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Hello I am a hand quilter

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Karen Posted: Fri, Feb 28 2014 7:23 PM

Hello everyone.  My name is Karen Stockstill and I joined a couple of weeks ago.  I am still trying to learn the site, it is taking me a little time to figure things out.

I hand quilt, piece and applique.  I have been quilting since 1976 when I made my first quilt for my son.  It was made from all his old t-shirts and toddler clothes.  It looked almost like a crazy quilt.  He loved it to pieces, not joking.

I live in Kansas City, MO with my husband (Mike) and two dogs (Tamarack and Talullah).  We have lived here for 8 years, prior to that we lived in Boise, ID.  We have done a great deal of moving around the country, from D.C. area to the Northwest, to the Midwest, to the South and back again.

I turned 66 on Feb. 26 and retired from teaching reading in January, 2014.  I taught a private not-for-profit school which worked with emotionally damaged teens.  I loved my kids and my work with them.  But age caught up with me.

I would like to meet people like me who hand quilts. I don't know many people who do that anymore.  I would like to learn some machine quilting, but the sewing machine and I have never quite formed a friendship.  Quilting pleases and relaxes me.  While I am quilting I usually listen to Books on Disc, joining both of my favorite hobbies.  I have joined the Hand Quilting Group and have posted my last quilt in the show and tell gallery. 

I hope to hear from you all soon.

kls

 

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Flo replied on Fri, Feb 28 2014 7:45 PM

Hoi Karen.

 

I am in southern California, originally from New Jersey.  I have been hand quilting for 30 years.  I have worked retail on and off all my life, but was and am primarily a housewife.  My husband  of 32 years is a retired police officer and together we now own a small business.  I usually quilt while either watching TV or working my store.  We own a tool store, a very masculine domain.  so the guys think its funny to come in for saw blades and see me handstitching.  I swear they keep coming back for something else just to see how far I can get in a few days.  I have not postedto the gallery because I am still learning the computer.  But I will have my hubby show me how.

My son and daughter-in-law are station at FT Riley in Manhattan Kansas, not that far from you, considering where I am.

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Welcome, Karen

I started my quilting passion when I was very young.  My grandmother taught me how to applique using the blanket stitch when I was about 10 years old.  The joy of sitting down with a needle and thread to stitch together a quilt patch has stuck with me.  I don't do as much hand work as I used to but still do a lot of applique.  I did hand stitch and quilt a king sized wedding ring quilt a few years back.

You live in a great part of the country for quilt shops.  I attended a shop hop in the Kansas City area and absolutely envied the ladies for all the options they had in shops and fabrics.

I looked at your gallery.  That is a beautiful bed quilt.  Looking forward to seeing more.

Barbara

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Nice meeting you Karen.  I'm  new to quilting and I have tried to hand quilt.  I can't get my stitches short  enough and they are not the same length.   .  I have thought about cheating, by using a permanent marker to make my stitches look better.   I could use a good teacher to show me how it's done right.  I can't take classes because I have severe allergies to man made chemicals and that includes all "good smells". 

 My computer and I don't get along all that well either.  I'm lucky that our son Chris has two degrees in computer science.   He fixes my problems when he has time. 

I like my sewing machines.  I used to sew our kids clothing and I made matching outfits for our daughter's doll.  

Our children are all grown up  and we celebrated our 49 anniversary last year.  Time really flies.  We have two dogs to keep us company.  One German Shepherd and on mini Poodle. 

Marianne

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tnmtgrl replied on Sun, Mar 2 2014 10:46 AM

Karen:

I would like to meet people like me who hand quilts. I don't know many people who do that anymore.  I would like to learn some machine quilting, but the sewing machine and I have never quite formed a friendship.  Quilting pleases and relaxes me.  While I am quilting I usually listen to Books on Disc, joining both of my favorite hobbies.  I have joined the Hand Quilting Group and have posted my last quilt in the show and tell gallery. 

