Sunday, December 18, 2011

What was I thinking?

You may remember this top I made last year that I wrote about here.  I basted it up this weekend using Sharon Schamber's method that I've used before quite successfully.
The links to the how to videos are on this post. if you haven't seen them before.
Once I had it basted up, I attached the quilt to the planks of wood from my old basting frame because I had this bright idea that I might like to learn how to quilt in a frame. The frame quilters over on the blog Celebrate Hand Quilting have inspired me.
It might be a bit of a grand plan but I thought if others could do it, maybe I could teach myself. I'm using Quilters Dream wool so it'll be easy to needle.
I have now taken over the lounge which is OK because we're going away for Christmas day anyway so no visitors are expected.
So here's what I was thinking.
I'll be able to quilt through summer.
The top won't get dirty from being flung around.
The quilt will stay nice and straight.
I'll be humble about my stitches and not worry about how big they are. I'll aim for even and be happy if that's how they turn out.
It's supposed to be quicker as there's no constant readjusting of the hoop.
I've only tried frame quilting once years ago but I didn't get to do any thumb quilting. A minor hitch, surely.

Here's the reality.
I can only stitch as far as my arm reaches and I can't turn the quilt.
The thumb thimble I have is bulky, heavy and I don't like it. I may have to wait for my new thumb thimble I ordered.
I can't use my quilter's spoon underneath the quilt, I may have to poke my fingers with the needle.
I feel out of my depth and comfort zone but I'll give it about 20 hours and if there's no improvement, I'll go back to the trusty hoop for this one. Wish me luck and I'll report back later on.

61 comments:

Meredith said...

good luck, I love my frame. I have a frame that does not require the quilt to be basted at all. I do own a hoop but i use it for very small quilts. I do hope you give the frame a try. It is so much better than all the bulk around you and the shifting of a hoop. I have a cheap lightweight thimble i use for my thumb. I find it easier to use a frame. The quilt top is lovely.

Lurline said...

Here's a wish for success, Janet! Lovely quilt, I'll be watching your progress!
Hugs - Lurline♥

In Awe of Applique said...

ah, but you are the test pilot for those of us who haven't tried either way! I'll be interested to read your views AFTER the 20 hrs!

Janet said...

Wow Janet I'm so impressed!! I've never tried quilting on a frame so I will be eager to hear how it goes. It's a wonderful top and it will be even better quilted by hand :0)

Ailsa (Cape Pincushion) said...

I'm also trying to hand-quilt an enormous quilt at the moment (for the first time I might add). I'm using a large embroidery hoop. I have resorted to putting band-aids (thick ones) on all my fingers, because thimbles just don't work for me. Band-aids allow more finger flexibility and they breath, its easier to quilt for longer and one has more control!

PJs Lapperier. said...

I wisch you good luck!

Patchwork and Play said...

Good luck coming your way! I can see the advantages so I will be interested in your assessment of the technique! Merry Christmas!

Oops-Lah said...

I've tried it too and didn't like it one bit either. Maybe it's because we're so used to turn the quilt in any direction we want to quilt. I like those little metal disks which you stick to your finger on your "underneath" hand to push the needle up without getting stuck each time. Maybe they'll do the trick for you too. Good luck.

Sewing Junkie said...

I hand quilt in a frame or not in a frame with a thimble on the finger beneath the quilt. It saves the finger from being pricked. Also if you find one with a flat top it helps push the needle through like the spoon does. Chris

Sewjournal said...

What were you thinking? LOL Janet if it ain't broke don't fix it. Your quilting is gorgeous why change a tried and true method?

mereth said...

You might be able to go through and ditch stitsch to stabilise the quilt and then if you still really don't like the frame you could complete the rest of the quilting in the hoop. I did like my big frame but I no longer have the space to set it up, so I use a hoop. I like being able to turn and twist it, but the frame has advantages too.Especially in summer!

Julia said...

Good luck Janet...it wouldn't work for me, I like to lap quilt without a hoop...no spoon, just finger thimblettes.

Razzle Dazzle Quilter said...

Hi di hi
I quilt with a floor frame and I use a spoon. Perhaps your frame isn't the right height?
Cheers
Linda

Anne said...

I could say the best laid plans of mice and Janet.......or just "good luck" :0). The quilt looks fantastic though - really do hope it goes well - hugs.

Rachaeldaisy said...

