Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hand quilting tools

I've got two  new hand quilting tools to share with you. The first one is a  quilting hoop for hand quilters. It was kindly sent to me from Harry of Barnett's Laptop Hoops to try out. I use a 14 inch hoop, my arms are quite short really, like the rest of me so this is my ideal size.

At first it took a bit of getting used to but I persevered as it's a little different from using a normal hoop.
This is the bottom part and as you can see, it has a base that you put under your legs to hold it stable. The black knob is to change the angle of the hoop and the metal hardware is actually a magnetic lazy susan. That's the ingenious part of the whole setup. You can very easily rotate the hoop as you work. It rotates 360 degrees and tilts to many angles.
This is the  hoop that magnetically attaches itself to the lazy susan and it just gets placed on and pulled off really easily. The part that I love is having two options for hand quilting, one with the stand and this hoop part that can sit on your lap that you turn manually.
I actually prefer to sit on my leather couch with my feet up on the foot stool because having short legs is such a pain you know. I am a little worried about the base under my legs on the leather but that could be fixed by putting something on the couch first.
I love, love this black knob, so much better than a metal wing nut.
What you didn't know is that I have a lot of pain and fatigue in my left shoulder area and supporting my basic hoop when it has a large quilt in it restricts how much quilting I can do in a sitting. With Harry's hoop, I don't have the same problem as the hoop is supported in my lap.
The other advantage is that when I need to do the odd stab stitch, both hands are free to do that easily.
The only disadvantage is that the base is heavy with the metal hardware which is to be expected and once you have set it up, it's not a problem. I'm still learning about getting the large quilt positioned but I think that's practice and will come with a bit more time.

There are several quilt hoop designs available and I think perhaps the magnetic tilt and frame might have suited me better, just because of the way I work in a hoop. In any case, these are made with a lot of passion, attention to detail and what quilters want.  There are also videos on the website  to see how they work, go check them out.
Have you tried these new clover needles? The price had put me off but I finally buckled and bought a pack. There's only six needles and they cost more than double for my usual pack.
I tried the fisrt one and liked it a lot, I thought they were very sharp at the tip and indeed seemed quite strong. The needle glided through the layers.

I was happily quilting away on my second length of thread when the eye snapped off when I pushed the needle through with the thimble. Could have been a fluke.
Threaded up another needle, didn't even get the thread used up when the same thing happened. Not a fluke, I think I'll keep these ones for hand piecing, the needle is not holding up to the force I'm using.

40 comments:

Barb said...

Thanks for the info!!

Jay said...

Hi Janet, I've seen those needles in my Japanese quilting magazines for quite awhile. Like you I was put off by the price and the quantity in the package. I finally broke down and tried them this past April. I tried both the Quilting Betweens and the Applique Needles, and I was not impressed. What a waste of money! It felt like the needles had a very definite drag as they went through the fabric / layers of the quilt. I tossed them and immediately went back to using my all time favorite needles - John James Gold'n Glide. THEY ARE WONDERFUL! And they really do slide through the fabric smoothly - it's like a hot knife through butter! Anyway, that's just my two cents. Happy Stitching! Jay

Lizzie said...

I'll remember the needles, thanks for the tip Janet. Is the hoop cooler to use? My biggest problem is that I get so hot having the quilt on my knee, more so in the winter funnily enough as we have a wood stove in the lounge room...
Lizzie
xxx

Janet said...

What an interesting post. I've never tried a hoop with a base - I've always thought they would be uncomfortable to sit on. The magnetic lazy susan part sounds like a good idea. I love the looks of that black knob. I'm sorry to hear that you have pain and fatigue in your shoulder when you hand quilt. Something so enjoyable shouldn't have to hurt!

Christine said...

I lap quilt so don't need a hoop, the needles I tried a few month back and bought the applique needles first.

I snapped them all in less then a week and thought well they are not for me.
I had also bought the quilting once and love them for quilting, I also now use the larger one for applique and love it.

cheers
Christine

Notjustnat said...

It's an interesting hoop to try. I haven't done hand quilting for ages now (sad face here). I love hand quilting and will get back to it again. Thanks for needle tip, will keep that in mind - Hugs Nat

Kate said...

Interesting idea for the hoop, how lucky you are to be given one to try out!
I too have tried the black/gold needles, they are VERY sharp but also found there was drag when putting the needle through fabric, however it does dissipate if you persevere.
I like both the applique and quilting needles, but have not experienced the eye snapping off. I would buy them again.

Kathie said...

wow that hoop looks wonderful, I like the idea that the quilt it lifted off your lap and possible drapes like a tent over your lap?
off to check out their website.
I am doing so much more hand quilting now and with the fall coming up I plan on doing even more
Kathie
I am so hooked on my Jeana Kimball straw needles for applique and clover 12 gold eye needles for hand quilting

Kaaren said...

The hoop looks wonderful, Janet. I like the idea of having both hands free because that would allow for a lot more freedom of movement in the neck and shoulder areas.

I've never seen those needles but I appreciate the heads up about them.

Crispy said...

The hoop looks to be very interesting but since I never seem to sit still for long, it may be a hassle getting settled....much easier to just scoop the quilt up and toss off to the side :0)

The only time I break eyes off needles is when my thimble is wearing out. I use the cheap Dritz thimbles.

Crispy

Quilt Hollow said...

I hadn't seen those needles and do appreciate the honest opinion of them here.
I'm not a big hand quilter as I own the longarm (likely because I could never master hand quilting such as yourself). I've seen hoops similiar to that before...hope it is something you would enjoy.

Ela said...

Interesting idea for the hoop!!I like so much more hand quilting now !

