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Sunday, July 25, 2010

finger calluses

I'm getting in maybe an hour a day on the handquilting for my sampler quilt. You may that all you have time for? and the straightforward answer is, yes, it is. There is another answer, and that it is...I do try to watch the blood on the quilt. What??? When you handquilt, one hand is on top of the quilt, pushing the needle, and one hand is underneath, guiding the needle. The needle catches 4 or so stitches at a time. You need to make sure that the needle actually goes through the whole quilt sandwich (the quilt backing, the batting, and the quilt top), otherwise, well, you kinda lose the purpose of the quilting stitch  - to pull all the layers together. The idea is to have small even stitches, about 6 or 8 to an inch. I wear a thimble on the index finger on my right hand, the hand on top of the quilt pushing the needle, because there is a lot of force (relatively) used by that finger. However, on the bottom hand, I need to feel the needle coming through the material, so I don't use a thimble on that hand. I switch the fingers around, from index to middle, but it still takes time to develop a callus that allows me to feel the needle...yet not draw blood. And all my calluses that I gained from quilting the cottage ninepatch (for which I have yet to post pictures), 4 years ago, are all gone. So I am building up my endurance! I don't know how other quilters manage this, but I've tried various thimbles and other arrangements, and this just seems to work best for me...

I'm off with my callusing fingers now to bed...good night!

1 comment:

Kristy Armstrong said...

I do a lot of hand quilting and use the same technique as you--wish there were a better way!! I just started doing some machine quilting on baby quilts. I love it but I will stick with hand quilting for my large quilts