Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Re-Appreciating Hand Sewing

Did you notice my new look?  I wanted a cleaner, custom look for my blog so I hired a professional, Rebekah Louise.  She made the re-design process so easy, I wish I had done it sooner.

I made a couple more rosettes for La Passacaglia.  While these two don't look like they go together at all, I am confident they will coordinate better once in with the rest of the mix.  This quilt can be a real mashup though I am confining myself to a specific color palette.

I also cut and pasted a lot of pieces, ready to go with me on some travels in December.  One of the good things about this project is its portability, so different from most of my quilting which is confined by the sewing machine. As I sat there sewing, I got to thinking how similar this project is to my start in quilting.  Well, not the complexity, really just the hand sewing aspect. 

I took my first quilting class in 1982 or '83, an evening adult class in the local school district.  We drafted templates out of cardboard, used them with a pencil to draw both the cutting and sewing lines on the wrong side of the fabric, cut out the pieces with scissors, and sewed with a short running stitch.  I enjoyed it but after making two throw pillows for my living room and a small wall hanging, I retired from quilting because it was too time consuming.  I was working full time, playing in a tennis league, doing volunteer work, and frankly, husband-hunting.  Any sewing time was spent making silk shell blouses to wear with my power suits (it was the dress for success era).

Then sometime in 1991 I happened to be in the vicinity of the quilting supply store (Quilters Barn in Allentown, NJ - long since closed) and went in for a look.  They were advertising a quilt in a day class.  I asked how that could possibly be and was introduced to the new quilt world of rotary cutting and machine stitching.  I signed up and made a log cabin quilt that became my first nephew's baby quilt. And I was hooked!

Except for occasionally hand quilting a smaller quilt, hand sewing fell by the wayside as I embraced the speed of machine sewing.  Long-arm quilting and pre-cut fabric have added new dimensions to speed quilting.  While I love the gratification of finishing a quilt in less than a year, and the time to make all more of the designs I want to try, it has been relaxing and fun to get off the quilt highway and into the slow lane for this project.

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  1. My quilting path is similar to yours. Slow sewing has certainly become a popular theme. It is relaxing, but still glad when I can still push the fabric through the machine at lightening speed! :0). Love your new look.

  2. Love your new rosettes and they are really pretty. I see you updated your blog site and love the new look.... very good to follow. Happy Thanksgiving Cathy


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