Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hand quilting vs machine

Hand quilting? Machine quilting? My standard answer is: I used to be a handquilter, now I'm a quilt finisher. I make LOTS of quilts - some big, some small and I do all my quilting by machine now.

This is the last hand quilting I did in 2001. WOW ... I'm can't believe it's been that long.
I got the blocks through an internet block swap in 1999. As a hand-quilter, it took a LONG time to finish a project.
I then started quilting on my sewing machine. Not an easy task with bigger quilts. But, like the saying goes, "I wrestled the alligator." And disliked every minute of it! So, I tried out a couple of long-arm services and paid lots of money to someone else to do what I really wanted to do. Now I do all my own work.

I mostly do free-motion quilting. Anything you can doodle on paper, can be quilted. But unlike most "quilters," I don't think the quilting should be the star of the show. I think the piecing and the fabric should be what shines.

The quilting should complement/support the design of the quilt. The texture of the quilting really shows well on the back. This is the back of my "Quilt of Many 2" Squares."

And my quilting machine of choice ...

I absolutely LOVE my HQ16! It was built for the home sewer and it does everything I need it to do. It's not finicky about thread; whatever I put on it, this baby just hums along.

Here's another close up of some free motion quilting.

Here's the whole quilt. It's called Prim Garden by MeMe's Quilts.
I love these crows!
Working on my HQ16 has made it possible to finish LOTS of quilts. I do sometimes quilt up something really small on my sewing machine but if it's anything over 25" or so, I move to the Handiquilter and get it done!


solomi558 said...

I love this prim garden. I like doing machine quilting on my brother or Janome but as you say it,s a fight--cottonreel

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Mary, we do so think alike. I am STILL working on the quilt I am hand quilting for my son (since uhhh, maybe 1986?). I agree with you, I don't want someone else to quilt MY quilt. AND I too think the quilt show be showcased, not the quilting! I need to look into the HQ16, as that is my dream machine. Just no place to set it up at this point :-( Thanks for showing your beautiful quilts.