How To Hand Piece Joseph’s Coat–Tutorial

Joseph’s Coat, quilts

I have had more questions once again on how am I hand piecing Joseph’s Coat.  If you are new to hand piecing or just thinking of it – I know it can be daunting to begin.  But really you basically hand piece the same as you would machine piece – but maybe slower Smile  You lay your pieces out and pin in place – then get busy and sew.  Here are some step by steps.

1- this is the piece that I already had done last night.  It is just finger pressed – I haven’t gotten the iron out yet.


2 – starting a new segment – place them on the felt in the way they will look when done.  If you think you will get confused and get things out of order take a photo with your digital camera and you can always go back and look – isn’t technology great Smile


3- Pin one melon at a time to the background pieces.  I use quarter inch masking tape to be my seam guide (yes I originally used Inklingo and printed my fabric out on freezer paper but I found it took more time – for squares and such I would use Inklingo though if I felt like it – these curves though work well like this)  Some swear by Inklingo for hand piecing and although it does work well I find taking the time to prep takes more time than the way I have always done hand piecing.


4 – stitch along the tape using a running stitch – occasionally take a back stitch to make the seam stronger.  For hand piecing I use this stick on thimble to help protect my finger – you can go without or with any kind of thimble that you like.


5- when I get done with a seam I can use this stick on thimble to help finger press my seam – for the melons it is advised on the Inklingo site to press towards the melon so that is what I am doing.


6- I keep finger pressing as I finish each seam – when I get done with all the segments I get the iron out and press with seam and then again when I finish a whole row.


7- this segment is now complete – it took me 30 minutes to hand piece this while I was watching the news and snapping photos as I went.


8- The two segments that I now have done for this row.  I just placed them like this so you can see how they fit together.  I will just stack them one on top of another in the box and when I get the whole row of segments done I will piece the row together and then join it to the big part of the quilt already done.


I hope this helps you all who are thinking of hand piecing.  If you have never hand pieced can I suggest that you try something easier than curves to begin.  Try a simple 4 patch block to get the hang of how to hold the pieces while stitching and go from there in your adventure to hand piece a quilt Smile

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10 comments… add one
  • Deb Feb 29, 2012

    Great details on hand piecing. Although I don’t do much of it, I have and know that it allow you to go slower and have much more control than machine piecing. Thanks for sharing your method.
    Deb recently posted…TASTMy Profile

  • Pip Feb 29, 2012

    Hand piecing is good because it is so portable. Do you still use the masking tape on straight seams or do you mark with pencil?
    Pip recently posted…Meh ….My Profile

  • Miriam Feb 29, 2012

    Thank you for the hint about using the 1/4 inch tape to indicate the stitching line. I had never thought of that before. Great idea!
    Miriam recently posted…The Last Day of Summer.My Profile

  • jmniffer Feb 29, 2012

    Great tips thanks for taking the time to share with us.

  • Vivian Feb 29, 2012

    Great tutorial. I really hope that when I get a little older, I’ll get more patient and be ready to do some hand piecing and hand quilting.
    Vivian recently posted…I’m BlushingMy Profile

  • Astrid Mar 1, 2012

    Great tute! Using 1/4 inch tape for indicating the stitching line is something I’d never thought of – not always easy to mark curves with a pen – thanks for the hint. I’m always thinking of hand piecing, but the machine wins all the time! 🙂
    Astrid recently posted…Working on UFO’s and other projectsMy Profile

  • Amie Tarpley May 16, 2015

    thank you for this tutorial! I just got the die today to run thru my cutter, from Sizzix. My question is how do you handle all the seams coming together? Thank you, Amie 🙂

    • Staci Jan 1, 2017

      I’m wondering the same, I’m putting this together now and u can’t get the points to come together

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