I’ve been thinking of a lot of new quilting projects that I’d like to start in the near future, and although I’m thrilled that I’m actually coming up with new ideas, I’m so frustrated to think of how long it would take me to get through any of them. It’s making me seriously reconsider just how dedicated I am to the art of hand piecing and quilting my projects. To me, handwork is just so uncommon, especially in quilters my age (okay, let’s be honest, there’s not a lot of quilters my age anyway) that I feel that I’m somewhat obligated to keep up my policy on it. To me, it just feels so much more complete when it’s finished by hand. I’m torn on the issue, and I know so many people would tell me to just suck it up and use the machine, but I’m so attached to my needle, thread, thimble and quilting hoop. I know I could get double the work done that way though.
And quilters, if you’ve got some downtime in the next two days you may be interested in contributing a block to Marta’s Tsunami Quilt. She’ll be putting together a wall hanging made from sent in blocks to sell on E-bay with the proceeds going to UNICEF. If you’re interested though, act fast–the deadline is February 15th. You can get all the information at Tsunami Quilt 2005.

8 Thoughts on “Machine Quilting and Me

  1. I Love hand quilting it is so relaxing. I did a some machine quilting (the tablerunner was my first project) and some machine binding. And It is stressfull for me. I know it gets so overwhelming the thought of how long it will take to quilt, the trap I fell into with the machine quilting though is that it is just as long! okay not as long but it really doesn’t cut the time down for me, and practically gives me an aneurism cuz i’m so stressed…..in case your wondering this was a supportive pep talk in Do you own thing baby! whatever it is.

  2. I’m the same way. My sister thinks I’m nuts, but I love hand piecing and hand quilting. The few times I’ve tried machine quilting I’ve hated the results. Not machine piecing and quilting cuts way down on the number of projects, but I feel better about them. I’ve got a few that I’ve machine pieced for speed (baby quilts, a Thangle quilt from the first time I used Thangles, etc.) but I much prefer hand piecing. One other thing that keeps me away from machine quilting is a lot of the quilt tops I’ve seen with machine quilting. It’s almost as if the most important thing was the machine quilting. It just overrides the piecing on some quilts. And while it may look nice, it’s really too much in some instances. I think there may be a “backlash” of sorts in the future and a return to the hand quilting.

  3. Don’t give in and use the machine at all!!! I think it’s amazing that you do everything by hand. I would, but my skills aren’t quite up to par yet…actually, I”d prolly still machine piece, but I would love to be able to hand quilt and have it not look like crap. I’m also in a group of people of an age where there aren’t a lot of quilters. I’m 27…and I’m a man! Can I ask how old you are? You don’t have to say of course :-)

  4. Well, not sure how old you are, I’m 37 and I do everything by hand. Mainly because I’m just learning how to use a machine. I got a very CRAZY reaction when I started researching crazy quilting and most of the gals in the quilt shops thought I was nuts. But I love sitting and doing handwork. I work all day at the computer and sitting hunched over a sewing machine for a “hobby” has never seemed like fun. You’re in good company…hand work is cool!

  5. I am 26, female :)
    I have never tried to hand quilt unles the binding counts, but i have only made one quilt. I also knit and crochett. I have trouble finding people my age who quilt at ALL.

  6. I haven’t done much quilting on a machine, but I have done lots of other sewing (apparel, mostly). And I’ve found that it’s not necessarily that much faster–the sewing itself might be, but the set up takes more time. And knowing Sarah as I do, I tend to think that you won’t be as happy with the final result. So I would say stick to hand stitching. (and not just cause I want my quilt done all by hand! :-) )

  7. Deadline is February 15th Thanks

  8. Wow! I randomly found your blog a few weeks back. As I read through your post archives, I found this post and knew it was time to come out of lurking mode! I’m a young quilter too (from Michigan, currently in Maine–moving back to MI in May!), and very dedicated to hand quilting my projects. If I’m not paper piecing, I usually machine piece for sturdiness, though. I just machine quilted my first baby quilt by special request from the parents, and it nearly killed me! 😉 Seriously though, I know what you mean about getting flack from others about doing things by hand. They may have their reasons, but to me, it has so much more personality and sweetness when it’s done by hand. I salute you for all of the hard work and love that you put into your projects! Hurrah!

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