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I am a "hand quilter only" and would like to meet others who feel the way I do about this seemingly lost art. I've been quilting for nearly 30 years, and while I love what machine quilting can accomplish, I just am passionate about hand quilting. Call me crazy. I live in rural upstate NY.

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Cornwoman ; I also knew a woman who quilted by that method & she did lovely work . She was only a young girl at the time & had taught herself to quilt . This was a comfortable way for her to do it & she did many , many quilts over the years
Being left-handed, this is the only method I use to have uniform stitches.  I did my Hawaiian quilts with this method, and surprisingly I could do just as fast as the running stitch that most quilt instructors teach. Nice thing about this, too, is that I don't have to keep turning the quilt since I could go in any direction with this method.
When hand piecing it is a good idea to do a back stitch at least each time you load your needle with the running stitch. When I hand quilt I seldom back stitch although I do know people who do.
I have always begun a new stitching line with a very small back stitch. Don't know how I got into that habit but I just do. I guess I feel its a security measure in case the knot doesn't quite hold in the batting. This might not make sense to anybody else, but that's what I do. Joyce
I'm a hand quilter too. I love the way it feels, sitting and quilting. I cannot use a frame, I use a hoop. As for my hands, I only use wool batting now and avoid batiks for the most part. I have tried to learn to do simple machine quilting but so far I'm frustrated because I know how lovely it would be hand quilted. I love to use contrasting thread so the quilting really shows.
Barbara: Always great to meet another hand quilter. You should see my quilt studio. I have a Hinderberg hoop, an Ulmer (small frame) and a Grace hand quilting frame that I can do anything from baby to super King size. I do a little custom hand work on consignment. All this crammed into the loft of our "small" log cabin and believe me I'm really crammed in, but I spend nearly my whole life up there in the wintertime. In summer I like to be in my garden. I will have to try the wool batting - I wish I'd thought of that earlier. And you're right. I could never figure out how to get a king size quilt under my sewing machine needle and do a job that I'd be proud of. That's just way too much bulk for me. I'd need a lot more room than I have now, and believe me, my husband is not about to put another addition on. I have given machine quilting a try but I've broken too many sewing maching needles flipping the big quilts around. And contrasting thread - yes, I do that. I had a friend once that said she thought it gave the work a three dimensional look. I like that too. Thanks for responding.
One thing about contrasting thread it either displays your great stitching or it highlights your not so great stitching. The quilt I am working on now I used a natural color thread. Probably because half of the blocks are unbleached muslim but the quilting has turned out much better that I thought it would so my next quilt I think I will use a contrasting thread and a solid back. This time I used a floral back because I thought it would hide not so perfect quilting.
Barbara I use a hoop also. I started out with an oval one that my children gave me but it was ackward for me to use. I replaced it with a 16 in round hoop. This works better for me.
sharon
Until just recently I too was a hand quilter only, but I have recently tried combining the two. I just made a King sized one for my son and a lot of the fabric was so busy that I decided I would really be wasting my time hand quilting all of it. So I machine quilted the dark, busy fabric and hand quilted the light colored plainer fabric where you could see the stitching--the best of both worlds!
Also being a hand quilter, pain--arthritis--hit me a few years ago. I read about this in the newspaper and it has really, really helped me. I take the spice turmeric twice a day. You have to mix it in something so you can get it down. I use applesauce with cinnamon sugar in it. Not only does it help the pain, but my fingers have straightened out quite a bit! I am still stiff and sore some, but for me it has been great--and no drugs, which is a plus. It took several weeks to see the change. I had decided to give it a try for one box--I could risk $3 or $4 and one day before the box was empty I realized the pain was gone !
Hey Lynn, that sounds like a miracle. How much turmeric do you take at a time? Are you busy handquilting again?
Hi Lynn: Yes, arthritis is my problem too and boy at the end of a quilting session, do my hands (and fingers) ache. I use a hot wax treatment which I have at home, and that does work but I'd like to know more about the spice turmeric that you take. I have turmeric on my spice shelf for pickling - is it the same stuff. I am a great believer in herbal remedies. Look forward to hearing about this. Thanks. Joyce

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