Hi Karen...welcome to the club....you are going to love it here. My name is Jennifer and I hand quilt too..the sewing machine and I never really got along well either but I am currently learning to machine quilt...I have so many ideas for quilts that I found I needed to be able to machine quilt too, to be able to finish it all. I agree with you about the relaxing part of hand quilting, I started years ago with counted cross stitch and it grew into hand quilting. I needed something to occupy my mind after we lost our youngest son in a car accident...well 10yrs. later I am totally addicted and learning new techniques everyday. I am totally self taught thru books and video...until I found this sight I had no idea there were soooo many other people who loved quilting as much as me. I don't expect my quilts to win any awards but my family and friends LOVE them and it makes me happy to do them so its a win win. I still prefer hand quilting but I am moving out of my comfort zone to learn something new. I hope you stay around a while and enjoy this site...

newport, tennessee

 

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

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gini replied on Sun, Mar 2 2014 2:03 PM

Hi Karen welcome to the group.  I do very little hand quilting these days, but I love hand appliqué.

gini in north idaho

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Karen replied on Sun, Mar 2 2014 6:36 PM

Marianne,

I am so glad to hear you are starting hand quilting.  Its not easy, but once you get used to it it allows you to take your work anywhere without having to drag along a machine.  Don't use permanent marker, like it says its permanent.  Have you used a washable pen or crayola, (found at Walmart, Target, or Jo Anne's) or chalk (also found at Jo Anne"s) to create your patterns on your quilt for quilting?  I have found them very useful because they help me stay in line.  Sometimes I have even used the washable pens for lining out my 1/4 inch when piecing pieces together.  Also I use a kind of running stitch, poking down to my index finger then rocking the needle up with that finger to get back to the top of the quilt, then repeated the steps for the next 6 stitches.  My index finger hurt for a while, but then it hardened and I can poke away on it with no problem.   What size needle are you using?  I have found that quilting "betweens"  size 9 and 12 are really good.  I use a size 12 and it seems the strongest needle around.  I also found initially that my stitches were larger than I wanted, but you are just beginning and with a little practice they will absolutely get smaller and more even.  Keep up the good work.  Can you show us what you are working on?  kls

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Karen replied on Sun, Mar 2 2014 6:47 PM

Thanks for writing me back.  It is so good to know that I am not alone in sewing machine difficulties!  Like you, I have about  five quilting projects promised and hand quilting does take a long time (like for me, three months for a couch quilt) so I am interested in trying to piece by machine if nothing else.  Let me know how your machine studies go. Have you ever gone to one of the big quilt shows?  I have gone to two (The one in Williamsberg, VA  in February and the one in Houston, TX in November) and OMG they are so inspiring and it is so incredible as to what people can do with fabric, and there is so much to buy!!!!!!  And you really get to see how many people are really into quilting.

We also have another thing in common, I too lost my son--in 1993.  You have my deepest sympathy, it is the most difficult thing you will ever go through, and even now it is hard for me.  kls

 

 

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Karen replied on Sun, Mar 2 2014 6:57 PM

Gini,

Do you create your own designs for appliqueing?  I haven't quite gotten up the courage (and feel that I am really not artistic enough to do that, so I use patterns (like butterflies, geisha,, flowers, etc,) from commercial fabrics and then using needle turn applique to attach them to my quilt.  I have a huge project coming up.  I have always wanted to do a Baltimore quilt (you know with each block containing a different appliqued floral pattern), so I purchased a kit (my first ever) and they sent me fusible pieces where the whole back of the applique is covered in fusing material.  I don't know why, but I just feel that is cheating.  Do you perhaps know any way I could needle turn the patterns.  I would appreciate any help.  Thanks.  kls

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Karen replied on Sun, Mar 2 2014 7:13 PM

Barbara,

Thanks for writing back to me.  So, how long did it take you to do the wedding ring quilt?  And did just work on that quilt, or like me, stopped for several months at a time to make new baby quilts for nephews or couch cover quilts for friends?  I am so glad you liked my quilt.  The figure in the middle is a batik piece that I created when living in Idaho.  You are right about the quilt shops around here, there are a few.  In fact, there is one in Parkville (on the river, north of the city) where I live.  I have a very hard time passing it by each time I drive out of town.  It calls to me  "Come in, come on now, you know you want to."   Most of the quilt shops are rather distant  (some are 30 miles or more)  and I don't often get to them.

