Coalition of Hand Piecers

Hi to all,
Love the comments I'm getting about hand piecing. Long ago in a faraway land (Kentucky) I taught machine piecing.  Beginners always experienced confusion and frustration and no enjoyment.  Here is the bottom line for me - quilting today is supposed to be fun. We no longer need to make quilts as one pioneer woman put it:  "as fast as I can to keep my family warm."  Quilting is a hobby now.  Hobbies are supposed to bring enjoyment.  Otherwise they serve no purpose. 
The other day I watched a Quilt in a Day television show.  I decided to count the steps it took to make a flying geese unit - well actually, I think it made a couple of units - and I stopped at number 7 and it still wasn't made.  Seriously, it only takes cutting out 3 triangles and sewing them together.  Am I the only one that thinks this is bizarre?  Don't get me wrong, Eleanor seems like a nice lady and she is rich and famous and I'm not, but why would anyone think such a convoluted method is the best way to make flying geese?  I don't get it.  (Please don't send me negative email about this - I am entitled to my opinion. Plus, I said she was nice!)  By the way, in the previously mentioned far away land, I belonged to a guild and almost everyone loved Eleanor's methods.  This guild always had Eleanor's sister come to their quilt show and give presentations and her stuff sold like hotcakes.  Ahh, but I digress......
When I started making miniature quilts, experimentation ensued.  I'll try most anything.  Tried the paper methods early on - English and Foundation.  Didn't like the process, but the results are good.  I have found traditional hand piecing to be my favorite way to do things.  It is straight forward and the more you do it the better you get.  In fact, it is now the only method I teach. It makes for a fun and relaxed workshop and I have never had any complaints.  I always supply kits, so there is no stress trying to get the right items together for class.  (You need some really tiny prints for miniatures and most people don't have them on hand.  You have to buy those fabrics when you find them and they are few and far between.) Some of these quilts have turned up in quilt shows (no mention about being from kits, by the way), so they must be successful. 
Before stepping off of  my soapbox,  just another thought:  I have endured a lot of strange comments about the miniature quilt thing and so I was not surprised that Jill left a comment about getting a big "why" question on  hand piecing  I leave you with her answer:
Why not?


I love your comments today! I often see 'new ' techniques that complicate piecing ( in my opinion as well). And it seems as if we are in a world where results are more important than the journey. I am happy to see your hand piecing blocks. I find it quite inspiring! Thanks!
Great post and I love the title "Coalition of Hand Piecers"....what a wonderful place to be!
Jill said…
Great post and I too love the title. I love piecing flying geese units by hand. They are so simple and fun.
Proud to consider myself part of the "Coalition".
Jill said…
I need a little advice on making a block pattern smaller. The block has some pieces with curves and a couple odd shapes. I do not have EQ or any other program to help me design blocks. I draft on graph paper. I am hoping you can give me a little advice. I am not sure if I can just simply reduce the templates using my copier. If you can offer any advice, please email me. Thanks.
Karen said…
Whatever is enjoyable and gets the job done!
Lisa said…
I'm with you all the way, Sheila. I don't get any negative comments about handwork, as everyone already knows I can't use a machine to save my life. Often I hear people telling others "she hand pieces" like I'm a curiosity or something, and I think it's cute. By machine is definitely faster, but I would get nothing but frustration from it, and I find hand sewing so relaxing. You're right, it's the process.
Taryn said…
I love hand piecing. Once I settled on a method for conveniently toting my fabric and supplies I have carried it with me everywhere. Nothing passes a flight better than hand piecing a lemoyne star. It's started a few interesting conversations.

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