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Thread: Why would you hand piece a quilt?

  1. #1
    Super Member JNCT14's Avatar
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    Recently I started to hand piece 100 blocks for a Celtic Illusions quilt. Oddly enough I will probably machine quilt it, but the reason I am doing this is because we went camping on vacation and I wanted some handwork that was easy to take along (unlike applique with its leetle tiny pieces...). I have never hand pieced a quilt before and I am finding it surprisingly therapeutic - I am not locked downstairs in my sewing room while everyone else is upstairs and the work is simple to throw in a bag and take with me wherever I go. I may also do some curved piece quilting by hand now which I would normally stay away from because I am not good enough on the machine to sew all those curved edges and get them right!

    SO - I was wondering who else out there has done hand piecing and why?

  2. #2
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    I find any handwork is relaxing. When I ask my Mom why she did so much hand work, she said "it is better than Prozac." When making clothing, I disliked hand work, however, with quilting, applique, etc., it is a joy and really relaxes me.

  3. #3
    Senior Member lindagor's Avatar
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    I started a Grandmother's Flower Garden using English Paper Piecing because of a tutorial recently posted on this board. I've done just about every other type of needlework as well. I do it for a couple of reasons; to create something beautiful and to feel productive while sitting in front of mindless TV programs with my husband.

  4. #4
    Super Member Minda's Avatar
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    Handwork is relaxing and portable. I even hand sew on long car trips (but not when I'm the driver).

  5. #5
    thismomquilts's Avatar
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    I have always like any kind of handwork in sewing projects. It's so relaxing and portable... the two main reasons I do it.

  6. #6
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    I love handwork for the same reasons others have said. I learned to hand piece my first quilt. I don't do that anymore but I love hand quilting, making yo yo's etc. I also pin pieces that will be sewn while watching baseball games on TV. I also love to knit.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    I find hand piecing more relaxing than machine piecing - and I don't have to resew as much, since I'm more accurate.

  8. #8
    Senior Member CAJAMK's Avatar
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    I can't say I love hand piecing yet hand quilting I really find relaxing. On smaller quilts I like to machine piece then hand quilt. Hand quilting while watching a movie on LIfetime movie network! LOL

  9. #9
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    I always hated the hand sewing before I started quilting but I had lots of time in Dr waiting rooms with elderly relatives & decided piecing quilts would be a good way to pass the time. I knew nothing about quilting but found so many women in the waiting rooms that wanted to share their knowledge with me, or older folks that would want to talk about watching their mothers & grandmothers hand piece. Now I have found that even thought I can't read one sentence in the car without getting sick I can piece to my hearts content & it doesn't make me sick at all. So now I keep a grandmother's flower garden in one car & a periwinkle in the other...be prepared!!...& it gives me a way to share time with my husband & quilt too.

  10. #10
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    can't take sewing machine to quilt meetings and I truly enjoy hand-piecing. Am working on a Shelburne Museum antique quilt (Froncie Quinn's company Hoopla is licensed to make the patterns) called Elizabeth Greene. Am doing it in repro fabrics- blues and browns.

  11. #11
    Super Member QuiltswithConvicts's Avatar
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    Right now, I am hand-piecing a Dear Jane quilt. The blocks are small - 4 1/2" There is a thread about DJ Cyber Sew quilts. They are machine/PP theirs, but I started mine 13 years ago. Have not been working on it all this time! I need something to do while watching TV or riding in the car. Besides, I'm not sure I could do these any other way. ☺ I also drag them to work with me. We are on a state-wide lockdown right now & there is only so much "catching up" a girl can do. Luckily for me, I am the Quilting Supervisor!!! No one thinks twice about seeing me sewing something - it's part of the job.

    Kathy

  12. #12
    Bottle Blonde's Avatar
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    In March I had to pack up my house because we were moving in April --- so I kept out the supplies I would need to start an EPP GFG. I really enjoy it! I can sew while watching TV - I sew outside on the porch every morning - I enjoy the process more because I'm not rushing the project. I plan to do a lot more hand piecing after this quilt is finished.

  13. #13
    Super Member maryb119's Avatar
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    I have 4 quilts that i hand pieced. I am the mom of 6 and I have spent a lot of time in dentist's offices, doctor's offices, school parking lots, etc......waiting..... and it gave me something to do. hand piecing is portable and relaxing and you have something to show for your time.

  14. #14
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    It's portable.

    Sometimes it is easier to hand piece a block than machine sew it.

