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By priscilla On 04/24/02  

Can anyone recommend a good book and/or site with tips on how to quilt by hand? My fiance got me quilting classes for my birthday, but they were cancelled (picture me shaking my fist in the air). I still want to learn how. Can someone help? Thanks so much.

By shawneemonkey On 04/24/02  

a good all-around book for quilting is the "Complete Idiot's Guide to Quilting". it has very detailed explanations, good illustrations, and takes you through the whole process, step by step.
have fun!

By bonnell99 On 04/24/02  

quilting by hand isn't all that complicated. Do you already quilt by machine?

I'd reccomend any kind of quilting book that looks appealing and draws your eye. Machine quilting and hand quilting aren't only different in that you'll be doing all the sewing by hand.

try for general quilting instructions.

Piecing is the first step. Start with a simple pattern, like a nine patch. A nine patch is a quilt block made of 9 small squares of fabric. Generally you'd cut 5 small squares of one color and 4 of another and lay it out like this


Now you hand sew all the little pieces of fabric together, usually with a backstitch. Starting with the first row, sew the X to the O, then the XO to the X. Do this for each row. Then matching seamlines, sew the first row to the second, and then sew the third row on. Voila, a block!

Once you've got your blocks done, sew them together. Add a border if you like, and then you have a quilt top.

To quilt the top, you'll make a sandwich with the layers from top to bottom:
quilt top
quilt backing

The backing is traditionally large plain (hopefully seamless, but barring that as few seams as possible) solid color. The less pieceing on the bottom the better becuase seams are harder to sew through. I tend to use sheets or solid muslin for backings.

Lay the whole sucker out on the floor or the bed, and use safety pins or basting to hold the sandwich together. Then you quilt. Quilting is basically the running stitch through all layers of the sandwich. You can mark your design on the quilt top with chalk, or you can essentially wing it and bascially work a grid or other design following your seam lines (like 1/2 inch away from them--not right on them as the lines may get lost). Some people use a frame, which holds the fabric taut and often stands up so they can use both hands to quilt. It doesn't really matter and is bascically personal preference.

When you're done quilting, you need to bind the quilt, which is basically covering all the raw edges. I usually cut and piece a long bias strip of fabric, sew it to the front, fold it over the edge of the quilt, fold the raw edge under and then stitch-in-the ditch for a neat finish.

The thing to remember most about quilting is to iron iron iron! Press as you go or your life will soon turn miserable. Also, when you're cutting out your blocks, don't forget to add a seam allowance all around or your blocks will turn out much smaller than you thought.

Also, I like to machine piece and hand quilt, but I hate piecing.


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