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Thread: Hand Quilting or Machine Quilting or Both?

  1. #1
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    Yesterday I went into the quilt shop here in Bossier and I was talking to a lady who worked there. She was trying to get me to buy a sewing machine and she said machine sewing is so much better and faster than handquilting and she said once you start machine sewing you'll never go back to hand sewing again. So my question is what works best for you? Me personally, I like hand quilting. I like having my hands busy. I'm like my husband. I'm always fidgeting and need my hands busy.

  2. #2
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    Sewing machines are faster. That doesn't make them "better". It's a personal preference. Whatever makes you happy.

    I avoid hand sewing at all costs, but I do hand embroidery and would never consider an embroidery machine.

  3. #3
    Super Member LoisN's Avatar
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    I have just started machine quilting and I love it. I found that hand-quilting was difficult for me because I couldn't manage a quilt on a big quilting frame. I never could get my hand in the right position. Felt like I was standing on my head to reach different angles. Well, I took the sampler quilt out of that frame, machine quilted the sashing and hand-quilted the individual blocks. Loved doing it that way. It worked better for me than either all machine quilting or all hand-quilting.

  4. #4
    Moderator Up North's Avatar
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    I have not been very successful at machine quilting. I prefer the look of hand quilting and enjoy doing it. I tried the large frame and gave up. I couldn't reach far enough and so a lap frame or my small oval floor frame work best for me. And they are portable. I can move the small floor frame from room to room and can quilt on trips with my lap frame.

  5. #5
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    My hands don't like hand sewing so I machine quilt but I drool over hand quilted quilts. I do what I am able to do.

  6. #6
    Marjpf's Avatar
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    It really depends on the final look I want to achieve and my mood. I think that hand quilting has a softer look to it. If I don't have any other TV time projects going, I will hand quilt something. If I am in a hurry or want a more detailed design, I machine quilt.

  7. #7
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    I hand quilt because I don't have a machine that will quilt. My machine is 34 years old and the feed dogs won't drop. I use either a hoop or a q-snap frame. I can quilt any size quilts with them. These also allow me to take them with me in the car. Husband drives and I quilt.

  8. #8
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    Since I have been handquilting for 40 years I am kind of partial. I do machine quilt Linus quilts and ones I make for small children. Anything larger than a twin bed size is to much for me to handle with my machine. I have a full size Bernina. The problem is my arms, back and neck. I have an autoimmune disease that makes my muscles weak. Wrestling that big quilt in order to get it under my machine is too much for me. When I go to sew the binding on a big quilt I have finished my husband either helps me but holding up the weight for me or I set up several folding tables around my machine to hold the weight.

  9. #9
    retired teacher's Avatar
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    I machine qquilt during the day and then do hand work at nights. The only hand made quilt though is the Grandmothers flower Garden. I need to get that out and get going on it again
    I do both hand quilting or machine quilting when putting the 3 layers together. Sometimes send them out to be quilted

  10. #10
    Senior Member renee765's Avatar
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    I think either hand or machine quilting is just fine if that is what the quilter wants to do. I like to hand quilt, so that is my preference - but only because I enjoy doing it. Sometimes the quilt will tell you what it wants. I tried hand quilting on my current project three different ways and didn't like any of it. The machine quilting was just what it needed. Just listen to your quilt and do what pleases you. It will be great!

  11. #11
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    Power Poster k3n's Avatar
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    I only hand sewed (pieced and quilted) for years, now I machine as well. It's not 'better' or worse for that matter but it is faster. Hand sewing in the evening watching TV - quilting, EPP or embroidery of crazy blocks I find very relaxing. Here in France, there is a prejudice against machine work, like it's cheating in some way. If you go to quilt shows, you see ppl turn away in disgust from quilts annotated as machine pieced or quilted. But using a machine is an art in itself I think, especially FMQ which is bloomin difficult! I say both ways have equal value and ya boo sucks to those who say mean things about one or the other!

  12. #12
    Super Member cjaye44's Avatar
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    I like to machine piece and prefer to hand quilt in a frame. I have started machine quilting the Downy quilts but it's very basic. Anything larger than twin is awkward for me. I'm totally in awe tho of work I've seen done by LA quilters. It's a real art form.

