Hand Quilting Lives

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.

Amities, Averyclaire

PS….I still machine quilt as well.


17 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Margaret
    Mar 05, 2012 @ 21:34:56

    How wonderful that you all are doing hand quilting together like that! Makes it go much faster and you end up with a lovely quilt all finished. I miss hand quilting. I have always loved doing it, but I fail miserably at it when a piece is large. lol! Beautiful work!


  2. Nanouanne
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 01:20:12

    How nice your hand quilting is! I love hand quilting. It makes comfort quilting pieces so soft! yet I have not machine quilted but, who knows, if I get finger troubles…
    This sort of groups (quilting bee, and secret sisters does not exist here in France. And that makes me envious of your culture. It is so rewarding for everyone, and provides joyful friendship hours. Weren’t it for my age and the fact that nobody will quilt in the family, I would buy one of those frames…
    I am so glad you are part of these ones.
    Thank you for sharing, you made my day today!


  3. Jane
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 01:53:17

    What a lovely way to spend time together, and what keepsake you all get from this special time. I love the idea of hand quilting, but never seem to be able to get the stitches on the back to look as they should


  4. Claudine Beaurenaud
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 02:02:19

    I liked you told about your hand quilting with a frame. I ‘ld like participate to a such experience. Generally, in France we baste a quilt together but each quilter sews the quilting alone with an hoop.
    Hugs and kisses to you, dear friend.


  5. Nanouanne
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 06:00:46

    Here I am again to tell you that my answer to your mail was returned to me. So I used your gmail address…You can have a look at it.


  6. Annie
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 07:43:40

    That is so great to have a personal quilting bee! You get to do what you love in the company of friends who love it too. Your handwork is so perfect too. And you get beautiful quilts that will live on and on. What could be better!


  7. Debbie
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 16:22:02

    I think that it would be wonderful to find a group like that. I think that such special bonds are formed. I learned to hand quilt years ago, but abandoned it for the faster mode in later years. Now I want to go back to it again.


  8. An Older Woman
    Mar 08, 2012 @ 21:21:35

    I have looked for and never found what you have, a quilting bee. Not in Virginia, and not here. I hand quilt, and there was a time when I was up to 13 stitches per inch. I imagine now I am closer to 10, perhaps 11 if I paid close attention. I love my quilts and miss quilting. The gentle rocking of the needle and the games I would play with myself about how many stitches I would do before I stopped for the night. You are so lucky to have these friendships. And luckier still to be next in line. Hope you are feeling well. Patsye


  9. Jenny Woolf
    Mar 09, 2012 @ 10:54:46

    Thanks for visiting my blog and giveaway. I came right over to see yours, and I think the top picture looks very cosy! But more than this, I’m impressed by the artistry of your work. I have a friend who can do beautiful stitching like this but I’m all thumbs, and always have been. So I have to admire from afar. I went to a beautiful quilt show in the V & A museum in London which showed many different aspects of quilting and found it entirely fascinating.


  10. Kathy Mathews
    Mar 09, 2012 @ 20:31:44

    I love hand quilting but now I just do it for very important quilts!


  11. Virtual Quilter
    Mar 10, 2012 @ 21:57:52

    Beautiful sight to see! I don’t have any hand quilter’s living close to me so the chances of taking part in a hand quilting bee is remote in the near future, but lovely to know that it is still happening, and maybe will happen for me again one day.

    Judy B


  12. colour du jour
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 22:39:28

    dear Averyclaire, what a lovely time you have with your handquilting. the bond of meeting every week is something to treasure!

    I am working on a hand-pieced double wedding ring and then will hand quilt it. (it will be the first time for hand quilting) I may be in contact for tips.

    thanks for sharing!


  13. Doris
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 06:05:47

    few week ago i buy my first panel.. i am waiting for some fabric to start to sewing..and quilting!..i am lilte nervous,i never quilt before….is a new world to me. and i am happy to know there more people doing this work, and i can learn from them.


  14. Nini PB
    Oct 30, 2012 @ 14:04:38

    très joli blog, magnifique travail,belle amitié; Bravo .


  15. Beth Naugle
    May 29, 2013 @ 13:57:18

    Hello there just discovered your webpage am looking to buy a used or new quilt frame in oak that tilts: where did you buy yours, or anything for features that you which you had now?

    Beth N.


    • Jim Hayden
      Apr 01, 2014 @ 18:56:38

      I have a quilt frame just like this one. It’s been gently used. I don’t know how much to sell it for. Make me an offer. I live in Dayton, Ohio area.


  16. Jim Hayden
    Apr 01, 2014 @ 18:54:34

    I have a quilt frame just like this one, for sale. I don’t know how much to sell it for.
    Make me an offer?


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