Tackling A Quilting Taboo: Machine Or Hand Quilt?


From the initial piecing, to the intricate designs on the finished sandwich, and finally attaching the binding. Each step can create fierce heated debate.

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Tackling A Quilting Taboo: Machine Or Hand Quilt?

From the initial piecing, to the intricate designs on the finished sandwich, and finally attaching the binding. Each step can create fierce heated debate.

Who would have thought quilting could create such a dilemma?

Tackling A Quilt Taboo Maching Or Hand Quilt


There are two ways to construct a quilt.




The original method for quilting would have been by hand. In days gone by, women from the same family, village or town would gather for Quiltings. Social occasions where each quilter, usually women, would sit with a needle, thread, stitch on the same quilt and gossip. These Quiltings helped with the isolation experienced by many women, particularly in rural areas.



Stitching by machine. Machines have only been around since the 1850s. Initially, not everyone would have had access to one. As time's gone by, machines have become more popular and have changed the way quilts are made. You still get Quiltings. Modern Quiltings include people from different towns, different families, all gathering at quilting clubs or guilds. These days, the gossip is more likely to happen with quilters working on separate quilts. There are also a lot more men involved in what has become a truly inclusive hobby.


So, to hand quilt or machine quilt? It's a tricky question.


The pros and cons of both:



1. Time to Construct

There's no getting around the fact that hand stitching can be time consuming. If I'm honest, it can also be a bit tedious. In the time it takes to quilt one project by hand, a machine could have made two or three. It's a rush, rush world out there and when life gets in the way of quilting, speed is definitely of the essence. If time isn't on your side, machine stitching is the better option for getting the job done fast.


2. Stitching on the Go

Unfortunately, you can't stitch by machine when you're traveling by car or train. Well, you can but it isn't going to end well. Hit a pothole in the road while your quilting foot is flat to the car floor, you risk a filleted finger or two. Your fellow train passengers will be more than a little miffed if you try to balance a machine on their laps while sewing half-square triangles together. Although sewing machines are getting lighter and smaller, hand stitching is still unbeatable in the portability stakes. Hand stitched projects will fit in pockets or in purses. Stitching can be contained within the confines of your own seat. And just think about all the admiring glances from your traveling buddies, all agog at your sewing prowess.



3. Creativity & Satisfaction

This is one area where both machine and hand quilting excel. Both methods are creative, sturdy and more than up to the task of keeping a quilt stitched for years to come. In the hands of experienced and novice quilters alike, hand and machine quilting can be awe inspiring, beautiful, relaxing and incredibly fulfilling.


With there being little to choose between the two, it's fair to say there is no best way to quilt.


How you quilt is up to you and what suits your project best. Both hand and machine quilting have their merits. So whichever way you decide to create your quilt, make sure you follow the only rule in quilting. Have fun doing it!


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Binding is used as both a noun and a verb. As a noun it is the fabric that's used to cover the raw edges of the quilt sandwich after it's quilted. This edging fabric is referred to as the Binding (noun). As a verb it is the process of putting on this fabric, and it referred to as Binding a Quilt.
Accessories that are available for sewing machines and are especially made for quilting.
Hand Quilting
A running stitch that is made through all three layers of a quilt to hold them together.
Machine Quilting
Creating quilting stitches on a quilt using a sewing machine instead of sewing them by hand.
The process of assembling quilt blocks from pieces of fabric sewn along their edges to form a whole.

See Also: English Paper Piecing, Assembly Piecing, Machine Piecing, Chain Piecing, Paper Piecing, Hand Piecing
Traditional description of a quilt: a sandwich consisting of a Quilt Top, Batting (filling), and a Backing.
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