Traditional Quilting Techniques

“Past to Present”

Traditional quilting techniques started with hand quilting.  No sewing machines were made yet.

Find out why it’s not the best method for most people and how to change to a pain-free one.

The Past

Traditional techniques of quilting involve pinching the needle between your fingertips and guiding it through a layer of fabric, stuffing/filling/batting, and a back layer of fabric.

One pushed the needle through all of the materials with a rocking motion using the wrist.  This would weave the quilting cookie (think Oreo cookie) onto the needle.  Working with this motion at the time was the most effective way to make several stitches at once.

However this had some side-effects.

The Pain

The reason why this method is not used today is because of the effects it has on the quilter.  The pain involved was not worth it.

Traditional quilting resulted in:

·         Carpal tunnel from the wrist motion

·         Eye strain from improper lighting

·         Fingertip pain from pinching the needle

·         Back pain from leaning over the project

·         Neck pain from looking down for long periods

·         Leg pain from sitting in one place for too long

·         Finger callouses from having nothing protect them from the needle

The list goes on and on.

The Present

Now today we have a pain free method of hand quilting available.

This technique involves using two different thimbles.  One thimble to control the needle and one to grab onto it, completing the loaded stitches.

These thimbles look like this:

The metal thimble has a deep dimple that the needle can rest in.  This allows the user to push and weave the needle through all of the material layers without pain.  One does not need to grip the needle to do so. 

By using this method more stitches can be loaded at once and the stitch length is more even. 

The other thimble is made of rubber.  Fabric and hobby shops usually carry them, but the best place to purchase the rubber thimble is from an office supply store. 

Stores of this nature view the rubber thimble as an asset for people who work with paper a lot.  Money counters and secretaries fall into this category. 

For our purpose though, it allows the quilter to grab the needle and pull it through the materials without having to pinch the needle.

This quilting technique is growing in popularity because it is a pain free hand quilting method.

Wrap Up

We have come a long way on the hand quilting passage through time.  All of the blood, sweat, and tears were worth it to find such a way to avoid all the pain. That is why we have left the traditional quilting techniques to the past.

This site also is a place to find out information about quilting.

Until next time.

Happy quilting,


Color Block Quilts







› Traditional Quilting Techniques

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