Stephanie said...

I always learn something here. I used to do a bit of hand quilting but haven't in years. Mom gave me a laptop hoop, nothing like yours, but I found I kept getting "tangled" in it. I now have neck problems so I can see how a laptop frame would be better to use. Bummer about the needles!

Stephanie said...

I always learn something here. I used to do a bit of hand quilting but haven't in years. Mom gave me a laptop hoop, nothing like yours, but I found I kept getting "tangled" in it. I now have neck problems so I can see how a laptop frame would be better to use. Bummer about the needles!

Barb said...

interesting hoop. I'm glad if it's helping your shoulder issue -
darn about those needles, pricey and not strong, what's up with that?
I use a long of pressure, because I really stack my needle and need strong ones too.

luv2quilt2 said...

The new hoop looks like it could be a big help for hand quilting. My arms are always so tired after a quilting session. I had read about the problem with that brand of needles, so I don't intend to try them.

sewpam63 said...

Thank you, Janet for telling us about the hoop you are using. It looks quite interesting. Hmmm.

I tried those (expensive) Clover needles and did not like them. I'll stick with my trusty and affordable John James Gold 'n Glide needles! ; )

Frances Leate said...

I have tried the Clover new needles for hand piecing and absolutely love them for this purpose. However, I can not say the same about the Applique ones that I used for my needleturn as they really dragged on the fabric. I agree with some of the other comments that you cant beat John James' Gold n'Glide. Happy stitching!

Lori said...

I love the review on the hoop. I like that it takes the pressure off the left shoulder, as I can see how this could be problematic.
Too bad about the needles. At least you now know you don't like them!!

YankeeQuilter said...

Thanks for the reviews...I've been using the same lap hoop for years. I may check out their website...

Shirley said...

I have seen the hoop used somewhere before but haven't seen one on sale anywhere on my travels. Will have to look out for it. I too have the needles but have not used them yet. I will try them and see what happens. Yes they were expensive but I assumed I was getting something superior. Will let you know.
Shirley.

Janet said...

Thanks for the info. I have tried those needles as well and had the same thing happen to me. Good to know it most likely wasn't just a bad pack.

Hope all is well with you.

Mary said...

Clover usually has such good products, I'm surprised these snap so quickly. Have you contacted them?

The quilting hoop looks like a really good idea!!! I quilt hoopless but if I did use one, I think I'd give this a try.

Karen said...

An interesting quilting hoop. I use a hoop on legs and a base that looks similar but not a sit on. I have had it for several years.

Bad news about those needles. I have not seen them in any stores.

SewCalGal said...

Thanks for sharing your insights on these products. Now I want to try them!

SewCalGal
www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

MosaicMagpie said...

The hoop looks great. I love the fact is is supported on your lap. I have a round floor frame but it is so large, not suitable for small projects. The needles sound as though they are not worth the money paid or for that matter any amount paid. I keep a needle emery near by and that keeps my needles gliding.
Debbie

frayedattheedge said...

Thanks for the info on the frame - I have seen them, but don't know anyone who has used one, so good to get such a detailed review.

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Thanks for sharing all the helpful information Janet! I'm not much of a hand quilter - yet anyway.

Mary said...

I went through a package of these needles and had the same experience. Snap, snap, snap. I did write Clover and they sent me another package and they did the same thing. They are dangerous quite frankly and expensive as well. Not a match for me!

Mary

Munaiba said...

Gosh I've tried so many different hoops and just can't find one that works. I have large floor hoop and small hand hoop at present but I don't use either.

Miriam said...

That hoop looks intriguing. I am going to look at their website.

Bad news about those needles.
What kind do you usually use?

Dorothy said...

I have had a hoop with a base for years, sorry but it's not a new concept and they are really good to use. My ones don't tilt, that's a great addition.
Saw the black and gold needles for the first time this weekend. Didn't buy any. I use the long needles because my knuckles cramp/lock when I use the short ones. I love the Jeana Kimball ones.

Thimbleanna said...

Wow, that hoop looks interesting. I just use a normal hoop and balance it here and there -- I can certainly see how one with a stand would be a big plus!

Dolores said...

Sorry about the needles. It reminds me of the time, several years ago now, when platinum needles were all the rage (why, I don't know.) A friend bought one and tried it out. It didn't last long when it bent. My other friend and I were quite happy that we didn't buy one because they were expensive.

Quilts And Pieces said...

I always like reading about what people use for their hand quilting.

Yes, once I find a needle I like I just keep using those. And I am really picky about my hoops.

Sue-Anne said...

Hi Janet, I enjoyed your report on the quilting hoop. I had a Lucien Newman one that was similar but I don't think as good a design and I did find that I couldn't adjust it to the correct angle for me.

That's surprising about the Clover needles, usually their products are wonderful and of such a high quality - I wonder if there was a bad batch made???

quilltr said...

Janet, I don't quilt, but am thinking about having a friend who teaches it show me how. The hoop looks very interesting. I've finally found a needle I love, and after reading your post, looked at the package to see what it was. John James #12 sharps. The other package I bought to try was the Gold n glide #11. After reading the comments, I'll have to give them a try, too.

Rebecca Johnson said...

Thanks for your fabulous tips!! xx

Carrie P. said...

A new hoop to make quilting easier is great. No need to suffer in pain.
I had heard about those pricey needles but I guess I will not be trying them.

Madame Purl said...

I so want that hoop. Did you ever get used to it? I have a sit upon hoop for my crewel work and just love it, so I figured it would be great to have one for quilting. I've just learned however, so I want to make sure it sticks before I spend the money.

I found the same thing with those needles. Disappointing. I do like them for other things though.