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RE: Hoopless quilting (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: dottyms on 07.06.2006 at 11:16 am in Quilting Forum

I am a no hoop, no frame quilter and it works quite well for me. I pin my quilt with safety pins, have for the 15 years I have been hand quilting. Here are a few tips I use. Once I layer the sandwich so the backing is taunt, I pin around the quilt top beginning in the center. If the quilt is too large for my table I pin the part on the table, then slide to one side, straighten and pin, do the other side the same way. Now swivel the ends around to the sides of the table, straighten, pin one end, then the other. Trim the edge so you have about 1 1/2" of backing and at least 1" of batting. Hand baste the backing over the edges around the quilt to keep the edges from getting pulled out by an animal or your foot of anything the quilt could get caught on in moving it around. Now I get a comfortable chair and mine is a small lazyboy swivel rocker. I prop my feet on a stool, focus my floor lamp down by my right knee and am ready. I hold the quilt beginning in the center of the quilt, remove the pins in the block I am beginning in, put my left hand under the quilt and grasp a handful of the quilt to keep it taunt. I place the quilt on the part of my thigh just above my knee, hold the quilt with the heel of my right hand, thimble on my middle finger, and I am ready to stitch. I do not use the usual quilting stitch, rather hold the needle with thumb and index finger and do a running stitch as I would if sewing two pieces of fabric together. My under hand feels the needle come through then back up it goes. I keep my needle fairly flat and move the fabric with my left hand, up as the needle goes down and down as the needle comes back up. My thinble is pushing the needle constantly. I get nice, small even stitches and hand quilting is relaxing. I quilt with a size 10 or 11 John James needle and they work great for me. Once a block is started, I can usually bank 4-6 stitches before pulling the needle through, this keep the thread from thinning as its pulled through the quilt sandwich. I remove the pins in the blocks before I quilt them and move around the center block--block above, below and on each side, in no special order. Then I continue moving toward the outside until the entire top is quilted. Give this method a try, you might be surprised how fast you can quilt and what lovely stitches you can get with a nice bite on the back of the quilt where your needle goes through. If you have questions, drop me a note and good luck and happy hand quilting. I never get puckers in the quilt backs. Dot

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clipped on: 07.06.2006 at 10:37 pm    last updated on: 07.06.2006 at 10:38 pm