Video:Hand Quilting Techniqueswith Janet Wickell & Mary Butler
If you're a beginner to quilting, then these basic techniques will come in handy once you get rolling. Watch some of the ins and outs of hand quilting, including how to rock the needle.See Transcript
Transcript:Hand Quilting TechniquesHi, I'm Janet Wickell, your Guide to quilting at About.com. I am at the city quilter in New York today with Mary Butler. Mary is a member of the Empire Quilters Guild and Mary is going to show us some of the ins and outs of hand quilting while she is working on a reproduction quilt that the guild has made for the Dykeman Museum Farmhouse in Manhattan.
How to Hold a Quilting NeedleYou hold the needle with the thread crossed over the needle, grab with your thumb, twist twice or three times, hold the needle with your left thumb and forefinger and pull that know down to the end. And I like to trim the tail. And when you start quilting, you go into your design line and that know pops right through, you have to catch it in the batting so that just disappears - the knot just disappears.
Rock the Needle Quilting TechniqueThe technique for hand quilting is to rock the needle, so I am just going to start here in the middle cause this is the easier part. When you are going through a lot of layers you have to go down and up because you can't rock. But, when you are in the typical traditional three layers of top batting and backing you put your needle straight down for the first stitch, you grab it underneath with your finger and you just rock the needle. And two or three stitches, when you get really good, you can do three stitches on the rock, sometimes even four.
Now I have marked where we want to quilt so its really easy that way and the consistency of the stitch, I think maybe I do six or seven to the inch. But, it looks really nice when its straight, and on this quilt we have some stitches that are really microscopic, I don't know how they did it but they did it.
Using a Thimble When QuiltingJ: And I noticed you're not wearing anything on your finger, the finger that the needle touches underneath. Do you think that most people need to as far as developing a callous first? Or, do you think they need a thimble under there? Or some sort of protection for that finger?
M: Well, some people are very sensitive and they like to use either the leather needle or there are some of these plastic protectors now. But I just dont feel that I get that turn properly if I cant feel it. Its personal.
Hand Quilting NeedlesNow the other thing is your needle. You can see how really tiny this needle is - for hand quilting, they recommend the smaller needle. For those of us whose eye sight is deteriorating or fading, they now come with large eyes, so it's much easier to thread.
Quilting With or Without a FrameAnd I think that some people will be happy to see that you're doing this with it spread out on a table and that they don't have to stretch it out in a big frame. Some people like a frame but I find that I like to sit snuggly in the chair and have the quilt at me. You know I don't like to have to lean over. I find it tiring.
Thank you Mary - we appreciate all of the advice you've given us today. Thanks for watching to learn more visit us on the Web at About.com.
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