Friday, May 23, 2008

Hand quilting

Dear Shayne,

It's likely that I have sworn up and down in the past that I would never hand quilt anything. This is why, of course, I took a hand-quilting class this week. I'm full of surprises.

So far, it's not going well. The instructor insisted I had a good beginning and just need to keep practicing, but... gah.
My first row of handquilting

The two things you are looking for in hand quilting are small stitches and even stitches. So far, I have neither:
Close up of my stitches

I'm not giving up yet. I'll keep practicing for awhile longer before I write a post entitled, "What can I make out of this quilting hoop?"



Shayne said...

Dude, you have way more patience than me! I think you're doing a great job for your first time. It'll get better and easier, I'm sure.

Victoria said...

I think you are being too hard on yourself! You are off to a great start Kelly!

It also helps if you really rock your needle. When it's on the top of the fabric, aim it straight down, with just the tip in the top of he quilt. Then rock the needle back, so it is almost lying flat on the quilt top, then push it through, (using a thimble on your middle finger) and when you feel it just pricking the tip of your finger on the underneath side, push it back up. When you get the hang of it, try loading several stitches at a time on the needle, rocking it back and forth with each stitch.

And make sure you are using a quilters "between" needle, size 10 is usually good. Regular needles will make the stitches to large!

Hang in there!

kelly said...

Thanks for the tips, Victoria. I have been doing the "rocking" motion, which is part of what's been giving me fits -- when the needle comes back up, it's always about 4 inches from where I'm aiming! ;)

I've continued practicing, though, and I now have 3 lines of quilting done on that same piece. I've started loading up a few stitches as you've suggested and, while still not perfectly even, it does make things go faster, which is satisfying.

I'll post again when I've tried a few more rows -- I think with a thread that fades into the background (I chose red so I could see my stitches better), my stitches are getting to an acceptable level.

Thanks for the encouragement!

bettyninja said...

but much smaller and neater than mine are! nice stuff