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Thread: The art of hand quilting, where has it gone?

  1. #1
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    Is hand quilting being replaced by long-arm quilting? It seems like most of the quilts I see on display in the shops are either free-motion quilted or done on a long-arm. I can't afford a long-arm and I like to do the whole thing myself, so I guess I will stay with hand quilting most of the time. I tears up my fingers, but I love doing it. And of all things, I love sewing on the binding of a quilt. Just old-fashioned I guess. :lol:

  2. #2
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    The nice thing about quilting is - There are no rules - and therefore, should be no quilt police....

    Everybody is assured and reassured that they can 'do their own thing'... therefore:

    if you want to cut out each piece by scissors - you can

    if you want to use a rotary cutter and stacks of fabric - you can

    if you want to do all your piecing by hand - you can

    if you want to only use a machine to piece and do it assembly line fashion - you can

    if you want to tie a quilt sandwich - you can

    if you want to sew baste, or pin baste or tack baste - you can

    if you want to do all your quilting by hand - you can

    if you want to 'quilt as you go' - you can

    if you want to do all the binding by machine - you can

    if you want your binding done partly by machine and partly by hand - you can

    if you want to do machine quilting by using a regular machine - you can

    and finally if you want your quilt done by a longarm method, yourself or another, guess what? - you can

    Nobody should take it upon themselves to make someone else feel as if their quilt wasn't quite good enough or elaborate enough or precious enough because if was partly or totally done 'by machine'....
    and you shouldn't be made to feel "old-fashioned" because you prefer doing your quilts by hand....

    Quilting as no other is a 'do your own thing' kinda craft! :mrgreen:

  3. #3
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    Amen.. :lol:

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JANNY
    Is hand quilting being replaced by long-arm quilting? It seems like most of the quilts I see on display in the shops are either free-motion quilted or done on a long-arm. I can't afford a long-arm and I like to do the whole thing myself, so I guess I will stay with hand quilting most of the time. I tears up my fingers, but I love doing it. And of all things, I love sewing on the binding of a quilt. Just old-fashioned I guess. :lol:
    Mostly, I think it is a result of the fast paced world we live in...

    I love to do hand work...so I do hand quilt my best quilts ...

    and have taken to machine quilting ones that need to be done quickly and the ones that I dont really know the recipient.


  5. #5
    Moderator Up North's Avatar
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    I too prefer the look of hand quilting and so hand quilt my quilts but I say whatever works best for you go ahead. Both methods take time, practice and skill to accomplish. My mom ties all hers and they are as important to me as anyother homemade quilt.

  6. #6
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    I love the softness of hand quilting, but cannot do all I want that way. My solution is to combine methods for things I make for myself and friends.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Kara's Avatar
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    I think of the quilts future use and care (or lack of) before deciding on SOOOO many things.

    If it belongs to a baby, the quilt will be washed frequently, because I know (all-too-well) that babies are messy. So I machine quilt. But if I know it's going to be owned by someone who has a clue about its care, I may hand quilt a baby quilt.

    I love quilting. So many differents ways, styles, effects, things to do.... It's a wonderful indivual craft.


  8. #8
    Super Member beachlady's Avatar
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    I appreciate hand quilting, but know I do not have the patience to do it. Also with arthritis setting in it would be impossible to hand quilt a large quilt.

    I certainly admire anyone who does hand quilt, but also admire some of the work I have seen the long armers do on this forum.

    Bravo to both!!!

  9. #9
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    Don't get me wrong, I'm not dinging long-arm quilting. Most of it is beautiful. I'm sure it takes lots of practice to do it. Maybe someday I'll get the opportunity to try my hand at it. I was just commenting that I just don't see much hand quilting displayed in the stores and I would like to see more of it.

  10. #10
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    I save hand quilting for the special things (mostly my own bed quilts or very special gifts) and machine quilt everything else. I have only had one item professionally machine quilted - usually I just do it on my own sewing machine.

    Nothing wrong with machine quilting. I can make a lot more quilts that way!

    I don't watch television, so I don't often sit down and take time to do handwork. If I watched television, I would probably get a lot more handquilting done! :lol:

  11. #11

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    Janny...I attend a group once a week that is all hand quilting, piecing, etc. There are many other groups out there. I love all aspects of quilting and if I want to make a quilt for the kids to drag around, etc...I do it all w/the machine. For I want them to love and use the cotton right out of them. But, I do have some that are my special ones and in fact the one I am working by my chair is exactly that. I am hand appliq. huge blocks, then will hand stitch the blocks together and then will hand quilt it when I am ready to do so. I might even donate this one for a charity. Just because you hear of other aspects maybe more in your circles...we still exist. Another prob for me is the huge list of quilts I want to make:))Skeat

  12. #12
    Senior Member mrsj82's Avatar
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    I think quilting is the supreme way to bring your personality into something that will last forever. If you hand quilt, machine quilt, longarm it, etc...it still brings you and your personality into something and gives it a voice and presence of it's own.

    So I say, do your own thing and just feel good about it!

  13. #13

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    well put mrsj82! Quilting is an art and we are the artists w/the thread to create what is in our inner self....:)Skeat

  14. #14
    Super Member carrieg's Avatar
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    Remember, too, the LQS are in business to sell fabric. Hand quilting is slower than machine quilting. So you are more likely to make more quilts in a year if the tops are machine quilted versus hand quilting.

    I have only hand quilted small wall hangings. I love doing it, but I love the fabric stores too!

    Carol

  15. #15
    Senior Member triciasquilts's Avatar
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    I love to hand quilt and just like a few others said, do it on special pieces. It is very relaxing to me and I love the way it looks. And it wrecks havoc on my fingers too, but I just try to build those calluses back up everytime I do a project!

