Thursday, April 9, 2015

Lovin' the Hand Quilting

There wasn't a lot left to hand quilt on Vertical Baskets, so I pushed a little and managed to finish up. It's a lovely, rich looking quilt and was a joy to stitch on until the last couple borders. Only then did the repetition start getting a little tedious. huh  More time to ponder the next quilt!
Vertical Baskets all quilted...
It's still a wonder to me that most of my quilts are hand quilted. I may not get anywhere near 10 or 11 stitches to the inch {try 4 or 5?}, but I do persevere and get finishes throughout the year. The results keep pulling me back, time after time, because I absolutely adore the old fashioned, crinkled look!
The first step of the binding
I've thought and thought about ways to finish up faster, but it all involves throwing money at someone else or learning how to machine quilt. The latter is something I've been tentatively working on, but so far I don't really enjoy it. There is nothing about it that calms my soul or gets me excited about the finish. I finally paid for the walking foot class on Craftsy with Jacquie Gering several months ago. The walking foot just seems more me than a free motion foot so I thought 'why not take a look?' She's a great teacher and I really appreciate what she has to teach. Seriously. The problem is all me. True confession? I just can't quite make myself watch all the videos yet. I'm not sure what kind kind of  learner I am, but teaching videos just seem to make me itchy. Or twitchy.

Sometimes I think I'm too resistant to change, but also, loving the results I get right now makes it hard to get excited about new methods. The best way to learn something new is to have a driving need for it. When hand quilting doesn't suit my lifestyle {or style} so very well, then I'll probably have more incentive to learn won't I?

35 comments:

  1. You are right Audrey, I feel the same about hand quilting, I adore the old fashion look! I cannot imagine this beauty machine quilted!

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  2. Your baskets are just amazingly beautiful! And that's just how I feel about hand quilting ... although I quilt on a much smaller scale. Machine quilting is sooo stressful. I'm always hunched over a machine away from everybody and I'm never happy with the results. Once I started hand quilting I just felt to peaceful. I watch TV or sit with the rest of my family and I can have conversations or watch a show with them. Anything that makes binge watching Netflix productive is OK in my book!

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  3. You are not alone, Audrey, on the thing about teaching videos making you twitchy. I seem to have a low threshold for them myself. Maybe small doses would work, say 10-15 minutes? I have an entire how-to-quilt series on DVD that I bought four or more years ago that I haven't watched yet. Love your baskets quilt.

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  4. Audrey we are so alike! I have paid for I do not know how many Craftsy classes - the one you mention being one of them and I have not finished one class. I too thought that the straight stitch walking foot might be more for me than any other and I haven't even watched half of it. I have machine quilted straight lines on about 4 quilts now I think maybe 5 but I haven't enjoyed doing any of them it was just a means to finish quicker. With two tops waiting in line to be quilted maybe that is why I am working on 6 quilts right now and ready to start the 7th and none are really close to being finished and the sewing machine at this time is being used only one of them. I don't know why I can not sit and watch a class until the end - they bore me for some reason and I end up not being interested enough to watch them

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  5. I agree! I have made progress with the machine on small projects but for a bed size quilt I prefer and enjoy hand quilting it. If the quilt calls for big stitching and if not I also enjoy making smaller stitches. They are not perfect, and that is what I love!

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  6. OMG are we twins that were separated at birth....I feel exactly the same way and my quilting skills are right there with you.

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  7. It is so pretty and very vintage looking!

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  8. So happy to see an "almost finish" on this quilt - I've enjoyed watching it evolve! Hand quilting or machine quilting - I like them both, although I'm not a fan of the quilts that have been machine quilted into looking like embossed paper. Try the Craftsy classes in small doses - that's what the pause button is for! I just finished a series on hand applique and learned some great stuff, but I could only sit for 10-15 minute sessions.

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  9. realmente precioso!!
    he seguido la evolución de este edredón
    me gusta, me gusta, me gusta....
    soy fan a mano
    saludos

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  10. Love this quilt! AND to have it hand quilted it is a huge bonus!! You are so lucky that you are so good at it and so fast! I would love to be able to do THAT!!

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  11. Beautiful quilt and I love the look of hand quilting, too. There is nothing like that crinkley finish! I do straight line machine quilting and hand tying also on anything for my young grandchildren as I know they will be dragged around and machine washed a whole lot--I think yours will be a lovely heirloom.. I like the thought of someone seeing my stitches long after I'm gone--they won't care how many to the inch!! .hugs, Julierose

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  12. It's so wonderful to know that people still value hand quilting. Your quilts have a vibe that is you..you'll know when it's time to change

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  13. Ya gotta follow your heart! There is no right or wrong way to finish a quilt.

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  14. Your Vertical Baskets quilt is just so beautiful and the hand quilting adds to that beauty! If you are happy, there is no pressure to change!

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  15. I think we are kindred spirits when it comes to hand quilting. I could have written this post myself. Hand quilting can be tedious at times, but mostly it's just so relaxing, and the results are marvellous. I don't want to pay someone else to finish my quilts, and machine quilting just doesn't fit me at the moment. As you say, maybe one day when circumstances change I will be inspired to learn. Until then, keep hand quilting!

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  16. You have to enjoy the process, whichever method you use. Handquilting is easy on the soul and the results are wonderful. Personally I love handquilting, but I do find that now and then I want to finish something just that bit quicker. So when I made a quilt for my daughter I did both machine and handquilting (big stitch, that was fun). And I will try free motion quilting on a quilt I am making later on this year. But I will definitely always also be handquilting! Your quilt is beautiful , I love it.

