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Quilting Technique

“Go With the Flow”

What’s the right quilting technique for you?

There are several quilting techniques out there.  Everyone has one that they prefer over others.

So how do you find what is best for yourself?

The easiest answer is to practice and try different methods out.  This doesn’t always bode well.  The true answer is you’ll know it when you try it. 

For most quilters, we know what works well for us within a couple of minutes of using a technique.  For others, it takes a while to get a feel for it and they tend to use a machine better than the rest of us.

We’ll go over a few of the most common by hand and machine methods.

Hand Quilting

Hand quilting is the most basic and honored method there is. 

The major reason why?

The belief that more blood, sweat, and tears will go into a finished quilt. 

This does not have to be the case!

There are painless ways to quilt by hand. 

There are many different ways to quilt by hand and some cause pain, both physical and mental. 

The most typical and common causes are:

  • Doing one stitch at a time.  This is not only very time consuming, but it also makes you grab the needle more often.
  • Grabbing the needle by pinching it.  Using this jester over and over again is sure to hurt your fingertips.
  • Rocking your wrist instead of your arm.  This wreaks havoc on carpal tunnel victims. We know that one all too well.
  • Not taking frequent breaks.  It can be very tempting to skip breaks when you’re on a roll.  Unfortunately, when this happens back, neck, wrist, and finger pain are all intensified when you finally stop.
  •  Squinting because of improper lighting.  Make sure your work area has enough light as to avoid eye strain.

How do you overcome all of these?

By learning better ways to hand quilt that work smarter not harder.

Better Ways

The best ways to hand quilt without pain require the right tools. 

Thimbles aren't just for protecting your fingertips from stabbing needles.  Some thimbles are made for doing the hand quilting motions easier.

Shown here is a thimble for pushing the needle through using a rocking motion with the finger.  That thimble is best for the middle finger of your dominate hand.  Some prefer it to be on their thumb.  Try each one to see which you prefer.

The other thimble is made of rubber.  This is less for protection and more for grabbing onto the needle when it is ready to be pulled through.  The rubber is able to snatch the needle so easily that you don’t have to pinch the needle between your fingertips.

Do you see how this can work better for you than the methods you probably tried in the past?

You will need both thimbles and practicing for a few hours, but this should become one of your favorite ways to hand quilt.

After you have worked with this method for a few hours you should notice that it is truly a pain free hand quilting technique.

When beginners use this method it becomes second nature a lot quicker than it does for those who have been quilting for years with a different technique.  If you fall into this qualification, have patience.  It will come to you with practice.

Machine Quilting

Now is the time when you want to have a pleasant environment to work in.  A peaceful place or having pleasant music playing would be ideal.

You do not want children playing around you, especially smaller ones.  They always ask you questions, make loud noises, and do what they do best.  Distract you any way they can!  We’ve been there!

This can lead to the worst mistakes.  They can be anywhere from going off the line of your pattern to sewing through your fingernail. 

We want you to be safe and have a wonderful time quilting.  So remove the kids and have them play somewhere else.  Preferably outside. ;)

When quilting by machine, work at a steady and even pace.  Whatever feels comfortable for you is the way to go.

Start with straight stitches and work up to more decorative ones as you get more secure with your machines abilities.

Wrap Up

These are a few ways to practice and find what quilting technique is right for you.  Remember to have patience, persistence, and take frequent breaks for body and mind.  Once you find your favorite method there will be no stopping you on your quilting journey.

Until next time.

Happy quilting,

Color Block Quilts

› Quilting Technique
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