I've now been quilting for three and a half years. This blog is my personal quilting diary, that charts my progress (and occasional regression) from the start. I use it so I can look back at my past projects...and hopefully see my skills improve!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Can an Old Dog Learn New Tricks?





It's confession time.  I have hand quilted a baby quilt and a cushion cover before...BUT and it's a BIG but, I used a hotch potch of running and stab stitches!  The front of the quilt looks OK, but the backs are awful.  It is time to 'bite the bullet' and learn the hand quilting stitch properly.  I have a 16 inch square of off white silk, so thought a small project would get me going.  I have used a Sandie Lush Durham design.  The silk is nice and thin, so it was easy to trace the pattern onto the material.  I tried to use a hoop when I quilted the baby quilt, but the weight of the quilt in the hoop was really unpleasant, so I ended up quilting it hoopless.  I am finding the hoop OK for this small, light project, but think I might prefer to work on a frame for larger projects.  I don't want to invest in a frame until I know I can do the quilting stitch!

I started yesterday and put in about two and a half hours.  I am trying to learn to use the rocking motion.  I started off flicking the needle into my face several times, (luckily I wear glasses) but am now getting more control.  I want to learn to quilt in all directions, so have also been practicing stitching away from myself with my thumb...so if I buy a frame, it will be easier.  I am pleased with my progress so far.  The back of the project looks much better than previous projects.

The stitches are very large, though.  I'm only getting 5 stitches to the inch, so hope with regular practice, I'll get the stitches smaller. If not, I guess I'll be doing 'big stitch quilting!'

I'm going to try to practice at least an hour a day.  I love the look of hand quilting, and I have a couple of reproduction look quilt projects on the go.  I hope I will be proficient enough to make a decent job of hand quilting them by the time they are ready.



I'm also busy making teddies for Hugglets, in London, in September....no idle hands here!


5 comments:

  1. Your hand quilting looks great, it does get easier with practice and your stitches do get smaller! it is more important to have them the same size than tiny uneven ones :)

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    1. Thank you, Elaine! Extra encouragement is ALWAYS welcome!

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  2. Hi Sue, It looks fine to me and it will improve trust me. After doing a class with the lovely Sandie L who DARED any of us to be caught unpicking as "No one will notice", I discovered that she was right! no one ever notices, they all just think you are very clever. Relax and keep going is my advice.
    Lx

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    1. Hi Lorraine
      Ooooh! I would LOVE to do a class with Sandie Lush! Thank you so much for your encouragement! xx

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  3. Yes old dogs can learn new tricks LOL. When I took a lesson on hand quilting 30 years ago; when we signed up we had to agree to promise we would go home after the lesson and practice for at leaf 7hrs before throwing in the towel LOL After 5 1/2 hours I threw the sampler down and said I can not do this and stormed off to my bed room very very frustrated, we were using a thimble on our middle right and left hand and I had never used a thimble before????? after a walk around the garden my guilt got to me as I had promised my teacher who is a lovely lady from Hawaii who made echo quilts for the royal family back then????? So back I went and picked up my frame and started again and bingo My goodness she's got it LOL. And I have been hand quilting ever since and it is my favourite part of making a quilt. But I sit in my lay-by chair and spread the quilt around me so the wight is carried by the chair not my hands and arms Laure also taught us to sit in the chair we most liked to sit in in our own home. . Happy quilting Sue Cheers Glenda

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