Sunday, November 28, 2010

Darn It!

I suppose you got the new American Patchwork & Quilting magazine in the mail recently too. It has our friend Sandy's beautiful Row By Row quilt on the cover. There is lots of neat stuff in it. Make sure to check out page 22 with a photo of Polly's rug hooking studio.

I really loved the Think Big quilt on page 76 made by Lorraine Hofmann. It just so happens I was thinking about hand quilting a top with a big stitch quilting stitch when I saw this article. In the past I have used regular quilting thread, linen thread, or pearl cotton to do this. Lorraine recommends crochet cotton. It is even sturdier than those others. This was definitely worth a try. Friday morning I ran out and got the crochet cotton. When the top was basted later in the afternoon, I tried to find a needle in my vast sewing box to accommodate this crochet cotton. I wasn't having much luck. A few emails later to some trusty needle workers - and they recommended a large chenille needle. My chenille needle wasn't cutting it so I made another trip out. I picked up 8 different packages of needles in varying shapes and styles and I can say, after 2 days of hand quilting - the winner is this.The John James Cotton Darner in size 7. I'm sure you have lots of darning needles laying around, don't you?? Well, me neither, but I will now. It is long, skinny and the eye is big enough to accommodate the crochet cotton. The skinny profile slips through all the layers without resistance. Big stitchers - stock up now.

So what else is happening?? Just now I was in the kitchen for an hour chopping vegetables and stirring a pot of soup. While I worked, I had on the t.v. When Harry Met Sally was on. A Simpson Family Classic. I can repeat the dialogue almost verbatim. Often, when out shopping, Bill will point out something he finds particularly nice and I find particularly heinous...... this is my reply... "Garage sale, Roy Rogers wagon wheel!!"
Oy! A lot of t.v. classics will be watched and listened to as I hand quilt this quilt.

Laurie

20 comments:

Vickie E said...

Thanks for the tip about the needles. I have been wanting to quilt with crochet cotton since I have TONS of it!

Lorraine said...

I'm glad that you like my quilt! :O)

I use DMC Embroidery Needle #5 for big stitch OR Chenille # 24.

Thanks for spelling my last name correctly. You wouldn't believe how often it gets misspelled!

busymom said...

I have a box full of crochet cotton, in all colors. (I do not crochet. It was given to me and I have had it sitting out to donate.) But, when I read the article and saw the big stitching, I thought maybe I should hang on to it for a while and give it a try with some big stitching. Now that you found a needle that you like, how do you like working with the crochet cotton compared to the other threads you have used for big stiching??

pdudgeon said...

yep, i got my copy in the mail this week and loved both quilts. will definitely keep the needle recomendations in mind.

Kwiltsfl said...

With a long needle like that I imagine you can't do a standard rocking stitch to quilt?

Heather said...

Lorraine's quilt is absolutely gorgeous, and of course I have to go and get the magazine asap. I am familiar with crochet thread for quilting since that is typical for old French quilts. Thanks for the tip about darning needles, will have to get some of those.

Laura T said...

I received my magazine recently and saw the wonderful big quilt. Thanks for the tip on the needle! I also saw the Harry met Sally show last night one of my all time favorites!
Laura T

Minick and Simpson said...

I was able to use the traditional rocking stitch using this long needle. I can get 3-5 stitches on one pull through. The key is to have some slack in the hoop so I can rock the needle.

Laurie

Gayle said...

Hi Laurie - I blogged about this great issue of AP&Q and talked about Polly's great wool stash - also shared my start on the cover quilt.

I love crochet cotton thread - I've used it for needle punch projects too - great stuff!

Kathy H said...

Thanks for the tip about the needles. I have been using the chenile ones to work with larger thread but they are blunt and don't always go through the fabric smoothly. I like the john james for applique so will try the darners.

Lorraine said...

I would also like to add that I use Hobbs Heirloom cotton for the batting. All of the others that I have tried are either HARD to pull the needle through OR leave little bits of the batting on the top of the quilt once the stitches are made.

Helen said...

I received my copy on Saturday and was impressed by the same articles as you were. Thanks for the tip on needles. I'm going to utility quilt one of my quilts and I've been exploring different options. I went to look for darners and didn't find a size 7. Some of those darners look like swords! They are huge! This post has created a great conversation and I'm going to check out some of the other needles too.

Minick and Simpson said...

Lorraine,

I too used Hobb's Heirloom (my favorite when I want a cotton batt). I was concerned because the crochet cotton was thicker than anything I have ever quilted with, but not any cotton fiber has come through to the top. It is working beautifully.

Laurie

Amy R said...

Hey Laurie. . . Your fabrics always catch my eye when I see them outside of a fabric store. . . Here's quite the idea: http://justsomethingimade.com/2010/04/food-linens-and-baskets/

Taryn said...

When I watch When Harry Met Sally I always stop the action on the scenes of her bedroom with the pretty yellow quilt. Same thing for You've Got Mail. Love Meg Ryan's apartments - complete with quilts on the beds - in those movies.

Vicky said...

Thanks for the tips on big stitching. Will have to give that whirl!!

Sarah said...

I feel silly asking this question. Normally, in hand quilting, I pop the knot through the top of the quilt. Do you hide the knot, somehow, with the thicker thread. Or do you just leave it on the back?

Minick and Simpson said...

Sarah

Not a silly question at all. This has been the biggest challenge of using the crochet cotton. I make sure to make a single, tight knot. If it doesn't bury after 1 or 2 tugs, I separate the threads of the fabric with my needle to help the knot bury. It's worked great so far - but it certainly isn't as easy as it is with quilting thread.

Laurie

PatSloan said...

i wrote an a section in one of my books about all the types of thread for big stitching! Crochet cotton is an cool option I like with a lot of character!!!

have fun with it!!!

Karen said...

I can't wait to get my issue. Lorraine's quilt is the best!

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