them later. So far I like the blue-wash away pen for the lighter fabrics and I discovered I could put a couple of my flower pins through the dark and follow them I don't care for sewing with the tape as well but am doing some of it too. I think I have at least 3/4 of Autumn Walk done. You can see in the last pic that Kipper lets me know when I need to stop and go for a bike ride.

I am using two strands of DMC. It is a deep gold color (610) and I really like it. I like to use DMC for darning. Yup, I nicked the fabric when cutting the thread from a final knot. The very busy backing and Hobbs batting are great, as is the basting spray and pinning method. I'm used to using a thimble and although I'm not doing the stitching correctly, I'm getting a good up and down motion and could make the stitches closer now.

Did you know that DMC is made in France? Interesting what I discover when reading labels. You probably knew, but I didn't, that Hobbs batting is made in Waco, TX. I watched a TV program Lap Quilting with a very interesting segment from their factory.

When doing a web search on methods of marking quilts, I found Appalachian Quilt Marking Techniques I wish this would just turn into a site to click on like it does in my e-mails. Would someone please tell me how to do it here? There is a site at the end of the article that takes you to the original material including audio. This site is
They women told about using left over fabric from making clothes and never buying fabric to make quilts. They talked about how the quilts were to keep the family warm with three or four on each bed. With blankets and better heating, the quilts weren't needed. One lady now uses an electric blanket. Another said she now kept just enough quilts to cover the beds when she had company. Another gave quilts to her children and grandchildren and hoped they "would enjoy them but would also take care of them so that they will last." Use but not abuse was her motto.

One method for marking was to dip a string in thick flour paste and snap it over the quilt. They also talked about pencils and chalk so maybe not that much has changed.

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Finn said...

Hi Katie,just had to pop over and leave you a hug and big "howdy doody". Sorry I've been gone sooo much. My eye is finally starting to feel like it is normal again..just a week and counting for the healing part..the discomfort goes back much farther.
I clicked to enlarge and your quilting is looking really good!! I'm not just being's good for such a new comer to hand quilting!
Once you get use to the thimble it gets alot easier. I'm not sure there is a right and wrong way to use the thimble. Just as there is no ONE thimble that works for everybody.
I'd suggest concentracing on the size of each stitch, striving for them to all be the same size, and then you could worry about more per inch. One you get to a uniform size, the rest is quite easy. If there is anything I can help with, please ask..*VBS* Can't help you with the linking part, I just don't know how either. Maybe you can teach me after you get it...*VBS* Big hugs for you and Kipper, Finn and Ebby

Dawn said...

Wow it looks wonderful so far! I can't believe your a new hand quilter! Heck your stitches are better than mine! Not that I'm an old pro like Finn! But I've done my share! It looks wonderful!

Anonymous said...

To make a link clickable just type in words like Mismatched Quilter. I will use your blog for examples. Then open another browser window or if you use FireFox open a tab and go to the website you want to link to. Copy the web address; in this case it is
. Go back to the post you are creating and highlight the words Mismatched Quilter. Do you see the little icon at the top section of your post that looks like a chain link? Click that and a little window will pop up with http:// highlighted in blue. Delete that using your delete key on the keyboard. Make sure your cursor is still in the box and hold down the 'Ctrl' key on your keyboard and press the 'v' key. You have just used a keyboard shortcut to paste the url of the website into the box. Click on the ok box to close that little window. The text (Mismatched Quilter) is now underlined and blue. Once you post, this text will be clickable and will go to the web site you want. HTH.

Anonymous said...

I'm soon going to try quilting something for the first time that isn't "in the ditch"... your reflections on marking and what works are more than a little appreciated :-)

Anonymous said...

I started hand quilting this past summer and love it. I currently have one finished top waiting to be marked and another two almost completed tops I want to hand quilt. I've been so buse sewing on bindings I haven't had much time to hand quilt.

Finn is right. Concentrate on the size of your stitch and strive for consistency in the size of all your stitches.

I don't use a thimble. Instead I use Thimble-Its. Plastic stick on pads for each finger you want to use it on.

Your quilting looks great. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Your quilting looks great. I thought I would never be able to use a thimble, but now I just can't work with out it . . . for quilting, anyway. I still shy away from one when doing other stitching. I suppose someday I'll learn.

Patti said...

I must agree with Finn - your stitches look marvelous for a beginning hand quilter. You have nothing to be ashamed of at all. I've seen many experienced hand quilters whose work is nowhere near as nice as yours. Keep it up! And I'm glad you like doing it - I too find it relaxing and almost like a meditation at times. I can stitch away and be completely oblivious to the passing of time.

Anonymous said...

It looks wonderful. Wish I could stitch like that. Mine are still all over the place.

A tip for marking - use flat slivers of of hand soap. They show up really well and wash out.

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

This looks fabulous to me, I'm pretty much machine myself. All these hints are great. The soap one sounds good. merry Christmas, Tracey

cher said...

I really enjoy hand quilting too-and have yet to get comfortable wearing a thimble myself. I did my version of Tonya's baptist fans..and really enjoyed the whole process. I think your stitching looks great! enjoying it is what matters the most I think