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Topic: Basic questions about hand quilting.  (Read 1102 times)
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jungrrl
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« on: October 16, 2009 07:08:26 AM »

So I did search for this but maybe I glossed over it? If you know of a thread that answers these questions let me know! I'll merge it.  Cheesy

I've never hand quilted before and I'm kind of confused about the basics.

If I'm hand quilting and using a hoop where does the knot of the thread go? Shouldn't it ideally go in between the top and bottom? How can I get it there without taking the hoop off?

How do I make sure that I'm not rethreading my needle every five minutes? Cheesy  Is there some magic way to give myself lots of thread but not create lots of knots while I'm quilting?  I'm assuming not but I figured it was worth a try.  Wink

Any general tips? I've done embroidery but never hand sewn anything except when closing up a stuffie or a purse!

Oh! One more.  Should I start quilting at one end? In the middle? Somewhere else?

Thanks ladies!  I'm planning on hand quilting a Beatles quilt for my sister and I'm using my grandfather's grandmother's hoop!  Grin  It's about 5 times thicker than the ones currently available in Jo-ann's. Cheesy
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anaximander
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2009 07:19:36 AM »

There are much more talented hand quilters on here than me, but I'll answer to the best of my ability;

1. The knot does go between the layers. Basically you make a knot using the needle (I cannot even begin to figure out how to describe how to do this, but I'm sure searching for quilter's knot on youtube will find it) - then you pull the thread through the quilt and it will "pop" in between the layers, and I've never had it *not* stay there. (no pun intended.)

2. I tend to make the thread as long as my arm, doubling it over when threading it so there's about 6" of "clear" space, which I then just keep adjusting down until I'm left with only a couple of inches at the end. With quilter's thread, it doesn't knot, but it does twist (and I've never been able to solve that problem, short of holding the project up and letting the needle unwind itself.)

3. Start in the middle, and work your way out - that way you don't end up short of batting or fabric on one end, or a pucker somewhere weird.

As far as advice, just be patient with yourself. If you feel you need to, pick up some quilter's tape - it'll help keep your stitches even and straight (so you don't have one stitch 5mm and another one 2mm Smiley - Eventually you'll get int he habit of rocking your needle through all the layers, and from there in it's much easier to be even. It will seem like slow going at times, but I find the look is really worth it.

And congratulations on having a good hoop - I *hate* the ones at joanns and always borrow my mom's instead Smiley
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sincap
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2009 11:57:12 AM »

After I cut a long piece of thread, I hold it up by one end, pinch the thread between two fingers on the other hand, and run the thread through the pinch all the way to the bottom. This unwinds it a bit and it tangles a lot less. 

Also, I find that it tends to tangle more if I put the needle through the fabric and just pull it straight through until it's tight. Try this: Put the needle through the fabric, grab the needle with the right hand, and hold the thread with the left hand. (your left hand is on the opposite side of the fabric from the needle.) As you pull the thread, the fingers on your left hand will make sure that the thread going into the fabric is a nice straight line and not twisting into a knot. I hope this makes sense!
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« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2009 04:02:05 PM »

Get a good, comfortable thimble.
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thatgirlthatquilt
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2009 02:35:10 PM »

One tip passed along to me when I started hand quilting was to thread 4 or 5 needles and keep them close by, like on your pincushion.  Having several threaded needles will keep you from using pieces of thread too long that will twist up into knotty messes.

Oh, and definitely quilt from the center of the quilt.  I use either a larger standing hoop or a slightly smaller hoop that I can put in my lap.  Also, you don't want to make the quilt layers too taut in the hoop; have a little bit of "play" because that makes it easier to rock your needle back and forth between the layers.
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jungrrl
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« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2009 07:28:59 PM »

Ok, well so far this is really slow going. Cheesy And I'm wondering which is better. Using one thread or doubling up?  I'm not using quilting thread I'm actually using 100% rayon because it's a gradient color and that's what I want...  Undecided
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« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2009 08:29:24 AM »

Generally just one thread, but I assume your rayon thread is pretty thin.  I don't see why you can't double up if you want to.
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SimplySandy
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2009 05:14:56 PM »

Did you know they make varigated quilting thread?
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