I'm so rapt that you are sharing this with us. I really like the idea of quilting on a frame for all the same reasons as you, plus I have a romantic notion of that's how sewing bees in books quilt. I'm wishing you the very best of success!!.

Sue-Anne said...

Good luck with it Janet. The positives all sound like good reasons to give it a go and I suppose it is with everything new, it will take time to get used to it.

Kathie said...

I have seriously been giving a lot of thought to buying a quilting frame so I am going to be interested in hearing how you like yours. I hope you can get use to it...
I suspect it has its limitations but benefits as well..
I love that I would never have to baste another quilt !
keep us posted,
Kathie

liz said...

Very interested to hear how you feel after 20 hours. I like to quilt towards me; I always wondered how that would work in such a frame. Do you have to quilt from every direction?

Sujata said...

Janet,
The quilt is beautiful. I was always curious about the frames. Never thought of buying one but once during the visit to an Amish family's home, I saw the quilt on a frame and it made me want to try one. Now I am curious to see how you do on this frame.
Good luck and I hope to hear more about it. I have always quilted on a hoop. Don't know much about quilting spoon either. Got to look it up!

Cardygirl said...

Confidence!!! You are clever & will work it out...I am awestruck by your determination!!

Michele said...

I usually quilt in a hoop so I can quilt toward me. However, this time I put my quilt in a frame so I wouldn't have to baste it. I am having the devil of a time getting used to it. I really like being able to turn the quilt.
I am curious about your thumb thimble. Maybe one of those would help me quilt away from myself. Can you share what kind you ordered?

Heather said...

I learned to quilt in a frame and quilted many a quilt that way but I gotta say I much prefer using a hoop. I never got very good a quilting "away" from me and it wasn't portable. But as you know, many people love it and get great results so good luck with your attempt. How are you liking the wool batting?

Jackie said...

I am sure you will have no problems, but bucket loads of luck are coming your way! I must say that I am in complete awe of anyone who hand quilts, the beauty is unequalled and cannot be achieved when machine quilting.

Stephanie said...

I love that you're always trying new ways to do things. While frame quilting is a "traditional" way to hand quilt I found that I prefer a hoop so I can turn the project as I am not able to quilt in all directions. I haven't hand quilted in years (most recently I got excited about big stitch and hope to finish a project this winter). Your posts always inspired me to want to hand quilt again.

karenfae said...

it takes getting used to quilting on a framer over a hoop. I do both. the thumb thimble should help you. I can not use anything on my underneath fingers, I have to feel the needle come through.
Give it a little time to get used to. Some never give themselves a chance to learn but it just doesn't work for some quilters. I can quilt faster using a hoop but do not like all that quilt on top of me and mainly use my hoop for my small quilts and the standing frame for my big ones.
Karen

laurie said...

I know, it does seem like such a good idea! Unfortunately, the frame doesn't work for me either - for just the reasons you stated. I always go back to the hoop, and I think I've tried every frame out there. Good luck - and the top is gorgeous!

Joan said...

Well done - I hope it works out for you. Specially through the summer. Beautiful quilt.

Caron Mosey - Michigan Quilts! said...

You'll do a beautiful job! Give it a try... one quilt. Then if you don't like it, go back to what you were doing before. This is a very pretty quilt!

Sue said...

Janet, I love my floor frame and I just started using the spoon under it and while I'm still adjusting to the spoon method, I am finding it works beneath the frame. I sure do love the fact that I don't have to baste with my floor frame. My frame tilts to a few different heights for ease of quilting. For my thumb quilting, I use those leather pads....actually on both my quilting finger and thumb. Never gotten used to a thimble. I sure hope you give it a good try.
I do use a hoop, but only for smaller quilts....less than crib sized.

Good luck to you!

Julee said...

Good luck with the frame. I use the 23" round hoop to start with and when I get to the borders change over to an oval 9"x13" hoop. I like quilting all directions and being able to move and twist the hoop around, put my feet up and sit in my comfy recliner. I use a metal thimble on middle finger and pick the heck out of 2 fingers on the other hand. I have been known to put a floor fan on me when it is hot and pushing to get a quilt done during warm weather. Looking forward to your comments after 20 hours of quiting.

Nedra said...

It looks like you've got things pretty well figured out. I admire you for trying. I keep thinking that SOMEDAY I will learn to hand quilt, but so far it's still just a dream.

