Friday, May 3, 2019

Top Ten Notions for Hand Piecing

I enjoyed every moment of our Hand Pieced QAL and finished up my quilt with this week.   The quilt was entirely hand pieced and hand quilted (with the exception of adding the facing to the front).

Given this is my second such finish, I thought I would share a bit about my favorite tools for  hand piecing.  The good news is you've likely got many of these notions already in your sewing space.

  1. Your choice of a needle is really a personal one - I like a size 9 quilting needle which is a short needle.  Other quilters like to use longer needles. Needles are inexpensive - experiment until you find one that feels comfortable in your hand and you can thread without issue..   
  2. Regular 50 wt quality quilting thread works well. I love piecing with a cream or light gray. 
  3. Snips (or scissors) are also key - you want something smaller to trim any dog-ears and snip the thread.  The curved tips on these scissors make it easy to trim thread without clipping the fabric when you are burying thread tails when hand quilting.
  4. Thread conditioner keeps your thread tangle free - I just love the conditioner from Robot Mom Sews - it does the job and smells so nice!
  5. Basic rulers are important for marking the 1/4'' sewing lines.  This specialty ruler - The Perfect Piecer -  makes marking sewing lines on triangles a breeze!
  6. I really love this smaller sized 28 mm rotary cutter for trimming up smaller blocks
  7. I wear a thimble on the middle finger of my right hand while sewing.  I've tried all different thimbles and this leather needle is my favorite.  It stays on my finger without being too tight.
  8. Pinning seams is important.  The type of pin you use is one of personal preference but I love using short pins designed for applique because they don't get in my way while I am sewing.
  9. Binding clips are very helpful to keep pieces organized. 
  10. I like to sit and stitch at a table where I can mark seams, finger press and sew with ease.  Great lighting and a quality lamp is critical.  I love, love my Daylight lamp.

My hand pieced quilt finishes at 32'' square.  I used a Bella solid for the background white and the beautiful collection by Zen Chic Moda Spotted for my rainbow.

The Hand Pieced QAL has ended but all the instructions are still available on mine and Kristin's blog.  You can find the link to everything you need here.

Please note this post contains affiliate links which means I will earn a small commission if you purchase an item.  This does not increase your costs in any way.  The Daylight Company, OLFA, Famore and Clover provided product for my personal use.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Have a wonderful day! Patty


  1. What a great post to pin and save for later. Thank you for sharing all your tips!

  2. Your finished quilt is really nice. Your hand quilting skills are amazing. 'Love that label, too.

  3. Beautiful quilt and great tips for notions. had never seen that ruler before. Or maybe I saw it and in my mind said "what the heck?". Now I know. Thanks.

  4. I've never tried thread conditioner. If I ever get back to my one and only hand pieced grandmother's flower garden blocks that may be a good investment.

  5. Your quilt turned out so beautifully Patty. If my car trip had been longer I might have finished mine as well.
    I'll figure it into my schedule to finish eventually Thanks for co hosting the quilt along it was a lot of fun.

  6. I've so enjoyed the QAL and your top 10 favorite hand tools. Joining the group at just the right time was a God sent. It brought me back to my first love to hand-sew and quilt. Your tools reminded me to get mine out and I learned a new trick, too. I had never used the thread conditioner. WOW, such a difference! I now can use a little longer piece of thread also.
    Thank you so very much!!


Thanks for visiting Elm Street Quilts. Looking forward to hearing from you!