Monday, April 28, 2014

What a bunch of squares

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The house is full of squares.

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The hand-pieced nine-patch squares are done, and I miss them already.  There is still a whole bunch of hand-piecing to do, but first I have to make a decision or two about the rest of the quilt top (pick a color) and do some cutting.  There are 200 of these blocks, which went together so effortlessly that I have begun to think maybe this is the way I will do things from now on.  Also, look at that accuracy!  I am telling you right now, I cannot get that kind of accuracy on a machine, I just can’t.  I love working this way, with just a needle, a spool of thread, a couple of pins.  I’m not in a hurry. 

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I feel like I am really noticing each fabric scrap as it passes through my hands; I think, Aw, hey there, I remember you.

32 comments:

  1. I love it! I had that same ah-ha moment after I'd done one dresden plate on the machine and the next one by hand at a lacrosse game. The hand-pieced one was perfect!?! I can't wait to see your finished piece... well, really I can, Take your time!

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  2. I never understand the rush with sewing, when often the comments about needing patience to do hand sewing come from knitters who have oodles of it and naturally expect to take some weeks over larger projects! I love to hand sew, accuracy being one reason but another being that I just feel that I 'made' the end product more. Also I love the actual sewing. It isn't that slow either - not judging by how quickly you have got through that lot! It is looking lovely; your quilts always do.
    Sara

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  3. All of your squares are lovely, so I am sure that the finished quilt will be really beautiful. xx

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  4. This is the only way I piece. I have three machines but there is nothing like hand sewing for accuracy and for the soul. I love doing it the way my ancestors did...only with way better lighting ;) Your scrap quilt will be beautiful and a cherished heirloom.

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  5. I have much better accuracy with hand sewing, too. Your squares are lovely.

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  6. The slow food movement has a lot going for it so maybe we should have a slow craft movement :) I enjoy knitting more because it is a slow pleasurable experience, yoga with yarn.

    jean x

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  7. Awsome!!! Woman, you are a machine!! :)
    Wonderful and so inspired.

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  8. My eyes are popping out of my head from the patterns and the news that you have hand sewn these together. Amazing!!!! Jo x

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  9. Yes, I feel like that too - "Hey - awwww - I remember you" - when sewing my little stripes or squares together from my scrap stash. Those quilts I often hold dearer than the bigger planned ones.
    Good job on your little 9-patch - they all look so cute!

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  10. I love that! I'm hand quilting a nine patch "quilt as you go" quilt. I've used scraps from all of my dresses and I like that feeling of recognition too.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  11. Amazing you hand pieced all those squares. Boggles this quilter's mind.
    blessings, jill

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  12. I thought hand-sewing was what you did when your machine was in the shop :) What do you do - just a running stitch? I can't even imagine doing it by hand. With a little one I think it would take me years to do even one quilt! But whatever makes you happy - that's what it's all about right?

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  13. I like hand-piecing too but I haven't done much lately. I've gotten spoiled by finally having a sewing machine that works. Not a fancy one, mind you, just one that actually operates. That's enough for me to become too reliant on it.

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  14. The half of the squares I used in a baby quilt for the daughter of my neighbour are just like yours. Have a look:

    http://homeiswherethedachshundis.blogspot.be/2013/01/patchworkdeken-elenoor.html
    (please enlarge the picture by clicking on it, I posted it in the beginning of my blogging when I didn't know yet how to post bigger pics)

    They are all made with the sewing machine but since I am such a sloppy sewer, it just looks as if they were handstitched. That is what I thought originally but now that I read all this posts above, I am beginning to think that I was wrong.

    Kristen,
    this is awesome. 200 times stitched by hand!!! Cannot believe it.

    Brigitte (with open mouth because I am SO amazed)
    from Belgium

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    1. It's lovely! Beautiful color choices. :)

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  15. this quilt is inspiring me. I look forward to seeing what comes next. The gentle slow rhythm of handwork is good in so many ways. There is time time to dream and plan as you stitch and also to contemplate and appreciate each colour combination. I still marvel that you did all this freehand, so to speak. I am going to look at your earlier posts to find out more.

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  16. Long live the handpiecers ! :))
    Isńt that working like a breeze, indeed? And soooo relaxing!
    To me, there's nothing like the softness of a hand pieced and hand quilted quilt, it feels like my soul is within... So many thoughts and meditations are lying within, no matter how long it takes.
    Keep going, dear, your little squares are fantastic and they're gonna make a treasure quilt.
    In stitches,
    Xoxoxo
    Nadine

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  17. Oh boy this is giving me ideas - lots of ideas. I love your blocks. I'm fighting the accuracy thing right now with teeny 1 inch squares. I think you've got something here, I must try it.

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  18. I Am mesmerized by this one!!!!! It has me all over it!!! It evokes the years I lived with my Grandmother until I was 3! Oh what Joyous memories this brought back to my minds eye! Thank You thank You thank You!

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  19. Hand piecing and accuracy for me are oxymorons. The only time I tried it was in 1990-91 successive power outages over Christmas/New Year. The snow and ice storms were predicted, so I got all my fabrics together for a pieced jacket. Pieced by Coleman lantern by a wood stove. Wasn't real pleased with the results - felt like I had 10 thumbs. The fact that it was cotton/poly probably made it even more difficult. But I still have it - one of my prettier creations - just don't look too close at the stitching! MUCH prefer my Pfaffs!

    Aunt Barbara

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    1. You are a true expert, and I speak as one who has admired your machine work up close for many years. :)

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  20. I forgot to add that your huge piles of squares are astonishing - no strip quilting for you!
    Aunt Barbara

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  21. Unbelievable! All hand made??? Just recently I was browsing through some easy quilting projects for begiiners, and I also don't have a sewing machine.. I will definitely try to hand stitch too :) Thanks for inspiration!

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  22. I like hand stitching too :-) I do use a sewing machine at times but I find hand stitching and hand quilting is quite therapeutic as there is such a lovely rhythm about it. Yes, and also if I am using stash it gives me time to think about the person who gave it to me or the lovely outing that was had the day it was bought. Oh, plus the joy of using little bits of fabric leftover from making that dress for your toddler who is now a woman with babes of her own.
    Have a lovely week,
    Tracey xx

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  23. Its going to be beautiful Kristen,and I know what you mean about hand sewing, it is somehow more meaningful in that you are more in touch and aware of both the fabrics and the process - machine stitching is not the same, somehow more detached.
    Enjoy!
    Gill xx

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  24. How big did you cut your sq.
    Sorry if I missed the measurement somewhere

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  25. I've done a lot of hand piecing for the same reasons you discuss--relaxation, enjoyment, accuracy, authenticity. I'm so glad to read that other value these things, too! My quilt guild is all about machine sewing and machine quilting . . .

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  26. Your squares are beautiful. I am so inspired by what you wrote too. You have me thinking about trying to handpiece a doll quilt.

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  27. you are so right about this ! i make all my quilts this way and find it much more comfortable and accurate than using a machine. no aching back and no unpicking of wonky seams. you do 'feel' the quilt much more too i think, but then i do this for my own pleasure anyway and have no need to do it quickly.
    your new quilt looks like it will be a corker ! lucky the person who gets to sleep under it .

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  28. That's a lovely bunch of nine patch squares you got there. They'll make a terrific quilt. We love your blog and added it to our blogroll.
    Groetjes, Corry en Heleen

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