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Quiltmaking by Hand: Simple Stitches, Exquisite Quilts Paperback – April 1, 2004

4.9 out of 5 stars 83 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“I have always admired Jinny Beyer. In fact, one of her books was the first I purchased when I took up quilting and she is still one of my very favorite designers. For style and professionalism, Jinny has no equal. Her handwork is impeccable!” —Alex Andersen, host, HGTV’s Simply Quilts

“Jinny Beyer, quilter extraordinaire, has created a book that is as beautiful as it is helpful. Never before has hand piecing been illustrated in such exquisite detail. Jinny takes you by the hand and shows you absolutely every step involved in making a quilt by hand. Nobody does it better!” —Beth Hayes, editor in chief, McCall's Quilting

About the Author

Jinny Beyer’s signature fabric designs are manufactured and distributed worldwide by RJR Fabrics. She is the author of several bestsellers, including Designing Tessellations and Jinny Beyer’s Color Confidence for Quilters, and is a regular guest on HGTV’s Simply Quilts and the creator of the renowned Jinny Beyer Quilting Seminar on Hilton Head Island. She lives in Great Falls, Virginia.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Breckling Press; First Edition edition (April 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 097212182X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972121828
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.8 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,671 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jinny Beyer, whose signature line of quilting fabrics is distributed worldwide by RJR Fabrics, is one of the world's premier quilt designers. She is the author of 11 books, including Designing Tessellations, Quiltmaking By Hand, and Jinny Beyer's Color Confidence for Quilters. She teaches nationally and internationally and her annual seminar on Hilton Head Island is one of the most popular quilting classes in the United States. She lives in Great Falls, Virginia.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I am truly inspired by this book. I made my first couple of quilts by hand, but I didn't feel that I was a "real" quilter until I had bought the sewing machine. All the books and magazines seemed to be completely geared up to machime piecing and so I felt that hand piecing was seen as quaint and outdated. So it was a revalation to find out that Jinny Beyer, a reknown quilter and teacher whose quilts I had always admired, made them ALL by hand! Her explanation of how quilts can be advanced piece by piece in "found" moments has made me think that perhaps handpiecing is THE way to quilt for busy women today.
Her directions and detailed photographs make it easy for anyone who has never picked up needle and thread and her enthusiasm, on every page of the book, will build your confidence. Also, the photographs of her lovely silver needlework accessories and the insets about quilting history add to the inspiration.
If you think you haven't got time to hand piece, read this and think again.
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Format: Paperback
I couldn't believe my eyes when I first saw this book title. I hadn't been able to find much about hand piecing and, though I was very interested in piecing my quilt tops by hand (for all the reasons the author goes into in this book!), I lacked confidence and know-how. No more. There is nothing I need to know about hand piecing and quilting that is not in this book.

Concepts and techniques of fabric choice, pattern drafting, all kinds of piecing, adding borders, preparing the quilt for quilting (including mounting on a frame or in a hoop), hand quilting, and binding the finished quilt are all given in exquisite detail. There are numerous extremely helpful photos showing each step of the techniques, as well as painstakingly written and very understandable text directions. In the chapter on pattern drafting, not only is there detailed direction on using graph paper and drafting tools, but also covered is using a computer drawing program to create grids and to draft and design blocks. (The author uses a program called Canvas and the detailed instructions are geared to this program, but the basic ideas are very adaptable to different software.)

If there is one aspect of this book that does not work for me, it's the chapter on using border prints within the quilt. I'm sure there are many, many quilters out there who would greatly appreciate the very detailed (and ingenious) directions on using specially printed border fabrics in multiple ways within the quilt, including mirror imaging and creating new shapes from border designs. It's not to my taste, but it is in line with the extremely high quality of the rest of the book.
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Format: Paperback
I hand piece and hand quilt virtually everything---I'm a luddlite, I guess, and when I first began to quilt I quickly realized that I detest sewing machines----what's the point of production sewing, exactly? This is a lovely book, with lots of great advice and terrific photos. However, I think that for one-piece patterns (such as hexagons or diamonds) there can be a better way than templates---check out shapes of the template stamps sold by Stamps By Kate on her website. I have just finished quilting my 2nd queen-sized field of diamonds and am wrapping up the piecing of a seven sisters using the stamps---and, yes, I stitch even the sashing and borders by hand....so this book together with Kate's product simplify and complement.I adore the forgiveness quality of handwork, as well as the serenity and relaxation of the process. I think that Jinny's techniques are esay to follow and certainly she is an inspiration. This is a great gift, too; it's relaxing just to read it!
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Format: Paperback
I learned to piece my quilts by machine about 10 years ago, but after downsizing to a one-bedroom apartment in 2001, I lost my sewing room. Taking my sewing machine out of the closet isn't worth it, unless I have a 2 to 3 hour block to time available. I wanted to learn to piece by hand, figuring that with less equipment necessary, it would be easier to pick-up at a moment's notice. However, I couldn't find instructions detailed enough for my comfort.
I was overjoyed last summer when I found out Jinny Beyer was going to publish this book in November. After weeks of monitoring Amazon.ca, the book became available about one week before Christmas (which I ordered immediately!). True to form, Quiltmaking by Hand, just like other books by Jinny Beyer, is detailed and well-thought out. Piecing instructions are explained in detail as well as accompanied with lots of photographs, including how to hold your needle to speed up your running stitch. She also covers other aspects like making templates, pattern drafting, creating borders, hand quilting and finishing the quilt. There are also 10 quilts patterns at the end to practice your new techniques. The little tidbits from older quilting/sewing books are fun too. Jinny Beyer will also tell you up front why certain techniques, for example, cutting fabric with a rotary blade, aren't included in the book; however, she will give you good arguments on why she doesn't.
With the help of this book, I am now piecing by hand. Am I producing a quilt top faster by hand than by machine? I'd say yes. Oh, I'll never match by speed of sewing with that of a machine. however, by hand, I complete up to 4 or 5 blocks a week with 1/2 hour here, 1/2 hour there. One block from start to finish takes me about an hour.
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