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I started a quilt! Tips on hand quilting?
February 7, 2013
7:26 am
mamajoseph
Kenya
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We are expecting our first grandchild in April and it seemed like the perfect time to try quilting. I got the top pieced together; it is made of 11 horizontal, 4 inch wide strips. I'm going to embroider a poem on it and THEN I'll be ready to put it together. Do I pin it all first, then start quilting (by hand, in the ditch), THEN add the binding and sew outside edges together? Most sites say they start quilting in the middle and then work out.

Can you hand quilters give me some tips? I was able to find quilting thread in the city and the batting I have is just a thin polyester. Was wishing I had something else (like a cotton-type) but the lady said the polyester holds up better for washing and so would be better than cotton for a baby quilt. What would you say on that?

Thanks!

I (sorta) have a farm in Africa.
February 7, 2013
7:58 am
mamawolf
Colorado Springs
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Congratulations mamaoseph. I know nothing about quilting but I know there are many here to give you assistance. I have a second great-granddaughter due in April also. Crocheting a blank for her.

Work like you don't need the money, love like you've never been hurt and dance like you do when no one is watching.
February 7, 2013
8:22 am
Miss Judy
West Central MO
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The polyester does hold up well and your quilting lines don't have to be as close together. Cotton batting needs close quilting. I still like the cotton batting…just like grandma's quilts. But the polyester is what I use for baby quilts…it holds up well to repeated washing.yes

February 7, 2013
8:36 am
brookdale
Eastern Maine
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October 17, 2010
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I think starting to quilt it in the middle would hold everything together better. OR you could just pin it really good and start on the outside. The edges and binding would be done last.

That's the way I do it, starting in the middle, but I don't hand quilt, just tack, and stitch in the ditch by machine.

As long as it's even when you're done it probably doesn't make too much difference which way you do it. A baby quilt is easy because it isn't very big.

Would love to see a pic when you're done!

Remember, if it rains on your picnic it's also raining on your garden!
February 7, 2013
1:57 pm
mountainkat
WV
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I wouldn't consider myself a pro, but I always do the binding and edging last.  I pin everything together, then run some long rows of tacking (by hand, but huge stitches) across everything so I can pull out all the pins and know it will still stay together, then start quilting in the middle working my way out.  Then binding and edging at the very end….

 

Good luck!  Like I said, I haven't done very many, but it's SO rewarding when you finish!  And congratulations on your grandchild!!!!

February 7, 2013
3:20 pm
Squeegees Mom
South Texas
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March 1, 2012
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I am not a quilting pro either. I am basically self taught. I do agree that polyester batting will be easier to wash up frequently and quicker to dry as is often needed with a baby quilt. That said, how are you going to quilt the blanket? Using a hoop? I have a wonderful quilting frame called Q-Snap.

Here is their website: http://www.qsnap.com/  

When not in use, it goes back into a box that stores under the bed easily. This was a gift from my Sweetie many years ago. Now I see they have free plans on the web for basically the same thing.

Here is one: http://www.ehow.com/how_7761546_directions-pvc-quilting-frame.html

Hoops are ok, but I always find it difficult to keep tension even on the entire piece.  The hoops may work best if your blanket is small, tho. I usually do Queen and King size Quilts. You can also tie your quilt if you find your time running short. Brightly colored buttons, bows, or other means of fastening the layers are all perfectly acceptable.

Congratulations on the impending birth of your grandchild. That is so exciting!

February 8, 2013
6:00 am
mamajoseph
Kenya
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Thanks for all the great tips, everyone.

Squeegees Mom, I don't have a hoop or anything so I'm just going to have to wing it. I'll actually be coming to Houston for the birth in April. Will look for some supplies then. Our son is actually turning 30 next month…in Houston. Maybe you can send him one of those delicious cakes you talked about (on the baking today forum) on my behalf!

I (sorta) have a farm in Africa.
February 8, 2013
9:22 am
Joell
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I adore quilts, I am not a person that can do needwork but admire anyone than can do it. About 55 years ago I purchased a couple of quilts at a farm auction, a few year back I noticed a couple I noticed a spot where several of the squares on one od the quilts were coming apart and underneath was another quilt, it was white and red, so I decided to remove the top cover, and the quilt underneath was beautiful, not in very good shape, but so pretty. I washed and dried it and use it around the base of our Christmas tree. If I were talanted enough I would stich the frayed pieces together again, but I do love it anyway,I tried to think about it's past.

If you have a chip on your shoulder, make sure it is made of chocolate.

February 8, 2013
10:26 am
lattelady
inland pacific northwest
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June 26, 2011
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Baltimore.jpgJoyces-siggy-quilt2.JPGI hand quilt, and I do NOT use a frame. Every stitch on each of these quilts was done by hand. I draped it over a table to give myself a little bit of tension. I find I get smaller and closer together stitches this way.

 Get yourself a good thimble for your pushing finger. I use one with no tip. My DH ground off the tip for me, so I could push with the side of my finger.

 Tissues. You will occasionally stick yourself and you will bleed. Your own saliva will remove any spots you get on the fabric.

 Start in the middle, work out, all directions. Helps keep the fabric tension even so you will not end up with a 'wonky'or warped quilt. When time to bind. Cut opposite sides the precise same length. Odds are they won't be that way at first. Cut them even anyway. Then you can bind it, and squiggle any extra in. That way you will end up with a squared quilt.

 I am SO excited for you.

I am a TWELVE YEAR bc survivor!

