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Thread: Hand quilting - Lost art???

  1. #1
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    Hand quilting - Lost art???

    I am so happy to see when quilters post their hand quilted items.

    I often wonder if if hand quilting will become like letter writing and fade away due to new technology -

    Letter writing is becoming more scarce since the emails and texting have advanced.

    What do you think? Will hand quilting fade away due to the new long arm machines and new ways to quilt as you go and FMQ - I certainly hope not but I hear less people talking about hand quilting versus machine.
    Grandmas are just antique little girls!!

  2. #2
    Super Member azwendyg's Avatar
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    I think hand quilting is the ULTIMATE in skill!
    Wendy

  3. #3
    Senior Member pscott392's Avatar
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    After reading your post, it reminded me of the days when secretaries used shorthand. I took 2 years of shorthand in school - never used it afterwards. Dictaphones and transcribers were used. Believe it or not, I still have a transcriber! Fortunately, I have a friend who still quilts by hand - when she has the time.

  4. #4
    dd
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    I quilt by hand and took shorthand. I can still write "simutaneously" in shorthand. That was a word in a letter she was dictating and I was shocked. I said Geez outloud and everyone laughed, including the teacher. Never forgot that word. I love quilting by hand though. I love the look of it more than by machine. Mine isn't perfect but neither am I. I can hand quilt and be in the livingroom with my family, can't do that with machine quilting. I also embroider by hand and piece by hand.
    Blessed are the quilters, for they are the piecemakers.

  5. #5
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    In our small town, there are two long-arm quilters who do lovely work--and at least ten or twelve of us who hand quilt our projects. Usually full size or larger quilts are done as group projects, great way to spend time with friends. Both of our daughters are hand-quilters, too, although the quilts for small children's beds are usually done by machine. What goes around comes around, and hand quilters will continue to teach others. piecefully, the old one

  6. #6
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    My mother, both grandmothers and their mothers are all hand quilted-so i grew up learning how to handquilt--but my 2 daughters seem to have no interest at this point in their lives and currently none of the other family members have an interest. It is definitely becoming a lost interest--however THEY LOVE to receive them!!!
    Carol

  7. #7
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    I love to hand quilt and did it for many years for myself as well as other people, however due to arthritis I no longer can do it. My quilts are done by a LA. there ae a few in my group that still do it. I do occasionally write letters as I don't text. Took two years of shorthand in school and never used that because in nursing it wasn't warranted.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dd View Post
    I quilt by hand and took shorthand. I can still write "simutaneously" in shorthand. That was a word in a letter she was dictating and I was shocked. I said Geez outloud and everyone laughed, including the teacher. Never forgot that word. I love quilting by hand though. I love the look of it more than by machine. Mine isn't perfect but neither am I. I can hand quilt and be in the livingroom with my family, can't do that with machine quilting. I also embroider by hand and piece by hand.
    That's funny. Simultaneously in shorthand is as long as it is in longhand.

    I quilt by hand. I tried that freemotion and stitch in the ditch stuff. It was a hideous experience. I would much rather prop my feet up on my easy chair foot stool, arrange the quilt on my lap, and hand quilt sans any kind of frame or hoop. I've never made anything smaller than a queen.

    My hand quilting isn't perfect and I make no effort to squeeze a bunch of tiny stitches into a small space.

    I suppose I'm a little snooty about it. Machine quilting is.....well, sewing.

    I cheat, though, and sew the pieces together by machine.
    Every day, I find it harder to live up to my blue china.

  9. #9
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    Another hand quilter here who also took shorthand. Guess that's showing our ages, eh? I actually used shorthand when I first started working and never could get the hang of a dictaphone. I used to listen to the dictation on the machine, take it down in shorthand and then type it up! I do machine piece, although I have also hand pieced a quilt. I machine quilt charity quilts that require it but I, too, far more enjoy sitting in my LR watching TV w/DH and quilting away. In fact, getting ready to sandwhich and start the next one!

  10. #10
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    I will always be a handquilter. I do machine quilt the many Linus quilts I make in order to produce a generous amount. They also will have to bear a lot of laundering from people, generaly not familiar with handwork. To me handquilting is portable, and relaxing and can be very social. I have a number of friends who have long arms. Several of them do it as a business and are quickly burning out. I am not physically able to stand at such a machine for the time it takes to complete a quilt. It isn't long before longarming becomes like a factory job. Most of my friends who do it say the worst part is loading and unloading the machine. Since my favorite part of quilting is the actually quilting I am not interested in ever owning or even operating a longarm machine.
    Trying to sew, quilt or read everyday.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    I don't think it's a lost art at all. There are a lot of hand quilters on this board.

    While I enjoy machine quilting from time to time, I enjoy the relaxation I get from hand quilting a lot more.



    Janet

  12. #12
    Senior Member JenelTX's Avatar
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    I hand-quilted my first (and so far only) quilt. I'm going to machine quilt the next one for two reasons: one, I want to finish it by Christmas; and two, I feel I should try both so I can decide which I like better. I believe that I will choose to hand quilt from then on, unless pressed for time. I loved the experience. It was very peaceful and gave me a deeply personal connection to the quilt.
    Jenel Looney
    Assistant to Susan Mallery
    New York Times bestselling author

  13. #13
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JenelTX View Post
    It was very peaceful and gave me a deeply personal connection to the quilt.
    I joke that I have long, personal relationships with my quilts, LOL.

