It may be time for a day off.
Not because I’m bored, or not enjoying this, but because I need to let my fingers heal. The calluses haven’t re-formed yet, and the needle sticks have become small but painful wounds due to the repeated damage in the same place. I’ve anointed them with spray bandage to keep them closed, since the stick-on kind is a pain in the backside on the tips of fingers. It may be enough to let me carry on working, but somehow I think it may be time to give my body a chance to heal itself without interference.
This is what most people would call big-stitch quilting. I do want to finish it this side of Christmas, which is why I’m not going for smaller stitches. Life is just too short, and I do very much like the soft texture I get with this clamshell shape and size of quilting. I also like the pink thread; it was a toss up whether I’d use white, grey or pink, but I’m happy with the decision to with colour – of course!
I’ve calculated this quilt is going to need at least 50 rows of clamshell stitching. I’m 7 rows down, so making decent progress. I haven’t quite got to the quilt-like-a-machine stage where I load x needles with x length of thread at the start of each row, but by row 20 I’ll probably be there… Making exactly the right size of knot at the start of each thread so that it’s still small enough to bury but too large to pull out, and the trick of forming and pulling down the knot to bury at the end of each thread is a skill you don’t forget after your first queen-sized hand quilted project!
Now let’s see if I can resist Anemone’s siren call….
Sorry to hear about your fingers, they certainly get really sore, & once it starts that’s it. Those size 12 embroidery needles did my fingers in completely at one point. I did find a semi solution, silicon finger protectors, they came in a variety of sizes, just as well because by the time your desperate enough to use them, all your fingers are sore. I found the finger protectors on Amazon, in the quilt section, so you might be able to find them.
Hope you heal soon x
I’m using a small, fine embroidery needle for quilting, I suspect it’s the same thing! I have a thimble on my middle finger, but I can’t do that with all my fingers, so thanks for the very helpful suggestion about the silicone finger protectors, I’ll look into get some.
I hadn’t seen them before, I even used one of those sticky thimbles underneath. You can’t really feel what your doing with a ‘proper’ thimble. Hope you find something
Yeah, those sticky pads are hopeless by themselves, though, they don’t last 5 minutes and you can’t feel anything properly anyway.
Ouch 😓…. I can imagine the repeated digging into the same sore spot. I’ve never done any hand quilting before and not sure if I’ll ever be able to considering the intense pain I go through with my RA riddled fingers anyway I sadly don’t think I’ll be able to 💔
The silver lining …. I can live vicariously through you my friend ❤️
It only takes a couple of times and you’ve got something really sore… today, they feel much better after no needle action at all. And I’ve ordered some of the silicone finger protectors mentioned already in the comments, which may do the trick, but won’t arrive till after I’m back.
You are wise to let the fingers heal and build up the callus slowly. You will get it done soon enough. Definitely this side of Christmas. 😉 Love reading the tips though. I might look into them myself.
I’ve ordered some, so I’ll let you know how well they work!
What a lovely piece of work. Sorry to hear about your fingers !
They’re getting better quickly. I’ll be able to pick up my needle again soon.
Good for you, I bet your fingers are itching to start working again 😀
Probably later today!
Fingertips are more delicate than one realizes. Until you do some damage. Ouch.
And then the damage is a bore and a pain…
best to rest rather than risk getting blood on this lovely piece
Exactly! And it was getting to that point!
That sewing must be really hard on your fingers but I also understand the desire to keep going and get the quilt finished. The things we do for our crafts!
Yes… but at the point where I’m depositing *too* much DNA in the fabric, I need to stop. I reckon I’ll be back at it later today, though.
What’s needed is a quiltng bee and share the job . I was disappointed that no-one seems to stitch like this.
The Amish still do, and I suppose there are other traditional communities who also do it, but I am content to do it myself, so I can say at the end “I did that!”.
I have something called Alligator Tape I use to protect my fingers when doing lots of filing. It’s really good. You can get something similar from the Vets as it’s used for animal bandaging. I expect it’s heaps cheaper there (I didn’t know this at the time I bought mine!) Here’s a link to where I got mine, so you can see it’s uses. https://www.kernowcraft.com/products/metal-clay/item/alligator-skin-finger-protection-tape-90ft-roll-c289 and on insta they have a special hashtag ! https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/alligatortape/
I think they call it cohesive bandage here, but I’m not sure how well it would withstand the sharpness of a needle. I do see that it would really help against heat or friction, though.
I will try and test some for you 😉
Thank you, but do be careful! My fingertips are pretty much healed, and hopefully my silicone finger protectors will be here by the time I get back from holiday!
Do you know the trick of loading many needles on the spool of thread and then when you are sewing you simply take the top needle with the amount of thread you need and leave the rest of the needles on the spool?
It will look so nice when you are done. I love those big stitch clamshells!
Yes! I tried that first but I like my method. I know exactly how many clamshells I can stitch with one length, so I load the right number of needles, knot the ends and ‘park’ them in the right spot so I’m ready to go as soon as I’ve finished the previous thread. We’re going on holiday tomorrow for 2 weeks, and I thought of taking this quilt with me, but it’s too big and cumbersome for quilting in a caravan!
Oh, you already put the needles in the quilt after threading?
Yes, because I know how many clamshells each thread will make, so I put a needle in the quilt at those intervals, ready to start where the previous thread finished.
Genious! I am going to remember this for when my girls are a bit older. Right now there are a bit too many little grabby hands around. I try to avoid leaving pins and needles out.
Yes the adhesive thimbles do take a toll on your skin. Your quilting is very even, I am jealous
It’s just lots and lots of practice… The fingers soon remember what they’re supposed to be doing.
I tried to leave a comment when this post first went live but it didn’t work. I love the choice of pink thread for quilting this. It is going to be a lovely, comfy quilt.
I agree! Pink is such fun against all the colour. I auditioned a lot of threads, but the choice virtually made itself.