Tell me about you appliqueing.  I just asked Gini about a problem I have with a Baltimore Quilt kit that I recently purchased.  I have never done a kit before and I wanted to try one on something that I thought might be quite difficult to do.  They sent me a kit with fusible patterns (I really wanted to needle turn everything--that's my love, and I kind of feel fusing is cheating when one proclaims to be a hand quilter--but that is just my idiosyncrasy).  Do you have any ideas on how I can work this problem?  Any suggestions you can give would be appreciated.   kls

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Karen replied on Sun, Mar 2 2014 7:21 PM

Flo,

I think it is so cool that you might have these "tool guys" caught up in quilting.  The posting part of the club took me a while to figure out, but you have to have your pictures on you computer already and then you go to the "gallery" button (which is right next to your avatar).  It's not easy to explain how to download your pictures, but the site does have a page on how to do it.  Please post your pictures, I would love to see your work. 

Fort Riley is west of us.  My dad was in the Army so I was an Army brat.  We lived in Ft. Riley when I was about 5 years old.  I should go out there and see it.   kls

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Hi Karen

The wedding ring quilt took me 2 1/2 years to complete.  I think the longest I didn't work on it was about 3 months.  I was so excited about getting it done that I tried to work on it everyday, even if only for a few minutes.  I loved hand quilting it.  I did it during a particularly cold winter and it just felt so good to get in under my frame and cover myself with the draping part of the quilt and work away several hours.

I have never purchased a kit for appliqueing.  I get the impression from what I have seen and read that the kits with the precut fusible pieces are intended for machine applique.  I don't know how thick the fusible solution is but I would think it might be difficult to needle turn.  I am sure Gini will know more.

Barbara

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Karen,

thanks for the advise.  I have several practice pieces and I can take pictures.  I bought a tape (actually two kinds), that have lines to help?  I tried using those, but I guess I need more practice.  I bought books and I learned how to make the knots and how to end the row.  I bought a bunch of quilting patterns that I have used  for my practice.    The holly leaves I used to machine quilt the winter skinny that is in the Quiltmaker magazine.  I made 3  and my DH made one.  We gave those as Christmas gifts. 

Thanks again,

Marianne

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tnmtgrl replied on Mon, Mar 3 2014 8:50 AM

Karen, I saw on another post that you made that you use the Regal betweens in a size 12 and that you found them at a quilt show. It has peeked my interest, I am always looking for better needles. I have looked online and the only sites I find them on are foreign sites, my question to you is any idea where in the US one can buy them other than a quilt show? Oh also is the package you have the red or the yellow one?

newport, tennessee

 

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

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gini replied on Mon, Mar 3 2014 7:27 PM

Hi Karen,

I use ready made patterns and create my own, it depends on my mood and the time I have.  The type of appliqué you are doing is called broderie perse and  the technique is no different from needleturn. With needle turn you pick your own fabrics to make a flower rather than cut out a flower and appliqué it down.

once the fusing material is on the fabric it's impossible to remove it all, it is difficult to needle and will need to be. Machine appliquéd.  I don't think it is cheating, it is just different, another method.  There are people that have arthritis for instance, that have a hard time cutting and needling.   The fusible so gives them an outlet for appliqué.   There are also patterns that cannot be hand appliquéd because they are so tiny or narrow, fusible works great on these.  Fusible works great for something that doesn't need to be washed, like a wall hanging.

it's all quilting, and different techniques are more or less appealing to different individuals for a variety of reasons.  I have used fusibles in art quilts, where no other technique would work as well.

gini in north idaho

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