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Thread: Since we're talking about hand-quilting...

  1. #1
    Junior Member jkwynn's Avatar
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    About how long does it take you to finish hand-quilting a quilt?

    Like, how many hours for the size(s) you've done?

    I've only ever 'practiced' hand-quilting on a fabric sandwich, and I like it, actually prefer it to my amateur machine quilting results (my hand stuff looks way better than my machine stuff, lol) - but man alive, it takes foreverrrrrr.

  2. #2
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    It depends of the size of the quilt and how intricate my quilting patterns are.
    Several years ago I made a wholecloth 75"x75" and I took me about 1000 hours. The one I do now will need about 600-700. Of course you can spend more or less! Time is not so important for me, the process of quilting is what I like most.

  3. #3
    Super Member jemma's Avatar
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    yes it takes a long time but if you love the action it is worth it good luck try a lap siz first---macine quilting is just practice+practice i am still at the practice stage but seeing some improvement

  4. #4
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    I have handquilted for a long time; for a queen/king size it
    takes me a couple months. I quilt a few hours most evenings
    and more on weekends. I have never kept track of the exact
    hours. Then again, once or twice on each quilt I have to lay it aside for a few days while my fingers heal. For me,I find that Zinc Oxide Ointment helps me heal more than anything else I've tried. Don't find it at Walmart, but our local drug store carries it. One time I found it in the 'baby' section...it is suppose to be good for diaper rash. When hand quilting a large quilt, it does seem like
    a long time, but that is my favorite part of quilting. If you just quilt 15 or 20 minutes here and there, you will be surprised how that time accumulates.

  5. #5
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    I did a lap size one, I think it was something like 48 x 52, in about 2 months. Not sure what sort of hours that would be as the time spent at any one time varied from a few minutes to a couple hours or so. And I did not work on it every day either. Also I do not do very dense quilting.

  6. #6
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i went into a shop one time for some advice an a quilting pattern for an orphan quilt top i had rescued. the shop owner told me...if you sit and quilt for one hour a day you can have a queen size quilt done in a year...wow, really? i went home, loaded up the quilt and machine quilted it in about 6 hours....i don't have any idea if she was right...just hearing that was enough for me to say..." never mind"...i am way to impatient to even consider that.
    i have hand quilted plenty since that fateful day...and i do not believe it would have taken me that long...in my mind at least i'm fairly fast.
    remember as you go along and get into the rhythm of it you pick up speed and if will take less and less time to quilt your quilt.

  7. #7
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    i haven't computed the hours either. The GFG that i just finished (full size) took me almost 5 months exactly. Started it after school started and i generally quilt when i'm home and more on the weekends. I will add that i don't have kids or others demanding on my time - and if i don't eat, that's ok, too...No one else to feed, cept the cat & she's easy!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    I don't keep track of hours, but I only spend about an hour a night hand quilting, and a little more time on the weekends. The quilt I'm finishing up now was started in December, 2009, and it's 85 inches square. I thought I was done, but I'm adding a little bit more hand quilting in the border.

    As far as I'm concerned, it's quality time that I spend with myself. I listen to music or books on tape, or I plan the next quilt. I'm not in a rush to finish lots of quilts.

  9. #9
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    I'm a hand quilter. I used to work on them faithfully but got off track.
    Well, I have one that's been in progress several years but was put away. I took it out and started working on it a little bit each day. The little bit turns into many stitches over time and now it's about 3/4 done!!!
    Someone on the board suggested 15 minutes a day and I committed to it but have done much more. This time of year is a great time for evening quilting :)

  10. #10
    Member Pennylane's Avatar
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    I've just started practicing my hand quilting and I love it. I would love to get good enough to do a quilt that I hand pieced this year. But I am not sure if you trace the whole quilting pattern on the fabric at once or in small sections as you quilt. Any suggestions out there from all you seasoned hand quilters? I would love to be as good as y'all are. Practice, practice, practice right?

  11. #11
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pennylane
    But I am not sure if you trace the whole quilting pattern on the fabric at once or in small sections as you quilt.
    I usually mark the section I'm working on as I go - otherwise the chalk marks disappear.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hinterland
    Quote Originally Posted by Pennylane
    But I am not sure if you trace the whole quilting pattern on the fabric at once or in small sections as you quilt.
    I usually mark the section I'm working on as I go - otherwise the chalk marks disappear.
    I mark as I go as well because otherwise it rubs off.

  13. #13
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hinterland
    Quote Originally Posted by Pennylane
    But I am not sure if you trace the whole quilting pattern on the fabric at once or in small sections as you quilt.
    I usually mark the section I'm working on as I go - otherwise the chalk marks disappear.
    Same here, and yes, practice will make all the difference!
    Enjoy it, that's what I love about it- so relaxing~

  14. #14
    Member Pennylane's Avatar
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    Thanks I wasn't sure and no one I know does handquilting and could tell me how to go about it.

  15. #15
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    I'm working on a 54 by 54 throw now. It's always ready for a few stitches so I don't quilt for hours at a time.I have been working on it I guess about 2 weeks now and am about 2/3 done. No fancy stitching, just stitch in the ditch basically. When I do want to stitch in a space I mark one area at a time. I really want to get this one done so I can cut and work on an all flannel quilt. That one I think I will try FMQ so I can use the quilt this winter yet.

