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Thread: Hand Quilting versus Machine Quilting

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Around Houston, TX

    Hand Quilting versus Machine Quilting

    I've started quilting again after several years. I'm trying to decide if I want to buy a long arm quilting machine before I retire. What are the pros and cons of machine quilting over hand quilting? Thanks for your feedback.

  2. #2
    Super Member Pat625's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    North Pole
    I personally hand quilt. I can not afford a long arm or to pay someone to do it for me. I also would never have the space to set that up!! I find hand quilting relaxing, and it makes me feel like my mother is still here with me, as she never used a machine in her quilting. It really is a matter of taste and whether or not you enjoy hand quilting,,,

  3. #3
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Front row
    Blog Entries
    I prefer machine quilting for most of my quilts. I don't have time to hand quilt all of them. I pay a LA to do some, I machine quilt some and I have one that I hand quilt when the mood strikes. They are all quilts that I made so it doesn't matter to me what kind type of quilting I use. I know if I had to hand quilt all of them I wouldn't be making but one a year if that.
    Got fabric?

  4. #4
    Senior Member mommessy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    BellaBoo, ditto what you said!

  5. #5
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Western Wisconsin
    Blog Entries
    Most of us who machine quilt do not have long arm quilting machines. I use my trusty Bernina 1230 to machine quilt. I would suggest setting aside money from a longarm later on, in case you get that far into quilting that you really want one. Some quilters who buy longarm machines are too intimidated to use them. Plus, when you buy a longarm, you really want to immediately taking training and classes and *use* it to get up to speed. Buying it and then not having the time to use it will be unhelpful.

    Edit: A rule-of-thumb is to research longarm machines and frames for at least a year before purchasing. Also try out as many brands as you can at quilt shows before making a decision. Most quilters have definite preferences in longarm machines, just as they do for domestic sewing machines and cars!

  6. #6
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    dayton OH
    i hand-quilt because it's relaxing and therapeutic - and my frame takes up less space. I also don't have the spare cash to purchase a machine. But, even if i had all the money in the world, I'd probably still hand quilt because i enjoy it so much.
    my name is becca and i'm a quilt-a-holic :-)

  7. #7
    Super Member dublb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Midland TX
    I do both. Hand quiltin' is my true love but I don't have enough time ta hand quilt all o' the ideas I have for quilt. At first I just did straight stitch on my DSM but I have taken a class & have started ta FMQ on the DSM. Some day I want a HQ sweet 16 because there would be more room but it is a sit down system instead of a longarm w/a frame.
    My initials are BB, so dublb is double B.

  8. #8
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    I machine quilt the smaller ones on my domestic machine but send out the larger ones. I figure for the money it would cost to buy a longarm I can pay someone else to do all the quilts I have on my bucket to do list. I do a little hand quilting but it's very slow for me so I like machine quilting to get the quilts done.

  9. #9
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Northern Michigan
    probably the most apparent reason for machine quilting over hand quilting is TIME- it takes a long time to hand quilt a large quilt which you can machine quilt in a few hours- so, if you tend to stack up tops waiting and waiting to finally be quilted- you might want to machine quilt them- but some people decide they really do not like the process---so you really should visit some quilt shows & dealers & try out a few long-arms to see if it's something you think you will enjoy. if you enjoy hand quilting then no reason to stop- you can of course continue to do both after having a machine- but a long arm is a large investment- so you don't want to invest then find out you really hate doing it- you have to keep in mind it means standing for long periods- working your arms, shoulders, hands- strain on the back, legs, knees-
    i allow people to take a class to learn to use my machine then rent time on it to quilt their quilts---99% of those who have done that decided after one or two quilts they would really rather pay me to quilt for them- they just didn't find it all (their cup of tea)
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    in my stash mostly
    I LOVE to hand quilt....however, since I had 2 car accidents 2 wks apart 18 years ago I can no longer hand quilt because of neck and shoulder injury. Since I bought a midarm Phaff Handiquilter I still enjoy the finished product. Of course, its faster and I really enjoy the finished quilts. Have to also stop a lot even with the quilter.

    I bought my used on EBay and have enjoyed having it; would be nice to have a larger opening, but this one is fine for my needs.

    Enjoy whatever you choose to do.


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