Honey's Treasures

Honey's Treasures

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Quilting Again!

Years ago, I used to quilt on a regular basis.  Machine piece and hand quilting is what I do.  Some people hand piece and hand quilt, at least that's what they used to do before the invention of the sewing machine, and some people machine piece and machine quilt.  I've never machine quilted because I enjoy the needlework of doing it by hand.  It's relaxing to me and I love the look of the handiwork.

I began this piece approx. 18 years ago and have held onto it ever since even though it was never finished.  It's the perfect size to make into my sewing machine cozy.  All I have to do is finish quilting it, make the binding and bind it. 
Traced my heart and into the quilting hoop we go.
You can see my earlier stitches from long ago and how close they are.  I was averaging approx. 10 to 12 stitches per inch at that time.  I was doing it almost every day and had lots of practice to get to this point.
First you thread the tiny needle and then pull the thread through the beeswax.
You can see I'm a little rusty at this.  The needle is supposed to be going into the fabric straight down, which I think I'm doing but now that I look at this picture I can see that I went in at an angle. 
Supposed to be straight down through the fabric.  :(
Then it's a rocking motion sharp up and straight down, sharp up and straight down.
Thimbles are a must!
Some people have a thimble on the underside as well but I've never learned to do that as I need to feel the needle to make sure it's gone all the way through the three layers.  Yes, I do get some blood once in a while but for the most part, no blood.  So far no pokes for this practice.
Pulling the needle through.
I'm averaging about 5 to 6 stitches per inch right now.  For my first practice after all these years, I'm okay with that.  Besides, I couldn't thread my usual size needle so I had to go with a slightly larger quilting needle.  Believe it or not, the smaller the needle the closer your stitches are.

That's how you can tell a good quality and well made quilt, by the stitching.  The closer the stitches are, the better.  The quilts you find in the stores are not a good quality, they are made by cheap labor and the stitches are far apart and not evenly spaced.  I don't have anything against these quilts because some of them are very pretty with the fabrics and colors chosen, but just so you know the difference.  You have to remember that to get a quilt with good stitching you'll have to either do it yourself or pay a premium price because quilting a quilt takes lots and lots of hours.  And then you have the binding which needs to be sewn on by both machine on one side and by hand on the other with hidden stitching. 

Oh, and People, please, please, please, never sit on a quilt.  It breaks the stitches.  If you have it folded and hanging on a quilt rack, take it off once per month and refold it a different way.  Wash it with very little soap and double rinse to get all the soap out of the fabric and do not use fabric softener on quilts.  Lots of little rules but very important to keep your heirloom in good shape.
You can see that my stitches aren't as close as they should be.  More practice needed.

No comments:

Post a Comment