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Forum > Quilters' Corner > Hand vs. machine piecing and quilting ( Moderated by Sharon1952)

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Hand vs. machine piecing and quilting
What is your preference?
ladyinblack1964
ladyinblack1964
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Member since 10/21/05
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Date: 11/2/05 3:39 PM

I am wondering how many of you hand quilt and hand piece. I've been taking a hand quilt/piece class for almost two months now. It's kind of odd; we don't really have a goal and everyone works at their own pace.

Now, I'm an "I want it NOW" type of person with little patience. You might ask, why choose quilting as a hobby, then? I've always thought quilts were beautiful, and have been falling in love with fabric. However, i'd like to finish a project before this decade ends. LOL

I asked the teacher what the end result was meant to be in the class, and she said it depends on how many blocks we make. We've been piecing for weeks, and no assembly has even been discussed. I have to drive an hour each way for the class, and I'm starting to lose enthusiasm/interest.

I did buy a quilt pattern and some fats for myself, to start a new project. I'm hoping to get a sewing machine for Christmas, as well.

What is your opinion? Yes, I know sometimes the pleasure is in the process, but I don't want to endlessly sew something. I want to get a quilt out of it in the end.

Thanks!

Skye
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Skye  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/2/05 3:55 PM

I am want it done yesterday sort of person to. So I rotary cut and machine piece and quilt my quilts. Having said that last summer I started a hand pieced project for something to do over the summer when we were away on holiday and I needed something to do with my paws. Also was quite relaxing doing a bit after diiner at night - good excuse not to clean up the kitchen. I put the borders on it by machine and machine quilted it. So this summer I have just received a Jinney Beyer kit for Trip around the world which I plan on mainly hand piecing over this summer (I live in New Zealand) I can take it away with me and have something to do while DH is golfing etc. I will still have my machine projects on the go.
I would find it quite frustrationg if there wasn't a goal or end product at the end of a class. I would expect each class to show me a new technique and that there was homework so that after a few lessons there was a finished product. I like big quilts

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Wellington, NZ

Peggy L
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Date: 11/2/05 4:41 PM

I'm with Skye - if I am driving an hour to class I would want to be learning something new each class. All the classes I have ever taken there has been a goal and something you were supposed to accomplish by the next class.

I'm also of the "please let me finish this in this lifetime" attitude. I rotary cut and machine piece. I have had the quilts I have made so far professionally machine quilted. I am getting ready to attempt my first machine quilted project. You would not believe the beautiful machine quilted quilts that were at the International Quilt Show in Houston this year. I was just in awe!!!!

I think the beauty of hand piecing is portability. It might be nice to have one to take to work on in the car, the carpool line or wherever that you know is a long term project.

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www.thereisjoyadventures.blogspot.com

fwbean472
fwbean472
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Alabama USA
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Date: 11/2/05 4:49 PM

Rotary cutters and machine piecing for me. Faster. Faster. I've only machine quilted 2 small projects. I've yet to machine quilt any of my larger tops, because I'm not sure I want to fight with all of that fabric and the machine. I'm probably going to send them out.

I have done 2 projects that were quilt as you go. Now you can make some progress with that method. I've done the Purely Plum pattern out of the Divide and Conquer book.

Alathia

Kathy_AZ

Kathy_AZ  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/2/05 5:35 PM

I'm definitely in the rotary cutter machine piece/quilting camp. Even with these modern conveniences, it still take quite a while to finish. I'm currently working on two quilts. One is a machine embroidered/appliqued quilt by Jenny Haskins which I have almost got all the blocks made and quilted. It's taken two full months, working almost full-time. The second one is a kind of crazy quilt which I have to work in as it's also a x-mas gift. I can't imagine how long these two would take if I was doing them by hand!

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Viking Designer SE LE; Viking 936 serger; Janome CoverPro 1000; Viking Sapphire 870; 1957 Brother mechanical.

Jennifer Hill
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Date: 11/2/05 6:06 PM

My philosophy of quilting (of life?) is that, all things being equal, I'm going to use the fastest methods that produce acceptable results. Acceptable to ME, not my teachers, my mother, or my co-workers. So I machine piece. I can't detect the difference in hand vs. machine pieced quilts with the naked eye, so I can't see the point in doing it by hand.

Applique is another matter. I find hand applique produces a finer finished product. It wears better and has more depth. Invisible machine applique is a contradiction in terms. I do some machine applique, but I HATE HATE fusibles, and use stitches that look like I mean them to be seen.

Then there is quilting. Here I go both ways. Despite what SM dealers will tell you, machine quilting is wayyyyy more difficult technically to master than hand quilting, regardless of how much $$$$ you have invested. Hand quilting is easy, but never very fast. I find some pieces demand handquilting, some have more impact with a skillful machine job. To me, they are verry verrrry different skills, and never interchangeable. Don't even bother to try to duplicate hand quilting strategies by machine. Or vice versa.

Jennifer in Calgary

Annie- oh
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Date: 11/2/05 6:55 PM

I'd like to say that while I machine piece and machine quilt, I usually have some handpiecing around but always, always a HANDQUILTING project around - it is the most soothing thing I do for myself.

Now here's a big, strong, fat opinion: do Eleanor Burn's Quilt in a Day - a log cabin quilt. I've taught this in a one day class, but asked everyone to come back the next Saturday for pictures - but really to make sure people finished the last few details. After you know how a quilt works and goes together, then it's easier to be patient for learning a variety of blocks or handpiecing, etc. And you don't need a class - just follow the steps, set aside a large part of a weekend - you amaze yourself.

But in my classes, held in our bookstore/coffeehouse, my husband said you could feel the hormones from out on the sidewalk...and my students would get humming along so that nobody would even get up to go to the bathroom till lunchtime. They would see a quilt coming together!

So I say, one way or another, make a quilt, then make others anyway you want. But a word for handquilting besides its soothing qualities - you can feel the difference in warmth beneath a handquilted quilt...really.

Annie

------
I try all things. I achieve what I can. "Moby Dick"

We stand here confronted by insurmountable opportinities. Pogo

Peggy L
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In reply to Kathy_AZ


Date: 11/2/05 8:13 PM

Jenny Haskins had a lot of work on display at the quilt show. Beautiful, beautiful projects! Be sure and post a pic when you are finished.

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www.thereisjoyadventures.blogspot.com

Sherril Miller
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Date: 11/2/05 9:50 PM

I don't ride in a horse and buggy and I don't quilt by hand. We live in the 21st century and we have fabulous sewing machines which do the work of a hand needle in a fraction of the time. Now I have nothing against those who sew by hand, but I have a full-time job, two night classes, a special needs child, and a household to run. I don't want to do without home made quilts, so I use the rotary cutter and machine and have a fine collection of quilts in various stages of unfinishedness. However, I also have a large collection of quilts that I have completed, so no hand sewing for me!

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Visit my blog at http://sewingsaga.blogspot.com

If it's worth sewing, it's worth sewing well;
and if it's worth sewing well, it's worth FITTING FIRST! - TSL

SewVeryTall
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SewVeryTall
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Date: 11/3/05 5:23 AM

I'm really surprised your class doesn't do a smaller project to start with. That way you'd work through and learn the whole process quicker.

I like to do both hand and machine piecing/quilting, but [and this is a big but] if I'm doing a hand project, I want it to be a smaller size.

Here is a project I posted [with instructions] that took me 3 or 4 evenings, while watching tv, to get done...

Hand Pieced Pincushion


-- Edited on 11/3/05 6:26 AM --

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Ardis

the lefthanded daughter of a lefthanded mother

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