I received a couple of questions through email and the comment sections after my post the other night sent via iphone-O-Gram while hand quilting. I thought this morning would be a good time to answer them!
The first question was about my pink and brown Jane Stickle variation that I was hand quilting on. So here is a little history:
I had already finished ONE “Dear Jane” made in the traditional way. I started it in the late 1990s while still living in Idaho. It moved with me to two different locations in Texas, and finally to South Carolina where I finished the hand quilting. At that point in time I was giving myself ONE HOUR a day of hand quilting to get it done. ONE HOUR. Just pick one. Be it morning, or evening, do not sit down unless you are going to stitch on that quilt! And yes, you can finish the hand quilting of a big quilt in an hour a day! There is a link to that first Dear Jane version of the Jane Stickle quilt HERE.
The pink and brown one came to be because I was teaching the class at a quilt shop in South Carolina, and darn it if you don’t NEED to do block demos when teaching the class! I wanted to do something different, so I drafted up the Storm at Sea setting to go with the blocks instead of doing plain sashing and cornerstones. I also added a color scheme. I used a collection of chocolate fabrics from South Africa, scrappied up my double pinks ((Yes, just added scrappied into the dictionary too!)) and used ONE background fabric, an ivory shirting print with a little pink design. I wrote some about my journey of “In The Pink” HERE.
Over the past few years that I’ve been hand quilting on this ((Oh, is it 4? Is it 3? Oh dear --- I can’t remember when I basted it!)) it has been a very hit or miss situation because I’ve had so many other deadlines that have taken up my available time. I love this quilt. I want it finished --- I’m trying to put the “one hour a day” rule into place when I’m home, but we all know that isn’t always going to happen because so often that “one hour” has to go somewhere else.
This I do know --- I LOVE the peaceful “all is right in my world” feeling I get when I can simply sit with it and pull that thread through the quilt, one needle load of stitches at a time.
The next question was about the kind of hoop I use to hand quilt with.
I have tried every kind of frame/hoop system out there. I think you need to try them all to find out which is right for your body and the way you quilt. I’ve tried 3 rail frames….and I found I am happier when I can turn a hoop so I can quilt in the direction that is most comfortable for me. It’s easier on my wrist that way. So – I have a large Hinterberg 3-rail floor frame for sale here in NC if anyone wants one--- contact me!
I’ve also tried a rotating hoop on a floor stand. I could never sit in a way that was comfortable for me and I didn’t like having that stand between my knees. I also have one of those for sale if anyone in NC wants one. It’s also Hinterberg. I’ve got two sizes of hoops that go with it. I won’t ship these items, so they’d need to be picked up.
What works for me the best, is to sit in my recliner with my feet up, all nice and cozy --- with a simple hoop in my lap. No stand, no nothing.
I have two of these hoops in two sizes. The one on the quilt above is a 17” heavy-duty plastic hoop that has a non-slip groove in it. I used to use wooden hoops, but they come apart where the screws go through that extra wood piece that holds the hoop tight. ((Whatever you call that)) OR – when traveling with wood hoops I’ve even BROKEN them. I had to get duct tape on a cruise once to hold one together so I could continue to quilt on the cruise. The plastic ones have NEVER broken on me!
These hoops have the label of “Morgan Products” on them, and they come in various sizes. If I am flying, and planning on hand quilting in my seat on the plane, I use the 12” Morgan hoop.
Yep, I checked, and Amazon carries these. They can also be ordered directly from the manufacturer HERE. No affiliation, just what I like to quilt with. They are molded, non-slip, and I like that the part where the screw is is NOT going to separate from the hoop because it is PART of the hoop. A plastic hoop also means NO SLIVERS or no rough wood to catch my thread and or batting edges....those wood hoops are not always smooth.
I also had a question on the thread I like to use for hand quilting.
I like the YLI threads. They are one of the “FEW” that still have wooden spools! I love the feel of the thread, how it doesn’t shred back on itself, and it doesn’t twist and tangle and knot while quilting. And yeah, it might look silly, but a simple ponytail holder over the spool keeps the thread from winding off by itself. YLI is also a Carolina product --- their plant is just south of me in Rock Hill, SC. Thread made in the USA? I’m all for that.
And while we are talking about thread – we can talk about needles! There are so many choices out there, but these are what work for me:
Roxanne #9 Betweens
I know that people love 10s, 11s, 12s in hand quilting needles….but I have what some would call “MAN HANDS”. I’m a tall, big girl….so I go with the 9s. I can get nice small even stitches. I don’t shoot for 20 stitches an inch. I just strive for my own rhythm and try to be even, but not focus on small. Get that rocking motion going, and it is what it is. I think smaller fingers can make smaller stitches – at least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it! I also like that these needles are a bit more “stout” than others – they don’t bend right off the bat. The eye is large and is easy to thread, and let’s face it, I like the little tube they come in with the cute seashell on top! 50 in a package is a steal too.
A little secret --- sometimes I’m just DYING for a topic to talk about on here. Sometimes, day after day, coming up with something new that you will find interesting is not easy --- it leaves me writing about things like hershey’s kisses giveaways at the chiropractor for instance! Or way too much info on how my eldest son became the best Valentine’s gift ever! So if there is something you’ve always wanted to know – please ask! I’m happy to have a topic to write about that might be of interest to more than just you. Because if you are thinking it, and wanting to ask it – chances are you are not the only one. Help a girl out, won’tcha? ((Yep, just added won’tcha to the dictionary too, can take the girl out of Minnesota, but you can’t take the Minnesota out of the girl!!))
Wednesday will have me doing things like buying my airfare for a visit to Davenport Iowa at the end of March! Working on some more book edits. Piecing those border units I’ve been working on into pairs ---and just enjoying a quiet day home by myself. Jeff is doing well back in school. Jason and Kim are happy and figuring life out in South Carolina. My sciatica pain seems to be receding, and we’ll keep working on that.
Oh, and I almost forgot! I’ve got a massage appointment this afternoon! BLISS! ((I guess this means I need to shave my legs?!?))
Better get to it!