    Janet

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    I mostly hand piece and always hand quilt. Two reasons: 1. machines confuse me 2. I travel a lot and need something to take with me to do.

  15. #15
    Super Member bamamama's Avatar
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    I don't think it is a lost art but when I saw a Long Arm for the first time, I just knew that I had to have one. Not sure I'll ever go back to hand quilting. It takes me too long to finish anything and arthritis makes it not as enjoyable as it used to be.
    Fat Quarters have fewer calories than a Hot Fudge Sundae!
    http://debsquiltsandthings.blogspot.com/

  16. #16
    Super Member EagarBeez's Avatar
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    I have tried numerous times to hand quilt. I have beautiful stitches on top, but underneath stiches are so uneven. I tie all my quilts
    I never believe in the word can't,unless you've tried

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    I love to hand quilt, especially while watching tv. You can get alot done in just a couple of hours each evening.

  18. #18
    Senior Member ellenmg's Avatar
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    As a friend used to say, When I have a quilt pieced and ready to quilt, I am in heaven. That first hand stitch is the beginning of a new adventure.... I LOVE LOVE LOVE hand quilting for all the reasons given here. It is so relaxing and meditative, the quilt keeps me warm on cold winter nights and I feel very creative as I move through the project....Always a hand quilter....
    Ellen

  19. #19
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    No hand quilting is not dead. For 5 yrs I taught hand quilting at 8 quilting events a year and there were anywhere from 12-20 in each class (do the math) and continue to have full classe when I teach locally. In Sept/Oct I had two classes (Virginia and Atlanta) with 30 students. On the other hand I see few hand quilted items in shows where I judge.

  20. #20
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    I hand quilt. For me, it's relaxing. Set up the frame and use an office chair on wheels (no arms) and just slide back and forth until finished. However, I do machine piece. Lots of LAs in my area. Some are reasonable, some do marvelous technical quilting and then others I don't care for.

  21. #21
    Senior Member teddysmom's Avatar
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    I'm also a hand quilter and took shorthand classes in high school and college. But, think about this. Hand quilting and taking shorthand are all done BY HAND. None of this high tech stuff--dictaphones, computers, long arms quilting machines. I HOPE hand quillting isn't a lost art. Mine isn't perfect but it's so enjoyable and relaxing. If I wanted it to be perfect, I think it would lose some flavor in the process--more stress and less relaxing.

  22. #22
    Super Member KerryK's Avatar
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    My first three quilts were hand pieced and hand quilted. I have since moved on to machine piecing, but still love to hand quilt them. It is putting something of yourself into the quilt, and yes, it is relaxing to do. I still like to keep something going that is hand pieced, too, since it is so portable and can go with me while I wait for appointments, travel, etc. I don't think it will go the way of shorthand and become a lost art.

    Shorthand - took it in high school and have used it all my life. While I don't use it in a work place any more, I still use it when taking notes on anything, especially when I am on the phone. Once you use it for so many years, it becomes second nature to you. I couldn't stop using shorthand if I wanted to - the notes just come out that way.
    Kerry
    ~ American by birth, Southern by the grace of God ~

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    I do have to admit that i consider them separate skills/hobbies but I do both hand and machine quilting. When hand quilting, i adhere to my grandmother's rule of thumb...if you can see what color the thread is, your stitch is too big. I can do it, but of course with a longarm, tons of knitting and other family and community responsibilities, the hand quilting is definitely a slow process... Currently, I have 2 dresden plate quilts I am making for my sons. The 'plates' were made by my great-grandmother and passed on to me. I decided to divide them into two wallhangings for my two children and have done them as Christmas wallhangings. This reminds me that I need to get that bag out and into the living room so i won't forget it for another year.

  24. #24
    Senior Member LindaDeeter's Avatar
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    I took a class in Stenoscript Shorthand in Jr College way back ... still to this day, I use that method when I'm writing notes to myself! Stenoscript is a method of shorthand using abc's, slashes and dashes, to write down the "sound" you hear, unlike Gregg Shorthand. Anybody heard of it?

  25. #25
    Senior Member MarthaT's Avatar
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    I have been hand quilting since I was a kid and still love it. There is nothing like watching a quilt come to life one stitch at a time! I designed our house to have room for a full-sized floor frame (the old fashioned kind they used for quilting bees, except mine doesn't hang from the ceiling) so I could quilt without having to do any basting. I'm quilting right in the great room so I can be with family and it's just a part of our "decor". Although some of the designs done by LAQ are beautiful, I much prefer the simple look of hand quilting. Guess I'm a real traditionalist. Right now I'm finishing a quilt made with 1930's reproduction prints. I just can't imagine it being finished any other way but with hand quilting. (Pictures will be posted as soon as I get it out of the frame...maybe today!) I teach anyone that is interested how to do it. Let's not let it die!
    Thimble and Thread

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