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Thread: hand piecing as strong as machine piecing?

  1. #26
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    Hand piecing will last as long as the fabric. The solid back of the quilt takes much of the strain off of the handstitching. The quilting, whether hand or machine done adds additional strength. Don't worry about it not being strong enough to last.

  2. #27
    Super Member grandjan's Avatar
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    If it's a straight running stitch, hand quilting may be weaker but I've had to rip out seams that I've sewed with a back-stitch every few stitches and it's actually harder to rip out than a line of machine stitching. Think about all the antique quilts, all hand-stitched that have survived for 100 years or more.

  3. #28
    Super Member justflyingin's Avatar
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    I think that hand piecing isn't as strong as machine sewing, BUT that it is strong enough for the average fabrics. IOW, it sounds like the sewing, if done decently, last longer than the fabric.

    So, while I can't begin to see how hand piecing could be as strong as machine, it is strong enough.

  4. #29
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    I have done several hand stitch ones. My son has washed his so many times and the stitching has held up great.

  5. #30
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    I would not double my thread. I would make a good knot, bury it in the fabric and take small stitches. It should last a lifetime.

  6. #31
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    I also think handstitching holds up very well, in fact, in most cases it holds up better than the material. I think the quality of the thread plays a big role in it. I have always used quilting thread and not just the regular thread. It seems a bit heavier, I think. I have some quilts that were handed down to me that are upwards of l00 yrs. old and they are just like the energizer bunny - they just keep on going and going and going. I love to hand quilt.

  7. #32
    Super Member desertrose's Avatar
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    I agree I have salvaged pieces from an 1800's log cabin quilt and it's the fabric that deterioted before the stiches. When I have collected enough fabrics to make a crazy quilt wall hanging I intend to hand quilt the entire quilt.

  8. #33
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    I have a friend who only hand pieces. Her quilts are beautiful but if people put them on the bed and sit on them a lot some of the seams tend to break. I don't think she back stitches.

  9. #34
    Super Member maryb119's Avatar
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    I think hand quilting is a strong as machine. You use a heavier thread when you do it. I made my son a hand quilted quilt when he was 2 years old and he is still using it. He's 24. It's been on his bed all this time. He even took it to college with him.

  10. #35
    Super Member shaverg's Avatar
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    I hand pieced my first quilt in 1983, still in perfect shape. I have several of my grandmother's,way over 100 years old the fabric has worn out in some spots, but the stiching is still holding.

  11. #36
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    Hand piecing is just fine. The reason you back stitch is if the thread should break it will only come apart 2 or 3 threads. I was taught never to start at the beginning of a seam or at the very end because this is the weakest point. I use a single thread. Never had any problems with thread breaking. Fabric will wear out before that will happen. And, I double dare you to rip out a seam. You must remember, after the top is quilted, there is no stress or pulling on your seams. So machine, or hand piecing...do what you prefer and worry not!
    Donna

  12. #37
    Super Member audsgirl's Avatar
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    I took a hand piecing class and the teacher used hand quilting thread for piecing. I had never heard of doing that, but that was the way she always did it. That would be strong.

  13. #38
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    I hand pieced most of mine over the years. Never had any that came apart. you use a single thread but everytime you start a new needle full you take a back stitch. end with an extra few stitches in place. Holds fine. We still have quilts that my husband's grandmother made all hand pieced and they are still going strong. some of the materials are not faring quite as well.

  14. #39
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i am sure my hand piecing is just as strong as my machine quilting since it depends on the strength of the thread being used. i use good quality strong threads and i make tiny stitches. i have had machine stitching come out with time...i have never had my hand stitching come out.
    many people piece quilts (and make other things) by hand...they hold up for decades...hundreds of years...the strength depends on the materials used...not necessarily the techniques used

  15. #40
    Senior Member Bamagal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hinterland
    It probably isn't as strong as machine piecing. However, I have a quilt on my bed with hand pieced blocks. It's now over 10 years old, and the stitching has held up just fine.

    Janet
    I have one on my bed-- hand pieced hand quilted. 30 years old now!! No problems!! My second quilt!

  16. #41
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    I think once you get the top together and get it layered and quilted the batting and backing would act as partial support and it would be just fine. I have several hand pieced quilts and it's the fabric that's wearing out, but the stitching is okay.

  17. #42
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    Hand quilting--relaxing.

  18. #43
    Super Member misseva's Avatar
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    I agree hand stitching is strong. I have a quilt my grandmother made for me in the mid to late 30s and stitches are fine - fabric is wearing in spots. I'd use quilting thread because it's stronger and doesn't tangle as bad as regular sewing thread.

  19. #44
    Super Member quilttiludrop's Avatar
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    The length of the stitches makes a great deal of difference. I historically used a large needle and my stitching would be like basting stiches (I do embroidery work). I am learning to use a smaller needle and make smaller stitches.

  20. #45
    Senior Member Nancy Ingham's Avatar
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    I hand stitch mine using double thread, taking small stitches and backstitching throughout. I also double stitch at the beginning and ending of every needleful of thread. This is how I was taught in quilting classes better than thirty years ago, and the projects that I did at that time remain in wonderful, like new, condition. It takes a little more time but is sooooooooo worth it. I take my time and find that hand stitching and hand quilting is very relaxing. I want my quilts that I make for loved ones to last a very long time.

  21. #46
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    I was once told that it would be preferable to have thread, or seems, that were no stronger than the fabric. As a quilt ages, it is better if the seems come undone, which can be repaired more easily than if the thread cuts the fabric. ;)

    Jenny's book is fabulous!

  22. #47

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    I don't have a machine so do all my work by hand and not had to mend any seams yet thank goodness

  23. #48
    Senior Member Happy Treadler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabbystabber
    Hand piecing is just fine. The reason you back stitch is if the thread should break it will only come apart 2 or 3 threads. I was taught never to start at the beginning of a seam or at the very end because this is the weakest point. I use a single thread. Never had any problems with thread breaking. Fabric will wear out before that will happen. And, I double dare you to rip out a seam. You must remember, after the top is quilted, there is no stress or pulling on your seams. So machine, or hand piecing...do what you prefer and worry not!
    Donna
    I just read this tip in Jinny's book. I just can't believe how much information I'm taking in, and learning SO much. Thanks for all the great input!

  24. #49

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    i have a quilt i did all by hand a few years ago and it has held up quite nicely i think it depends on your stitching. i do both but when it comes to quilting it hands only no machine

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