Inspiring Quilters, Stitch by Stitch
How do you do most of your piecing-by hand or machine? I know machine piecing is much faster, but I enjoy doing it by hand so much more. What does everyone else like?
I'm too impatient and too arthritic to ever try hand-piecing ... I even do my finish quilting by machine!
luv, Liz / Calgary
I am a hand piecer and hand quilter - I actually think my quilt tops stay together better the way I hand piece them than if they were machine pieced. But, the main reason - is I absolutely love the "hand" aspect of this art.
I do it all by hand also. I don't get along with my machine. I really enjoy piecing and quilting by hand. I am addicted to it. :)
Susan, I know exactly what you're talking about! I've finally begun to be able to do some piecing on the machine, for client quilts; my own, I'm very happy sitting on my sofa with my work in my lap. :)
One reason I started quilting was because I was doing other types of needlework and wanted something where I could see results faster. So I piece and quilt by machine. However, I also try to have a "hand project" that I can work on away from my machine. Right now that is 409 yo-yos that I will stitch to the front of a quilt. I work on them during my daughter's activities, while my husband was having eye surgery, and if our Newfoundland puppy ever calms down enough, I'll be able to work on them again when our family watches television together.
I have been known to piece on the machine when I feel in a real time crunch. I don't enjoy it. I do sew clothes for myself, my daughter and 4 granddaughters on the machine - and love that; but don't enjoy the piecing for some reason. I'm sure as I continue to age and my hands get a bit stiffer - I may find hand piecing not as relaxing as I find it today. I do put my borders on my machine and the first side of the binding. So, I'm not totally opposed to the sewing machine!!
I machine piece. Hand piecing is too tedious for me. I have a friend who sails with her husband and she hand pieces while on their saiboat.
I like to do a little of both - I agree with Nancy about loving the 'hand' aspect of quilting. I like the portability of projects, too. BUT - there's a time and place for everything and I do love my machine. I guess it depends on the size of pieces, and whether the quilt I am making should have heritage value (like for my daughters). I have a 'millenium' quilt that my mother hand pieced - it's priceless to me, much more than machine quilted ones, because I think of her sitting there piecing every one of those 1000 blocks!
I enjoy both hand and machine piecing and usually have projects with both going on. For gifts I usually do machine piecing as it means the gift is completed in a more timely manner. I currently have two hand pieced projects going, one is a UFQ that was lost in my sewing room for a while and another is part of a sampler quilt. For me handwork is very relaxing, portable, and great for traveling, thus I also do embroidery and knit when I can. Knitting aggravates my carpal tunnel, if I do it for too long.
I started quilting because I wanted to make a quilt like my grandmother did. She died before I was born and it seemed to me like a way to get to know her and pass something on. My father was the 13th child and she was 50 when she had him. She died 10 years before I was born. I love to quilt by hand because I feel that it is more accurate, relaxing, and I can piece or applique while spending time with my family around me. I have a quilt pattern that I just bought from Pam Bono's website that I am going to machine quilt and that one will be my first machine pieced work. It is a wall hanging of two black swans and I just fell in love with it. First you precut all of your fabrics and bag them, then you put them together in order, kind of like working a puzzle. When it is together I will hand quilt it. I cannot imagine sending my quilts out for someone else to quilt or machine quilting them. I look at the machine quilted quilts at the quilt shop all the time and I do not think they are as pretty and hand quilting. At 72 years of age I just don't get in a hurry anymore and any thing worth doing is worth doing right. Just my opinion! Linda S
I do both and find that I like having a machine project and a hand project in progress together. I like English paper piecing projects for hand work. I usually have a knitting project in progress as well! Today I will be piecing at the machine because I need to get a baby quilt together for my husband's niece.
What a great variety of answers! I think I'm attracted to hand work because I machine quilt for others. I also love hand applique, but want to learn to do it by machine because I want to do way too many projects.