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  • QUESTION FOR 2020....

    I spend a lot of time thinking about quilting and I have come to the conclusion that I need to make some changes to how I sew to accommodate my arthritic hands. My favorite part of making a quilt has always been hand hemming the binding, but after two hours of hand sewing I can't use my hands for at least 5 days.

    In 2020 a new skill I would like to cultivate is machine sewing binding. What skill/technique do you want to learn or perfect in 2020? Maybe English paper piecing...Bargello....hand quilting..... long-arm quilting....etc.

    I look forward to hearing from you....

    Scottie Mom Barb

  • #2
    Re: QUESTION FOR 2020....

    I also love doing the hand stitched binding Barb. What I would like to do is a bargello and also try some English Paper Piecing.
    Ginny B


    • #3
      Re: QUESTION FOR 2020....

      Hand stitching is beautiful and if it is a quilt which would be considered an heirloom, then hand stitching is the way I would go.

      I machine stitch almost all bindings, particularly for items which will get a ton of use and need to be washed/dried and done over and over. I find it more pleasing if I use the backing to bind. Lots of tuts out there. The best thing about it is that you don't have to think about stitching in the ditch on the back as you would if you used the more general method of binding a quilt and then machine stitching from the front.

      I also use a fiskars ruler/rotary cutter tool. Love it for it's accuracy, safety and gentle on my hands. Here's a site which has them
      Places like Joann's, Amazon, etc. carry them as well.

      Here's a sample of front and back of this method Click image for larger version

Name:	Sample2.jpg
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ID:	1617876 The back is on the top; front, of course on the bottom of the picture. So if you sewed evenly on the top, the back has a nice even and clean stitching all around. You can get super sharp miters by using a method that is used for napkins like this one
      Trick to make the miters work well is to start sewing in the middle of one of the sides that is not on the bias.
      “Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” ― John Muir
      “We can be many things in this life, choose to be kind!” ― author unknown


      • #4
        Re: QUESTION FOR 2020....

        Barb, I'm sorry that arthritis is interfering with your quilt making. Kudos to you for finding a way to adapt.

        The skill I need to learn is FMQ. I have a wall hanging in progress, but the borders remain. The other new skill I will be practicing is applying a piped binding. I'd better learn all I can on this wall hanging, because my next binding project will be a king size quilt that is currently at the LA.


        • #5
          Re: QUESTION FOR 2020....

          For 2019 I was supposed to learn curved piecing. I have only done a few and find it very scary. Due to selling my house and moving to another state I did not do any curved piecing. So that is my goal again for 2020.
          Stash Treasure Acquisitions Beyond Life Expectancy. My stash keeps me STABLE, oh yeah.... and dark chocolate.


          • #6
            Re: QUESTION FOR 2020....

            Hmm that is a tough one but one of these days I would like to practice practice FMQ. One of these days.
            Blessed are the children of the piecemakers for they shall inherit the quilts!


            • #7
              Re: QUESTION FOR 2020....

              I want to increase my free motion skills and pattern selection. I can do a couple fairly well but would love to be able to do more designs. I really need to slow down with that and probably everything else I do. There is no reason for me to be in a hurry.

              BTW, I like to sew my binding to the front then turn to the back and sew down from the front using a serpentine stitch. I agree this would be for utility quilts.


              • #8
                Re: QUESTION FOR 2020....

                I would like to do more paper piecing and try bargello and make more art quilts.

                I have machine stitched all of my bindings. If I sewed it by hand I would probably never finish a quilt because I'm so slow at it.

                Barb, so sorry that it bothers yours hands so much.
                "I'm putting together a list of 100 reasons why I am NOT relentless!" - Sue Heck, The Middle

                Leonard: For God's sake, Sheldon, do I have to hold up a sarcasm sign every time I open my mouth?
                Sheldon (intrigued): You have a sarcasm sign?


                • #9
                  Re: QUESTION FOR 2020....

                  I would like to practice FMQ more this year. My wrist doesn't like it, but I figure practice in little bits might help keep things from stiffening even more.

                  I've also thought about knitting some more, again mainly for my wrist.

                  Curve piecing scares me too. I have a pattern from my Secret Santa, so maybe, I'll give it a go!

                  “Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”
                  ― Maya Angelou


                  • #10
                    Re: QUESTION FOR 2020....

                    Barb, I know exactly what your talking about with hand sewing and arthritis. I have psoriatic arthritis in my right wrist. I also enjoy hand sewing binding. I have found that if I don't try to do the entire quilt at one time, it really helps. There also all sorts of glove type support for your hands out there. One doctor gave me one that helped but made it hard to sew wearing it. Stores like CVS and Walmart have gloves that work better for me. You can find them with the tips of the fingers cut out, but still hand sewing in moderation is what I do.

                    There are so many things I want to learn this year. I really want to learn how to do ruler work on the long arm. I am the worst at applique you have probably ever seen, it would be nice to take a class in that.


                    • #11
                      Re: QUESTION FOR 2020....

                      I just had to write and say that is exactly what i'm doing now! I'm with Bubby... the arthritic hands are getting into the knitting as well..just all of a sudden!
                      I LOVE the serpentine stitch for binding!.. I have one machine set up just for that. Most of my work is for charity so the quicker the better. I'm hoping to slow down this year and find another passion... maybe amigurumi, or dolls...something that will take longer!
                      "Each day well-lived and Happy;
                      that's all there is to Life!"


                      • #12
                        Re: QUESTION FOR 2020....

                        I think the skill I need most is to organize the way I prioritize my quilt making. I have so many ideas, patterns, stash, stash, stash that I get overwhelmed. At least now when I order fabric or backing I make a note of what quilt it is going to be used in. I have tried FMQ on several occasions, but find I am still most comfortable with stitch in the ditch or straight line quilting. My fav is always going to be hand quilting. I do not like the feel of the density of FMQ stitched quilts. Overall, the goal for this year is just to use up my stash.

                        I agree, hand stitching takes a toll on the hands.
                        No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.


                        • #13
                          Re: QUESTION FOR 2020....

                          I am wanting to work on free motion quilting. I took a class this year and am hoping to get more practice in this year. The other thing that I want to learn is a new technique which is what I think I will be doing in a class in January.


                          • #14
                            Re: QUESTION FOR 2020....

                            Other things took me away from my machines, but when I can I would like to get into some art quilts too. As far as your hands I have a tough time too. I invested in some gloves and they help a lot. A little pricey but I figure if it helps, why suffer




                            • #15
                              Re: QUESTION FOR 2020....

                              I too love hand stitching the binding and will continue as long as I can. For 2019 I had decided to try my hand at EPP, and discovered a couple of things (nothing to do with arthritis though). I love it! and I now have small callouses, so I can hand sew longer without bruising my finger tips LOL.

                              I've been working on a Grandmother's Flower quilt since March and am almost done with the top. Early in the process I started thinking about the quilting of this quilt. I figured with all the hand stitching the pieces together, this quilt deserved to be hand quilted but I've tried that several years ago on another quilt and hated the process. So for this one I figured I would pay someone else to quilt it. But now that I'm near the finish line, I can't bare the thought of someone else finishing it for me, so I think I want to try hand quilting again, and for 2020 will be attempting Big Stitch Quilting.