"She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness." Proverbs 31:27

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hand Quilting the Bird House Quilt

I had my first quilting bee on Saturday!  Only four of us came since the only loom we could afford was so small, 2 ft by 4 ft.  Maybe one day our church will be able to get a bigger one.  Pam, Skye, Miss Debra and I spent almost three hours sewing on the quilt.  You can tell I was there to work since I had my braids and bandana on.
Miss Debra has been hand quilting her whole life and offered to teach us.  We have to hand quilt the middle since I cannot fit the whole king size quilt in my machine.  I recorded Miss Debra while she was explaining the tools needed for hand quilting.  Miss Debra is such a fun lady and it is me talking in the background asking her questions.  I am not an expert at videography but there is still a lot of good info here.  It looks like the videos are popping up at the bottom of the blog, I'm still trying to get used to the new blogger interface.
She suggests using wax to keep your thread from getting knotted when hand sewing and of course a thimble.  I used my antique thimble from this post   http://missyscakesandaprons.blogspot.com/2012/01/antique-quilts-and-thimble.html I also used my green rubber thimble, Miss Debra used a leather thimble.  Watch the video below to hear how she uses her thimble and to see what it looks like.
Here is a picture of my thimbles, I've written a previous post about my antique thimble (the silver one with red flowers), it fits my skinny fingers with long fingernails perfect!  Those short cheap ones that come in kits never fit my fingers.  I got the rubber green one from a quilt shop and it does not work if you are trying to press a needle through heavy material but works fine for quilting.  In fact I was quilting with the green thimble under the quilt and the antique thimble over the quilt.  I kept taking them off and stabbing myself too!  LOL

Pam's stitches were so tiny and precise

Whereas my stitches were horrible!
When we met on Thursday at Miss Debra's daughter's house who also knows how to hand quilt, Skye and Joeann put me to shame with their beautiful hand stitches!  LOL
 Miss Debra says the goal is to have 20 stitches per inch but she usually does about 10?  I did maybe 3-4 per inch!  But I can only get better right?  The second video shows how to do the hand stitching.
This is a running stitch, but as you can see my stitches were too far apart and for a newbie like me, my stitches were better when I went up and down in the material.  I also found I was able to hide my knots in the batting easier when I scraped my fingernails on it while slowly pulling it up through the bottom quilt,  this is to ensure you don't have a knotty bottom quilt.

These were just some hints on hand quilting until I learn more and when I have more time to spend on a quilt I would love to hand quilt a whole quilt, but a couple of weeks is not enough time.  For the most information watch the videos from the expert herself.  Whoops, I forgot she told me to make sure ya'll knew she was not an expert!  LOL  The deadline I set for myself is February 24 when we will hopefully have our last quilting bee to sew all the buttons on the bird houses.

I found some good information here on hand quilting also:  http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2012/02/ask-bonnie.html  I think I want one of those personal looms.
Be sure to check out this great post on hand quilting and thimbles http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2012/02/its-thimbles-up-monday.html

Happy quilting ya'll!
More posts of the quilt are here:


Kelli said...

I can only do about 8.. maybe 10 on a good day, but not all even. 20? I can't imagine! Wow!! Looking forward to seeing the birdhouse quilt completed. :o)

retrorevival.biz said...

How exciting, Missy! Keep at it ~ you'll become a pro in no time:)


Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust said...

Ah, this brings back happy memories of a quilting group that I used to be a member of. What a beautiful quilt too!

Warmly, Michelle

Bumblebee and Sophie said...

What a lost art!! Good for you!! I love hand quilted quilts...thanks for sharing.

Kathy ... aka Nana said...

I hand quilt exclusively (it's my favorite part of quilting), and I've never thought to measure how many stitches per inch I get. I'll have my latest quilt (a blue and white Irish chain) ready to start quilting in another day or two ... I'll have to measure my stitches for that. ;-)

marcella said...

Quilters count the top and bottom stitches - so if you see 5 stitches on the top of your quilt in an inch and 4 spaces they will say you've done 9 stitches an inch. So, your teacher with 10 on top of the fabric could be doing 19 - 20 stitches to the inch if you also count the bottom. See your stitches just got twice as good!

Simply Scaife Family said...

Your quilt is beautiful. What a precious day of fellowship you seem to have had. I hand quilt and love the togetherness that comes with it. Hopefully you will continue..you did a beautiful job.

The Quilt Ladies said...

Seeing this makes me happy, there is nothing better or fun than to be around a quilt frame. Never worry about stitches, all are perfect !

Madge Bloom said...

Lovely quilt and the fellowship must be sweet!

kwiltnkats said...

A great blog post you've written to capture the moment with your friends. I learned from it. I hope one day when I have more time to give it a go...at this rate you'll be a pro by then. Have a wonderful day. Sandi

Hibiscus House said...

I really love this! Thank you for the beautiful post and the excellent tutorial. Glad you linked up to The Country Homemaker Hop.

Greg and Donna said...

What a wonderful way to spend 3 hours ~ working on a quilt and gleaning all the knowledge! The colors on the quilt are beautiful! I am working on one also, it will be my first "non baby" size hand quilted project.

Heidi said...

It's been years since I sat at a quilt frame with girlfriends. I miss it. Congratulations to you Missy. You are learning so much, having fun, and enjoying the company of great women, all at once. Thank you for sharing your progress on this lovely quilt. It's going to be lovely. I need to start a quilt friendship group again... I miss it.

Katherines Corner said...

Wow! Thank you for linking it to the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop linky party xo

Sarah Craig said...

It's so nice to see the old skills being carried forward this way! Whoop whoop for learning hand quilting! Keep up the good work - you'll get better at it!!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I love to hand quilt - but, 20 is not my number. I don't use any thimbles, under or over - but callous fingers, yes. Definitely a Whoop for hand quilting!

Diane said...

How wonderful to be learning this skill from someone with so much experience.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I am a hand quilter. I have a frame like yours, along with several other types of frames. I don't 'rock the needle' like most hand quilters, I 'stab stitch' instead. Do what feels comfortable to you. Good luck in your quilting.

Sara said...

No one thinks they are an expert right! We are always learning new skills in quilting I think that is why it is such a treasured skill overall! Thank you dearly for sharing this post with me Missy:)

Pam said...

AMAZING doing all of this by hand!!! I've learnt a lot from this post.

Pam said...

Hi, I've featured your quilt today...

"Oh taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him." Psalm 34:8

There was an error in this gadget