Hand Piecing Tutorial: homage to our quilting roots


how to hand piece quilt patchworkI know a lot of people don’t make quilts by hand anymore, but there some projects that can be done easier that way: set in seams, small pieces, triangles, or if you want something portable while waiting in the carline at the end of the school day or during soccer practice.

I mentioned last week that my mom is doing the Midnight at the Oasis quilt along with me and she hand-pieces pretty often. She hand-pieced the center triangle star and demonstrated her skills for me while she was visiting.

1. start by cutting templates out of paper or plastic. Do not include seam allowance on your templates.

how to hand piece quilt patchwork
trace templates on fabric and cut out with added seam allowance
use a pencil to trace around your templates on the fabric you wish to use. Cut out the shapes, adding a quarter-inch to the outside of the pencil line (as above, visible on the yellow fabric)
2. position the fabrics and place them right-sides facing:
how to hand piece quilt patchwork
pin through the marked lines
pin the fabrics together by piercing the fabrics at the marked sewing lines (through both fabrics). This is how you will keep the sewing lines lined up so that you make sure you are sewing on the template line of both the top and the bottom fabrics.
2. begin sewing by piercing the needle through both layers at one end of the drawn line:
how to hand piece quilt patchwork
start at the marked line

3. make three stitches back and forth at the starting point. This secures your seam:

how to hand piece quilt patchwork
back-stitch to secure the seam

4. sew with a small running stitch along the length of the drawn line:

how to hand piece quilt patchworkhow to hand piece quilt patchwork

then backstitch at the end as you did at the beginning of the seam:

how to hand piece quilt patchwork
backstitch a the end of the seam

5. sew the triangles in rows, sew the rows together until you have the completed pyramid unit. Press.

how to hand piece quilt patchwork
how to hand piece quilt patchwork
front, make four of these for star


how to hand piece quilt patchwork
This is the finished center medallion. My mom is a hero: she managed to set-in both the center black square in one piece and all four polka dot background triangles and make them lay flat.
I will be back on Friday for our first official Quilt Along post to show my finished center star, along with how to appliqué those perfect circles in the center. Be sure and visit Jess to see her progress, too.
happy stitching,
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  1. DeborahGun October 17, 2013 at 2:37 am

    I love hand piecing too – I think my accuracy is so much better when I hand piece!

  2. Mystic Quilter October 17, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    What lovely bright colours in the Medallion – I am impressed that she hand pieced it!

  3. Jacque October 18, 2013 at 1:56 am

    I think maybe your mom has super powers….that is awesome! 🙂

  4. quiltswithpersonality October 18, 2013 at 11:35 am

    Love the centre of the medallion. I piece by hand also and love it. Great instructions.

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