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Thread: Hand Piecing Question (about joining rows)

  1. #1
    Member cawsings's Avatar
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    You may recall my post from earlier this week about not being sure of my color selection and wanting input on sashing, etc. Thanks so much for all of your input and suggestions...ESPECIALLY to those who pointed out that I had one of my corners rotated incorrectly. I now plan on using the off white for sashing with cornerstones in the green color.

    My squares seem to line up correctly; however my main question for this post is about the areas that I circled in the picture. Sometimes my stitching doesn't seem "tight" enough at these points. I sew the top three squares together, the middle three squares together, and the bottom three squares together...then I sew the top to the middle and the bottom to the middle. I make sure to backstitch at each intersection (and do not sew through the seam allowance).

    I might just be being picky or worried since this IS my first try at this. Sometimes it seems pressing seems to make it less noticeable and I'm wondering if when I actually go to quilt it if that will help as well. I'm open to any suggestions.

    Thanks in advance!
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  2. #2
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    At those kinds of intersections, I don't just backstitch through the two strips I am joining; I also backstitch through the third seam allowance. Not sure I can describe what I mean very well.

    The construction method you described is typical for machine piecing, but is not the method I would use for hand piecing this block. For hand piecing I start with one piece and add on one piece at a time. Where there is joining of three pieces, I secure all three pieces at that join.

    Clear as mud???

  3. #3
    Member cawsings's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    At those kinds of intersections, I don't just backstitch through the two strips I am joining; I also backstitch through the third seam allowance. Not sure I can describe what I mean very well.

    The construction method you described is typical for machine piecing, but is not the method I would use for hand piecing this block. For hand piecing I start with one piece and add on one piece at a time. Where there is joining of three pieces, I secure all three pieces at that join.

    Clear as mud???
    Steps 8 and 9 here are pretty much what I mean by adding on pieces for the block...(not sure I was exactly cleare, either!) http://www.needlepointers.com/displa...d-piece-1.html

  4. #4
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Yes, that's what I was understanding that you did. That is a typical method for machine piecing. I have never used that approach for hand piecing. With hand piecing I just start anywhere in the block and add pieces; I don't do the "construct a row, construct another row, then join two rows" thing.

    When machine stitching rows together, all pieces are joined because the machine stitches through all of the seam allowances.

    Because you are hand stitching, you are not going through all of the seam allowances; you are stopping at the intersections.

    The intersections you have circled have 6 pieces meeting each other. Think about a "dot" marking where each piece intersects the other pieces. When I come to this kind of intersection, I make sure my hand quilting thread goes through all of the "dots" on all 6 pieces when I make my backstitch. This is because every time I have come to that intersection, I have secured all the "dots" to each other. The last piece I join, the 6th "dot", will be joined to all the others because by then all the others will have been joined to each other.

    What I am thinking is that you may not be doing this. I think the same problem would exist if you were machine stitching two rows together but stopped at every intersection. When you machine sew without stopping, all of the "dots" are caught into one seam. If you were to stop at each intersection, however, you could be securing only some of the "dots" to each other rather than all 6 of the "dots" to each other.

    This is really hard to explain, especially since this may not be your problem. It's just that I can see it could be a problem if you are joining a row to a row with hand piecing. Stopping at the intersections is correct for hand piecing. However, I have never hand pieced row-by-row as the website you provided indicates. I piece a block in any old order that seems efficient to me. With your block, I probably would have started with a corner and added on one piece at a time until the block was finished.

    The row-by-row method will work. I'm just thinking it needs the adaption of making sure you secure all the "dots" at those intersections where more than 2 pieces meet.

    :? Sorry, I just can't think of a better way to explain this at the moment.

  5. #5
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    I don't know anything about hand piecing but that is going to be a beautiful quilt.

  6. #6
    community benefactor Parrothead's Avatar
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    I hand piece and I do put rows together. Makes more sense to me and easier to work with. I backstitch at intersections and if it is hard to backstitch, I poke the needle to the back and then back up to the front. Unless it is really pulling apart, once it is quilted it will hold together okay.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parrothead
    I hand piece and I do put rows together. Makes more sense to me and easier to work with. I backstitch at intersections and if it is hard to backstitch, I poke the needle to the back and then back up to the front. Unless it is really pulling apart, once it is quilted it will hold together okay.
    Same here. A small backstitch on each side of the intersection works good and will hold up. Remember when you backstitch, you are still only sewing through two layers. Dont include the seam allowance in any of your stitching when hand piecing.

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