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Hand quilting my Grandmother's Flower Garden... Help!!`

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 Rather than going around each hexagon before going to the next, study a line of quilting down the sides of the hexagons (in a zig zag line -- for instance across the top and down one side of one hexagon, then travel your thread to next hexagon and so forth).  Or, thread your needle without a knot. Enter at the top of a hexagon, pull thread half way through (leaving a tail) and stitch one side of the hexagon toward yourself.  When you get to the bottom either travel your needle to next hexagon or end thread;  then go back to the top and thread another needle with the tail of the thread and quilt down the other side of the hexagon toward you.  You could take this thread and travel to another hexagon or end thread.  Either of these methods will minimize the movement of your hoop.  If you can quilt sideways, you won't have to move the hoop at all.

I am English paper piecing a GMG quilt now and have spent hours trying to figure out how best to quilt it, and this is what I've come up with.

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You guys are the best!  Frances, thanks for that Quilt-along site.  I found what you were talking about and I may just pull out my round hoop and put away that floor hoop.  It might be good for another type of quilting but not quilting in circles.  Jane, I tried what you suggest but pulled it all out cuz it really looked bad.  It could be in part because I'm very rusty and need to find my rhythm again but also because I was using that floor hoop.  Maybe I could try it in the round hoop in my lap.  It'll require less turning which means it'll happen faster.  I will probably bring it along on Saturday to have Beve99 give me some pointers.  All I know is it needs to be worked on soon because it's starting to get hot down here and holding a quilt in my lap is going to get pretty warm.  It was 95 degrees when I got out of work at 5:00 today!  Thank you!!

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Frances replied on Tue, Apr 9 2013 10:36 PM

Debbie,

I dont know if youve seen, but Kris has very kindly opened up a thread in the Paper Piecing group for English Paper Piecing and is letting us cause mayhem there.

lots of love

Francesxx

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Carol replied on Tue, Apr 9 2013 11:11 PM

Debbie, I spent many hours hand quilting in the heat of the San Antonio summers !  The Grange Hall was not air conditioned at the time I was learning, either!  But the way I did it at home was to use a floor frame (apartment size that's just about the size of a table like you see in public places)  The quilt rolls up to expose only the part you're working on.  Anyway, I put a fan on the floor in front of me ~~~~these days, in Arkansas, I'm more likely to have a  heater on the floor in front of me!  But they tell me spring is coming soon, I hope they're right~~~~very tired of the cold about now.  It's a nice place to live, the only problem is, "I can't see Texas from here!"

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johanne replied on Wed, Apr 10 2013 8:29 AM

Hi Debbie-do, I have been hand quilting for years and do not turn the quilt around anymore. I use either the hoop or the small floor frame. Cut a piece of thread long enough to do the job at hand plus a bit for starting and finishing, DO NOT knot the thread, enter your circle at the top as to quilt, divide the amount of thread in half and leave the unused half to rest on your quilt surface, now quilt the circle to the bottom or more, knot off,, go back and pick up the loose end and rethread your needle and continue to quilt the other side of the circle. This works with squares etc. too.

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Love your Hexi quilt.  My most favorite quilt (but least favorite to piece or quilt).  Try using a smaller hoop.  Remember there are no mistakes..just stories to tell.  I am still piecing mine so can't advise on the hand quilting.  It will be so beautiful when you are done.  Good Luck

Robin

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I was just looking at a vintage GFG that I have.  The person who hand quilted it did not go around the entire Hexi.  It looks like she just started at the top of a row and zigzagged her way down but did not come across.  So basically, she quilted on the inside 1/4 inch around each flowers on both sides but did not do the right or left of the hexi.  It looks really nice.  You could zigzag fop to bottom and then go back and do the inside if you wanted to. 

Robin

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Robin replied on Sat, Apr 20 2013 6:47 AM

Debbie Do,

I read your post because I was curious since I'm currently in the process (very slowly) putting together a GF for my daughter.    As I read the others post I wondered if you had consider on to the pvc floor frames.   They're smaller than a traditional frame but work very well.    You can find them for like 100.00 and if you have a hobby lobby near you with the coupon it would be almost half of that.  Then your quilt would be straight and flat and your could see where you were going.

Robin

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Debbie-do replied on Sat, Apr 20 2013 10:06 AM

I really really appreciate everyone's input and compliments!  If I could remember to take it out and work on it I'd have some answers.  I pulled out my big round hoop to try and put everything in a bag to bring last weekend to have Bev do a demo for me ~LOL~ but sadly it was left at the kitchen table.  Hopefully I'll remember to bring it on the retreat this week so I can work on it some.  Once I get started and am happy with the results I'm sure I'll get all OCD and work on it feverishly until it's done!

Robin, the frame I tried is oval and fairly small... maybe 18-24" across.  Felt like I was trying to eat tomato soup with chop sticks it was so slow and awkward. 

Roblynn, I tried the zigzag approach but it didn't look good.  But as I've already said, I think maybe I'm rusty.

Johanne, your idea is a good one

Frances, I just had a look at the EPP group and if I didn't have so many projects that need to be finished I'd jump right in.

Southwest of San Antonio

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Nana replied on Sat, Apr 20 2013 10:13 AM

Debbie

I have tried all different kinds of hoops and don't like any of them.   I do all my hand quilting with the quilt in my lap.   I do turn things as needed to make it easier to stitch.  Once you get started it does become easier.  

Vinton, Virginia

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Frances replied on Sat, Apr 20 2013 1:05 PM

Yes, but Debbie you always need something to keep you out of trouble, anyhow dont worry with 25 blocks we will still be at it when you have time:-)

lots of love

Francesxx

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ls2116 replied on Sat, Apr 20 2013 2:08 PM

I've never done hand stitched quilt, but do you think it would help if you stitched in ditch by machine to secure then go back to hand stitch the hexi.  Just a thought.

Quilting My Rainbow

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Frances replied on Sun, Jul 7 2013 10:16 PM

Debbie-do,

I havent heard you mention this in a while, hows the quilting going or shouldnt i ask.

lots of love

Francesxx

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Debbie-do replied on Sun, Jul 7 2013 10:28 PM

um...  erm... well...  I brought it to the retreat and Michelle gave me a little tool called Aunt Becky that we saw a video about... never did any stitching in the car or at the retreat... today I hung it on my quilt rack in the living room so at least I can see it :)  But thanks for asking!  LOL

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I am hand piecing a GFG.  My fingers are so sore!  I tried sewing on machine, but I must admit, its a lot easier to do it by hand.  I am nearly finished with it. My plan is hand quilt it.  I;m not sure how I will do it.  I have several hoops and the PVC rack.  I'm not sure if I want to quilt around each hexi or if I want to quilt around the individual flowers.  I guess I will have to wait to see how it speaks to me.  I am enjoying piecing it by hand.  I also have a really small one that I'm paper piecing.  I like the larger hexis, but can't wait to start on the small one.

Robin Martin, Snohomish, WA

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