Saturday, November 9, 2013

Learning to hand piece ...

is many things but so far Zen is NOT it! lol

I do love it but just differently..

Definitely better than my machine work...

Doesn't bother the local noises I love to listen to... water feature bubbling, birds, squirrels... my dogs! lol

So I started this adventure on November 3.
Fabrics from her ETSY shop here

Pattern in hand...
I cut all the material to the template size as I didn't have the special rulers they recommended...  there was a vid but all the tips they gave were for MACHINE piecing... so I called on my best Connie to help me out...

Then I called on the internet when she was sleeping or working to help me out... HGTV has a great 3 part vid of Jinny Beyer "hand quilting" but she is actually piecing... the link isn't working but you can just go to their website and search for it... sorry!  But it is EASY to find :)  And worth the effort if you want a quick and dirty lesson on hand piecing from a real PRO!

Finally between Connie, Jinny and my true grit effort I finished with this beauty of a table topper!  For 6 days of work this is sure like giving birth! lol
 To get to this point I had to glorify in little victories...

Like here... happy with my first stitches :)

Happy with my first units...
Going from my beginning triangle unit back to an octagon shaped center...
Back to a triangle...  This was Thursday I think...
Then it became a job... the sides to go on next didn't fit when I tried... see???!!!
So I stretched one side, gathered the other some and sewed them together so they DID match! lol  If it seems wrong... it probably is...

So out came the scissors and some stitches had to go... time to start this part OVER!
Finally I got to iron the whole thing a take a pic... and because I am so excited you get to see it biggie sized now :)  It measures 18 1/2" x 22 1/2" :)

Ta daaaah!  Whoop!  One top done... now one more to go... I will adjust the pattern for the second one and know where MY problems were with the first one...

What i have learned... don't leave knots at the corners.. instead backstitch to where you wanna be... less bulk at the corners... I can tell a difference at the point I learned that!

Use good sturdy thread and a sturdy needle you trust... I like it and Jinny said so! lol

Don't iron until your pieced area is complete.. it will mess up the seams you need to be flipping.. and it will!

Try it then do more research and then go back to it again.. you will be much wiser the second or third time than you are the first... unless Jinny stops by your house! lol

Take time to stretch and be healthy so you can keep going when the road is rough or you aren't seeing the progress you would like.  Be GOOD to yourself!

Hope this has helped you some if you struggle or desire to learn hand piecing.

I am still a lover of hand quilting overall and look forward to getting a few things I ordered to make the second one a tad easier... will share soon!

Have a blessed weekend!

Linking this learning lesson to ...
Kathy's Slow Stitching Sundays here 
Sugar Bee Crafts here 
Quilt Story here 
My Quilt Infatuation here

And check out my YLI hand quilting thread giveaway that I used in this project and LOVE going on until November 22, 2013 at 8 am EST... here!



  1. Who knew that hand piecing would be so difficult. ;-) Maybe I'll just keep on EPPing. ha! Seriously, Kathi, it turned out beautifully! I'm looking forward to seeing this come together!

  2. It looks wonderful! I agree hand piecing is not as easy as it looks. It's all about practicing!

  3. You did a great job. Very pretty.

  4. Fantastic job! What type of thread and needle are you using? I'm also trying my hand at hand piecing - can be a challenge.

    Mary Ann

    1. Mary Ann... thanks for the comment :) I use YLI thread 40 wt in white on this one ... now I am using Coats and Clark machine quilting 100% cotton thread 30 wt. in tan on the second one.. I am using my same needle I handquilt with (got a fresh one just for piecing :) John James betweens size 8 is my fave at the moment! Happy stitching! Kathi

  5. What a beautiful block and so flat! That is usually the issue I have - getting it flat. I agree breaks are needed but it is so nice to have something to take with you to put a few stitches in here and there.

  6. Beautiful star block. You did a wonderful job with it. A blessed week for you.

  7. The block is beautiful. I can sympathize because I started hand piecing a block or two a little while ago. I had not done it in so long I just about forgot how. My plan was to just have one or two cut out at a time for a sampler or something down the line....and I wanted to re-acquaint myself with it as I do not see how I'd ever be able to do a really complicated block on the machine.

  8. I think my comment may have gotten lost in computer land.
    Just want to say I think it looks terrific and is a very hard block!

  9. Well done!!I Fabulous topper and love your fabrics combo!!

  10. Beautiful! I am doing an EPP project now but considering handpiecing without the papers next time. I love the hand work too.

  11. that's a pretty block! I know that I certainly do NOT have the patience for hand work!

    Thank you so much for sharing at Needle and Thread Thursday!

    :) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation


Thanks for taking time to comment. Have a blessed day!