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Thread: Giving some serious consideration to hand piecing/quilting

  1. #1
    Junior Member alderdweller's Avatar
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    Giving some serious consideration to hand piecing/quilting

    Ya know, I don't do as much sewing as I'd like because it just sometimes seems like such a chore to go to the sewing room, get everything just set up perfect, lighting ect.
    My mom did everything from start to finish by hand. No fancy rulers, no rotary cutter, just scissors, pattern, needle, thread, and thimble. And she made many, many beautiful, intricate quilts!
    When I think about all the time I waste, watching tv, or waiting on appointments, or just generally sitting around resting...I think although slower, I would still get a ton more things done by hand.
    Hmmmm,
    Maybe I'll at least start one by hand and see how it goes.

  2. #2
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    I've been quilting since 1970. My mother asked me yesterday how many billions of quilts I have.
    My response was I make intricate quilts very slowly If utility quilts or hundreds of charity quilts was my goal it would be more practical for me to buy blankets or make cash donations. I don't quilt as work, I quilt for the pure joy of it, probably why it has always remained a passion. (and we don't have a TV and I limit my time online to no more than 2 hours a day...makes a lot of difference in how easily I can prioritize my life)

    If you want to hand piece the easy way do check out Linda Franz's inklingo

    edited to add: rereading my post it sounds preachy, absolutely didn't mean it that way, but as encouragement to enjoy the process.

  3. #3
    Super Member PenniF's Avatar
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    I agree - i love my hand pieced projects - from crazy quilt squares to applique to dresden plate to regular pieced squares - tho i still use some of my tools for cutting - i find it really relaxing - it's really amazing how much you can get done watching a program or two in the evening. One confession - i take the time to mark my 1/4 inch lines on my fabric....the time i "waste" doing that is more than made up for in the speed with which i can stitch - and the accuracy of my units. Go for it !!!
    Of all the things i've lost, i miss my mind the most.

  4. #4
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I really like hand piecing. If you have the opportunity, see if you can watch a Jinny Beyer presentation on how she hand pieces -- it's really fast! Years ago I borrowed this video from the library, and it really helped my hand piecing (not that I will ever achieve her speed). Love the portability of hand piecing.

    Edit: Found this DVD (Oops! Sorry, just looked at it again and it's a CD-ROM that you play on a computer), not exactly the same as the video I watched years ago but still would be good:
    http://www.amazon.com/Hand-Piecing-J...inny+beyer+dvd

    Definitely check your library for it, or request it through inter-library loan. (Not sure if libraries do CD-ROM's? Haven't been in ages.......)
    Last edited by Prism99; 10-11-2012 at 09:09 AM.

  5. #5
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I love handwork to take along on flights, appointments, while watching tv, etc. My mom recently went into the hospital for emergency surgery and I wasn't prepared with a project that was ready to go! I ended up taking a crochet project.

    Jinny Beyer also has a book that illustrates her hand-piecing and quilting.

    http://www.amazon.com/Quiltmaking-Ha...9977685&sr=1-2
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 10-11-2012 at 10:28 AM. Reason: remove copyright image

  6. #6
    Junior Member alderdweller's Avatar
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    Nope, didn't sound preachy at all to me. Appreciate any tips I can get

    edited to add: rereading my post it sounds preachy, absolutely didn't mean it that way, but as encouragement to enjoy the process.[/QUOTE]

  7. #7
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    ​I enjoy hand work but I don't enjoy hand piecing. I do my Redwork and hand sew bindings while I watch TV.

  8. #8
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I too love having handwork to do. You are correct in your assumption that you can get a lot done while sitting in front of the TV. I have never tried hand piecing but I have hand quilted several quilts and when I don't have one, I truly miss it. I have recently discovered hand applique. I completed a prepared hand applique top last year. Prepared is when the seam allowance is turned under on the units before you applique them, as opposed to needle turn where you turn the allowance under with the needle as you applique. I am in the process of teaching myself needle turn and love it so far. Go for it. You may find you really like it.

