and I chuckle as I say that, because in todays world it probably has another meaning. But I'm too old to know about such stuff as that. Rest assured, I'm talking about hand quilting again. *VBS* It's been a very busy few days with getting the bothersome kidlet moved, and into a place of his own. I'm hoping and praying it works this time. He doesn't do well on his own, but he knows its well past time that he learns how to manage for himself. I've quilted abit over the weekend since I posted last. I have another 4 or 5 of the sampler blocks done. Quilting is very 'centering' for me. My hands perform the task and my mind is free to work on things. That's NOT something you do while machine quilting! I've hand quilted for about 30 years now.
And I have preferances in everything I use for hand quilting. I've never cottoned to a metal thimble. I found a leather one that worked well but get 'poked' through after a while. Then I came across the "Coin Thimbles" and have used them ever since. They are pricey, but they last a long time. In the picture,an old one I'm using, formed to my finger shape, and a new one, waiting in the wings. I use the thimble on the middle finger of my right hand. I have found I don't need anything on the underside on my left hand. You develop a callus where the needle touches and that works just fine.
I've tried many kinds of quilting thread as they have come on the market, but I still prefer the good old Coats and Clarks. Several of my friends(in a similar age group) have all returned to the C & C thread after giving the other brands a spin. It doesn't tangle or knot up as you work with it. I prefer the S. Thomas & Bros. betweens, size 10 needles. I used a size 12 made by Regal, but they stopped making them. Took me a while to find these. It's not a brand that gets alot of hype, and ypu'd probably have to search to find them. I bought 10 packages of 20 needles each, so I'm all set forever, I think.
When it comes to running the lines, I rarely decide before hand what design I will use. I have the plastic templates(stencils) for marking borders and for the nice open setting blocks. Mostly I like to quilt at the 1/4th inch spot. Often inside and outside as in this picture. The quilting lines create the 'definition',the rise and fall of the blocks which changes the way the light hits it when you look at them. I've done spider webs and baby ducks, lots of diamonds, circles, pumpkin seeds and cables. The choices are almost unlimited. I do mark where I will quilt for the most part. I've done some free hand quilting and it's just "ok" for me. I like my lines to be relatively straight and equal distance from the seam line. What have I learned over the years? Concentrate on the spacing between the stitches rather than on the stitch size. You'll find that when your spacing becomes quite consistant, the sixe of each stitch will follow suit.That's true for both the front and the back of the quilt. They need to be consistant on the back side also. The needles I use are just over an inch long. I can't get 6 or 7 stitches the needle before pulling so I usually put on 3 or 4 and feel that is plenty. It seems to add to my ability to keep the spacing and stitch size uniform. I learned a new thing watching atree3 hand quilt on You Tube a couple of weeks ago. She does her needle in, needle out and then the pull through, but she only pulls about half of the thread lenght through. Then the next needle in, needle out series and pulls the entire length through. I've never tried that, and I wondered about it. Well, now I have tried it and it works wonderfully!! Oh yes, the 'rules' say to cut only 18" of thread for each time. Since threading the needle gets harder, I'm cheating these day by using 20 to 24" of thread. So far no ill affects that I can see...LOL If you have any questions, please ask.
Today did not go as planned
6 hours ago