February 8, 2013
12:22 pm
Ruthmarie
Northern CA
Mighty Chicken
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May 5, 2010
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I am also heading into starting to quilt after decades of so many other handarts … however, hand issues have not made hand-quilting interesting both in time and comfort.  A recent conversation with other quilt enthusiasts led to this product, 505, a spray adhesive that keeps the layers together as one shoves it about under the sewing foot of the machine.  Imagine it would work just as well with hand-quilting.  Now machine quilting is very appealing to me! Quicker finish and more potential for "drawing" with the quilting stitch.  I also like that the product is acid-free and odorless although I'm planning to apply in a well-ventilated room anyway.  Piecing some small potholders to start practicing asap ……….. need DH to finish a larger platform for the machine ……..

February 8, 2013
5:55 pm
Squeegees Mom
South Texas
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March 1, 2012
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Joell, what a treasure you found with the hidden quilt. Don't you wish they came at least signed and dated by the maker? I try to embroider my name and finish date on each quilt I make for that very reason.

 

17 years ago, I was visiting my baby sister and was helping her move some boxes in her garage. A box fell, and several old quilts spilled out. I knew those quilts! My Grandmother made them when my Dad was a boy. I used to sleep under them in the winter when we visited. Made of every type of material in every shape and size. Most of the fabric is wool. Some velvet. Some cotton, some satin. The quilt was so heavy that once it was on me I could not move or roll over!.  My sister was using them for ground cloths for her daughter to play on in the yard. She had no idea the history. She just thought they were ugly quilts. (They are kind of ugly). I absconded with one of them and she kept the other. My niece had to find another drop cloth to play on.

February 8, 2013
7:13 pm
mamajhk
South Central Kansas
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May 6, 2011
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I, too, have a story about a tied quilt.  This one was made about 40+ years ago from pieces of leftover flannel material from her nightgowns.  She made that crib size quilt for her granddaughter to use when she visited her and for her grandson later on.  She recycled an old blanket for the insides.  That blanket was used by the granddaughter for years and was the one she often asked for when she was sick.   That quilt is still in use today by her great granddaughters and is threadbare and worn and the binding is falling apart from many washings.  She would be delighted to know that her great granddaughters sometimes fight over who gets to use that quilt.  I am not sure that there is a way to preserve it.  By the way that granddaughter turns 43 years old tomorrow.  

 

 

February 9, 2013
7:40 am
justdeborah2002
ottawa ON
Mighty Chicken
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November 14, 2010
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My Nana made quilts, but nothing fancy, just pieced squares of leftovers that she tied instead of quilted.  But she also made stuffed quilts.  I don't know what they are called, but it's where each square was a little pouf of material, she stuffed each with an old stocking.  Not pantyhose mind you, because they weren't invented yet. (My Nana was born in 1900) When she would have a pair of stockings, and one would get a run, she would save it to stuff into a quilt.  

Anyhoo…I recently downsized, and in sorting through my linen closet, I found the last of her stuffed quilts at the very back.  It was in such terrible shape, moldy and most of the squares were ripped off and the stockings missing.  So I did the deed, I got rid of it.  But I did save just one of the ripped stockings…it still smelled of my Nana.  She died in 2004 (at 104), so it was nice to have an extra bit of her back.

Sorry, off topic, but this so came to me reading this tread.

queen of make it fit
February 10, 2013
12:49 pm
jamitysmom
Topsfield, MA
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July 15, 2011
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Great stories!  And Lattelady – what gorgeous quilts!  I especially like the appliqued one, that's always been a challenge to me – when I was quilting.  On to other hobbies now but I've always loved handmade quilts.  I was taught the handpiecing method first and then took a few classes in quicker quiltmaking.  Amazing the fabrics they have now!  Anyway, congratulations mamajoseph on your new grandchild!  I have three grandchildren now – they are such a gift! 

 

Jan

February 11, 2013
11:33 am
mamajoseph
Kenya
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November 11, 2010
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Lattelady, those are beautiful quilts.

Great quilt stories, and thanks for all the tips.

I (sorta) have a farm in Africa.
February 11, 2013
2:34 pm
Miss Judy
West Central MO
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February 22, 2010
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mamajoseph…I hope your grandchild loves this quilt as much as the grandchildren in the "quilt stories" mentioned above. heart

February 23, 2013
10:02 am
mamajoseph
Kenya
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November 11, 2010
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I started the actual quilting today and am pleased to report that I'm able to do it without benefit of hoop, frame or even a thimble (which seems to have become lost…). I completed all the embroidery (a poem, a tree and a moon) this morning so now I have all weekend to focus on the quilting. It's a strip quilt and I'm just quilting horizontal lines, along the seams, so it doesn't interfere with the embroidery. Thanks for all the encouragement. This is fun.shimmy

I (sorta) have a farm in Africa.
February 23, 2013
2:34 pm
mamajhk
South Central Kansas
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May 6, 2011
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When you get it done we want to see pictures.  Please.

February 23, 2013
3:54 pm
BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
Admin
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February 10, 2009
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It sounds very nice!  I second the motion about pictures too BTW!  yes

Located in N.E. Ohio
February 28, 2013
12:15 pm
JeannieB
Columbia, South Carolina
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September 2, 2008
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I am not an expert, but please be careful with buttons and bows on a baby quilt,  little ones are sneaky and can chew them.  If the quilt is not going to be used, buttons and bows are beautiful, but dangerous for little ones!  Congrats on the grandchild.

Don't cry because it's over—smile because it happened!
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