  9. #9
    Super Member SouthPStitches's Avatar
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    Haven't hand pieced in ages, but made about six full sized quilts where every single stitch was done by hand. For me at least, those quilts I have the fondest memories of making. It gave me such satisfaction and have remained my all-time favorites. They have withstood the test of time too. I machine wash the hand pieced/quilted. I still hand quilt almost everything I make. A lot can be said about slowing down and enjoying the process. Also, with the 1/4" markings on the pieces, I achieved better matching and points than I have ever been able to do 25 years later with a machine.

  10. #10
    Junior Member alderdweller's Avatar
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    After further thought, I've decided we limit ourselves so much. Why in the world can't I do both? For whatever reason, it never occurred to me that I can have the best of both worlds.
    After all the years of working outside the home, raising children and having to schedule time for myself, I am finding it hard to adjust to all this extra time. Amazing how circumstances change, and I have to remind myself, my schedule (as in none) is different now. I no longer have time restraints. Actually kinda makes me melancholy....

  11. #11
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    I love hand piecing, its so relaxing. I made the quilt "Eldon" this summer, the 4 inch log cabins I did on the machine but the rest was all done by hand.

  12. #12
    Senior Member humbird's Avatar
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    I do both. Some days (or weeks!) I just don't have the energy to go back to the sewing room. I love my hand work projects. Both piecing and quilting. I finished 2 GFG quilts for 2 grandsons who were married this past summer. All hand done. I am now working on a hexagon quilt in diamonds rather than the the traditional "flowers". These are all EPPed one inch hexies. I have a few projects in the sewing room to work on when it strikes my fancy. I have done red work and applique by hand. I did a machine applique SBS, but really don't care for that process. I say go for it, and I hope you enjoy the ride!!

  13. #13
    Senior Member humbird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackie Spencer View Post
    I love hand piecing, its so relaxing. I made the quilt "Eldon" this summer, the 4 inch log cabins I did on the machine but the rest was all done by hand.
    I had not heard of "The Eldon" quilt before, so just googled it. A beautiful quilt and a beautiful story that goes with it. Would love to see your quilt. Have you posted a photo?

  14. #14
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i always have a hand project (or 3) going --- i work on them while watching movies, games, riding in the car, waiting at appointments- and i get alot done. i don't do everything by hand but i think i would be lost without a hand project to work on while (sitting around)
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  15. #15
    Super Member gramajo's Avatar
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    I'd be able to watch more TV if I could hand sew, but can't due to my RA--I can't hold a needle anymore. As it is, I machine sew and listen to the TV in the next room. I usually listen to 20/20, Dateline-type shows or the Nascar races. I know I miss a lot, especially with the races. lol It would be so nice to take handwork to Dr. appointments, etc. I waste a lot of time waiting.

  16. #16
    Member Swalters12's Avatar
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    I love hand quilting because I can take it anywhere. I can control my points a lot better. Good luck to you.

  17. #17
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    I don't do that much hand piecing but I do hand quilt almost all of my quilts. Wouldn't know what to do without some form of handwork. Before starting to quilt I did alot of counted cross stitch, knitting, crocheting, etc. Have always had to have some form of handwork available. I really don't have much of a schedule myself either. Has it's ups and downs. I usually machine piece while DH is either at work or off to one of the many organizations he to which he belongs. Then I do my handquilting while he's home and we're just chatting or watching TV. Best of both worlds for me.

  18. #18
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    I like to hand piece intricate blocks - they are so much easier to press (because all the seam allowances can go which ever way works best) when they are done by hand than by machine.

  19. #19
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    I do both hand piecing and machine piecing. I started hand piecing so I would have something to do at times that I am waiting for appointments or whatever. I find I take it to work with me and work on it during my breaks, it goes in the motorhome with me, so that when we stop for meals or just a break, I have something to work on if I am waiting for things to cook or whatever. I have some quilts that I hand quilt, and some that I am going to machine quilt. Most of the Christmas gifts will be machine quilted just because I don't have time to hand quilt them all. I also home school my children and I find that when we are reading, I can sit and work on piecing or quilting.

