Contentment

Dorothy Waite, Washington State, U.S.A.

First of all, welcome to quilters coming here for the Hand Quilting Blog Hop. Since returning to hand quilting, I’ve found a wonderful community out there. I think most of us hand quilters operate in a bit of a vacuum. We don’t know anyone else who hand quilts and we feel all alone. It’s nice to know there are other like minded quilters out there!

Returning to hand quilting has really brought me a new sense of contentment. For years I’ve coveted a newer, bigger, better machine, thinking that would make me a better machine quilter. But it would still take lots and lots of practice and I just don’t enjoy it. The past few weeks of sitting and quietly hand quilting have really filled me with a sense of joy and accomplishment. To celebrate I am rewarding myself with some quality tools that are still only a fraction of what a new machine would cost.

The first is a Barnett quilting hoop. These are made by an artisan on the East Coast – a family business handed down from father to son. I had to wait patiently as he has a waiting list, but the wait is over – my hoop was delivered today!

The picture’s not great, but I’d rather spend my time quilting today than fiddling with photos! I also treated myself to a cute little thread/thimble/scissors caddy to match:

I am so pleased by the quality of these. The workmanship is excellent and the hoop works like a dream. In case you can’t tell from the photo, I got the 16″ hoop with a sit on base and I had Harry finish them with a golden oak stain.

I also ordered a Roxanne thimble.

This one will be returned and exchanged because it is too small, but the people at Colonial Needle have been just wonderful to work with.

In other quilting news, I finished a quilt top begun in a class with Judy Irish. Judy is the exact opposite of me quilting-wise! She is a fantastic machine quilter, very contemporary and works in bright, bold colors. I am a very traditional hand quilter who loves working in pastels. When Judy came to speak to our quilting group, I had the pleasure of having her stay in my home. She did me the great favor of choosing my fabrics for the Lone Star quilt class she taught the next day. I certainly had my doubts when she started pulling fabrics out of my stash (which she said was “sedate”). However, I am more than thrilled with the finished product!

I will also say that Judy was so very gracious in her admiration of my hand quilting. It was so encouraging and really made me feel I was on the right path.

Never fear that knitting has been abandoned. I finally finished Fire Dance. This was a true marathon – at least 5,000 beads. I love, love, love it and it feels like heaven draped around my shoulders. I love the weight of it – with all those beads it’s not going to slide off!

We’ve had a beautiful summer, but fall has begun dramatically. It’s almost as if Mother Nature flipped a switch! I can’t say that I mind. Sitting quietly and quilting or knitting while the wind blows and the rain patters against the window has got to be one of life’s greatest pleasures.

 

8 thoughts on “Contentment

  1. Glad you are putting money into things that will last you forever like that hoop that improves posture I am told (while quilting) and the thimble to protect your fingers… neither I can use.. so I spend money on thread and fabric instead! lol I also am stressed when I try to machine quilt and find it not fun… but I can hand quilt til the cows come home. Thanks for a great post! Kathi

  2. I love this post! I have been preparing some embroidery for a lap quilt, but am not that comfortable with my machine. After the top is done, I now feel encouraged to sit with my sewing skills and hand quilt. Thanks so much.
    Plus: I need to add more beads to my knitting!

  3. Love the Lone Star colors. You are like me as far as being traditional and sometimes it is good to have things pop with color. Striking. I also love hand quilting. Keep us posted on how you like the hoop. The caddy is very nice.

  4. Such beautiful quilts! I know what you mean about the peacefulness of hand quilting. I was so stressed out trying to wrangle my big quilts through my little machine and then agonized over the tension. One day I sat on the couch and quilted a whole baby quilt while watching a marathon of old St. Elsewhere episodes on TV. Never looked back …..

  5. Gorgeous quilt frame! You should get the hubby to take a picture of you sitting in front of it so we can see how big it is. Your projects are all gorgeous as well. I have that Fire Dance kit sitting on my desk in the color Dragon Fire, but I need to finish Evenstar first.

  6. It strikes me as funny that machine quilting is now the default – back umpty-bazillion years ago when I began quilting, hand quilting was the norm and I was the lone machine quilter. I can remember showing a quilt top at my grandmother’s Quilters Guild meeting back in the 70’s and having all the members show horror that I’d machine PIECED it…

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