Mimi said...

I wish you luck. It would be a great accomplishment if you got it done this way.

Nifty Quilts said...

I'll be interested to hear how you like the frame after more time. I've longed for one, but don't have the space. Well, maybe if I took out the couch in the living room!

YankeeQuilter said...

You'll do fine...I find the really inexpensive thimbles work out best for me. The others look nice but I like the thimble to flatten out just a bit so it stays on my finger and the cheap ones do that well (besides then I don't worry when the cats steal it for a playtoy....)

Cheri said...

Well have fun in this new venture. I love the frame when quilting with a friend. I do not hand quilt very many quilts but being a stick, stab, quilter the frame works well for me. Happy stitching Janet!

regan said...

I think you will feel comfortable long before the 20 hours are over. It just takes a little time to get 'into the groove'. I haven't hand quilted in many years (carpel tunnel stopped the hand quilting for me), but I loved my frame quilting.

And just as a suggestion.....lay a sheet over your frame when you are not quilting on it....it will keep the dust off, and if you are near any windows, will keep it from fading.

Good luck.....just give it some time. I know you'll enjoy it!

Lori said...

It's great to see that quilt again. Good luck with your frame quiltign. I tried it some years ago and just couldn't get the knack of it.

Quilt Hollow said...

Oh goodness...now that is something I would never be able to master is quilting on a frame like that. I too would need to turn it and manipulate the top some. I'm looking forward to seeing your progress.

Pinkadot Quilts said...

I am just in awe that you are hand quilting that very large quilt! No matter what you decide I am sure it is going to be beautiful.

Mary said...

I'm really glad you reported on this. I've been wondering how hard it would be and if it would be worth the floor space. I don't usually use a hoop (there are a few exceptions but rarely) so don't have the issue of moving it. I'm looking forward to your next report.

Teresa said...

I love my frame, but I don't like thumb quilting so I so all the cross-hatching, etc. on the frame, then use my hoop. I really need to practice the thumb quilting...maybe if my stitches got smaller and more consistent, I would want to do it more. What kind of thimble did you order for your thumb?

Merry, Merry Christmas!

In stitches,
Teresa :o)

libbyquilter said...

hang in there and give it a good solid try. one advantage that you didn't mention is that the quilt can be quilted by more than one person at once . . . maybe a friend or two can come over and lend support in this new endeavor.

that being said i have to admit to preferring to quilt in my lap with no hoop at all. i find the quilt more flexible and the stitches easier to make and i'm stubbornly prone to turning the quilting so that i am either quilting from right to left or towards myself. i do have to do a LOT of basting prior to quilting in order to keep it all flat but still like this method the best so far.
i am, however, forced to use the frame method when my quilt guild puts on their annual piece. those of us that hand quilt come in regularly and stitch together on it to finish it up and then use as a fund raiser. i've finally gotten used to a thumb thimble but only wear it when i have to and have just accepted that those stitches that i make working away from myself are just not going to look exactly like the rest of my stitches. i think this is easier to accept when one is working as a group due to the stitches differing with each person involved anyway.

i love what you said about being more humble in regards to ones stitching and must remember that. it really would put a lot more happiness and relaxation into each stitch for me. i've always thought of hand quilting in relation to one's hand writing (or even one's fingerprint) in that it's one of those things that is unique to the individual stitcher and can be improved upon with practice and attention but basically it is what it is . . . none-the-less i have had the ego to fret over my stitches more than i should. i will definately try to remember to be more humble in the future.

i think i would like to add you to my sidebar. would that be okay?

:-)
libbyQ

Anymart said...

Hi Janet, I'll help you pull through. You definitely can! I'll make a video of my thumb quilting, and I do sometimes work with a quilt spoon!!!

You will be fine. Honestly. It will ask for some adjustments and exercise, but you will learn. Working in a frame asks for a different angle. And then you have all the advantages you mentioned.

Have fun(!) quilting!

Sharon said...

I thought the frame kept you from having to baste? I baste on my longarm machine, (I know, that's a privilege) and I quilt in my lap. Thimble on right hand and a callous on my left hand from all the pokes. I figure if you quilt beautifully in a hoop, stick to the hoop. I too, struggle with hearing about others and seeing how they stitch, I try it and then go back to what works for me, and that's quilting with basting stitches. Keep us posted

Linda said...

