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Thread: Looking For Some Hand Piecing Advice

  1. #1
    Super Member Ps 150's Avatar
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    Here I am again, looking for some help. I've been quilting for about 15 months now so I decided to make a Sampler Quilt to sharpen some skills for the easier blocks and get some practice in on blocks I haven't done yet and techniques I haven't done yet...one of which is hand piecing. I did hand sewing when I did reverse applique and it went fine but is there any advice on even stitching when you're hand piecing a seam? I hand stitch all of my bindings down so I thought it would be easy but doing whip stitches seems to be a lot more difficult than straight, even stitches for seams. Any advice? Especially on not getting the stitches to show through on the right side of the block? (Or poking my finger a dozen times :lol: )

  2. #2
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    If you are hand piecing straight seams, you just hold your needle parallel to the edge of the seam and rock the needle to pick up a small amount of fabric each time. For curved areas you do the same, but only do a couple of stitches at a time instead of four or five. Hope this helps!

    I've found that hand pieing is much easier to get even stitches than hand quilting...

  3. #3
    Super Member Ps 150's Avatar
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    Actually, that's perfect help. I don't have a hard time with straight seams but I'm doing a "Drunkard's Path" now and it just didn't seem to be working neatly. I think I had too many stitches on my needle. I'll try doing less stitches and see if it works. Thanks!

  4. #4
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Whip stitching is not typical for hand piecing, although it is often used for piecing Grandmother's Flower Garden, especially when papers are used for that pattern.

    What is typically used for hand piecing is a simple running stitch. Pin both ends, then "rock" the fabric and needle to pile stitches on the needle before pulling the thread through. Gently smooth out the fabric along the thread before fastening the thread (and on long seams, fasten the thread periodically, not just at the end). Only a single thread is used for this kind of piecing. A backstitch at the beginning and end are used to secure the thread. Unlike machine piecing, you start and stop at the 1/4-inch point (you do not sew to the edges of the pieces). At those points you can fasten thread and continue on to the next piece without snipping.

    Jinny Beyer had a video out many years ago that demonstrated her fast hand piecing method. Basically she rocked the fabric onto the needle point very fast, and just "eyeballed" the 1/4-inch seam lines. She said it was faster to go back and adjust an occasional seam later than it was to mark all the 1/4-inch lines on all of the pieces before sewing.

  5. #5
    Senior Member spinnergs's Avatar
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    Jinny Beyer did a great tutorial on the quilt show. She hand pieces all her quilts. She holds the needle still and works the fabric back and forth onto the needle. I have tried this and like it alot. Also she suggests you dont sew thru seams (leave them loose)and make a knot in the stitches half way across the stitching line.

  6. #6
    Super Member Ps 150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    Whip stitching is not typical for hand piecing, although it is often used for piecing Grandmother's Flower Garden, especially when papers are used for that pattern.

    What is typically used for hand piecing is a simple running stitch. Pin both ends, then "rock" the fabric and needle to pile stitches on the needle before pulling the thread through. Gently smooth out the fabric along the thread before fastening the thread (and on long seams, fasten the thread periodically, not just at the end). Only a single thread is used for this kind of piecing. A backstitch at the beginning and end are used to secure the thread. Unlike machine piecing, you start and stop at the 1/4-inch point (you do not sew to the edges of the pieces). At those points you can fasten thread and continue on to the next piece without snipping.

    Jinny Beyer had a video out many years ago that demonstrated her fast hand piecing method. Basically she rocked the fabric onto the needle point very fast, and just "eyeballed" the 1/4-inch seam lines. She said it was faster to go back and adjust an occasional seam later than it was to mark all the 1/4-inch lines on all of the pieces before sewing.
    Thanks! I meant that I whip stitch the bindings down when I hand stitch my bindings and that is so much different than the running stitches. After three hours of hand stitching this afternoon I think I started to get the hang of it when I was done. :lol: I've never heard of Jinny Beyer but I'll look her up on YouTube. I think I was putting too many stitches on one needle at once and I wasn't rocking but just feeding the needle through the fabric layers. Thanks!

  7. #7
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    good luck

  8. #8
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    Visit Ginny Beyer's web site. all of those spectacular quilts she creates are done by hand! she has great tutorials, tips and tricks for hand piecing.
    personally i love to hand piece, everything is so much more precise and it goes lots faster than some may imagine.
    one (trick) is every 4-5 stitches do a little back stitch; this locks you stitches.
    and if you are putting 2 pieces of fabric right sides together and making a line of little straight stitches nothing should show through on the front...any more than they show when you make the line of stitching with a machine. :thumbup:
    once you get going with it you will find you can easily create blocks by hand that are much more difficult (less precise) by machine....like set in seams.

  9. #9
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    don't know if Jinny Beyer is on u-tube but she has a great web site

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