  13. #13
    Super Member sewingladydi's Avatar
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    I love to hand quilt in a small lap hoop, but it is very time consuming so for charity quilts (like quilts for kids) or table toppers, I straight line machine quilt.

    For a bed quilt, I sometimes do both hand and machine. My first quilt was an Irish chain (when I discovered how annoying it is to hand quilt across all those seams)I did some on machine and some hand quilting.

    I want to do free motion machine-am taking a class soon

  14. #14
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    Its what ever makes you happy :)

  15. #15
    Senior Member QuiltMania's Avatar
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    I do both. Depends on what quilt I'm doing.

  16. #16
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    If I want ANYTHING to get DONE, I have to do it by machine. I think it is personal preference. Not something to compete.

  17. #17
    Super Member brushandthimble's Avatar
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    I do have a couple of quilts and a wall hanging I hand quilted. Pain made me stop hand quilting, and just gave my large floor hoop away. I have done queen and one king on my DM machine, now I have the HQ16 and love it. I do love the look of hand quilting and wish I could still do some.

  18. #18
    Super Member lisalovesquilting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jljquilter
    I hand quilt because I don't have a machine that will quilt. My machine is 34 years old and the feed dogs won't drop. I use either a hoop or a q-snap frame. I can quilt any size quilts with them. These also allow me to take them with me in the car. Husband drives and I quilt.
    Hi jlj, You can cover your feed dogs by taping a business card over them. Or you can machine quilt with stitch in the ditch or echo or gentle curves. Hope this helps if you do want to machine quilt.

  19. #19
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    I do alot of hand work because i work in the 'private-duty' home health care and have lots of time to be busy with not much to do, so I sew...when i'm home i use my machine ALOT but in the evenings if i want to sit with dh and watch tv the hand work comes back out...i really enjoy both, most of my hand work was applique and embroidery but recently started hand piecing and am lovin' it! the precision is great, much easier to achieve than with the machine and i am really enjoying the process...i probably hand work 65-70% machine sew the other 30-35%

  20. #20
    Junior Member rndelling's Avatar
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    Machine quilting is definitely faster but that doesn't always mean better. I just don't enjoy machine quilting. I do it for wallhangings and sometimes baby quilts but it just isn't my thing. I love to hand quilt. It's all personal preference.
    Do what you enjoy the most. That's what quilting is all about.

  21. #21
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    I like hand quilting simply because it is by hand. I feel the quilt is more ME when I am done. Hope that makes sense.

  22. #22
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    I piece by machine, but hand quilt using a lap hoop, pc snap frame or without a frame/hoop. I love doing it that way personally. It is how you feel and enjoy. I am scared to death to try machine quilting, plus I just enjoy the hand motion. On my next quilt I am thinking of going back to hand piecing - this last one I pieced by machine just really made me mad - Will post pictures when I get it sandwiched and quilted -maybe a year from now. :) Just do what you like to do and just make it fun and not hard work.

  23. #23
    Smitty47's Avatar
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    I started in quilting a few years ago, machine quilting midarm to help my wife finish some of the many projects and tops she gad piled up. I had gone to a quilt show and was really impressed with the artful peices. Being a retired finish carpenter, I thought Id give it a try and have really enjoyed it. Have tried the hand quilting and hand bindings to appreciate what many enjoy doing, but find it far too time consuming when you have so many projects and I like seeing thing DONE. I am getting a lot of requests to finish tops and and machine binding, small baby quilts etc so they can give them to family and friends while their still at the age they can be of use. My hats off to those of you who choose to hand quilt and I appreciate the endlees hours and dedication required to you put in on your quilts. I have to prduce 3 to 4 quilt a week so I find my machine is my preferrence.

  24. #24
    Super Member weezie's Avatar
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    I have several projects going at once. I do both hand quilting and machine quilting. Some people hate one or the other, but it's nice and it's handy if you like to do both. Hand quilting is much slower, but I'm better at it than I am at machine quilting. Also, there's nothing that says you can't do both hand and machine quilting on the same quilt.

  25. #25
    Super Member Deecee's Avatar
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    I enjoy both.
    If I am sewing "home alone" I use the machine in my sewing room. When hubby is home of an evening I hand sew in the loungeroom watching TV with him.

    I find hand sewing (whether it be quilting, hand applique or whatever) relaxing of an evening but I get more done on the machine during the day.

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