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10 stitches per inch...really?

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Jenia posted on Sun, May 5 2013 11:05 AM

After someone here or elsewhere online recommended it,I purchased the book "The Perfect Stitch".  This is in regards to hand quilting.

inside there is this quote

"Every quilter sets out to do 10 stitches per inch..."

Really?  I'm curious how many of you actually can achieve this.  Is it really the norm?  

I am then comforted by another comment I saw here today..."There are no quilting police!" Thank goodness!  I

I feel that my stitches are nice and neat and others have mentioned this as well.  You cannot pull apart my seams very easily, and my quilting looks nice anyway.  I never heard of,this rule before, so when I went back to the 2 quilts I have done, my stitches are more Ike 6 per inch maybe 7 .  I typically use a back stitch simply because I think it is a stronger stitch.  I'm sure this has something to do with my count, but how bad is it to be s far off from what's considered standard?  YIKES, should I be ashamed to show my stuff to the people so know the rules?

whats your number? Haha

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Marie replied on Sun, May 5 2013 11:15 AM

Jenia, I don't have a number because I do not do hand quilting but you are supposed to have fun quilting not worrying about numbers.  Give yourself a break, I bet your 6 or 7 stitches to the inch look better than some 10".  I've been told that consistency in your stitches is better than the number and eventually the number will climb to your max after awhile.  JUST HAVE FUN!

Millbury, MA

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Marie:
 JUST HAVE FUN!

I agree with Marie,

Each individual quit that we make is a work of art. No one will ever count your stitches.  They will be to busy being mesmerized at the beauty of your quilts to even care.

Besides who wants to be in the norm.

Enjoy your craft and take pride in the way that you do it.

 

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Ginny replied on Sun, May 5 2013 12:47 PM

Jenia, It is not the number of stitches to the inch that counts, it is the neatness and  overall look that is achieved.  It is someone who has done quilting for many many years that may be able to achieve that number.  I know it is said that some of the amish quilters have attained up to 12 stitches per inch.  Don't worry about it. Enjoy it.   Ginny

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Ginny replied on Sun, May 5 2013 12:52 PM

Jenia , Just a P.S. a back stitch is not the same as the typical quilting stitch, you can't obtain the rocking motion , the rythym that is done that way, but what ever works for you works.   Ginny

 

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Kris replied on Sun, May 5 2013 2:21 PM

Jenia,

the 10 stitches per inch is a goal, not a rule, in the book you mentioned. Most books you buy will reflect the author's preferences and are guidelines; not rules.

When learning to hand quilt I was told to aim for consistency in my stitch size. More stitches per inch comes later as you improve your technique and/or switch to smaller needles.

The materials you use can also have an impact on stitch size.

If you have consistency and your quilting works for you then don't worry about it.  Never be ashamed of your work.

 

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gini replied on Sun, May 5 2013 2:26 PM

Jenna, you're funny.

First,  are you talking about the quilting stitch itself, or are you talking about piecing the top pieces together?

if you are talking about the quilting stitch, where you stitch all three layers together, I think the most important thing is to have fun.   After that, I think the even-ness of your stitches is more important than how big they are.   I also think that you count the stitches from both sides, not just on the top.

   I have never heard of taking back stitches with quilting stitches,   Are you doing all back stitches or a back stitch every few stitches?   Or are you talking about the piecing?  I take a back stitch every three or four stitches when I am hand piecing.   I' m like you, I think it is stronger.

gini in north idaho

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gini replied on Sun, May 5 2013 2:27 PM

Sorry jenia, my ipad changed your name.

gini in north idaho

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Nana replied on Sun, May 5 2013 2:51 PM

Jenia

I use backstitching when I am piecing by hand but use a running stitch when I do hand quilting.  I can usually get 10 stitches to the inch when hand quilting but it is more important to have consistent stitches.   Just have fun with it.

Vinton, Virginia

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Jenia replied on Sun, May 5 2013 4:26 PM

Ha, so glad you all have answered!

With the two quilts I have done, I actually used back stitching with embroidery floss to do the quilting on both.  For both my bandana quilt and granny's flower garden the quilting was done as outlines of the particular pattern, not a quilting pattern to follow over the size of the piece.  So I used embroidery back stitching with a variety of colors of floss which turned out really nice on the back side.  However, the stitch per inch thing really threw me for a loop.  My stitching is neat and even but taking a ruler to the backside made me feel like I did something wrong, whew...

l like the idea that stitches per inch include those on the front and back, that makes perfect sense to me now!

Now I know better than to really let stuff like this worry me...as long as its fun, it's good enough, is my usual stance.  I  just had a very unusual emotionally weird week, and I just had to know the consensus of the stitches per inch "rule".

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gini replied on Sun, May 5 2013 8:31 PM

Jenia, are you using one strand of your embroidery floss to quilt?   It isn't very strong for quilting, and may not hold up to much wear.    I bet it does look beautiful, though.    Do you have a picture?  I would love to see it.  I'll go check out your gallery and see if it there.

gini in north idaho

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Jenia, what a coincidence!  I just began hand quilting my first lap size quilt today.  I like doing special things on a Sunday.  Well when I read your post I went and counted and measured.  If you count both the top and bottom stitches, I am getting 9, 10, and 12 stitches per inch.  Not too uniform yet, but I am sure I will improve as I go along.  I am using this little gadget called Aunt Becky's finger protector on my bottom hand and I think it is helping me with the stitches.  I am having fun and will work on this project when I feel like doing some handwork.  Sometimes I find it relaxing.  I am not worried that not all my stitches are perfect because this is a quilt for myself and I just wanted to have one that I hand quilted myself.  I am using a glace cotton thread and a quilting size needle.

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Agnes replied on Sun, May 5 2013 9:07 PM

The other thing that often isn't mentioned is to count the stitches both back and front to make the 10 stitches to the inch. However, as others have stated the evenness is far more important than the size. In any of my works being judged it was in the unevenness of my quilting stitches that I lost most of my marks. My highlight and my goal achieved was when I stood third in a provincial competition. I nailed all 50 points out of 50 for originality, design, color variation, etc. Might I also say that particular quilt was the last hand quilted quilt I will ever do. My hands really went into rebellion and I plain can not hand quilt any longer. I can hand piece so I will sometimes do a project just so I don't feel deprived.

Agnes in NW Ontario

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Agnes, your quilt is beautiful!  Congratulations on winning an award!  That is an awesome pattern and it looks very pretty with those fabrics you used.

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That's a beautiful quilt, Agnes.

Congratulations on your award.  

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