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  17. I started to machine quilt a baby quilt and ended up hand quilting in the middle portion before going back to finishing the edges on the machine. I just felt like it needed some hand work too!:)

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  18. Your quilt is fabulous!

    You are NOT alone ... I prefer the look and feel of hand quilting, and while I've pondered learning to machine quilt for if/when the day comes and my hands give out (straight line only - no meandering for me!), but I just can't take that final step. Maybe if/when the day comes where I *have* to, I will but until then I'm going to hand quilt.

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  19. Wow! When is your birthday? I think we may be twins that were separated at birth! I feel exactly the same way about machine quilting. I love everything about hand quilting from the execution of the stitches to how it feels in the end. I too have tried to machine quilt, but it is so frustrating for me and quilting should be relaxing and fun. I do send quilts out to be quilted if I am making a gift or charity quilt. After all, I do like to support local machine quilters. I just will never be one myself! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and quilts.

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  20. Wow! Another finish - hurrah! This basket quilt is absolutely lovely and the texture of handquilting just can't be beat! I can't wait to see what's next :0)

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  21. Your quilt is absolutely beautiful!! Great finish. Never say never about machine quilting---one day things may change. I love your handquilting. We need to do what makes us happy right now. A door may open for other things down the road. Relax and enjoy creating!!

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  22. I agree with you on machine quilting. So stressful and boring. I love hand stitching and have never counted my stitches but I can assure you mine are not 9-10 to the inch. And as far as sending it to the long arm goes, I have never been a fan. To me if you just make the top you are sewing. The actual quilting is what makes a person a quilter, whether it is by hand or machine, not sending it to someone else. Great job on the quilt. Debbie

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  23. I have to be in the right mood to watch the quilting videos. And sometimes I sort of fast forward through them.

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  24. Congratulations on your finish, Audrey. And I'm with you - machine quilting really doesn't do it for me; I end up feeling frustrated and cranky, not soothed and happy like when I hand quilt. I have saved up and sent a couple of quilts away this year to be commercially quilted, but there's still a pile waiting for Winter's arrival and the joys of hand quilting.

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  25. I admire your hand quilting but have to do mine by machine. I still have one partially hand-quilted. It's been 26 years and counting. But either way, it is wonderful to enjoy the whole process: design, top, basting, quilting and binding.

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  26. What a beautiful quilt that is .I do love handquilting too but I just learned machine quilting and I like that too. And l did follow about 20 craftsy classes and never watched one to the end, also the machine quilting lessons. LOL.
    I love basket quilts but never made one and after seeing yours again I must see if I shall start one.
    Have a nice weekend.

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  27. I have been doing walking foot machine quilting the last few years. I have too many tops I want to snuggle under. My design is simple, just lines with as little marking as I can manage.

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  28. I love hand quilting although I'm a longarm quilter. If the quilt has borders, I will stitch in the ditch on my DSM or outline blocks on the DSM and then do the hand quilting. If the border is printed, it gets grid lines and I try to focus my hand quilting time where it will show. Your walking foot will be great for SID and then hand quilt the rest. When I first starting quilting, I thought the only reason you made the top was so you had something to hand quilt. Silly me!

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  29. Lovely finish. You seem so quick to me. I think that hand quilting has a more organic, natural feel to it, as if it evolved with the quilt, and that works perfectly with the sort of quilts you make. Machine work (FMQ and walking foot) is harder visually. There is some machine stuff that fascinates me, but it wouldn't work on my tops, it would have to be a whole different kettle of fish.

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  30. Well, you should absolutely stick with what you love! Especially since it works so beautifully. I always think it is nice to have a variety of options, but not at the expense of your enjoyment of the process.

    I have a hard time with video too. I'm too impatient. I would much rather skim a book, get exactly what I need, and then get on with it.

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  31. Love the quilt! Congrats on the finish! Your quilt called for some of your lovely hand quilting. If you are doing what you love then why do anything else?


    I would never pay anyone else to finish my quilts...they wouldn't feel like mine then. Some quilts call for hand quilting....some don't (like my busy ones where the hand quilting would get lost in the shuffle). I'm not a "learn by video" type person. I might do some reading on a technique but after that it's all just dig in and try...learning by experience and practice, practice, practice if I like the new technique. I try new things because I like a challenge to keep the old brain cells sparking.

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  32. I so understand the love of hand quilting but must put in a word for Craftsy classes. I love them. I have been making quilts for 30+ years and love the infusion of the modern that the younger quilters are bringing. I can't hand quilt any more myself (although I do love hand work) and usually take my quilts to be long armed. However, I do love the convenience of Craftsy classes and there are some amazing ones out there. I have watched the entire Jacquie Gering class and it was worth every penny. If you like the more modern quilts, the walking foot with straight or circle quilting can be amazing. The new class on Paperless Paper Piecing by Christy Fincher (Sharon Schamber's daugher) is my new favorite if anyone is interested. So clever! Thanks for your inspirational blog and I love the look of your hand quilted quilts!

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  33. Congratulations - it is such a warm and lovely quilt!! Lovely design and quilting.

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  34. Do what you love! Your quilt is beautiful.

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  35. I struggle with the quilting thing too. I love hand quilting my quilts, the quiet time spent stitching and love the look, but it means my tops are piling up. The catch with video is if you have the time to watch it chances are that's good sewing time, and the lure of the needle can be mighty strong.

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