Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Work in Progress Wednesday - Needleworks

I've recently grown interested in hand needlework.  Maybe it's the natural progression in one's quilting journey, but I find myself wanting to add more to each quilt I made - more challenging techniques or color schemes, more deliberate design choices, more personal touches.  I've loved the look of chunky hand quilting for some time, and decided to try it with a quilt I am making for June.  After watching a class by Anna Maria Horner on Creativebug and in person at Craft-South (more on that later), as well as this helpful video from Sarah Fielke, I gathered my courage and supplies and found a comfy place to practice.  By the way, Sarah very correcntly pointed out that I should use larger needles with perle cotton thread when I posted the picture above on Instagram. 

Here was my first attempt at hand quilting.  Not too shabby I say.  I am taking it very slowly and one stitch at a time.  I check the back often to make sure the stitches are about the same length on the back as they are on the front (very rarely but often close enough).  Every once in a while, I feel brave enough to do two stitches at a time, and perhaps over time I will do even more at once and get faster.  Then again, maybe I won't.  This is a long-term project so I don't need, nor do I want, to rush.  I find myself alternating between using a hoop (the traditional way), and not using a hoop (as Anna Maria suggests trying to allow more flexibility with the fabric and the rocking needle motion).  I can't decide which way I like better.  I'm allowing myself to take time on this, to enjoy it, one slow stitch at a time.  

Like most quilters though, I tend to have multiple projects in the works to keep from feeling bored (Bored, what's that?).  I've found four projects at once to be about my limit.  After falling hard for this picture, I dug into my scraps and started an applique wall-hanging.  The pattern is "Here's the Dish" in Anna Maria Horner's "Seams to Me" book.  I love how Alecia made her version scrappy and decided to do the same with mine.  Stitching the pieces down and adding embroidery will take some time, but since this is pretty portable, perhaps I'll finish it before starting another project.  Then again, maybe I won't.

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