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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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Jenia replied on Sun, May 5 2013 9:52 PM

Hi Gini, oh no, I use the entire Strang when I embroider.  Bold and hopefully beautiful, nothing dainty with me, lol

 

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I beg to differ with you ladies in counting your stitches.  I was taught stitches per inch are usually counted on the top side.   Under all the right conditions, I typically quilt 10 stitches on top.  If I counted both top and bottom I would be stitching 20 per inch.  However, if you choose to count top and bottom, it should be noted.  Now, having said all that it really doesn't matter how many stitches you make.  Just make even stitches.  It is difficult to get the same number of stitches when hand quilting on the straight grain as when you quilt on the bias; different fabric weaves affect the number of stitches you can get as does different battings; and most obvious when you quilt over seams you aren't going to get the tiny, stitch you might otherwise get unless you do the stab stitch.

I'm not familiar with doing a back stitch for quilting.  As far as making the quilt stronger, the running stitch should be adequate as long as you are using hand quilting (40 wt) thread.  Any thread thinner than that might not hold up to handling particularly if you aren't doing close quilting.

Just have fun quilting and don't fret over the number of stitches.  Sometimes the larger stitch compliments your quilt pattern better.  I particularly like the big stitch (1/4 inch made with Perle Cotton) on the country style quilts.

 

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Diana replied on Mon, May 6 2013 4:29 AM

A friend of mine in Upstate NY has been quilting for about 80 years and has judged many shows.  I asked her the same question about stitches to the inch.  She said it's not how small the stitches are, it's the consistency of the stitches, even if it's only 6 per inch.  As long as they are all the same size is what judges look for at shows.  The tiny stitches come with a lot of work and a lot of practice.  She's won way too many awards to count, so I guess I'll believe her.

Diana in East Tn.

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Marie replied on Mon, May 6 2013 8:36 AM

Mary, it's a very pretty quilt, love the fabrics!  Your stitches look fine to me.  As far as I'm concerned a hand quilted quilt, no matter how the stitches look, is a treasure just because of the time and love put into it.  Most quilts are not made to put into shows but to give to people we love and care about and they are not going to be critical about your work but will receive it with so much enthusiasm as to make the giver feel so good that she made and gifted it. 

Millbury, MA

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Marie replied on Mon, May 6 2013 8:41 AM

Oh my, Agnes, that's one gorgeous quilt you made!  It's no wonder you won an award!  Lot's of work went into making it, I'm sure, great work!

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Marie, thanks for your kind words.  It is very encouraging to know that the stitches do not have to be perfect.  If one of my stitches gets a little too long, I do draw the needle out so that it doesn't look bad.  I want to have fun running the needle and thread around the pattern. 

I do have a new question on this topic.  Is it ok to go from one side of the seam to the other as I am stitching about 1/8" next to the ditch around a block since I staggered my seams?  I would rather not  stitch through the turned four layer seam.

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Agnes replied on Mon, May 6 2013 9:25 AM

Marie:
Lot's of work went into making it, I'm sure, great work!

Marie--Thank you so much for your kind words. I had seen a pattern combining Jacob's ladder and Grandmother's fan blocks that was my inspiration for this design. I used the same two blocks in this quilt plus two others, one of which I designed to give me the flow I desired. I used only fabrics from my small stash but they worked together nicely in my opinion.

Agnes in NW Ontario

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Agnes replied on Mon, May 6 2013 9:27 AM

Mary789:
Agnes, your quilt is beautiful! 

Mary, Thank you so much for your comments. 

Agnes in NW Ontario

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I am so happy for this discussion...I only hand quilt and am self taught and you all have really helped me with the info here....I have always felt like I was not doing good enough but I feel a  lot better after reading the comments here...I had to immediately go measure my stitches too.....lol....

 

 

 

newport, tennessee

 

"may there always be work for your hands to do"

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gini replied on Mon, May 6 2013 11:13 AM

Agnes, I missed your quilt, it is awesome.   

gini in north idaho

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gini replied on Mon, May 6 2013 11:19 AM

I' m realizing what. A crappy quilter I am, I thought you counted both sides.  After second thought I think I will go with counting both sides so I can continue to Imagine I'm a better quilter than I am.   With my memory, in a few days I will forget this conversation took place and I will be back to being a pretty good quilter.    In my own mind, of course.    :  )

gini in north idaho

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gini:

I' m realizing what. A crappy quilter I am, I thought you counted both sides.  After second thought I think I will go with counting both sides so I can continue to Imagine I'm a better quilter than I am.   With my memory, in a few days I will forget this conversation took place and I will be back to being a pretty good quilter.    In my own mind, of course.    :  )

I am sure you are not a " crappy" quilter...you do count front and back....:)

newport, tennessee

 

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Jenia replied on Mon, May 6 2013 11:36 AM

I am going with counting both sides! I don't want you ladies killing the messenger here lol. 

My first reaction to the book's quotation, was measuring one side; then you all made me feel much better when it includes both sides!   If you think about it, this really makes total sense now.  Each one is a stitch, doesn't matter where it sits, be it on the front or on the back.

A great example was shown by Jen, it seems like it would be impossible to double that!

BTW it was worth the post just to see the lovely quilting examples shown here; absolutely stunning award-winning full quilt, and the close up example we got to see had such cute colors and Jen's stitching was perfect IMO.  Thank you all!

 

 

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Marie replied on Mon, May 6 2013 12:08 PM

Gini, you are not a "crappy" anything in my opinion.  I want to grow up and be just like you.

Millbury, MA

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Kris replied on Mon, May 6 2013 1:11 PM

Marie:

Gini, you are not a "crappy" anything in my opinion.  I want to grow up and be just like you.

Amen Marie.

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