  20. #20
    Junior Member alderdweller's Avatar
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    We also travel a good deal in our small motorhome, sometimes up to a month or so. My space is very limited, but I am sure I can find a spot for some handwork. I really miss my quilting when we're on the road, so this is just another reason for me to give it a try.
    I did hand-quilt my first quilt a couple years ago. Now it's time to try piecing.

    Also, a question about pressing. I normally have my iron set up by my machine and press almost every piece as I sew. Is that necessary with hand piecing?

    Thanks for your encouragement and tips!

  21. #21
    Super Member Central Ohio Quilter's Avatar
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    While most of my quilts I piece on the machine, I always have one or two quilts going that I piece and quilt entirely by hand. We travel a lot with our 5th wheel camper and I can sew while riding in the truck, or sitting outside at the campground. I have found the I love the process of hand sewing because of the accuracy and the calming effect of it. I still usually have a sewing machine in the camper also, depending on what I am working on at the time, but always have my hand sewing project also.

    I believe that with hand piecing, it is not nearly as necessary to press each seam as you go, because of the control you have over each seam.

    Also, the process of hand piecing goes so much faster than I ever thought it would! I thought it would take forever to hand sew a long seam, but it goes quickly.

    Enjoy the process!

  22. #22
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alderdweller View Post
    Ya know, I don't do as much sewing as I'd like because it just sometimes seems like such a chore to go to the sewing room, get everything just set up perfect, lighting ect.
    My mom did everything from start to finish by hand. No fancy rulers, no rotary cutter, just scissors, pattern, needle, thread, and thimble. And she made many, many beautiful, intricate quilts!
    When I think about all the time I waste, watching tv, or waiting on appointments, or just generally sitting around resting...I think although slower, I would still get a ton more things done by hand.
    Hmmmm,
    Maybe I'll at least start one by hand and see how it goes.
    If you really want to do hand piecing then go for it. It sounds to me like you're real problem is your sewing room set up. Look at that room with a critical eye and try and figure out what makes you unhappy with it and then try and fix that so that when you want to do a machine project it's not a chore.

  23. #23
    Super Member PenniF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alderdweller View Post
    We also travel a good deal in our small motorhome, sometimes up to a month or so. My space is very limited, but I am sure I can find a spot for some handwork. I really miss my quilting when we're on the road, so this is just another reason for me to give it a try.
    I did hand-quilt my first quilt a couple years ago. Now it's time to try piecing.

    Also, a question about pressing. I normally have my iron set up by my machine and press almost every piece as I sew. Is that necessary with hand piecing?

    Thanks for your encouragement and tips!
    I have one of those little wedge shaped wooden hand pressers ...ok...know it has a name but cant think of it right now -- it does a great job - all you need is a flat surface to put the sewn piece on - then run the wooden "do-hicky" over the seam and it's "pressed".
    Of all the things i've lost, i miss my mind the most.

  24. #24
    Senior Member IAmCatOwned's Avatar
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    Until I needed bifocals, I always crocheted or knitted while watching TV. Yes, since I was 11 years old and I'm now middle-aged. You can work on quilt projects as well - binding and hand pieced hexagons are really popular. Currently, I can't do both - I hope to fix this with the next pair of bifocals. However, I'm one of those persons who will only do handwork that I can't do by machine easily.

    One problem to consider - if you have cats (and maybe even dogs), you need to work out how to prevent access to your needles and thread. Many pets die when they ingest thread - it wraps all up in their intestines. Don't assume that because they haven't done it in the past, that they won't do it in the future. If you don't have a box that CLOSES, then you need to remove your sewing stuff from the living room every time.

  25. #25
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    I love to have something to work on while watching TV. I hand quilt & hand applique. Also I substitute teach and hand quilting is a good way to keep myself busy while the students are doing their work. But there are also times I like work at the sewing machine.

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