I’d like to share with all of you something very special. Sometime ago I was invited by a friend to participate with a small group of women (three, plus myself) to hand quilt each Friday. I said yes and found some lovely friends. There is a bond that forms when you meet every week and spend the whole day 10AM to 3 PM sitting around the quilt frame. While the hands are busy lovingly placing just the right stitches in the right places, joining the layers of love together, we share bits of pieces of our own quilting and sewing experiences and our lives in general. It is a sacred time. For a time I had to quit the group as my working full-time took over. But I missed them and am back again. Here is Jessica and Carol around the quilt frame. We are hand quilting an antique wedding ring top done perhaps 90 or more years ago. It is fragile, but still beautiful.
One of the members prepare a quilt top. We then meet at her home and together we hand quilt the top until it is finished. The hostess provides lunch for us. When the top is completed, we go to the next member’s home to do a quilt top for her, etc. etc. It puts a fire under us to complete a top for quilting when it is our turn. We all get a hand quilted top perhaps once a year. And the friendship I have found is irreplaceable. It will be my turn next. I can’t wait.
Here is a photo of one of our members, Barb Kapost, who recently passed away from pancreatic cancer. I miss her. She was a member of my quilt guild also. She is why I am handquilting today. I met her some years ago when I signed up to become a secret sister. We provided small gifts to a person in secret until some months later your identity was revealed. When it was time for the reveal, my secret sister was ill. So I went to her home to deliver her final gift and to reveal who I was. During our visit I couldn’t help but notice the large quilt frame in her dining room. I had not known she hand quilted. We talked about it for a while and I told her if she ever needed help in hand quilting, please let me know. She did and voila…I am still hand quilting.
Here is one of my favorite pieces done early in my hand quilting days. It is hand quilted with a variegated purple and teal metallic thread. What was I thinking? Howver, it turned out nice and still a favorite.em>
Here is block number 13 of my Sweet Sixteen series. I want this one finished before it is my turn to have a quilt top quilted. All this hand applique just calls for hand quilting.
I would encourage anyone to think about this fine art. Of course I adore any kind of hand work. To some, I understand “hand work” can mean something bad. But if you are of the frame of mind as myself, please give it a try. I think you will love the peace and quiet satisfaction that comes from such a lovely pasttime.
Hand quilting is NOT a lost art. There are many of us who still love it. Try it if you love hand work…you will love it too.
PS….I still machine quilt as well.