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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

7 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.

  • 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?

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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! :)

  • 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 :)

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