To Quilt by Hand or Machine?
Your quilt top is finished. Hooray! You may have known from the beginning of this quilt whether you would hand or machine quilt it. Or you may have wanted to finish the top before you decided. If so, now is the time to decide. So what will you do, quilt by hand or machine?
Here are some things we think about when making that decision on each of our quilts:
- Is there a looming deadline when this quilt needs to be finished? If there is, then it will likely be machine-quilted.
- Is this a very special quilt that hopefully will be a family heirloom? If yes, then it will be hand-quilted.
- Is this just a quick wall hanging? If yes, then it will likely be machine-quilted.
- What fabrics have been used in the quilt? If the fabrics are prints, and the quilting will not show very much anyway, then it will be machine-quilted. If the fabrics are solids, or near-solid blender or background fabrics, on which the quilting will be visible, then it will be hand-quilted.
- What if the quilt has a dark print fabric appliqued on a pastel background? Then it will likely be machine-quilted on the dark print (where it will not show very much), and hand-quilted in the background areas (where the quilting will be seen).
- Is this a quilt made for a child to carry around and cuddle with? Definitely machine-quilted!
More and more it seems that time is the determining factor. Consequently, it is true that more and more quilts are quilted by machine. But there is a special quality about hand quilting, and there are special quilts that deserve to be quilted by hand. Now you know how we make our decision. We hope this helps you make your decision about that newly finished quilt top.
Want to learn how to hand-quilt? Our video "Hawaiian Quilting with Nancy Lee Chong" teaches hand quiliting!