Any good tips for hand piecing and hand quilting?
I am a "novice" quilter and I am wanting to start my first hand pieced/hand quilted quilt. I think I am going to go with a Grandma's Flower Garden. Good choice? Any good advice please pass it on! Also, is there a quilting frame of preference for anyone?
hello prinecutquilter - If I was to advise you - this is not a quilt I would recommend to a beginning quilter to do - I would recommend perfecting your skills before tackling this quilt. If you do a lot of hand sewing then you won't have a problem with it - but it is a quilt that even a lot of advanced quilters would shy away from -
Definitely hand pieced though and if you go over to the Dear jane group you will see a lot of tips on hand piecing.
BTW - welcome to QCA!
We had a discussion about hand quilting frames a while back. Here's a link to the discussion:
Hand quilting frame
I have always loved the Grandmothers Flower Garden but do not think I am up to that one in my skill level. Maybe someday. If you choose to do this pattern I wish you the best of luck.
primecutquilter:Any good tips for hand piecing and hand quilting?
hello, primecut quilter, and welcome. grandmother's flower garden is a big project, because the pieces are so little. i would recommend that if you really want to make this quilt? make a pillow top first, or a table runner, to see if you like it and that it is something you want to tackle. you can make just one flower and applique it to a background too. it is fairly straight forward to make and with english paper piecing, pretty foolproof. i'm slowly, very slowly making one now out of 1/4 inch pieces. any book on hand quilting should give good directions on piecing. i like a 50 weight thread and take tiny stitches. when doing the grandmothers flower garden, my stitches are only 1 to 2 mm apart, though it is a whip stitch and goes quickly.
quilting frames are as varied as quilters themselves and you will get many different answers. i prefer lap quilting with the quilt piled in my lap. i use a quick snap frame. pvc pipes with 4 corner joints and a half pipe that goes around the pipes to hold the quilt. quick and easy.
if you have more questions or want more info , just ask .
oh, and tell us a little about yourself. you'll find a lot of support here and good advice. gini
gini in north idaho
I would say it depends on the technique you are using. I would say, that matching up sewing lines, and piecing that way is quite a task. But if you are english paper piecing, or use Mylar Pieces, then it is really easy, and a good project for a beginner. You don't have to use miniature pieces either. I started a Grandmothers Flower Garden a few days ago, and I am using the Mylar Pieces. One side of them is 1.5" long, and makes a finished hexagon of 2.5" across. So fairly reasonable. Because you only have to cut out fabric for them, you don't have to cut out a neverending amount of templates like in english paper piecing. But the principle is the same on how to sew them together. With the Mylar Pieces, you cut out the fabric, run a basting stitch close to the edge around, lay the template in the middle, and draw the fabric close. Then you sew the pieces together with whip stitch, and once all six sides of a pice are enclosed, you remove the basting stitches, take the template out, and reuse it for another piece. It is so easy, my 11 year-old daughter loves helping me with it. So you see, you don't have to be a master quilter to make a Grandmothers Flower Garden.
I have The Gace Z44 quilt frame for hand quilting, and I love it. Because I can adjust it to different angles, like an easle. That makes it very nice on the neck and back when quilting for hours, because I can adjust it, so I don't have to bend over it. For smaller projects I like to just use a hoop. That way it is more mobile, and I can take it in front of the TV, or even in nice weather out on the porch. But I personally don't like big quilts in the hoop. I find it hard on the shoulders to hold it, and quilt on it, so my big quilts go all in the frame.
I hope this gave you some information, and let us know how your quilt is coming along.
Grandmother's Flower Garden is quite an undertaking for even the more experienced quilter. If you are set on doing this, though, I would get some templates and do English paper piecing. I have bought templates for a tumbling block quilt online so I'm sure you could find the templates for this one as well. I also agree that perhaps you may want to start with a pillow top or table runner before tacking a full-sized quilt.
Is there anyone else out there who hates those darn templates? I tried paper and I tried the mylar. Just can't stand them. I just sew the hexagons together like regular piecing. Since I discovered Inklingo it has been easier since I don't have to draw the seam lines.
What pattern does anyone reccomend for a good first go at hand quilting?
If you like the older quilt patterns a Dresden Plate or a Grandmothers Fan would be a little easier than the Grandmothers Flower Garden. However if you have never done any hand piecing you might want to start out with a wall hanging size in mind and increase your size according to how well you like the hand work. Also a pattern with larger pieces would work ....something like a rail fence or a churn dash. I hope this helps.
Thanks for the advice!
One thing I forgot to say earlier is that there are great little templates made from plastic that work well for this quilt and it is a portable project. Don't be expecting to make it quickly though - this quilt will take you a while...
When you get a chance tell us more about yourself... we really would like to get to know you! I hope you will share some more with us!