    If it's good enough for Jinny Beyer, it's good enough for me.

    And my ancestors.

  15. #15
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    I havn't but a very very good friend does because it is portable. She works on it while traveling, while waiting for her mom's dr appts and her own dr appts.

  16. #16
    Super Member MaryStoaks's Avatar
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    I don't hand piece but think the little differences (in stitches) are beautiful. My mom told me that curves and circles are easier and more accurate if hand pieced.

  17. #17
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i always have 1/2 a dozen hand projects going; a little of this a little of that...right now i am hand piecing (english paper piecing) hexagons for a quilt border, i am hand piecing the Jenny Beyer moonglow quilt, i am working on tumbling blocks for pillows for my mom, i am hand appliqueing tall ships (Sue Garmen's Ladies of the Sea), and i have a dresden plate in the works for a table runner.
    i like hand piecing because it is precise, i really have better control than with the machine and it's easy to make your points sharp and points line up correctly and of course portability! and i really love the process.
    i hand quilt at work during 'down-time' at home in the evenings watching tv with hubby, in the car if i don't have to drive and we are going further than 15 minutes i'm usually sewing, and sitting/waiting anywhere (like dr. office) i guess i am just always 'doing-something' if im not working/eating/sleeping; i'm sewing ;)

  18. #18
    Power Poster lynnie's Avatar
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    i do, for accurate seams, for the love of it, it's portble, it's VERY special, don't get me wrong, i do machine pc alot, but there's just something about hand pc.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by niizh
    I find any handwork is relaxing. When I ask my Mom why she did so much hand work, she said "it is better than Prozac." When making clothing, I disliked hand work, however, with quilting, applique, etc., it is a joy and really relaxes me.
    same as above" HANDWORK IS RELAXING"-----who wants to be stuck in a room with a machine when you can be comfortable in living quarters with all/everyone around .

  20. #20
    Super Member JNCT14's Avatar
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    This is SO COOL! Looks like even with all the available technology today, we still revert back to a simpler way to do things. I was always curious when I was younger and read 'Anne of Green Gables' about how she hated patchwork because she had to sew all these little squares together that never seemed to go anywhere - I think that was what first sparked my interest in quilting!

    SOOOOO.....could we post pictures of completed projects or works in progress? I would love to see what everyone has done - I am really curious about some of the projects mentioned on this thread!

  21. #21
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    Although I do machine quilt for charities and when a gift is in need of finishing, I really do prefer handwork.
    The same as all the reasons mentioned above, it's relaxing, it's portable and I think it's a more sociable way of making a quilt.
    I can sit with the family and sew or pin, early morning bus rides to work don't seem so brain-draining as I can sew, so long as it's already pinned. I put each block into a separate little freezer bag so that I haven't got several pieces to sort out whilst travelling.
    As others, I am definitely more accurate with hand sewing than on the machine.

    And, I've got to be honest here and admit it... it feels damn good to look at your finished, handsewn quilt after all those months of work... and tell it how lovely it is, how well it behaved whilst you were making it, then pat it and tell it how well loved it is... lol!
    (Sorry, been sewing most of today... I think my brains gone a bit addled!)

  22. #22
    Super Member bjnicholson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minda
    Handwork is relaxing and portable. I even hand sew on long car trips (but not when I'm the driver).
    Yes, what she said! (Love the frog, Minda)

  23. #23
    Kas
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    Here is a pic of a quilt I started hand piecing when I was pregnant with my daughter. I hated the colors and the Joann's cheap fabric, though. And the templates don't make as sharp of points in the center of the wheel, so I took the blocks I had and made a doll quilt out of them. When we took all the kids to Florida, I took it for our new son to lay on since I wasn't finished with his quilt yet. Here he is on the ugly doll quilt I hand pieced.

    He was 12 weeks old. That's my mom helping him push.
    Name:  Attachment-105717.jpe
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Size:  47.4 KB

  24. #24
    Super Member Luv Quilts and Cats's Avatar
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    I have not hand pieced anything yet, but I love counted cross stitch. Any handwork like that I find very relaxing. It's very much like mindfulness, when you are in the moment now and only in the moment now. I think it is very meditative, the needle going in and out, your breathing in and out, your mind focused on the activity.

  25. #25
    Super Member katiebear1's Avatar
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    Don't have the patience to hand quilt. Years ago ( when I was in my 20s and 30s I did needlepoint and Crewl embroidery. Plus my fingers are too stiff to do much handwork

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