Wednesday, October 2, 2013


I'll apologize in advance for the poor pictures, sorry. I have a couple of questions for you lovely quilters on this fine, warm autumn day (at least on the prairie). 

Quick background. I wanted to make a quilt for each one of my children. And since (at the time) I only knew how to hand-quilt, that's what I started out doing. My second son was born "severely disabled" (he's now "severely moderately disabled", whatever the heck that means) and hand-quilting became therapeutic. I did a lot of handwork and gardening for the first 4 years of his life. But after that, things slowed down, seizures stopped, routines set in, and the therapy of handwork wasn't needed as frequently. I still love handwork, but with four kids, I don't get the time I'd like.

That's where my question comes in. My son's quilt has 2 rows hand-quilted 1/4" from every seam (on both sides). He turns TEN in December. I've realized that I'm probably NEVER going to finish hand-quilting this (especially since I haven't touched it in, like...4 or 5 years). Would it be horribly awful to machine the rest of it?? Honestly? Would it? He finally wants to stop using the quilt my great grandma made me when I was born (it's pink with little birds sewing stuff, with my name and birth year embroidered on it), so I gotta finish it somehow, preferably quickly. Advice?

On to my next question :)

I machined this hexagon. It's not absolutely perfect, but nothing I make ever is. So why are we hand-piecing our hexies and not machining them? Seriously...I don't know. Tell me the answer, I'm begging you. It's just Y-seams. Is there some reason I haven't figured out yet? Do they fall apart? Are they going to explode in a burst of fiery flame? Do people just really like cutting out a million pieces of paper, then gluing/basting them onto fabric, then hand-stitching that fabric together (I sometimes do)?  Why oh why?? Why are they not being machined? For real. Really. Clue me in.  

By the way, I have 2 yards of this Alexander Henry owl fabric and thanks to this pin, I can stop hoarding it. Thank you Clair101 from Flickr for your inspiration (and don't worry, they won't all be gray)!

That's it for the questions. I'll leave you with my first ever, season-themed, work-in-progress quilt blocks. I found a few layer cake squares I'd taken out of a project long ago that were quite seasonal (after removing). 

I'm using Faith's at Fresh Lemons Quilts Ribbon Star tutorial and fabrics I thought I never would. And I'm crushing on how warm and melty this is. I'll end up with 13 blocks, which doesn't compute, so I guess one will end up on the back. 

Anyway, since I'm linking up with Freshly Pieced (guest hosted this week by Kristy @Quiet Play) I need to keep myself more accountable (which doesn't really work, since I seem to have just as many projects as last time, if not more):

Idea Stage:
My mom's quilt
Pink and Yellow quilt
Kelly's baby quilt
Elle's Out to Sea quilt
D's Orange quilt

Piecing/Cutting Block:
Tula Pink Rectangles...still
Posy-SIL baby quilt
That right up there
Red and White Churn Dash
Debbie's baby quilt
Briar Rose
Swirling Star
Brian's Hexie Owl quilt

Waiting to be Quilted:
Baby Jane quilt
Sharon's quilt (maybe someday....)
Scott's Turtle Quilt
Mom's applique quilt 

I hope your day will be as good as mine (which is going to be GREAT my brother is coming home from his two year mission today)!!



  1. Your son's quilt looks beautiful. It would be wonderful to finish handquilting it but to be honest if it were me and it were a choice between putting it away again in the hopes of someday finding the itme to finish it or finishing it by machine and using it now then I'd defintiely get my machine out. As for hexies I've never machined them but I have just recently started paper piecing. I love how portable it is. I love that I can just relax on the sofa in the evening and unwind with a little paper piecing. I love that it is something I can do without my machine and that I can just pick it up quickly wherever and whenever I have even just a few minutes of spare time. As for cutting papers well my hubbie recently decided he needed to buy himself a silhouette cameo so I then decided he needed to put it to good use cutting me lots of paper hexies!

  2. Ok, do I ever feel underqualified to give a response! I think people hand-piece hexies because it's nice to have something around to pick up and put down as time allows, but they totally are machinable. Especially since the new hexagon pre-cuts have started arriving that all come with some template marking tool to help you machine sew them perfectly (I assume that's how that works, I still haven't bought any).

    I would absolutely totally say to machine quilt the rest of the quilt. I wonder if you could get a long-armer who could make the transition less glaring and more a beautiful feature of your handquilting?? Worth looking into, and possibly also worth the money just to have it finished after working on it for so long? But maybe also, you want to finish it by your own fair hand after working on it for so long? Only you can decide (now I sound like a strange gameshow voiceover person).

    Welcome home to your brother!! I hope you all enjoy your day :)

  3. I say machine quilt away. Each quilt has a story and having two types of quilting on it would just be part of this quilt's story. And what a great story because it would show your son's positive progress.

    As for the hexagons, I hand piece because I enjoy it. I've done y-seams on the machine and have found them a bit putzy, but if you don't mind it, go for it. One of the things I love about quilting is that everyone can do their own thing. There really is no right and wrong way. Choose your path and enjoy the journey!

  4. The kids don't really care if it's hand or machine quilted. Just really do what you most comfortable with. There are no rules. The same thing with hexagons. Just do what you feel and suits YOU. Nothing else matters. Good luck and have fun!

  5. I'd say if it makes you and your son happy, just finish the quilt on the machine! Better to finish and use/love it now then have it wait another many years to be finished by hand, right? The hexie method I use is cutting out circle, pulling the edges in with thread to create a hexagon...and so far hand stitching them together (I'm brand new newbie at it, so I have no real method to claim yet). Actually I've only stitched a few together...the rest I think I will machine applique onto a quilt or bag. Hmm..

  6. I'd suggest find a stitch on your machine that blends in with the hand sewn bit (not sure what your hand stitches look like but mine are always much bigger than when I machine quilt) and finish it with machine stitches. I have seen a couple of quilts where they blended machine and hand quilting and it looks fine. As for the hexagons I think most people do EPP because it's a portable project they can do anywhere. I haven't tried Y seams yet, but it's on my to-do list and will be done with my machine.

  7. Oh another idea for machine quilting, but with a more hand-quilted feel is using the aurifil 12w thread in your machine with big stitches! I haven't tried it yet, but I've seen a few bloggers do it and it looks really nice!

  8. Oh my gosh jenn, 2nd son's quilt is amazing! Yes, finish with the machine. The you can mark it as done! It really is lovely and should not be hiding away waiting to be finished. LOVE the hexie, who cares if they are all gray? As for maching them, I don't know. We are all glutons, who knows. I do know all the hand sewn pieces I have done fit together a lot better than machine sewn. Those stars are great, can't wait to see the finish. Soooo excited for Scotty to see Bryce! Love ya girlie!

  9. Lovely quilt! I'd totally finish it with the machine! I don't see anything wrong with doing that - and it means your son gets his quilt and you can check off a big WiP!

    I have no idea why hexies are hand sewn! But then I don't do hand sewing or y-seams so I'll probably never figure it out haha!

  10. Yes - machine quilt it! A finished quilt is better than a WIP that languishes forever, right? I hand piece my hexies because I love the relaxing work, plus I can stitch them while we are driving somewhere (like our 10,000 km trip this past summer!). I'd probably machine stitch them if I weren't looking for a little hand work to do.

  11. I'm with the others. Machine it! Will he know the difference? Heaven's no! He'll be so excited!!!

  12. I LOVE this blog! I think Jenn, to finish it by machine would be very telling of the story you just told. The hand stitching could represent the first few years of his life and the rest finished by machine, well, that represents the rest. Love you and little Scotty pants!