Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hand Piecing (stitching) Quilts

Tailoring Thursdays™, Tips, Tricks and Techniques for Sewers
Hand Piecing Quilts


Recently, I was visiting family and while there the power went out.  It was also raining so we couldn't go outside.  My mom had a quilt kit she had bought years ago and so I decided to piece it by hand.
I pieced the entire quilt (crib sized) by hand.  It was immensely soothing.  

Here's how to piece a quilt by hand.  We are going to take 2 squares to show how to sew the seam.
1.  Two of my favorite items.  A sewline mechanical pencil  and a 1/4" Quilt Seam Guide, which is a clear bar that is 1/4" wide.  Making it fast & easy to mark your 1/4" lines. 
2.  On the wrong sides of all your pieces draw a 1/4" seam allowance.  This will be your stitching guide. 

For the sake of time, I did not mark all four edges on this, but if you were making a
whole quilt, you should mark ALL edges of your squares, triangles, or other quilt pieces.
 3.  Pin your pieces, right side together, along the seam you are going to sew.
4.  Thread your needle and tie a knot at the end. 
5.  Start your seam with a back stitch at the very edge of the fabric.  This will make the small knot less noticeable and reinforce the seam.
6.  Stitch a running stitch on top of your 1/4" line.  To do a running stitch, simply poke your needle in and out of both layers of fabric, over and over until you have no room left on the needle.  Then pull the needle through.   NOTE:  The smaller your stitches the stronger the seam. 

7.  Repeat step 6 over and over until you get to the end of your seam. 
End seam with a back stitch & french knot.  
8.  One of the MOST important things about hand piecing is to be sure you press your seams to one side.  With machine piecing you can open your seams or press them to one side without it really interfering with the end quality of your quilt.  But with a hand pieced quilt, you will need the extra strength that pressing your seams to one side gives.  
And that's it! Repeat with all your seams until you are finished.  Remember to nest seams and use other piecing techniques. 
 And now for the giveaway!



Want to win your own Sewline Mechanical Pencil?
To enter:

1.  Leave a comment, any comment (I reserve the right to delete mean comments).

2.  Follow the Fat Quarter Shop on twitter, come back & leave a comment saying you followed them for another chance to win!


Winners will be drawn this Wednesday October, 26th. 
Come back next Thursday the 27th for a final chance to win!
Giveaway sponsored by Fat Quarter Shop

15 comments:

SuzyMcQ said...

Hand-piecing tut was fantastic! I've wanted one of the Sewline pencils forever!

katie said...

I'd love a Sewline pencil. And the tutorial was great!

mianpian@live.com

katie said...

I follow FQS on twitter (@mianpian)

mianpian@live.com

Marci Girl said...

Ok, it is seriously sad that you had to put that you reserve the right to delete mean comments! Mean people suck.

It is crazy to think that back in the day, by hand was the ONLY way to do it!

Marci Girl said...

I follow FQS on twitter! @Marci_Girl

poppyinpink said...

Nice to see hand-piecing done step by step, I am struggling with that a little at present, so timely! I love stopping by here, hugs!

poppyinpink said...

I am following FQS on twitter and they just sent me the most tempting offer 50% off, this could be my downfall!

Heather A said...

I'm so interested in the tools you are using and would love to get a mechanical pencil like this. Even better to win on.

Please, if you read this, can you tell me where to get the quarter inch bar that you're using. I've never seen one in shops here and if there's a brand name or something more specific I can look for, I'd appreciate it very much. I think it's just what I need to embark on my first half square triangles project. Thanks!

By the way, I'm a new quilter so if this ruler/bar is NOT the ideal tool to use for HST's, please enlighten me.

Debra said...

OK, now I need butterfly pins!

Debra said...

I follow FQS on Twitter @lealee33

manybooks said...

Hmmmm - i struggle enough with the hand stitched binding... not going to the pieceing by hand just yet! I love your tips tho!

manybooks said...

and I do follow the FQS on Twitter, although Twitter baffles me and I rarely use it :)

Carla G said...

Thanks for the hand piecing tutorial! I would love to win a Sewline Mechanical Pencil as I've never seen them in any stores around here. Thanks for a chance to win! :)

Ana said...

Great hand piecing tutorial! I would love to win a Sewline pencil.

Ana said...

I follow FQS on twitter.

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