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Quilt Tips From Quilters Around The World

Hand Quilting

I cut a small piece of jar opener rubber and keep it next to me when I am hand quilting so I can use it to grab ahold of the needle. It helps pull it through several thickness of fabric. Quick and easy. - Juanita in Arizona

When hand quilting, I always had a problem with the needle slipping off the thimble when pulling the needle through the fabric. To eliminate this frustration, I wrapped 1/4" quilters masking tape around my thimble and no more slipping and sliding off the thimble! - Patricia in Arizona

For hand piecing or hand quilting: Before threading your hand needle, weave the tip into your fabric. If you "drop" your needle, it does not fall to the floor. - kiskat in Texas

Buy two 'thumb picks' from a music shop. Roughen one and use on the finger underneath the quilt to save it getting pricked continuely. Glue a piece of leather on the other (to 'grab' the needle) and use instead of a conventional thimble. This makes hand quilting more of a joy than a chore. - Shirley in the United Kingdom

Glad Press `N Seal has little grabbers on it that make it work well in quilting. Do not iron it on as it probably would leave more of them on the fabric then you want. I checked it out with a mirror and it might leave a couple of grabbers, but it wipes right off with a damp cloth. It presses in place easily with your hands. It is great for using those stencils you have for designs on your borders and eliminates the math. Make a copy of the design you want and take it to a copy machine and enlarge or decrease your copy to different sizes. Some of those have a corner on it too, or you may have a corner design like a star or heart you want to use. Copy the design on the Press 'N Seal. Press it to the corners of your quilt. The cut the design for borders in sections and copy and press on your quilt a even distance apart and start sewing. Sharpies come in different colors now so the design is easy to follow. You can put it on from the front or back, suit yourself if you are worried. I think it is easier then paper piecing and the wrap comes off very easy. - Virginia in Washington

When I hand quilt (nearly everyday) I protect the underneath finger with a leather finger stall that I make easily by machine. Use a piece of soft, pliable but strong leather cut in a rectangle of about 1-1/4 by 3 inches. Fold in half and sew close to the edge down both sides stopping about 1/8 of an inch from the folded edge. Trim away the corners at the folded edge. Trim very close to the sewn edge to eliminate bulk. Place this on the "picking" finger. You can feel the needle picking into the leather but your finger is free from pain etc. I usually sew a narrower piece of leather to the strip on the inside before I fold it to double the area of attack. Use one also on your other hand on your pushing finger. Better than a thimble - flexible and it breathes. One wears out; make another. - Gloria in Ontario

Have you ever wondered what you can do with those used sheets of Bounce? Well here one way to use them. If you take a threaded needle and run it through the sheet of bounce it will keep you threaded needle from getting tangled while sewing. It really works well. No more headaches for me!! - Suzie in Texas

When I'm hand quilting the outer borders of a quilt, I baste a strip of requited fabric to the sides, so the border will fit in my hoop. This keeps the border straight and smooth for quilting. - Judy in Ohio

When hand quilting, I ensure that my cotton thread slides easily through all layers by running the thread through bees wax before beginning a new line of quilting. - Wendy in Australia

Glad has come out with a new product called Press 'n Seal which is like a clear wrap with little grabbers on it. It works great to draw your design on and put in the blank spot on your quilt where you want to place a rosette or something. You can see through it and sew on your drawn lines. When you are done, make a little hole in the center and tear it away on both sides of your stitching. It's wonderful. - Virginia in Washington

I've just started using the new product (no affiliation) Glad Press 'n Seal for hand quilting. I rip off a piece, the size of my template, use a narrow Sharpie pen to trace the template onto the non-sticky side of the product. Let the ink dry for a few minutes, then press the new sew-through template onto my block, using my fingers to ensure that the template is correctly placed. It sticks to the block (I'm currently using a lap hoop) until you are all finished quilting, then easily tears away. Especially good for those high-contrast blocks where you would ordinarily have to use both light and dark markers! - Helen Marie in Pennsylvania

I save bar soap and old candles. I use them to pass a threaded needle through to make the needle and thread go through fabric easier. - Joanne in Massachusetts

I use "fingercots" on the tips of my fingers for pulling the thread through the quilt when I am quilting. This makes even the hardest to pull, come through with ease. I purchase them at the medical supply store for about $5.00 per box. A box can last up to 2-3 years. - Wanda in Kentucky

A good way to practice making consistent quilting stitches is to make a practice project out of a backing, batting and gingham material. You can choose the size of the little squares - maybe start out with the 1/4" squares and then go on to the 1/8" squares. This way you will get used to the "rhythm" needed to perfect your quilting stitch. - Bonita in Wisconsin

When doing hand quilting and traveling take a bobbin fill with the thread you will be using and place it in a empty dental floss container. Pull thread around the cutter. Glue a double piece of flannel to the inside of the lid to carry a needle. - Judith in North Carolina

Try placing a fingercot on your index finger to help pull needle through while hand quilting. Finger cots are inexpensive and available at any drug store. - Pat in Pennsylvannia

Place a small piece of contrasting fabric onto a safety pin. When you're done quilting for the day, attach the safety pin to your quilt where you stopped. When you go back to work on it, look for the little piece of fabric sticking up, remove the safety pin, and begin quilting again. - Rhonda http://www.acornhillquilts.com

Needle getting dull? Rub the point of the needle lightly (don't hurt yourself!) along your scalp. The oils in your hair & scalp will help the point of the needle slide right through your fabric again. ~Rae Cooper in Arizona

To clean the needle you are quilting with (oils from your fingers, etc) save a sliver of bath soap.  Thread your needle, & using your thimble, push it through the soap, then use the thread to pull it back out.  Leave the soap on the needle & begin to stitch as is.  You have no idea how much easier it quilts! - Elaine in Texas

When hand quilting, I have tried sooo many different thimbles and not found my perfect one yet. One problem I seem to have with all of them is fit & they are constantly slipping off, very frustrating. I have found a solution to this problem by cutting and wearing the fingertips off the thin, re-usable latex household gloves. They come 10 pairs in a package at the dollor store. Now my thimbles don't come off until I tell them to. They also help grip your tiny needle. Now if only they could make me satisfied with my hand quilting skill! - Kathleen in Indiana

When quilting in a big frame a block of wood 2 x4 or what ever is comfortable under your right foot helps a lot. - Daisy in North Carolina

I have thimbles upon thimbles, none I'm really happy with...but I got some sculpy polymer clay, fashioned over my quilting finger made the dimples with the HEAD of a pin. Deep too because I control the amount of clay over the needle area of the thimble...bake in the oven...cool and I have a custom made, individually fitted thimble..love it. - Diana in MN

When a pin or needle does not want to go into the fabric run it through your hair, and it will slide right in. - Susan in Kentucky

I made my own quilt and go lap frame after my old one broke by using 1/2 inch PVC pipe and old hair roller clips. The good thing is I could make it any size I wanted. I needed more clips so I found curlers with clips at our local dollar store - they work great. - Denise in Arizona

Quilt Tip Categories:

Applique  |  Basting  |  Batting  |  Binding  |  Design  |  Fabric  |  Hand Piecing  |  Hand Quilting  |  Healthy Tips  |  Pressing  |  Machine Piecing  |  Machine Quilting  |  Marking Tips  |  Miscellaneous Tips  |  Needles  |  Organization  |  Paper-Piecing  |  Quilt Care  |  Quilt Labels  |

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