MAKERS HOME fabrics by Natalie Barnes from WINDHAM FABRICS

Sunday, August 18, 2013

...enjoy the journey!

short story.

I recently had some quilt tops returned to me
just the tops
(the machine quilter got too busy with their own work to continue working for others)

well, and the backs
and the batting, too

I recently spent a weekend hand quilting a little 'secret' project
and it got me thinking
 I realized
something had been missing from my process

connecting with my projects

bear with me while I run this past you
yes, there is a time and a place for everything - every type of project
and there are only so many hours in a day
only so many hours in our quilting lives
and there are so many many many projects that we all want to make
machine quilting has made completing quilts so much more achievable
and machine quilting is beautiful

and yes, I still have to cut and sometimes fold, all of the fabric bundles that beyond the reef sells
I still have to package and send the retail and wholesale orders that I am ever so thankful for
and I still have to design and then test and then illustrate and then write all of the beyond the reef patterns
I still have to connect with what it is that I do

I am ever so thankful for the machine quilter that didn't have time to quilt my quilts
today I pieced a flannel back
put down a layer of very heavy batting
and basted the Robert Kaufman Dill Blossom Camille Roskelly pattern quilt top
that I made years ago

I got out some pearl cotton
and started stitching
yes, it is slow
and yes, there are 
a million other things 
be doing
bot for now, I am sitting in my craft
I am getting up close and personal with it all
it's nice to be inspired by the lovely continuous running stitches
in the "Kantha" hand quilted pieces made from reclaimed cotton saris

I am connecting with what it is that I do

"It's not a successful climb unless you enjoy the journey."

leave us a comment telling us how often you hand quilt
when and where you hand quilt
and what type of quilting thread you like to use
four people
will be sent an AURIFIL sample package
of five spools of threads
(random number generator)


goecker said...

When I hand quilt, it is only if my machine won't stitch like I want the finished product to look. I do like the red work look, however. I have recently done some hand quilting (embellishing) on a piece I'm working on for a show.

Diana said...

I hand quilt a couple times a week, sometimes at home in the evening watching TV, also at our quilt group in our community when don't bring my machine. I am currently working on a bright batik quilt which I am quilting with pearl cotton with a big stitch.
Thanks for the giveaway, Aurifil is my favorite thread.

Janet M said...

Most of my pieces that are done with hand quilting also have some machine quilting. I find it works for me to do some things by hand that I don't feel comfortable with on the machine. I think the machine stitches are sturdier and much easier to do when quilting through seams while some motifs just look better done by hand.

Deanna said...

Actually getting ready to tackle my first one. Still trying to find a frame that I can borrow that is the right size, but I am determined to get it done before Christmas!

carolann said...

I have only hand quilted a very small project one time. Never learned to hand quilt. I do love Aurif threads and use them exclusively to piece my quilts.

scottylover said...

I hand quilt in the winter since I use a hoop and not a floor frame. I usually sit in my sewing room with the music on low, or in my bedroom with the quilt spread out around me. I use whatever thread matches or coordinates with what I am quilting.

Sandy A

Beth said...

I have hand quilted only small projects so far. I don't have a favorite thread yet--frustratingly, I received a beautiful thread as a gift and found it to be lintless and smooth. Now I cannot remember what type it was. Grrr. So I guess I am open to anything, thread-wise.

Denny1600 said...

I hand quilt only small projects where I want a certain look. My husband and I have a longarm quilting business, so almost all of our quilts are quilted by machine. Sometimes, though, I just love the hand work and the look of it.

Linda said...

Hello,your post is very meaningful.
We do only have so many "quilting moments" in our lives.I do a lot of machine quilt projects,but always come back to doing some hand quilting it seems.Just something about doing it and looking at it and give it to others that is special! I do cross stitch,Hardanger and redwork.Use Aurifil threads,sometimes a hoop or the white square thing you use;sometimes I don't use a hoop at all if it is a small project with a firm fabric.
Thanks for sharing!

Gill said...

I like to hand quilt small quilts - I find it very therapeutic!! But I've never tackled a large quilt!
I usually use Gutermann thread because it's widely available here!

Deb said...

I don't hand quilt anymore - for me, that was the stressful part of the process. My handwork is doing the binding. (Though I don't send any of my quilts out.)

cakegirl said...

just today a coworker asked if I hand quilt and the answer is no. I tried it once for about 10 minutes and never went back. thanks for the generous giveaway.

Susan Stanton said...

I am new to hand quilting, and I just completed a small baby bow tie quilt for my fifth grandson who was born in July! I used DMC floss (two strands) and outline quilted the blocks. I enjoy the entire quilt making process from picking the pattern to adding the label. I feel lucky that I enjoy all of the steps!

Barb in Mi said...

Well I very rarely hand quilt and it probably shows. I have done just a few blocks that were machine quilted and then added a few colorful lines of hand stitching with Pearl cotton. Thank you!

DeborahGun said...

I love hand quilting - I hand quilt most of my makes - I find the process really relaxing. I use mostly perle cotton.

PK Sews said...

I hand quilt about two or three times a year, when I want an embellished look on a particular quilt. I use pearl cotton.

Ali said...

Oh that's sweet, too often I rush through to get a project done and don't feel connected (and am ambivalent about it when it does get done). I don't really hand stitch because I do embroidery and I get ENOUGH needle work there, but I've been considering doing a whole cloth quilt with pearl thread soon.

Sandra said...

Good for you. The quilting is indeed part of the craft. I like to hand quilt (mainly due to the cost of machine quilting) and yes it takes me forever. What I really love about hand quilting is actual quilting bees; getting together with a group of like-minded friends and putting stitches in a quilt top. Relaxing and rewarding.

Margie said...

Have done hand piecing but not hand quilting yet, but I intend to soon. Discovered how important the quality of thread is when hand piecing. The wrong thickness can ruin the size of your block! I like handwork though - portable and relaxing. Thanks for a great giveaway.

charlotte said...

I haven't hand quilted much lately. Thank you for the reminder. I have a quilt I started about 5 years ago and now, this is the push I need to get going and finish it. I use Aurifil thread when I hand quilt.

terrieannie said...

I have only had time (made time?) to quilt smaller projects like coasters, mug rugs, and table runners. Someday, when I retire....
I'll make it more of a priority.
Of course moving further north where it's cooler would help, too!

Nita said...

I pretty much ONLY hand quilt. My sewing machine doesn't like more than two layers, so I don't have much choice. Therefore, I hand-tye and hand quilt and I really do believe that my quilt wouldn't be truly finished without it. I love the handwork better than the piecing. I love that when I give the quilt away, it has hundreds of hours of my good wishes and thoughts sewn into it.

Cecilia said...

I like to have at least one hand project I'm working on at all times. I really enjoy hand quilting.

natalie. beyond the reef said...

Thanks, everyone, for your wonderful comments! This giveaway is now complete, and we are posting the names of the recipients of the Aurifil thread tonite!

deelish10 said...

I have never hand quilted and perhaps I should try it. I have never used aurifil either.
winning would be incentive to try it!