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comment by jadedog

Nice job!

I've done a couple quilts before, but they were machine sewn. I've done enough hand sewing to have a few thoughts about your project.

Skip this part if you want to experiment. Sometimes it's fun to just learn as you go along.

A few thoughts:

A couple pieces of equipment might be helpful. I don't think they're too expensive. The first is a thimble. I saw one on Amazon for under $2. It's a metal piece to put over your finger to help push the needle through the fabric because you're right, poked fingers are no fun. I just picked the cheapest one. You might want to look for one you like.

The other thing that might be helpful is a set of needles of different sizes. About $2 on Amazon. The right needle for the right job makes all the difference. You want a needle that is right for the fabric. If the needle is too thick, you're fighting the weave of the fabric. It's easier if you can go between the weave of the fabric.

This part is a bit advanced, so you might want to skip this paragraph. I've seen hand quilters use a longer needle and sort of weave the needle back and forth on the needle with the fabric still on the needle until they've done 8-10 stitches or so, then pull it through. Keep in mind those stitches are tiny, However, if you use the needle that is too long, they're easier to get bent and mess things up, so you have to weigh how you want to go with that.

The other piece of equipment is a piece of beeswax. About $2 on Amazon . The beeswax is to strengthen the thread and to prevent knotting. As you've found, thread tangles easily when you're hand sewing. Sometimes detangling can lead to weak thread and breakage. The beeswax helps to strengthen the thread and prevent tangling. You run the thread through the groove in the plastic and over the wax. You can do the same thing with just a piece of wax as well, but candle wax is harder than beeswax.

Your stitches look a little big. It may just be the picture. 8-10 stitches per inch is super tiny. If you look at some stitching on your clothing, it should be about that size. Depending on what you're going to do with it, it might not matter. If you're going to stuff it with batting, the batting might start to poke through the gaps, and it might pucker a little. If you're not going to use batting, it might work.

You're not at this point yet, but something that helps a quilt piece look good is the flattening or ironing stage. Once you're happy with how the stitching turned out, you're going to want to flatten the seams. You can finger press them open, but an iron is better. Lay the pieces with the right side down, open the seam with one edge on each side and press it open.

Happy quilting!

user-inactivated  ·  1699 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Thank you. This is fun so far. :)

The wife actually got me a leather thimble. I tried using it at first, but it kept on getting in the way. I might have to try it again, cause being as careful as I am, I'm still a bit clumsy. I guess it's a good thing I'm not sewing with power tools. :P

I got some Bohn brand needles of various sizes and I'm currently using the thinnest one because the weave of the fabric is so tight. I do about three stitches a run, weaving it back and forth through the fabric, before pulling it through and starting a backstitch one stitch back. The needle does seem to be a bit on the flexible end, fortunately there's two more of its size in case it does break.

I didn't know working with knots and tangles were an issue. I guess it's a good thing I'm doing a backstitch then. If the thread does break, it'll help the stitch from coming undone (or so I'm told). I'll have to look into the beeswax. I'll also have to look into pins to hold the fabric in place. I think part of the reason my stitches are so big is because I'm currently working the fabric loose in my hands.

Ironing will be in part to. I know to fold each seem to the darker fabric to prevent it from showing through and to also press theniron, not move it back and forth, to keep from pulling on the stitching. Any tips beyond that?

jadedog  ·  1699 days ago  ·  link  ·  

To hold the fabrics together, you can try safety pins. They sell really tiny safety pins as well as the large, so you can gauge which would be most helpful. An assortment pack might be good. You can use straight pins but you might get poked a lot.

The other thing you can use to hold fabric together is double sided adhesive tape, like the kind you wrap presents with. You can get that at an office supply store. Craft stores sell some double sided tape that you can leave in the seam and wash out later, but that's not necessary here. It's easy enough to remove the tape once you sew the seams. Another thing you can try (but last choice on the list) is water soluble glue stick. Always test the tape and glue on scrap fabric first. The glue stick (and maybe tape) might be a hassle to remove, so test first and consider carefully. Also, if there's any stickiness on the fabric, it might gunk up the iron. If you use that iron for other clothes, that might be something to consider.

If you're going to iron the seam to one side, iron it open first. It sets the stitches and is easier to get an even seam than if you iron it to one side from the start. If you iron the seam to one side, the fabric might bunch on one side so you'll have to gauge which seams will go which way and test it out.

Edit: I'm going to take back that last part about ironing the seams open. When I looked it up, there's controversy about it, so I guess it can go either way. Controversy about sewing. The internet truly is an amazing place. Here's someone who irons the seams to one side and gives reasons for it.

user-inactivated  ·  1698 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think I might go the safety pin route. If I do though, I'll have to be real careful about how many I use and when and where I keep them. My dog is super well behaved and more often than not doesn't get into anything (unless it's something outside that smells amazing), but I wouldn't want to take any chances.

We found these really awesome clips that take place of pins, but they're expensive as fuxk. Like 20 bucks for a pack of twelve expensive. I don't know if they're worth it.

I think open seam pressing is like some well known yet unconventional method, cause every person I talk to advises me against it, yet somehow it's something everyone knows aboutm