  16. #16
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    Janny , I hand quilt the fabric panels . Yes , sore fingers , but we forget about that till the next time ! lol.I haven't tried any feathers or fancy designs yet . I was loving doing the panels. That was until walmart decided to get rid of their fabric depts :cry: One store here has a few but not the wildlife ones I was doing , boo hoo ! What kind of hand quilting do you do ? Annie

  17. #17
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    My grandmother hand pieced and quilted by hand. I machine quilt on my machine for the simple reason that I do not have patience. When I have a few more quilts done, I may consider, because I am joining a quilting group that hand quilts. I like the look of Hand quilting better then machine quilting, and I am not using free motion at this point(do not have enough control over my machine :roll: ) Sorry for being so long winded, but to sum it up, I don't do it because I don't know how.

  18. #18
    Super Member ranger's Avatar
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    I love to hand- quilt. It is relaxing but time-consuming. I use hand- quilting for special quilts, but most of my quilts are done on my machine.

    ranger

  19. #19
    Super Member Margie's Avatar
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    I dont think anything done by machine is as beautiful as real hand quilting. Machine quilting is certainly beautiful too..and I would gladly have either.

    However,,,,so little time, so many quilts to try. I am taking quilting up later in life....besides the time factor...I also have some arthritis in my hands and wrists. I can knit, and I can hand sew binding on a quilt...but they would never stand up to quilting a whole piece. You just keep on stitching...it is beautiful and I think much more valuable.

    Margie :)

  20. #20
    Senior Member Nita's Avatar
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    Janny ~ I just want to say that long arm quilting isn't as easy as it may look;I have had an HQ-16 machine for over two years and have not been able to master it. At least not with the quality that i want to see with my quilts. Consequently, I am trying to sell my long arm Handi Quilter (anyone interested?). I love to do handwork and someday I would like take a class on hand quilting. I love the look of it. In the meantime, I send out large quilts to a long arm quilter and I usually do stitch in the ditch or simple meandering on my standard sewing machine. I love the fact that there are no "RULES with quilting! Nita

  21. #21

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    Nita...I'd take your machine in a drop if you weren't so far from me!:))Now...you need to get over whatever you are fearing over there! And use that beauty!! Do some stippling...practice on magazines w/a marker..freely moving in big puzzle type pieces..flip a page and keep it up.

    at: www.allpeoplequilt.com
    and watch their free videos on machine quilting...you will love it..practice!practice!:))You lucky quilter you! Skeat

  22. #22
    Senior Member Nita's Avatar
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    Thanks, Skeat, for the vote of confidance. But, I've given this alot of thought and my mind is pretty much made up to sell my long arm. For one thing, I think I bought it on impulse after my Mom died (long story). More importantly is that I don't make enough quilts to justify keeping this machine. And what I enjoy most about quilting is the selection of fabric and piecing! I really did not enjoy working with my long arm. Can't see having my money tied up in that machine when I could be enjoying it in so many other ways. It is a beautiful machine for the right individual. Not me. But thanks again for your kind words of encouragement. I wish you lived closer so that you could give my HQ Sixteen a new home. Nita

  23. #23
    Super Member Butterflyspain's Avatar
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    Here in Spain, we donīt have many long arm quilters around so quite a few at our club free motion designs with their machine, but I know of at least 4 in our group who hand quilt and I am going to have a try on my next quilt as I get so stressed trying to get it through the machine. So that is my new thing to try.

    Elle

  24. #24
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    Hi all,

    I will be a handquilter until my hands don't work anymore. It is actually easier on me physically to handquilt than machine quilt. I do machine quilt items that I know will go to those who do not know how to care for handwork. I make a lot of Linus quilts so I do a good bit of machine quilting but just basic stuff. I love the new quilting stencils that are "continiuos" line. They work great for handquilting even though they were created for machine quilting. My hardest task is getting the sandwhich basted together so I can handquilt. A friend who is a longarmer is going to baste a kingsize top for me so I can get started on it.
    I love the panels. They make great gifts and only take me a week or so to quilt. I am just finishing up the ones I made for my 4 best quilting buddies as Christmas gifts.
    I have friends who are long armers who do fantastic work. While I appreciate their expertise I still prefer the drap and feel of handquilting.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janeen
    The nice thing about quilting is - There are no rules - and therefore, should be no quilt police....

    Everybody is assured and reassured that they can 'do their own thing'... therefore:

    if you want to cut out each piece by scissors - you can

    if you want to use a rotary cutter and stacks of fabric - you can

    if you want to do all your piecing by hand - you can

    if you want to only use a machine to piece and do it assembly line fashion - you can

    if you want to tie a quilt sandwich - you can

    if you want to sew baste, or pin baste or tack baste - you can

    if you want to do all your quilting by hand - you can

    if you want to 'quilt as you go' - you can

    if you want to do all the binding by machine - you can

    if you want your binding done partly by machine and partly by hand - you can

    if you want to do machine quilting by using a regular machine - you can

    and finally if you want your quilt done by a longarm method, yourself or another, guess what? - you can

    Nobody should take it upon themselves to make someone else feel as if their quilt wasn't quite good enough or elaborate enough or precious enough because if was partly or totally done 'by machine'....
    and you shouldn't be made to feel "old-fashioned" because you prefer doing your quilts by hand....

    Quilting as no other is a 'do your own thing' kinda craft! :mrgreen:
    I'm going to print this off and put it up in my crafting room. Totally love this list. You're a doll.

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