  16. #16
    Super Member Butterflyblue's Avatar
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    Well, I've just begun hand quilting (like literally, last week) but the time aspect is one that I'm having a hard time adjusting to. I can quilt a basic baby quilt on my domestic machine in an afternoon. To do the same amount of quilting by hand takes much, much longer - how much longer, I'm not sure, since I've been quilting a week, for at least a half-hour each day, and I'm not done with the center panel yet. :)

    But for me, hand quilting is not about the speed. I am enjoying (well, enjoying when I'm not tearing my hair out) learning a new technique and I like the feeling of connection with the quilters of the past and the "low tech" aspect of it. It's just cool to think that the electricity could go out and I could still be quilting away (until I stabbed myself with a needle in the dark).

    In the end, I don't think I'll be doing a queen size quilt anytime soon, but it's nice to have access to a new technique when I'm planning future small projects, since the look of hand quilting is different than machine quilting.

  17. #17
    Member Pennylane's Avatar
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    Sounds like a good plan to finish it this winter cause so far its been a heck of a winter and right now we're getting more snow and more to come tomorrow :(

  18. #18
    Junior Member jkwynn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hinterland
    As far as I'm concerned, it's quality time that I spend with myself.
    I love this.

    And I agree that it's a very satisfying thing, to sit and stitch.

    I guess since I'm a newer quilter, most of my 'projects' seem to be gift-oriented (like in my head, I have one planned out for my sister, my mother and my grandmother right now...) and that's where my time concern comes into play.

    I did the super-quick jelly roll quilt, and then just did a straight, walking-foot line down the middle of each strip - as a first project, it's great. It just doesn't feel "quilted" if that makes sense. It feels more like it's 'assembled' - maybe if I added some hand stitching to fancy it up a bit I might like it better...

    I definitely want to improve my FMQ skills, too - don't get me wrong, I see the pros/cons of both methods. I feel more confident with the hand stitching at this point, though. Oh, if I could just add a couple hours to each day...lol.

  19. #19
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    On average, it takes me 2 to 3 years to quilt a bedsize quilt. However, I work in spurts. I will not touch it for anywhere from several days to several weeks. I can not HQ when it is really hot out. Can not bring myself to sit under the quilt and don't want to sweat all over it. I tried keeping track on my lone star quilt which I quilted 1/4" from every seam and in the big open spaces in the four corners and setting trianges I did a feather plume in the shape of a heart in the squares and just an arc in the triangles with 1" cross hatching in the background. I had well over 200 hours in it until I got to the outer border then forgot to mark my pad of paper with start and stop time. I figure the border quilting put it over 300 hours. That quilt was king size. The more intricate the quilting the longer it takes. My current HQ WIP some elements take a long time and other bits go quick. I started HQ a few months after I joined this board. So I am in year 2 of HQ it. I find it relaxing and enjoy having it to work on when watching TV at night. I don't dwell on how long it takes as it is a labor of love. I will admit though that the amount of time it takes me to HQ a quilt was one of several deciding factors in purchasing my LA. I have too many quilts inside of me that want to get out and made and I would never put a dent in my bucket list if I HQ all of them! I am glad I took the LA plunge because I love doing it and can't wait to get my next quilt on it. I will still HQ as well.

  20. #20

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    I agree, it is hard to sit under a quilt in the summer. I solved this problem by doing a quilt-as-you-go system. I Put my indiviual blocks together- top, batting, and backing-and than a fast hand baste. I then quilt the individual blocks. Later I sew the blocks together.

    My main complant as a hand quilter, is the way my LQS treats me like dirt. The noses sure go up in the air fast if I'm looking for notions or "hand needles" instead of machine needles! I know they make more money on machine quilters because they can start and finish projects faster, but Hey hand quilters have feelings too!

  21. #21
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwpainter
    My main complant as a hand quilter, is the way my LQS treats me like dirt. The noses sure go up in the air fast if I'm looking for notions or "hand needles" instead of machine needles! I know they make more money on machine quilters because they can start and finish projects faster, but Hey hand quilters have feelings too!
    I'm sorry they treat you like that...it's not really smart on their part. My LQS likes to tease me, but I also understand that while they might like me a lot, at the rate I make quilts I don't keep their business afloat.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic
    I can not HQ when it is really hot out. Can not bring myself to sit under the quilt and don't want to sweat all over it.
    That's one reason I really like my floor frame - all I need is a fan and an open window during summer, unless it's 95 and humid.

    My feeling is I do this to relax, so anything I can do to eliminate stress from quilting is a good thing. I may have quilts I want to finish, but I'll take my time and try to enjoy it.

    It's strange, but if I ever retire I plan to do more machine quilting!

  23. #23
    Super Member huntannette's Avatar
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    never counted the hours either, but does take months for a queen sized quilt...lol i am a slow quilter and i do it on my lap and always stitch in the ditch...lol

  24. #24
    Super Member #1piecemaker's Avatar
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    Who looks at the clock when handquilting? It is a relaxing mecanisim. when I sit, I pick up my hoop. When I have to get up, I set it down. Sometimes I just set in in front of my chair while I'm gone cause I know I'll be right back to pick it up again. But, if I work steady on it I can finish a regular size in a week. Two at the most. If I have other things to do, it takes longer.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Joan Gaddis's Avatar
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    i did a large lap in 8 days but i put in about 6 hours a day

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