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Hand Quilting
quiltingwolf
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quiltingwolf
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Date: 4/22/13 12:30 PM

I swore and swore I'd never go to that dark side. As I really never liked hand sewing. But I realized I would have much more control over my quilting, I could that anywhere in the house. So I wonder if it's time to learn how to rock that needle.Although will see how it effects my bone spur in my thumb. Hand quilting love it? hate it?

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justgail

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In reply to quiltingwolf <<


Date: 4/22/13 3:52 PM

I'm working on my first hand-quilted quilt. I'm going to say I'm neutral on it so far. I do love that I'm not trying to get the quilt through the machine, but I think the next one I'm going to try to remember to think ahead and add the batting in sections and give machine quilting a try. On the other hand, I'm fighting getting the quilt rolled up and positioned so my hands are in a comfortable position. I'm using a large hoop in my lap, not a floor model. The rocking stitch doesn't seem that hard once I get the rhythm going, except that first stitch can be tricky.

And I'm not beating myself up about uneven stitching. As long as I'm keeping it under 6-8 stitches/inch, I'm happy. I try to get smaller, but I keep saying "done is better than perfect", and "remember all those lovely antiques at the museum - not all those had tiny perfect stitches and they were gorgeous"

Franksdottir

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Date: 4/23/13 3:50 PM

I love hand quilting. It is very rhythmic, and very soothing. I am not very good at it, my stitches are uneven and don't always catch at the back, and sometimes they are too long, but it is a pleasure to do.

With the trouble you have with your hands, I don't know if you would feel comfortable doing it.

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Barb

Franksdottir

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Date: 4/23/13 4:04 PM

We are not as skilled as the women who used to sew all of the family's clothes, curtains and linens by hand. Very few girls these days start sewing at five, or even younger, and sew by hand much of each day.

I reread the "Little House" books about every ten years - they don't change, but I do, and each time I read them I get something different from them. The last time through I was struck by a section where Laura, still a young girl at home, had to mend the sheets for her family. The sheets were two lengths of muslin sewn together in the middle. Laura had to unpick the sewing, and whip stitch them back together with the used middles now to the outside - and the stitches had to be perfect and uniform and so tiny that they didn't make a lump .

Could you hand sew a whole sheet's length in such a small and perfect way? I hand sew things quite a bit, I do needlework, in good light, and I have good fine motor movements, and I couldn't do it. I don't have the skill, even though I probably have the patience. Even Laura in the book has to take out some stitches which were not up to her mother's standards.

So, while I think it is reasonable to strive to do our best, for most of us the perfection of the pre-sewing machine seamstresses is probably beyond us.

ETA: typos


-- Edited on 4/23/13 4:05 PM --

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Barb

figaro
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Date: 4/23/13 4:46 PM

The last time I read those books, I was amused by the bit where they got a sewing machine, and Laura and Ma were amazed that the machine's stitching was every bit as straight and even as hand stitching. I'm positive I couldn't live up to my machine's stitching.

I'm generally resistant to the idea of hand sewing, but on the other hand, I enjoy hand embroidery. If I ever try hand quilting, I'm going to have to convince myself that it's just embroidery.

SusieK1957

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Date: 4/27/13 6:25 AM

I hand quilt- it's the only way I know. It's my therapy. I would quilt more if I didn't have a job...

SouthernStitch
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Date: 4/27/13 9:06 AM

I have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for those who hand sew. My daughter even knows that all of the hand stitching in the quilts her grand mother has made is part of what makes them so special.
After already having two for herself, she asked for another for the baby she wants to have someday. She quite frankly told her grandma that she might not be quilting anymore by the time she has one, so please please give her one now! Grandma was thrilled that my DD appreciates her work so much. Me too!

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Cat n Bull
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Date: 4/27/13 9:21 AM

I used to shudder at just the THOUGHT of hand sewing anything! I even used my machine to sew buttons on!

But now I find it very relaxing. I like the absolute control you have with hand sewing.

The quilt I hand quilted was pretty thick and heavy. For my current hand sewing project, if I ever get a finished quilt top out of it, I will have to really consider more traditional batting and backing, to be able to give that rocking thing a try! I can't imagine spending a year hand sewing a quilt top together, then quilting it on the machine.

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Cathryn

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Date: 4/27/13 10:10 AM

My mother made quilts and hand quilted them (in a group at the church with a huge quilt frame and several people to put the quilt in the frame). But she also hand pieced her quilts. When I asked her why she didn't just use the machine it was so much faster, she said that it wasn't about the speed it was about enjoying the process. and she just enjoyed sewing the little pieces together while watchng TV or waiting in an office.
The problem is she left me a 3/4 finished quilt top and I think to finish it I should continue the hand piecing. Seems wrong to put it in the machine. And, of course, it's a grandma's flower garden so I don't think I could machine it. So it sits and waits.
Sis

justgail

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Date: 4/27/13 10:36 AM

With a Grandmother's Flower Garden, it's entirely possible that it would be faster by hand, esp. since you can take bits with you to work while waiting, as you mother did.

Here's a Jinny Beyer video on sewing Y-seams by machine and hand, she makes it look easy. She's been doing hand piecing for years. I'm guessing it takes practice to not to keep too tight a grip on the fabric or scrunch it up so you don't stretch the bias edges.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08AlOM5COBU

As far as finishing piecing the rest of your mom's top by machine, I wonder if the and and machine sewn seams might look different? Maybe not by the time it's quilted. Is it at a size you could use it as a lap quilt or throw?

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