Quilter Question: Hand Piecing or Machine?

About seven years ago, while building her quilting fabric stash, Katie bought an unfinished Bear’s Claw quilt top on eBay.  It came to mind last night as I was falling asleep, because I was thinking about taking some hand piecing on my flight to Ireland next month.  I didn’t know if the finished squares were pieced by hand or machine….I’d have to wait until I woke up in the morning to find out.

I poured my first cup of coffee and pulled out the four bags that held the quilt top pieces in various stages of completion.  There are three completed blocks;  one almost done; lots of half square triangles, sashing and squares; and some triangles that have been traced on squares of fabric, waiting to be cut out.


I immediately picked up the finished squares to see if they had been pieced by hand, or by machine.  Obviously, they had been done by machine.

Here’s my question for you all….if I wanted to tackle this quilt top (with Katie’s permission, of course!), should I continue to piece this quilt by machine?  Or would you switch it up and hand stitch the rest of it?

I realize that even if I use my machine, I run the risk of my blocks looking a bit different simply because I’m not the original quilter.  Would you agree?

Thank you in advance for your advice!


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9 thoughts on “Quilter Question: Hand Piecing or Machine?

  1. Dori, that is a tough question. It is truly up to your preference. If you sew it by hand it will also be different then the original squares. So either way you are going to have to make them match up, unless you take the original squares apart, which I don’t think that would happen. So if you want to take it to Ireland, I would see by hand, and if not, see by machine. This probably didn’t help you in making your decision.

  2. Do you enjoy hand piecing or is it a chore? Does this beautiful quilt have to be done quickly or can you take your time, fitting it in on trips or watching basketball games or enjoying the sun at the park?
    Personally, I don’t hand piece and as there doesn’t seem to be any deep family connection with this project then there shouldn’t be any guilt with machine piecing.

    • Hi Diana! Great points to consider. Let’s see…there’s no time limit to finishing this quilt. I enjoy hand sewing. I’m very interested in learning to hand piece, and this project would be a perfect “practice” quilt for me. Hmmmm…maybe I can consider it an experiment to see if I have a desire to continue!
      Thank you Diana!

  3. Pingback: Hobbies Up To Here Episode #34 | Hobbies Up To Here

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