All quilting is not alike, and it's perceptive of you to note that though you quilt successfully in a hoop, quilting in a frame is different. I have a quilt in a frame, all rolled up and ready to go, and have taken nary one stitch! Good for you to say you're going to do this, and then give it the "old college try" - 20 hours worth is a worthy try! I'll be watching for your honest assessment.

Janet said...

I quilted with my Mom on a quilt
frame but you rolled as you quilted it, not unrolled as you quilted. Maybe I am reading this worng. If so, I wish you a very
successful "new venture".

Mary said...

I have not used a frame, I will be eager to hear how you like it. I have only used a thimble on the middle finger of my dominant hand...nothing else.

Terry said...

I haven't hand quilted for many years, and when I did, I used a hoop. I'll be eagerly waiting to see how things go with the quilt frame. I hope it works out for you! :0)

Dixie said...

I'll be watching with interest as I have an old handquilting frame that I inherited years ago and have never tried. Just joined a handquilting group for inspiration but everyone uses a hoop. Love the quilt you are handquilting - my favorite color combination. Hope you have a merry Christmas!

Thimbleanna said...

I'm confused about that first picture. It looks like the top is separate from the bottom, but you mentioned that it's basted?

I'm amazed that you quilt large quilts on your lap! I love to have a quilt on a big frame, although they sure take up a lot of room.

Good luck with the frame -- I hope you love it!

Fran├žoise said...

I absolutely love the things you do. I'm thinking about buying a frame also, so very curious to see the rest of your evolution.
When i thumbquilt in my hoop (which i do if there's too much turning) I use the thumbtimbler by Ted Storm (www.tedstorm.nl)Its just like a ring with a bump on it with a hole in it, where the needle fits. And I always use a little spoon underneath.
It does take some practice (as with so many things)
I am very curious to see how you are doing.

Enjoy the holidays!

Shari said...

Good luck Janet - hope you find what works for you! Beautiful quilt!

Jane in Wales said...

I am looking forward to hearing how you have got on. So far I have not been brave enough for a frame, but have just used my hoop....
Jane

Archie the wonder dog said...

Good luck! I'm looking forward to hearing how you get on, I'll keep my fingers crossed!!

Victoria @ BUMBLE BEANS said...

It's so hard to break old habits... I to have a frame. I used it twice and never got the hang of quilting it that way....I always baste and have it lay in my lap without a hoop...so I can move the quilt around... Sigh...Now I sit and look at my frame everyday still wishing i knew how to quilt on it... Good luck, I'm rooting for you!

Sonja said...

indeed, it's quite enormous:)
Wouldn't it be possible to handquilt it with a big hoop? And on a foot?

Cathy said...

Meredithe from Pomegranate and Chintz recently put me onto this method of basting, I cannot wait to try it. I wish you luck for this quilt, it looks like a mammoth task but it will be amazing with all your gorgeous stitching put into it!! xo

Dora, the Quilter said...

Janet, I did handquilting for a couple of decades before I realized I would never live long enough to make all the quilts I want to make unless I switched to machine quilting.
Here's what I learned. I quilted in only two directions: 1) from the far side of the frame toward me; 2) from the right to the left (I'm right handed. For example, if I were quilting a wedge shape, I inserted the needle on the right side of the shape and did not tie/bury a knot, but rather left a long tail and just started quilting. When I reached an end-point, I buried a knot (later I used another technique), threaded my needle with the other end and, again, quilted from right to left. I did the same thing so I could quilt from top to bottom (starting away from me and moving toward me). (My frame included home made "sawhorse" type stands with holes drilled every couple of inches along the cross-bars. [I used pine 2X4's to make the sawhorses and 1x2's for the long poles. I dropped long bolts through the holes of both to achieve the level of tautness that worked best for me.)
Beneath the quilt I used a very cheap, flat crowned thimble and glanced my needle off the end. (The edge of a spoon would work too.) You have a very fun quilt, and I hope you have a great time quilting it.

Lori said...

a frame like that is best when shared with friends and family--maybe that is what it needs.

Barb said...

what a great quilt. I don't remember seeing it before. I love nine-patches, my all time favorite.
I have heard such good things about SS basting method, must try it.
I'm impressed you're going to try frame quilting. I'm a hoop girl myself.

Ivory Spring said...

Oh, I love that quilt!