Quilt With Us

Until a year ago last fall, I hadn't owned a sewing machine for years. I always made all of my quilts completely by hand - still do many of them. But my hands aren't what they used to be, and with the huge amount of time it takes to make them, I finally realized that if I wanted to make more quilt tops that I could then hand quilt, I needed to buy a machine.

I still make some completely by hand - I just wondered if anyone else does the entire quilt completely by hand besides me? It is a lost and dying art, but so rewarding.

The quilt in my avatar is completely hand pieced and almost finished hand quilting. That one has taken me over 3 years of part-time devotion. I am currently making the Dear Jane off and on by hand, and have a Schoolhouse, and two others that I work on now and then..

Please tell me that there are other out there who do this as well..

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I've always machine pieced, hand quilted--but I'm currently working on a Grandmother's Flower Garden and it will be done completely by hand.  I was trying to decide how to finish the outside and instead of binding, i think I'm going to turn under the 1/4" seam allowance and slip-stitch the front and back together.  I think I'll do a Seven Sisters as my next hand pieced project, or else it will be an applique project.  I'm backed up with guild projects right now---next year I'll commit to one, not two plus charity quilts.

Although I'm not adding anything new, you wanted to know what we all did, right?  I like to do it ALL!  

For different reasons, of course.  For those quilts that are simple designs or need to get done quickly - machine piece and quilt  - all the way.  Oh, and for those projects that have been around forever too, and I just want them DONE!  I also like to consider the use of the quilts - the ones that will a hard usage by me and the dogs  - well, those are machine pieced and machine quilted.  But for those items that I know are going to be treasured or are fragile, then I like to hand piece and hand quilt.


When I started my Dear Jane quilt blocks at a retreat, everyone thought I was crazy to hand piece the 1st block.  Because I was a new quilter, I listened to everyone about how much more accurate I would be if I machine pieced the blocks.  HAH - not me!  My 1 machine pieced block is nowhere as accurate as my hand-pieced ones….LOL.  They said I just needed to practice more, but it would take me forever to get just 1 DJ block done if I practiced enough to get it right…LOL.


And at retreats, sew-ins, or craft days, if always freaks me out to hear machines going at such fast speeds.  I really don't know how they do it.  I panic when my machine starts to go too fast.  Well, my machine is not possessed, I just get a lead foot sometimes, and I notice that I've completely lost my 1/4" seam.  :-D

I'm trying to finish as many UFOs this year as I can. I'm working on the hand quilting of this hand-pieced and hand-appliquéd quilt (my first appliqué quilt). I call it "Spring Flowers."

I saw the quilt design on an episode of Simply Quilts about 2000. I bought the fabric and started the quilt by doing the appliqué blocks (not in the original design, but those empty spaces just cried for something). I copied the appliqué design from an old one I found in a book, American Quilt Classics from the Collection of Patricia Cox by Patricia Cox. It was from a quilt kit made about 1930. The fabrics were from "The Language of Flowers" designed by Susan Branch and manufactured by Springs Industries.

Here's a closeup of the appliqué block already quilted.

This isn't the first quilt I've made entirely by hand, and I'm sure not the last (I have a grandmother's flower garden, too). Although I usually piece by machine and quilt by hand or pay someone to machine quilt, I enjoy hand work...a lot!
I really want to finish it so I can hand-quilt my Delectable Pathways, which my friend Julie basted for me on her long-arm.

Beautiful quilt and so is your quilting.  I complimented you in another group on how I like the simplicity of the straight line "channel quilting" you are using behind the appliqué.


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