Hand Piecing

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1 Using fine-line permanent marker, trace templates on see-through template plastic, following stitching lines and including letters and grain lines. Cut out directly on marked lines.

Free Hand Piecing Lesson for Quiters
2 Place plastic templates right side down on wrong side of appropriate fabric, aligning grain lines on templates with fabric grain line. Leave enough room between templates for ¼˝ seam allowances on all sides. Use mechanical pencil or fine-line fabric marking pencil to mark around edges of templates. Free Hand Piecing Lesson for Quiters
3 Cut out fabric patches, adding ¼˝ seam allowances to all sides. Since you will be stitching on marked lines, the ¼˝  seam allowances can be approx­imate. Free Hand Piecing Lesson for Quiters
4 Place 2 fabric patches right sides together, aligning marked seam lines. Insert a pin straight through layered fabrics at each end of seam, and about every 1½˝ in between.
Free Hand Piecing Lesson for Quiters

Check bottom fabric to be sure each pin pierces seam line.
Free Hand Piecing Lesson for Quiters

With seam lines aligned, secure pins.
Free Hand Piecing Lesson for Quiters
 5 Using an unknotted single strand of thread about 18˝ long, take a stitch and a backstitch on the seam line, beginning at marked corner (not fabric edge). Free Hand Piecing Lesson for Quiters

Make small, evenly spaced running stitches on the seam line, backstitching at end. Do not stitch into seam allowances. Trim thread.
Free Hand Piecing Lesson for Quiters
6 To sew a set-in seam (also called a Y seam or pivoted seam), pin and stitch the first seam, working towards the pivot corner and backstitching at beginning and end. Do not trim thread.

Free Hand Piecing Lesson for Quiters


Align and pin the second seam, then pass needle through seam allowances from end of first seam to start of second seam. Free Hand Piecing Lesson for Quiters
Stitch second seam, backstitching at beginning and end. Free Hand Piecing Lesson for Quiters
Trim thread and press set-in patch open. Free Hand Piecing Lesson for Quiters


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RE: Templates
The templates shown are from the quilt Classic Quintet by Judie Rothermel, which was patterned in the September/October 2009 issue of McCall's Quilting. Unfortunately, that issue is no longer available, but if you email Deb at mccallsquilting@fwcommunity.com she can help you get a copy of the pattern, including templates. You can see the quilt here: http://www.mccallsquilting.com/mccallsquilting/articles/Classic_Quintet
I have the hand Piecing instructions, but can't find the page with the templates. Where caan I find the templates for these instructions? Thank you.
Pressing seams
This answer is from Kathy Patterson: Every quilter develops their own pressing preferences, but in general, seam allowances should be pressed to one side, towards the darker fabric wherever possible. When hand piecing, it's easy to do this by finger-pressing, until a unit or block is completed and you're ready to take your work to the ironing board for a good pressing.
Which way to press seams?
I learned how to hand piece a long time ago. This information is an excellent refresher course for me. But, one thing that's missing is how to press seams. I recall that it is a bit different from when you machine piece. Do you finger press the seams to one side? Or do you finger press the seams open?
Hand Piecing Pattern
If you enjoy hand piecing, you might be interested in Jinny Beyer's new Star Sapphire pattern in our McCall's Quilting September/October 2011 issue. You can see a sneak-peek of the pattern, as well as download the diamond template for hand piecing here: http://www.mccallsquilting.com/mccallsquilting/articles/Star_Sapphire
Hand Piecing
I do a lot of hand piecing. I find paper piecing fairly easy by hand. I have a lot of down time at work and am able to work on my quilt projects. To reinforce my stitching I back stitch, sometimes I sew one way then the other, so it's doubled.
hand piecing
The seam would be stronger if, every time the thread was pulled through, the first stitch was a back stitch. This is just a running stitch with no strength to it.
hand piecing
complete instructions with clear pictures! just loved it!


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