Sunday, December 18, 2011

Quilting & Paper Piecing

I am making excellent progress hand-quilting the Double Wedding Ring.  I've been outlining the rings and am starting with a simple echo in the connecting squares.

I'm using a bamboo/cotton batting.  I've used it once before for a machine quilted project, but this is my first hand quilting.  Love it.  I've heard complaints about bearding, but with a #11 needle and coated hand-quilting thread I've had no problems.

We'll just pretend that my stitches on the back are as even as the ones on the front.

Unfortunately, I can't manage a thimble (or any other tool) on the bottom side and still get my stitches tiny, so my left pointer and middle fingers are full of holes.

Subsequently, I needed a different type of project while those fingers are on "injured reserve" so I pulled out the UFO bin with Rita's Hexi quilt.

It was last summer's hand-work project that got de-railed when I read some hexi-snob's post making nasty comments about being able to see the connecting thread on these kinds of quilts.  (As accurately illustrated on the left.)  Fortunately, I don't remember where I read it, but it moved this project from something I found quick and fun, to some weird ideal I should aspire to.

I had been doing a traditional whip stitch.

But the expert told me I should do it like this.  I tried that for a day and became so discouraged that I threw everything into the box.

Until today.

Today, I am back to the whip stitch, but using a very thin needle, silk thread, little stitches and being oh-so-careful to catch only a couple threads.

:-p  (*pfffstthhh*)

Take that snobby expert!


Patti said...

Your quilting is wonderful! Like you, I can't use a thimble, but I found a rubber finger cot in an office supply store that works wonderfully for me. It's soft enough not to be cumbersome, but still offers dome finger protection.I have been told that they are used in banks for counting money!

Susan Lynn said...

I never got the hang of a thimble, my mother didn't use one either. She used layers of adhesive tape. You get some protection and can still "feel" where the needle is. I also use adhesive tape on my "top" hand with a pad of leather. I found some leather at the craft store that is about 1/16 inch thick and cut out a small square about 1/2 inch and use the adhesive tape to hold it on my finger(s). It is easily replaced when the tape wears out and I can use the same leather square for several quilting sessions. You might want to try it.


Susan Lynn said...

For sewing hexigons together, I use a ladder stitch. hold the two hexagons together like you were doing. Start from the bottom edge and work to the top. Take a 1/16 inch stitch through the edge of the front hexi, then 1 1/6 stitch through the back hexi, then the front... and so on. When you are at the end, pull the thread so that the stitching thread disappears in the edges and knot off. I dont cut the thread if I can sew another hexi on to the spot where the thread is. Just do a quilters knot thru the two hexigons and ladder stitch them together. I use the same type of stitch for applique, too.

Hope this helps.


Kasey said...

Oh, Lord, the day someone lectures me about my stitches showing, or any other "flaw," I'll let them have it- I'm not making it for THEM, anyway! Who do these snobs think they are that gives them the right to criticize like that?
Your hand quilting looks great! I'm still hunting for a good thimble- I keep wearing holes in my favorite leather ones, which defeats the purpose.

Ethne said...

Glad to hear I'm not the only one who hates, and can't us thimbles - I too use the a leather patch and double sided tape (I cut up an old pair of gardening gloves to get the leather)
And as for the well meaning 'expert' - go take a run and jump - these people should gently advise and demonstrate, encourage rather than discourage - most of us do crafting for enjoyment and a release (it's our ZONE), way better than paying for therapy and we get something (no matter what stitches show) that we can love, cherish, share and enjoy for years

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

quilt is looking great..your quilting is just fine. I hand quilt also...but I set mine up in large frames...I find it much easier to handle...not used to a hoop; I guess. And I agree with you about that finger under the quilt: full of your hexies look great too...who says the expert is right????? haha.

Celeste said...

That expert was a fool. You know what you're doing! I love silk thread but it's really hard to find.

I too have never been able to get the hang of using an under-thimble. I bought a ceramic under thimble from Jasmine and want to try it next time I hand quilt; I just don't know when that will be!

P.S., your hexes look great on the back, too!

Archie the wonder dog said...

I feel like thumbing my nose at that expert - I'm glad you haven't been put off the hexies, I think they're great! Have you tried one of those Thimble-its on your bottom finger? I use them on my under thimble as I seem to wear a hole in them very quickly!

Renate said...

Your hand quilting looks wonderful. And hey! tell the hexi-snob to back off. You are making this for your enjoyment and that of your daughter. If this were for a museum, I'd still make it the way I like it. It adds uniqueness!

LynCC said...

Awww. I'm sorry somebody made your super chipper FUN hexis into a negative pot for so long. Glad you're able to return to it with renewed enjoyment. The colors are so full of joy, it's sure to make you smile again. They make me smile! (don't you love silk thread?)

Wendy said...

I have missed your posting about this fab hexi quilt and wondered why you were not posting. So sorry someone took it upon themselves to critique your work without your asking. Quilt police should be outlawed!:) Not only is it NONE of their business but they should never take it upon themselves to criticize someones work or skills. That is what keeps a lot of newbie quilters from ever sharing their work or moving forward in quilting. Shame on the person who critiqued your stitching, they should be ashamed of themselves.