Hand Quilting

9 Mar

One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to get better at hand quilting.  I know the only way you get better at anything is to PPP – practice, practice, practice.

I have tried every technique I know.  I have two different hoops.  I try very little sandwich tension.  I try a lot of sandwich tension.  I’ve tried two different poly battings because I’ve heard they are easier to needle through.  I’m trying only muslin on top and back.  I’ve tried the “Aunt Betsy” tool.  Here are the results of one PPP session and the problems I’ve encountered.

Small Heart About the Size of My Fist

Problems:

1)  I keep bending needles.  To make that small heart, I bent TWO needles.  I’m using size 9 betweens because I can’t seem to thread the 11s.  I’ve tried 10s and bent those also.  I’m using a rocking motion and that’s what seems to bend the needles.  Is there a secret to not bending needles?  Is bending needles common?

2)  It’s NOT relaxing at all.  My hands, elbow, shoulders, and back ache after a half hour session.  Obviously my form is not right.  Are there exercises that you can do to help relax you while you hand quilt?

3)  The needle still seems to hesitate going through the sandwich.  I don’t feel like I can get any kind of rhythm going.  It’s herky-jerky at best.  I can only load 2-3 stitches at a time on the needle.

I’m trying to limit my sessions to 1/2 hour and only once a week because it’s frustrating.  It should be getting easier/better.  But it’s not.  Maybe I need a lesson…. I’ve watched videos on the Internet and read books.

Any words of wisdom from blogland would be much appreciated!

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