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Thread: Hand vs. Machine Quilting

  1. #1
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Hand vs. Machine Quilting

    Not trying to start a fight!! I thought it would be fun to list the benefits of each as you see them.

    Machine --Faster!! definitely!
    --Holds up better to washing and wear

    Hand -- can do it sitting in a comfy chair (my favorite!)
    -- easier to "ease in" puckers, puffs, lumps, etc, and make any minor corrections (open seams) as you go along.

    I got to thinking of this when I see people unhappy with the machine quilting jobs on their tops, it seems to be a very "unforgiving" way to finish a quilt, in other words, it calls for a more perfect top.

    So what is your opinion?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Someone I sewed with somewhere along the way had a saying "It'll quilt out!" meaning that after quilting the mistake would be barely visible or corrected when you came across it. I have several finished tops but I know mine aren't good enough to send out. After all, I don't want to have a long-armer ROFL or crying in dismay!!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Long Island
    On on some projects I prefer hand quilting because it gives me much more freedom. I use pearle cotton or any other thick (and very visible) thread for hand quilting. If I am going through the trouble of handquilting you better be able to see it from space Also, when hand quilting I use many different stitches that look so much better when they are done by hand. Most can be accomplished with the new machines but they will make a piece look factory done. That being said, all of my quilts for every day use are machine quilted. There is an interesting book that I refer from time to time to that covers many interesting stitches. It is called The Quilter's Stitch Bible by Nikki Tinkler. It has about 200 stitches.
    I've got a smile on my face, I've got four walls around me
    The sun in the sky, the water surrounds me
    I'll win now but sometimes I'll lose
    I've been battered, but I'll never bruise

  4. #4
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Central NJ
    Interesting thread. I'm a hand quilter - only do mq'ing when it's required for some charity quilts. I'm not sure that I necessarily agree with the statement that machine quilting holds up better to washing/wear - after all, look at some of the antique quilts that were not treated as museum pieces - they quilting on them has held up just fine.

    I do appreciate the talent it takes to fmq - it's not a talent I have. I'm not overly fond of those that have been quilted to death though. And I think in either case, other than the open seams issue, all others can be fixed during the quilting process regardless of method.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Long Island, New York
    I have only machine quilted, but I have hand pieced and machine pieced. When I hand piece, my accuracy is 100% better, blocks come out much better- seams are 1/4, points meet, seams match up- it's all good. Machine piecing is faster, and I can get more done in less time. When I hand piece I never have to rip out and redo.

  6. #6
    Senior Member happyquiltmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    NE Indiana
    I do both. I love the process of hand quilting, and love the drape of the finished quilt. But, machine quilting allows me to finish more...and I have over a dozen tops to finish. Would be nice to get them done in my lifetime.

  7. #7
    Super Member Pat625's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    North Pole
    Luckily I love to hand quilt, since I don't have the budget to send my quilts out to be done..My grandaughter summed it up when she told me every stitch I put in her quilt was a hug from Nanny, and she feels like she now sleeps covered in love.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Hudson Valley, NY
    For me, it's all in how it makes me feel. Hand quilting gives me pleasure while I'm doing it. Machine quilting gives me pleasure after I'm all done because I finished the project.


  9. #9
    Super Member Wanabee Quiltin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    St. Louis suburbs
    I mostly machine quilt. I am not looking to make a national treasure or anything my family would hand down to generations from me. I love piecing most of all, just love seeing how those squares and triangles turn out. I have an 82 year old woman who has done now about 10 quilts for me on her long arm and they are just outstanding. None of these cost more than $50 and that was a King size quilt. I do handquilt and handpiece but not much. It's just not my thing to do it and now that my eye sight is so much worse, I doubt I will do much at all. I use to love seeing hand quilted pieces but now the work done by some long armers is just outstanding. I am very happy doing what I do and apparently so are the recipients of my gifts.

  10. #10
    Junior Member cad_queen_2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    soutwestern ontario
    I am a hand quilter. I think machine quilting would be harder to do, (as I don't know how to do it). I am debating whether to put one up right now to baste it, so that I can use my hoop to quilt it. (The grass needs cutting, and the laundry is waiting, and the dusting needs to be done) hmmmmm, .................. what to do? ...................... LOL, as if there was any question of what to do.

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