Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Why I've Never Owned a Sewing Machine

*Reposted with photos!*
People often express amazement and/or consternation that I am a total hand sewer so I thought I'd explain why.

I just love the process of creating a quilt by hand. I love feeling the fabric and slowly building up a block, then carefully ironing it. I do get frustrated on long seams, like borders, and wish I had a machine sometimes, but it's very important to me to do everything by hand.

The Heather Ross quilt i'm currently quilting exemplifies every single thing I love about quilting completely by hand. Here's why:

1) I love using designer fabric with a fine drape and hand, like Heather Ross Lightning Bugs line. If you've never felt it, you're missing out! It's like old sheets, super soft and fine. For some reason, it's just the Lightning Bugs line.
2) I love making every block different, I get bored if I have to make every block identical. I love seeing how each one turns out.

3) I love making wonky square blocks, no measuring involved! This dog block is my favorite!

4) I love quilting in the ditch so the back shows an outline of every block on the front. I just think it looks so sweet.

7) I love using fabric with lots of tiny details and figures because I really love giving even the smallest guy, who would normally be overlooked, her or his own showcase. Meet Andrew.

6) I love putting a lot of love into the quilt and looking at every detail as I go, thinking of how the baby i'm making it for might hold onto it and give it to his first born child as a memory of his own childhood. That makes me really happy thinking that.

What do you love about quilting?


SewCalGal said...

While I enjoy using my sewing/embroidery machines, I too also love to hand quilt. It is a very relaxing friend. I also know someone who only does hand piecing/hand quilting and she gets more quilts completed each year than I could dream of...and they are more beautiful than I could make.

My hats off to you, or shall I say my thimble is off to you!


Lisa @ Life with 4! said...

That is wonderful! What treasures your quilts must be for the lucky people who receive them!!
Every time I see your work on here, I'm amazed. You are so talented.

Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon your blog and am so happy to find another by hand person! Awesome. I'll be returning often.

My favorite part of quilting is the physical, mental, emotional relationship I have with my work.

The Quilt Buddy said...

Like you, I love the feel of fabric. Well, I love everything about designer fabric. I also love to cut up fabric and see how it will look when I sew it back together.

I do machine piecing, however, I love hand-projects. Sewing done the binding is my favorite part of completing the quilt. I also love to do needle turn applique and then sew it down by hand. Its the only way that I know how to do it.

Thanks for sharing with us!

Kerri said...

this is soo cute!!

Cheryl Arkison said...

While I do love the handstitching of the binding, I still can't imagine all that hand work! Good for you.

Wanda said...

Beautiful. A piece of your heart goes into every piece you do. You are making the treasures of the future. You are a gracious, loving and giving woman. And the last picture...the one with those two smiling faces that make the Christmas tree pale in comparison? Well....such happiness and shear joy caught on film is amazing!

Little Lovables said...

Wow, I am so amazed at this and the fabrics you chose are gorgeous!

I sew by hand as well, but mostly small projects and mostly because sewing machines terrify me and I can't sew a straight line longer than an inch or two before I jam the thing up!

brown robin said...

This is the sweetest quilt. You are amazing to me. Let me know if you would ever be interested in swapping some Heather Ross blue elves or the dogs for her yellow elves. I have a fat quarter that I'd be willing to swap for some of her other. I'm also dying for the VW vans. Why didn't I buy that way back when at my local quilt shop? One last thing... I'm doing a small giveaway for my blog birthday. Just leave a comment until fri at:

JRZ Jenn said...

I do some hand-quilting too, but a lot of machine piecing. I'm currently hand-quilting my daughters quilt (progress can be seen on my blog) and I typically hand quilt smaller projects. Your work is amazing!

jess said...

I am *so* glad that I just found someone else who loves hand quilting! I am going to check out the rest of your site. Do you hand quilt the large quilts? Do you use a frame? My smaller ones (45" or smaller) get pin basted and sit on my lap while I quilt.